As your family prepares to leave town, the basics are usually covered: the right clothes are packed, passports are in hand, emergency cash is tucked away, and the like. But doing just a little bit more will go a long way toward ensuring a smooth trip for your family. Check out my checklist below!

5 Family Vacation Preparations You Never Thought Of

  • Not just a clean house... Everyone I know loves to return to a tidy home when vacation’s done. I like to add a luxurious twist to the cleaning. Before you leave, find a cozy space in your home and set a table for two. Chill a bottle of your favorite wine and splurge on some decadent cheese. When you return home, you’ll be all set to unwind and reflect on the trip.
  • Beyond the mailbox. You’ve probably asked a neighbor to pick up your mail already. But is that enough? Leaving a house key with a close friend and asking them to check in on your home can save you a great deal of stress. They’ll be able to remove the ads stuck in your door handle and the free publications tossed onto your lawn. Your mail-checker and friend should be well-prepared with a list of important contact phone numbers. If something back home goes wrong you’ll be glad to know they can address it quickly by knowing who to call.
  • Email buddies. Make sure you have one contact back home who will agree to check their phone and email, specifically for messages from you. If there are any matters you need to attend to, you can dash off a quick note and feel confident that the message will be received.
  • 21st century concerns. Make sure your kids know not to let the whole town know about your vacation – tell them not to post things on social networks about leaving town. The whole internet doesn’t need to know!
  • All those little things… Shut off your water pipes, just in case. Turn off your hot water heater. Throw out your milk. And your leftovers. Empty the garbage. Unplug your computers. Set the thermostat appropriately. Pay your bills if they’re almost due.

….OK, now you’re ready for family travel! Have fun!

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