It’s summer vacation time over India and the holiday moods are in full swing! If you are planning to take a much-needed break and go on a trip with your family, here’s a holiday checklist of things to make sure that everything stays smooth.
Now, if you are going on a very short trip, like two days or less, the amount of preparation needed would be quite less and limited to the domain of things you carry with you alone. However, if you are going on a long trip, the kind that spans several days or weeks, you’ll need to make sure that your residence is equipped to stay on its own.
For ease of understanding, let’s classify our pointers into two categories –
- Things to carry with you
- Things to do before you leave your home unattended
1. Holiday Checklist Of Things To Carry With You While Travelling
This is a pretty standard list, however, if you have kids travelling with you, you might want to make a checklist. So, print this holiday checklist out if you want and tick them off as you go.
For trips less than a week, the rule is that you have one set of clothing for each day. For longer trips, locate a laundry service. Or find a place to stay that has a washing machine. It is always handy to have a carry bag on standby to store all your soiled clothes so that they won’t mix with the fresh clothes in your suitcase.
Brushes, combs, soaps, toothpaste, shaving utilities, emergency band-aids, emergency/ daily use medicines, fresh towels, tissue paper, extra batteries. Experts also recommend carrying a hair dryer. This is one equipment that can be of immense help in some dire situations. If you accidentally dropped a gadget in water, switching it off and holding it under a hair dryer for few minutes sometimes helps prevent irreplaceable damage. Hair dryers can also act as a heat pack.
Even if you are going to a relative’s house, never travel without your documents, especially if you are going abroad. A Govt. ID proof, driver’s license (if you have one), medical insurance card, and all the documents your vehicle needs if you are using it for driving around on your vacation.
In case you fall sick during a holiday, some pickle or snacks from home will help you immensely. If you have access to a kitchen, you can carry some rice and pulses for your little ones. Kids may not often tolerate a change of food habits easily.
Making Your Home Ready For Shut Down
The risk of your home being robbed or broken into is drastically reduced if it is within an apartment complex. However, you can never be sure enough. So here are some things you need to do before you lock your home and go on a holiday.
- Cancel subscriptions
TVs, newspapers, milk, other groceries with are typically delivered to your home daily – they all need to be canceled. More than the mess it makes on your doorstep, accumulated newspapers and other items is a sign that the house is empty. And we definitely do not want that because potential thieves would see that as a welcome sign.
- Don’t leave lights on
Some folks think that a light inside makes it look as though there’s someone inside. For a little while, yes it might look just like that. But a light that is on around the clock is a sign of an unoccupied home. Any human with an average IQ would figure out that this is just a ruse. Also, this could make your electricity bill shoot up to the sky. Best leave the lights off and the curtains closed.
- Turn everything off
Gas cylinder, heaters, all switches and plug-points, modems and anything that consumes power or fuel. Ideally turn off the main switch, but that could be hard to do if you want to leave your fridge running.
- Leave a word with a friend
If you don’t trust them enough to leave your keys with them, at least, drop a word with them. They’ll be kind enough to be watchful of any suspicious activity and alert you if they find something fishy. If you are leaving valuables in the house, it might be a good idea to let the local police station know as well. This is kind of vital if you are going away for a long vacation.
- Pets and plants
Arrange a drip system to water your plants or ask a friend to drop by to water them. If you have pets – cats/dogs, arrange for their care. Fishes can be dropped at a friend’s home, but that might not always be doable with other pets. Pet hostels are pretty popular these days, find out if there’s one in your locality.
- Don’t broadcast everything on the Internet
With the advent of Social Media, our lives are not very private anymore. That said, it is best that you don’t announce on social media that you and your family will be away for a certain length of time. At least avoid presenting it in such a way that you send out a clear message that house will be unoccupied.
These are some general tips that you must follow at any cost. However, your situations and requirements may be different. Do not hesitate to take help from the Internet to find out how to secure your home before you leave for a holiday.
As Soon As You Get Back
The moment you reach back, check for anything unusual. If something did happen, spotting it early is vital. Most of the evidence of a break-in disappears if you walk all over it. So here’s a list of checks you must perform as soon as you step inside your house.
Walk around the house and check if everything is in the same spot that you left it in. Chairs, cushions, vases, kitchen articles and everything in plain sight. Investigate further if you find anything weird or even if you just get the sense that something is amiss.
2. Unusual smells/odors
Burning smells, ashes on the floor or anything that you find foreign could indicate that a presence was in your house while you were away.
Check your lockers and cupboards to ensure that nothing is missing and that nothing has been moved around. If you left cash at home, count it once more and check if the amount is still the same.
Visit the person you appointed to keep an eye on your home. Ask them if everything was ok and also thank them for helping you out.
Happy Holiday To You
We didn’t intend to scare you, dear reader. We just want you to be vigilant so that much grief can be avoided later. Like we said before, if you live in a gated society, you have little to worry about because CCTV surveillance and security guards are enough to deter most petty criminals. If your apartment makes use of the ADDA app, you have even less to worry about!
Remember, the anticipation of a good vacation can make you way too excited, this could make you forgetful about safety and security. Stay safe and enjoy your holidays.
P.S. If you have additional tips to add to this holiday checklist, do share them here with our readers!