Planning a vacation, time to get away from the hustle and bustle of life is fun and exciting, and if you remember to turn off these 10 things before you go on vacation, you will worry less about what’s going “on” at home and really enjoy your vacation!

  1. Lights: It might seem obvious to turn off the lights while you are away, but some people completely forget. You will save a bundle in electricity costs. Do consider, however, one or maybe two lights on a timer switch in a front room or bedroom, so it looks as if the lights are going on and off throughout the evening. Homes are less likely to be broken into if someone is home.
  2. Your coffee pot: don’t just turn off your coffee pot, and other small appliances, but unplug them completely. Many small appliances continue drawing electricity even when not in use. By unplugging them, you will be saving electricity as well as preventing a possible fire.
  3. Computer: Generally speaking, it is not good to have a computer sit idle, but when you are away from home, you must take extra care to protect your computer and files it contains. Unplug it from both the electrical service and disconnect it from the internet. Be sure to back up all your files before you leave either using an online service or external hard drive that is stored away from your computer.
  4. Wall Warts: Those little transformer boxes that charge electronic devices, cell phones, lap-top computers, etc; take a walk around your house and see how many chargers are plugged into electrical outlets with the other end open and waiting for some device to get charged up. Unplug them all before you leave!
  5. Garage door opener: Unplugging the motor of your garage door opener will ensure that no one will find a compatible opener and get your door open. Leave an extra key to the walk-in garage door with a trusted neighbor, so you won’t have any problems getting in when you get home.
  6. Mail delivery: Contact your post office to have your mail held until you return to pick it up. Nothing says, “Nobody’s home” like an overflowing mailbox.
  7. Newspaper delivery: Similar to mail delivery; contact your Newspaper distribution department and have a hold put on delivery. You can ask if they will consider extending delivery for a few weeks to make up for the issues you put on hold, or perhaps you could substitute an online version of the paper during the weeks of your vacation, so you can keep up with the news while you are away.
  8. Water Service: When taking an extended winter vacation, people living in areas where temperatures fall below freezing, it is a good idea to drain pipes and turn off the water at the main shut-off valve before leaving. Freezing water can cause pipes to burst leaving an incredible mess and an incredible water bill!
  9. Gas service- When taking an extended summer vacation, it might be a good idea to contact your gas service and have the gas to your home turned off. Usually utility companies will do this free of charge, so you can vacation without worrying about any kind of gas leak at home.
  10. Your “work” attitude: This may be one of the most difficult things to turn off before you leave home, but turn it off, leave it at home; you’re going on vacation- relax and enjoy yourself!

If you turn off all the non-essential bits and pieces at home, you will have a fun-filled vacation and an uneventful homecoming, just as you planned.


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