The cold months are still upon us, and that means you and your family may be considering escaping the cold for a little while. If you are planning a vacation in the near future, it’s important that you prepare properly before you leave on vacation. . That’s why we’ve come up with your personalized vacation checklist for homeowners or small business owners to embrace!
Vacation Checklist for Homeowners
If you’re a homeowner looking to take a vacation in the near future, then this vacation checklist is perfect for you. Of course, it’s important to have a homeowner’s insurance policy in place, in case something were to go unfortunately wrong. This vacation checklist should help decrease the chance of you getting a claim while you are away. It’s important to make sure your home looks like it is still being lived in while you are gone , so it’s less inviting to burglars. That being said, before you leave for vacation, here are a few things to take care of:
- Three days before leaving: At this point in time you should probably contact your local post office to suspend your mail for the time you’ll be away. This makes it less likely for a burglar or intruder to notice that you’re gone.
- One day before leaving: At this point in time, you may want to think about getting rid of some of you perishables in your refrigerator. After all, you don’t want to come home to a stinky fridge. You could also adjust your refrigerator’s thermostat to be slightly lower if you had it at a super cool setting, since your perishables should be taken care of already. If you want to keep your home extra safe, there are plug-in timers that you can install to ensure that your home won’t remain dark during the evening hours; this is another way you can keep burglars from lurking. These timers allow you to set a schedule on the lighting in your home, or even control them from a distance on a smartphone device.
- A few hours before leaving: At this point, you’ll want to adjust your window blinds or shades so that onlookers can’t look in. If you have lights on timers, and your shades closed up, that should be extra reassuring to keep intruders away. If you have the option to, it’s best to leave a vehicle at home in the driveway, this way your home looks occupied at all times. Additionally, if you use gas heat, be sure to turn off the pilot light and shut down your home’s water heater. It’s best to shut off the water to the dishwasher and laundry water supply too, this way you can avoid water pressure surges while you’re gone. Lastly, be sure to take out your garbages, so flies don’t nest while you’re away.
- Moments before leaving: Be sure to lock up! Securing all your windows and doors will prevent burglars from breaking in. Additionally, for some extra care, you could consider installing a residential home security system ahead of time.
Vacation Checklist for Small Business Owners
As a small business owner, you want to ensure that your business is properly secured while you’re away, and we understand that first-hand. Of course, in case of an emergency, it’s best to have a commercial insurance policy in place to keep your business free from worry. Of course, we have a vacation checklist for our small business owners out there as well to ensure you can avoid claims during your time off, and it should help prevent you from sitting on your laptop in your hotel room for long periods of time while you’re away too:
- Close shop – This is a solid option for small business owners, especially if you are only a one or two person shop. As long as you broadcast to your network that you will be closed, and have a security system in place, closing down shop is a good way to ensure there won’t be problems while you’re away. Although, if you’re worried about missing business or not being able to serve your clients while you’re away, we have other options for you as well to consider.
- Take business with you – Technology has made taking your business with you easier than ever. If you have a laptop and/or smartphone, staying connected to your business while you are away will help you stay worry free. Obviously, you can’t take care of face-to-face business while you’re on vacation, but with the right team in place, this is still possible – which leads us to our next point.
- Let management take over – If you have employees that you trust on your management team, you can train them to take over the business while you are away. For most small businesses, this option is the best. If you are not a one-person shop, then it’s important to regularly delegate work to your team, this way when it comes time for your absence, there won’t be a huge adjustment period for your staff. Remember to leave your staff with a list of important processes and procedures, and define what an emergency is to them, in case they need to reach out to you while you’re away.
- Miscellaneous tips – We have a few more last minute tips to add to your vacation checklist before you’re ready to leave your small business for some time away. If you want to start preparing for your next leave now, it’s best to do some “practice runs” with your appointed staff – if a customer has a question, ask your staff, “What would you do if I weren’t here right now?” Additionally, you can try delegating more work and being hands-off for longer periods of time, to see how your staff would handle you being away as a whole. The last thing we can suggest is to ask yourself on a serious note, what is the worst thing that could happen? Prepare for whatever that may be, and it should make you feel better about going away.
If you’re going to escape the cold soon, we are very happy for you, and we certainly hope that our vacation checklists help with your home or business along the way. Remember, these checklists are designed to minimize risks that you may face as a homeowner or a business owner, but that doesn’t mean you’re entirely protected from anything and everything. It’s best to have both the proper insurance as place, and consider security systems to keep watch for you while you’re away. If you’d like to learn more about residential security systems, click below to learn more.