Getting Away Soon? Vacation Checklist for Your Home

As local, national, and international restrictions stemming from the pandemic begin to lift and travel opens up again, it might seem like a good time to think about getting away.

Here’s a handy checklist to help you care for your home, even while you’re out of town.


One to Two Weeks Ahead

  • Make arrangements for someone to get your mail and packages, or place your mail on hold with the Postal Service.
  • If you have a Ring or other electronic monitoring service, check that the doorbell batteries are charged and that you have access to its mobile app, with the correct user name and password.
  • Schedule someone to care for your pets, either through a local pet sitter or boarding place/ groomer.
  • If you have a house sitter staying in your home, consider sharing a printable itinerary plus any directions for electronics, pet food, etc.
  • Contact your bank and/or credit card company to alert them to your upcoming travel plans. If you’re traveling internationally, consider changing some money to the new currency, to avoid lines and excess exchange fees at your destination.
  • Pay any bills that might be due while you’re away.
  • Refill any prescriptions you might need while you’re traveling.
  • Mow the lawn, and schedule any extra landscaping needs (lawn mowing, snow removal, watering plants, etc.) for the time you’re gone.
  • Set up your light timers (ideally, both inside and out!)
  • Return and/or renew any library rentals. Consider renting or buying a guidebook for your destination that doesn’t require any technology — nor drains a smartphone battery.
  • Schedule your away email and voicemail vacation messages, if you’re able to schedule them in advance.
  • If you’re feeling extra ambitious, clean your home bathroom(s) and kitchen so you’ll come home to a cleaner house.


The Day You Leave

  • Throw away or freeze any perishable food items.
  • Take out the garbage.
  • Water any house plants or flower beds.
  • Adjust your thermostat up or down, so it’s not running the entire time you’re on vacation.
  • Close the blinds and window fixtures.
  • Power down any computers.
  • Unplug the small appliances such as a coffee maker, toaster, or electric kettle.
  • Lock all the doors and windows.


From there, enjoy your journey!