Many things can go wrong while you’re away on vacation. Some of them are completely out of your control, while others are preventable.
In this blog post, we’ll be covering the top 10, most common mistakes that travelers make when they leave their homes for vacation.
- Announcing Your Travel on Social Media
This is the first mistake I see all the time and I’ve been guilty of it myself in the past. Announcing your trip on social media is just asking for trouble.
You are telling the world that your home is going to be empty from this date to this date. Please, don’t do it. I know it’s a lot of fun, but maybe save the announcement and the photos for when you return home from vacation.
- Making it Obvious that Your Home is Empty
On a similar note, another mistake that travelers make is making it blatantly obvious that their home is empty and that they are away. Ways that this can happen are if:
- You have newspapers or mail that’s piling up at the front of your home
- All the lights are off
- The blinds are closed
- There’s no car in the driveway
There are things that you can do to make it look like your home is being lived in even while you’re not there. Something, for example, would be to put a simple hold on your mail or ask one of your neighbors to pick it up for you.
You can also set timers on the lights in your home. Just simple, cheap timers that will turn on and off at various times throughout the evening and the night to make it look like someone is living there.
- Forgetting to Turn Down or Turn Up the Thermostat
Another common mistake that could cost travelers big time is forgetting to turn down or turn up the thermostat. You definitely do not need the thermostat running and using all that energy and hiking up your electricity bill to heat or cool down a home that you’re not living in.
Set it to something that’s not going to have your pipes freezing while you’re away, but also it doesn’t need to be a perfect 72 degrees for an empty home.
- Not Unplugging Your Electronics
Before going on vacation, you may forget, or not think, to go around your home and also unplug all of your electronics.
There are a few reasons why you need to unplug your electronics:
- If the electronic is unplugged, it’s not going to be using any energy
- It’s also going to protect your devices if there are any surges
- It’s going to prevent any potential fires from taking place
- While you’re away, you don’t know what type of weather is going to be coming through your area.
So just be safe. Unplug them before you leave!
- Not Paying Your Bills
Another common mistake before you leave your home for vacation would be neglecting to pay your bills. Take care of these before you leave your house, so you don’t have to worry about them while you’re on vacation.
This will also ensure that nothing is missed or forgotten. You don’t want to be paying extra fees or having any of your services canceled.
Another reason to pay your bills before you leave home is that you’re able to do so online on your own secure Wi-Fi network. You don’t want to be logging into your bank information to pay your bills from an unsecured network on an All-inclusive resort in Mexico for example.
- Having All Your Items You Don’t Need in Your Wallet
One more common mistake would be heading to the airport with a wallet full of all these things that you don’t need. This could be your bank card, work ID, parking pass, etc.
Take all of these things out of your wallet to avoid carrying them around with you on your trip.
This way, if something would have happened to your wallet, which hopefully it does not, you will only lose the essential things that you brought with you, as opposed to also losing every piece of ID you own or every gift card you’ve ever had.
I’m so guilty of carrying these around with me. So truly this tip is for myself as a reminder, but also good for you to know.
- Not Speaking with Someone
Something else that travelers may not think to do or may not think is needed before leaving for vacation is speaking with a neighbor, friend, or family member and making sure that they have access to your home in the case of an emergency.
A few years ago, I was on a walking tour in Paris. By the end of the two-hour walking tour, six out of the twenty people that I was with have had their passports stolen.
When one of the guys went to the embassy, he was asked for all this information. I think it was his birth certificate they were asking for. I can’t remember what it was, but it was some obscure document that you would never just have on hand.
He knew where it was back in his home in Austin, Texas, but he didn’t have anyone that had access to his house who was able to go in there and get the information for him.
- Not Running the Dishwasher
Another important thing that travelers will often forget in the rush to the airport is running the dishwasher. Imagine coming home to a full dishwasher of dirty dishes where all of the food has just been caked on.
- Leaving Perishable Foods
While you were away on the same train of thought here, you’re going to want to go through any food that is in your home, particularly in the fridge, and throw out or give away anything perishable.
- Forgetting to Take Out the Garbage
Finally, as the very last thing before you leave your home and head to the airport, apart from locking the doors, that’s also important, but most of you will remember to do this. Something that travelers often forget to do is go around their homes and empty all of their garbage.
Those are 10 simple things that travelers often forget to do before leaving their homes for vacation.
I have made almost every single one of these mistakes at some point in the last decade. Let us know down in the comments if you have as well or if there are any other mistakes that you’ve made that we can all avoid.