Before any trip, there's inevitably that frantic last-minute scramble to not only pack but tie up loose ends at work and at home. To take the edge off the latter-and to ensure you can actually have enough peace of mind to fully relax while you're on holiday-here's a checklist of things to remember to do before you head out the door.
Hold all your mail and newspapers (it's kind of an open invitation to burglars otherwise, signaling the fact that you're not home!).
Tell a neighbor you trust you're out of town, and consider giving them a key just in case, or at least have them keep an eye out on your house.
If you've got a spare key hidden somewhere outside your house, now's the time to remove it.
Close the curtains on any windows where people can see in to your house.
Set interior timers so that a lamp or two turns on at night.
Turn off your hot water heater-you might as well save some cash while you're away.
Make copies of your important documents, like your passport and credit cards, just in case something is stolen (you can either scan them and email them to yourself, or if you're reticent to have electronic files floating around, you can carry print versions).
Sift through your wallet and remove extra credit card bills and/or your social security card and anything else you don't want/need while traveling.
Triple-check to make sure every last door and window is locked. If you've got sliding doors, consider wedging a wood block or stick in the track for added security.
Pay all bills that are due while you're away.
Clear out the fridge, chucking anything that might spoil in your absence.
Sprinkle a little baking soda in toilets and down the sink drains to avoid coming home to the stench of stagnant water.
Water your plants.
Unplug your toaster, computer, TV, coffeemaker and all other appliances.
Take out the garbage.
Make sure there are no wet clothes lurking in your washer or dryer.