BIG4’s tips for preparing your home before leaving for an extended holiday or getaway

The final days leading up to a holiday are often hectic – there is a lot to remember. Making sure you have adequately packed can be a daunting process on its own. There’s another important consideration – the need to prepare your home. Not only is security paramount; the last thing you want to do after a holiday is attend to chores.

BIG4 has put together a checklist of important steps to consider before you set off on an exciting journey. These tips are particularly vital if you are away for an extended period. Use this checklist to prepare for your departure and your return. This way, you can be reassured about the safety of your home, avoid last-minute panicking, and remove unnecessary tasks on your return.

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Pet priority: Whether you’re taking your furry friend to a boarding home or using a pet sitter, make sure you are prepared. Jot down important information that your carer might need to know about your pet. Be aware that lack of preparation could be stressful for your pet.

You’ve got mail: Call the post office and newspaper delivery service and put a hold on your mail and newspaper subscription. Or arrange to have someone collect your mail while you’re on holiday. Otherwise you are compromising on safety – an overflowing letterbox is a green light to would-be thieves.

Avoid an overflowing mailbox by putting a hold on your mail or by arrange to have someone collect your mail while you’re on holiday.
Avoid an overflowing mailbox by putting a hold on your mail or by arrange to have someone collect your mail while you’re on holiday.

Guard the garden: If possible, ask a neighbour or friend to water plants in your absence to stop them wilting away. Your neighbour or friend might even mow the lawn for you. Be sure to send them a postcard or grab them a souvenir tea towel!

Unplugged: Take the time to unplug appliances so you can protect against power surges. Moreover, this measure helps to save power, and therefore money.

Bright lights: To leave a light on or not to leave a light on: that is the question. No, it’s not. The question is: have you invested in a light switch timer? This device will automatically switch your lights on and off and has several advantages. It will enhance the security of your home (lights blazing at 3am will more likely than not attract thieves’ attention), it will save against an expensive electricity bill on your return, and it is more environmentally sound than permanently leaving lights on.

A light switch timer can save you money on your electricity bill and enhance the security of your home, all while benefiting the environment.
A light switch timer can save you money on your electricity bill and enhance the security of your home, all while benefiting the environment.

Thieves like your status updates: Think twice before alerting your social media friends to the fact that your home will be unattended for a period of time. Think carefully about the information you are potentially providing to would-be thieves and whether it compromises the safety of your home. Similarly, if you have a home answering machine service, avoid the need to provide strangers with too much information.

Key factor: If you have a spare key outside your home, take it with you – otherwise it is a security risk. Don’t give a would-be thief a free ticket into your home.

Lock it in: Two hours into a road trip or five minutes before boarding a flight are far from ideal times to be wondering whether you locked the back door. Be reassured about the security of your home by double-checking doors and windows right before you leave.

For peace of mind and security, double-check you have locked your doors and windows right before you leave for your holiday.
For peace of mind and security, double-check you have locked your doors and windows right before you leave for your holiday.

Time for change: There’s nothing like the feeling of coming home from holiday and sleeping in your own bed…unless it’s a mess.

Clean sweep: Giving your home a quick clean before departure – including washing dirty dishes – will help to create a pleasant atmosphere on your return.

Take a load off: Wash and put away laundry prior to your departure. When the holiday is over you’ll be glad you have one less chore to worry about.

Past its best: Avoid coming home to a few nasty surprises by throwing out any food that will pass its use-by date before you return. Afterwards, take out the rubbish to guard against unwanted smells.

Make a meal of it: Plan for the first meal on your return and stock up on supplies. Particularly if you’re arriving home late, it’s reassuring to know that breakfast the following morning has been taken care of.

Another important way to prepare for a holiday is to visit BIG4.com.au and take a look at the 180 parks that BIG4 has throughout Australia.

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