Planning on going away this year? We’ve put together a little list of things – 11 in fact – that can help you prepare before you go.
If you’ve been stuck at home the last few years – thanks COVID – chances are you’re keen to pack up the car or van and get away from it all or maybe buy a plane ticket overseas. We know you’ve probably organised a million incredible family holidays in the past, but even so, a little break from any travel can leave you wondering what you need to get organised. Before you go, there are a few things you need to take care of first.
If you don’t want to come back to rotting fruit and veggies in the crisper or milk that turned bad the day after you left, make sure you give the fridge a good clean out before leaving home. And while you’re cleaning out your perishable food items, why not give it a good scrub, pulling out the shelves and wiping them down.
It’s also a good idea to clean out as much as possible from the freezer as well because it only takes one bad storm to knock out the electricity supply for a week. And we all know what happens then.
Just like you don’t want to return home from a holiday to the odour of rotten meat wafting through the house, you also don’t want to find a colony of ants have set up shop in the back of your pantry while you’ve been away. Use up open packets of food and, if possible, move remaining portions into storage containers. If anything is close to its use-by date, take it with you (if you’re caravanning), chuck it in the bin or see if the neighbours in your land lease community could enjoy it.
If you cant take your fur babies with you, make arrangements for them as early as possible as animal boarding kennels tend to fill up early. Especially over the Summer. If you’re using a pet sitting service, ensure their reputable with great reviews.
And if you have pets, don’t forget to wash and dry their food and water bowls thoroughly before you leave.
Avoid having to leave your bins out while you’re away, even if it’s just a few days before bin day, as it’s a pretty good sign nobody’s at home. If you must put them out, ask a trusty neighbour to bring them in for you.
If it’s been a minute in between holidays it is always worthwhile to check your travel essentials: See when your license, ID card or passport expires and renew it appropriately before you leave. Speak with your bank and advise them of your travels so any purchases their systems see in different places are not flagged as being suspicious. Organise any and all visas and travel documentation – especially Covid documents – ahead of time so you don’t have any headaches.
By turning off and unplugging all your appliances, even the ones you might usually leave on standby like the kettle or TV, will save you money and energy. It’ll also protect them if there’s a summer thunderstorm that sends lightning down the powerlines.
Should you leave a light on? It’s really up to you but, if you feel more secure knowing a light will be on at night while you’re away, invest in a timer switch for a lamp or two. Or even ask a neighbour or friend to pop in and flick on a few lights. Most resort style and luxury land lease communities are gated and relatively secure, however if you prefer peace of mind while away, use a light timer.
Depending on how you’ll be away, you might have to think about your lawns and gardens. If you’ll be away for an extended period and you outsource your lawnmowing, stick to your usual schedule. If you mow your own lawns, maybe book in a mow with a local garden maintenance person to keep things neat and tidy so you don’t alert people to the fact you’re away. And as an added bonus, you won’t have to mow the lawns the day after you get home!
If you’re only away for a week or so, ask a neighbour to keep an eye on things and grab any mail or any junk mail that’s starting to look untidy. If you’ll be away for many weeks, or even months, jump online and request Australia Post to hold or re-direct any mail.
If you have any other regular deliveries, remember to let them know as well.
Nobody wants to come home to water running down the hallway so if you can, shut off the water at the mains. At the very least, turn off the taps to your washing machine, dishwasher and fridge.
Make sure all your windows and doors are locked, especially those you rarely use. Check the locks on the garage and shed as well. Move bins and any other items that could be used to gain entry or hide unwanted access to your home.
Let trusted neighbours of friends know exactly when you’ll be away so they can check on the home or be used as emergency contacts if needed. Consider giving them a spare set of keys, just in case.
Don’t assume your policies are active and paid up to date. Dig out the paperwork – or check your emails - and read it carefully. And if you can’t find your own copies, contact your insurer directly to confirm and have new copies emailed to you. List an emergency contact on your polices just in case something happens at your home and you need someone to attend in person.
If you’re an existing MHIA customer, we’re happy to run through your policy with you before you go away. We’ll ensure you’re covered for all the things you need and chat about portable valuables cover for certain special items you may be taking away from home. So please, connect with us online, by phone or email.