Before Leaving

Alarm Service – inform service of travel plans, dates and contact name for emergencies

Appliances – turn all off or unplug them to save electricity

Bills – pay outstanding bills, prepay bills due while away, arrange for someone else to pay (if necessary)

Computer – back up computer and store in safety deposit box or off site

Credit Card Issuers – inform issuers that you are traveling and dates

Documents – leave with someone the following documents: photocopies of passport, birth certificates and travelers cheques; credit card numbers; detailed itinerary including airplane flights and hotel reservation info; lawyer’s and doctor’s contact info; location of will, power of attorney and personal directive; insurance company name and contact info

Doors and Windows –  check to make sure all doors and windows are locked and secure

Drains – pour water in all drains so they do not dry out and create odor

Fireplace – secure

Flights – confirm flights and print boarding passes

Garbage – throw all garbage out

Growing things – arrange to have lawn cut, outdoor and indoor plants watered

House – arrange for someone to come into the house to check it, leave house keys with this person

Jewelery – take to safety deposit box

Legal Matters – give someone power of attorney, tell someone where important documents and wills are located

Light Timers – set up light timers to make it look like someone is at home

Mail – suspend or forward mail delivery or arrange for someone to pick it up

Newspaper – stop paper delivery

Pets – arrange for care for pets

Refrigerator – reduce/eliminate foods that will spoil

Ride to Airport – arrange for a ride or taxi to/from airport, or use airport parking

Sinks and Toilets – clean to make sure nothing grows while away

Snow – arrange to have someone shovel and leave footprints on sidewalks, stairs and driveways

Taps – turn all taps off and check for dripping

Thermostat – turn down, but if it is winter, make sure house is still warm (15 C) to prevent pipes freezing

Vehicles – cancel insurance if away long enough, maintain fire and theft

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