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Travelers Checklist For Winter Holidays

December 24, 2013 Travel & Tourism

Whether you are about to leave for a Christmas holiday with family or are planning your winter vacation in the Florida Keys, you want to be sure you leave your home in good order before you travel. Here's a simple checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything important before embarking on that cross-country drive or flight. You will travel with more peace of mind with these items checked off.

1.  Finish household chores

Amidst the rush of getting ready to leave, it’s tempting to neglect household chores so that you can leave sooner. However, if you don't t clean your house properly before you leave, you'll have to come home to housework! Yuck! This year, make it a priority to thoroughly clean your house and finish any remaining chores before leaving. Don'tt leave any laundry in the washer or dryer. Make sure all your dishes are washed and put away. Have your kids clean their room – remind them that Santa is coming!  Sweep floors, dust counters, and clean bathrooms. Be sure to use up food that spoils quickly, such as milk, and throw away any other leftovers. Take out the trash. Leaving your house spick-and-span will create a more relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere for your homecoming.

2. Burglar-proof your home

Remove your spare key from under the doormat. Make sure all your doors are locked and all your curtains closed. Leave a lamp or light on so that your house isn’t completely dark. If you have interior timers, you can set lights to turn on at a certain time. If you’re going to be gone for several days, ask the post office to hold your mail so that it doesn’t accumulate in your mailbox during your absence. If you’re close with a neighbor who will be home, you can ask them to keep an eye out for suspicious activity during your absence.

3. Turn off your hot water heater and heater

Turning off your hot water heater and heater will help save money on your bill. Also, make sure to unplug your appliances. That way, you won’t have to worry about anything starting a fire or flooding.

4.  Make Sure All Systems are Up-to-Date

Test your fire, smoke or burglar alarms to make sure they’re working properly, and replace batteries if needed. Check your light bulbs replace ones that are burnt out.  Change your air filters if needed so that your air will be cleaner and healthier for you when you return. Check your light bulbs. Make sure that things have been properly taken care of so that your house will be a pleasant place to go back to.

5. Pack Some Snacks

Bringing food is far cheaper (and healthier) than stopping at a fast-food place along the way, so make some sandwiches and snacks to bring with you. Dried fruit, apples, carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, and other similar foods are both easy to pack and nutritious. And you will save more of your travel budget for a nice meal out at your destination.

6.   Double Check Your Suitcases

Make sure you have packed all your essentials (toothbrush and toothpaste, underwear, razors, etc.) so that you won’t have to stop somewhere to buy extras. Make sure you’ve brought all your gifts, too. 

plam trees with Christmas Lights
Palm Trees decorated for Christmas in the Florida Keys. Photo by M.-J. Taylor

7. Enjoy the Season

Don’t get so bogged down in the details that you forget to have fun. Although Christmas can be a stressful season for many, the ability to spend time with your loved ones and celebreate the reason for the season is a precious gift that shouldn’t be taken for granted. After making sure you’ve done everything on this checklist before leaving, you’ll be able to have a relaxing break without needing to worry that you’re forgetting about anything.

The writer: Phil Brown is a handyman.

From all of us at Key Colony Beach, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!