Going on vacation is an exciting time and there can be all kinds of last minute problems and annoyances that can raise that can keep you from taking care of things that you should before you leave. Unfortunately, remembering those things that you should have done later on is not going to help, so here are some things to be sure to check off on your list before you leave on vacation:
* Lock all doors and windows through the house.
* Unplug most electronic items especially those that are expensive or may have valuable data on them. These can include your TV set, stereo, and especially computers. If a storm comes through while you are away, these items can be damaged beyond repair simply by being plugged into the wall outlet, so remove that possibility before you leave. Also, if you use a modem it would be good idea to unplug it as damage can also happen due to the phone connection used.
* There is no need for your water heater to continue to operate at a high level since it will not be used through the time that you are gone, so turn it down to a low setting.
* Call and cancel your paper and mail delivery while you are gone. You certainly do not want newspapers and mail piling up outside your home and sending a clear signal to burglars that your house is an easy target.
* Leave a radio or something going in the house that makes sound and can be viewed as an indication that someone is home.
* Disconnect the garage door so that it can not be operated by remote control from the outside. Usually there is a lever that you can pull on the opener that can accomplish this easily.
* Unplug your washing machine hoses. These can easily break and if they do while you are away for several days it could cause near catastrophic flood damage to your home before you would be able to do anything about it.
* If you have pets make sure that they have an automatic feeder and plenty of food and water, if you choose not to board them in a kennel or leave them with someone else. Also be sure that the heating / AC system is set to keep things comfortable for them in the house while you are gone. If you do choose to leave your pets at home it's a good idea to arrange for someone to stop by daily and check on them and spend a little time with them too.
There are other reminders that would be good to have on your away list too, but these should be a good start to help keep you focused on necessary items to take care of before leaving on any fun family vacations.