Don't Leave in a Hurry
To err is human; and whenever you're in a rush, you increase your chance of making a mistake by leaps and bounds. The last thing you want is to be en route to the airport, wondering if you left the stove on or the back door unlocked.
So be sure to start packing at least a week in advance. Then, on the day, reserve at least 20 minutes before you have to leave for the airport to safeguard your home by doing the following...
Go Mr. Clean on Your Kitchen & Bath
Want to return home greeted by an infestation of fruit flies... or cockroaches... or, heavens forbid, a rat?
Of course you don't. So be sure to clean your kitchen of dirty dishes and crumbs, throw out expired foods and take out all of your trash before you leave the house. Also, be sure to turn off all faucets and to plug your sink and tub drains (critters can crawl through drain pipes).
Not only will this keep the critters away, but you'll also get to savor the joy of returning home to a clean kitchen and bath!
Go On An Unplugging Spree
Free yourself from the stress and panic of wondering if you left the iron on by unplugging almost everything in your house, not including your fridge or other major appliances. If you're using power strips with an on-and-off-switch, you can just flip the switch to the off position.
This is a great way to save on your electricity bill. Some appliances, especially ones with clocks or indicator lights, can still suck up minor electricity if they're left plugged into a wall outlet. Additionally, it's a great way to ensure your alarm clock doesn't go off in the morn, potentially to the ire of your next-door neighbors.
Triple Check That Which Is Hot or Cold
Check and triple check that your air conditioning and heating systems are completely off. Also check and triple check that your stove, toaster oven and any other major appliances are also completely off.
Be Locked & Loaded
Make sure all of your windows and doors are closed and secured. Window shades and curtains are drawn. And home security system turned on.
If your security system is monitored by a security company, check to see if you have to register it with your local police department and be sure to do so weeks before you depart. Also, let your home security company know how to reach you overseas in case of an emergency.
If you have a mailbox that isn't under lock and key, be sure to put your mail on hold. And be sure to do the same with any newspaper, meal service or Amazon deliveries.