Zack and I love to travel. We were both bit by the travel bug separately as teenagers, both traveling all over the world from youth to adulthood. Ironically enough, we never went to any of the same places! He traveled as a teenager to South Africa, New Zealand, and all over the US. When he joined the Marine Corps, he went all over the Middle East, Southern Europe, and Northern Africa. When I was a teenager I went to Mexico, Italy, France, England, and all over the US as well. We were very fortunate to go on these trips and learn more about the world and different cultures. Now that we are married, the travel bug hasn’t left us, and we want to create new memories together! So we booked a trip to visit some friends in Israel + Ireland (with a 3 day stop in Greece) this spring! We are so excited, and I cannot wait to share all of our planning with you!
This upcoming weekend is Labor Day weekend, and we actually are going on our family vacation with Zack’s family. We always go to St. George Island in Florida. Zack’s family has been going there for over 20 years. It is a very unique spot, a nearly secluded island that you drive over a ginormous bridge to get to just south of Pensacola. The wonderful thing about this vacation is that we all just hang on the beach. All. Week. Long. There isn’t much to do there activity wise, so it’s the perfect place to take a real break from the busyness of everyday life. We get beachfront condos that are all within a few steps walking distance from each other. Every night of the vacation one family will take a meal and cook for everyone. It’s just so nice to be together and rest.
As I am packing this week, I have been reminded how big of a job it is to get ready to go on vacation! I am writing list after list: what clothes to pack, what food to pack, meal planning (everything is really expensive on the island, so we try to bring everything we need from home to avoid going to the grocery store), taking care of the cats, what I need to do with the house before we leave…
What to do with the house before we leave?
This one struck me. I noticed that I have very specific things that I do every time before we go out of town. This helps us be able to come home and crash without having to feel like anything needs to be done in the house. Planning ahead, even just a little, helps so much in the long run.
Here are my top things that I do before I go out of town.
1. Clean the House
This seems so silly, doesn’t it? Why would I clean a house when no one will even be there? I promise there is logic behind this! In my opinion, there isn’t anything much better than coming HOME from a long vacation to a clean home. Who wants to come home and THEN clean?! Not me! I would rather work harder before we leave so it’s like a freebie when we get home!
2. Wash Bed Sheets
A close second to coming home to a clean house is crawling into clean sheets! Am I right? This one just makes you feel refreshed! I typically will clean the sheets the day or two before we leave so we have 1-2 nights of sleep in it when we get home. If I take my pillow (whenever we are on a road trip, I always bring my own pillow!), then I just make sure I have a clean pillowcase waiting for me to swap out when we get home.
3. Stock the Coffee
If you know me, you know I love coffee. Of course, I don’t make sure that the whole fridge is stocked because it would go bad. But who wants to come into town and run straight to the grocery store?! Not me! So I always make sure that I have coffee AND creamer for Zack so we can just come home, crash, and rest in the morning with a coffee in hand.
4. Take Out the Trash + Run Your Garbage Disposal
I felt that these two go hand in hand, because we never want to come home to a stinky surprise. Even if our trash isn’t full, we always empty all of the trash cans and the main trash in the kitchen. Also, you never know what could be lurking in the disposal! Throw some ice + lemons in there for a fresh scent! This is a fantastic rule of thumb no matter how long you are away.
5. Water Your Plants
House plants, outdoor plants, faux plants… okay maybe not those! If you don’t have pets or someone planning to come to check in on your house, make sure you give all of your indoor and outdoor plants a good soak before you head out! You are definitely less likely to come home to a plant graveyard.
*We are hopefully getting a new door soon! #RentalProbs.
6. Stop Your Mail + Newspaper
This is one of those things that is so easy to forget about! We have people come to check on our cats and mail, so this isn’t a must do for me. However, if you don’t have someone checking on your house, it’s a great idea to stop your mail + newspapers. You never want others to know that you are out of town, with the exception of a neighbor that you trust. Doing this one tip will help you not get flagged by any unwanted guests. You can go online to stop your mail + paper, or you can snag some of these cards from the post office. Just fill one out and place it in your mailbox, and you’re good to go!
I hope these tips come in handy as you prepare to go out of town!