10 Things to Do Before Going on Vacation
So youâ€™ve just booked the vacation package of your dreams with Sweet Magnolia Tours, congratulations! We want to make sure that you enjoy every moment of your amazing tour and leave all of your worries behind. Whether youâ€™re Discovering Savannah or getting ready for next yearâ€™s CMA Music Festival, itâ€™s our job to make sure you make some great lifelong memories.
Here are 10 things you need to do before you travel to keep your home safe and your mind at ease.
Give Your Mail Carrier a Vacation
Even if youâ€™re only going to be on the road for a few days, itâ€™s a wise move to contact the United States Post Office and ask them to hold the horses. Simply visit their website and make a hold mail service request. You can either pick up the mail from your local branch or your carrier can deliver it upon your return. If you have newspaper subscriptions, you may want to put them on hold, too. Nothing announces an extended vacation and a vacant house like an accumulation of mail and newspapers.
Gas Up the Mower and Grab the Clippers
Probably the last thing you want to hear before going on vacation is, â€śHoney, donâ€™t forget to mow the lawn!â€ť We hate to break it to you, but itâ€™s sound advice. Unkempt lawns are as good a giveaway as an overflowing mailbox. For shorter trips, such as our Nashville to Memphis Day Trip the DIY approach will definitely do the trick. For a longer tour, such as our incredible 12-night Southern Soul Experience, you may want to throw a couple of bucks in the direction of your teenage neighbor and ask them to keep your lawn in check while youâ€™re gallivanting in Atlanta, Tupelo, Memphis, Nashville & more.
Be Smart About Social Media
Weâ€™d love to hear what you have to say about your Sweet Magnolia adventures, but itâ€™s okay to hold off on that facebook review until you return. While weâ€™re on the subject of social media safety, it may be a good time to review your privacy settings. If you do plan on chronicling your adventures with a #SweetMagnoliaTours hashtag, make sure that only your closest friends can see what youâ€™re up to for the duration of your vacation.
Nowâ€™s the time to be a friendly neighbor and let those who live nearby know that youâ€™ll be out of town. Ask them to be an extra set of eyes and to be on the lookout for anything that looks remotely suspicious.
What About the Curtains?
This is a tough one. On one hand, closing your curtains prevents prying eyes from peeking. On the other hand, closed curtains make it easier for criminals to do their dirty work while simultaneously making it tough for your neighbors to see whatâ€™s going on. Instead, we recommend keeping your curtains open, as you would if you were home. Simply make sure that you move any valuable electronics, jewelry, or art to a well-secured (and out of sight) location.
The Lights Are On, But Youâ€™re Not Home
If you think leaving a light on will keep the criminals at bay, think again. Leaving your lights on around the clock is not only wasteful and expensive, but youâ€™re not going to fool anyone. Consider springing for a new-fangled 7-day random vacation timer or, better yet, a wireless programmable timer that you can control from your smartphone. Go the extra mile and make sure to program the timers to mimic your at-home schedule, but vary it a tad each day to keep the bad guys on their toes.
Do Away With the Spare
Sorry to break it to you, but everyone knows that little gnome or that incongruous fake rock is secreting a spare key. And if youâ€™re the kind of person who leaves a spare under your mat or perched atop your door, for the love of home security, stop!
Now Lock the Doors and Windows
Now that youâ€™ve ditched the spare key, take the time to double check each and every access point. Youâ€™d be surprised how many people forget to lock the garage door or throw the latch on the family room window.
In the event of an unexpected power surge or power outage, it may be a wise move to unplug expensive electronics. While youâ€™re at it, take a quick inventory of your fridge and donate perishable foodstuffs to food banks or those in need.
Do the Laundry and Change the Sheets
Trust us. A little extra work on the front end of your vacation is going to pay dividends upon your return. Thereâ€™s nothing better than coming home from a well-deserved vacation to a clean home and a fresh set of sheets.
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