A Home Departure Checklist
For Peace of Mind While Traveling

Lists are good aides to organize your travel.

A home departure checklist is just as important as a packing list or a pre-departure documents checklist.


You don't want to forget that shirt you just bought for the trip or your airline tickets...

Your packing and documents lists will take care of those...

But you don't want to neglect the cat or dog either...

Or let newspapers pile up, or the mail....

...or... or... or...


So Make A Home Departure Checklist...

Of things you need to do...

Things like...

Someone needs to take care of the dog
  • Arrange for someone to take care of the dogs and cats... or whatever pets you might have.

    You'll need a pet sitter or a place to board your furry or feathered friends while you're gone. (When we had a parrot, it was always a challenge... usually got my Mom for that one.)
  • How about green friends. (Sure I talk to my plants.... doesn't everyone?) Figure out a way to water them if you're going to be gone a long time. A self-watering pot might do or get a neighbor to check them.
  • Take care of the yard.  Does someone need to water the outdoor plants? Mow the lawn? You don't want drooping plants and a shaggy lawn to signal that you're not at home.
  • Stop the mail and the newspaper or have a neighbor pick them up. Newspapers piling up in the driveway is a sure sign you're away.
  • Attend to the bills.  Make sure your bills are paid or make arrangements to pay them online. You don't want the lights to go out while you're gone!
  • Call your credit card companies.  Tell them you'll be traveling.  If your credit card bill comes while you'll be away, call and get the balance and pay it to avoid interest charges.


Your Friends And Neighbors Need To Know...

So that the friends or relatives who are helping you out will know what's up, here are another couple of things to add to your home departure checklist....

  • Leave a set of keys with that relative or friend to check on the houseplants. Make sure they know how to work your home alarm.
  • Leave them a copy of your itinerary or at least a general plan of your trip.
  • Leave emergency contact numbers if you have them. (We often have NO idea where we're going to be.)

    Let them know an e-mail address you will be checking.
  • Notify the vet.  If you are leaving pets in someone's care, notify your vet and leave a letter giving permission for treatment if it becomes necessary. 

    (We've had a couple of vet emergencies through the years.  It's better not to neglect this!)
  • Leave a copy of your passport and contact numbers for your credit cards in case they are lost or stolen. If the copy you are carrying with you is also lost, you can have your relative e-mail you the copies.

    You can e-mail a copy to yourself too... that comes on the next list...

Put computer chores on your home departure checklist....

  • E-mail yourself... Send important contact numbers and a copy of the first page of your passport to yourself at an e-mail address you can access on the road.
  • If you must answer e-mail... While you're at that, set an e-mail auto reply message if you want one to go out. Update your website if you have one.
  • If you're not a regular blogger, but you want a travel blog, make sure that's working the way you want.

You're bags are packed, and you're ready to step out of the house...

Here are a few last minute things for your home departure checklist....

  • Set timers in your house to turn lights on and off. Maybe a radio too. Make them random timers for a more natural look.
  • Lock all windows and doors.
  • Turn down the thermostat.
  • Turn the hot water heater to vacation mode. We also turn off ceiling fans that tend to come on during power surges and turn off the water to the washing machine. We've never had a hose break, but who needs that worry?
  • Power down your computer and unplug small appliances.
  • Empty the trash.
  • Clean perishables out of the refrigerator. Who wants to come home to some sort of a science experiment by leaving left-overs in the frig?
  • Secure your garage door. (We don't have a garage door opener, so we just lock the garage.)
  • If you're leaving a car at home that is alarmed, you might want to leave a spare set of keys with the neighbor in case that alarm goes off. Those are really annoying when they go off at night!

We're getting there. It's nearly time to go out the door. Go through your home departure checklist to make sure you haven't forgotten anything.

You DID check in on the web didn't you?

Lock all of your luggage. Make sure all pieces have proper ID tags.

Set the house alarm and have a great trip.

Happy travels... even if you don't travel the world... just remember that life is a journey... embrace and enjoy it! Judy and Mark

Curious about what else we've written about?  Search our site for a destination or travel tip.

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Thanks, Judy and Mark

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