A summer holiday is for most of us a rare chance to relax and enjoy time out from our busy lives, often spending time with our beloved family and friends.
However, getting away can be a bit stressful if you’re worried about everything you need to do before you can leave your home for a week or more.
Here’s a checklist to help you achieve peace of mind, essential for getting your holiday off on the right foot. Once you’ve ticked all the boxes, you need only concern yourself with whether you’re going for a margarita or a mai-tai first!
This seems obvious, but most people know someone (or have been there themselves!) who has forgotten plane tickets, a passport, etc. Gather up all the documents for the family and put them in one folder. The night before you travel, put this folder at the front door so that you cannot leave without it!
Be sure to note down important details from your documents, for example passport numbers, so that if anything does go missing, you’re in a better position to get it sorted out fast.
Don’t drive yourself crazy
Driving holiday? While a Sat-Nav can help you get from A to B, it’s best to have a printed route map too, in case of any technical issues. Check the traffic report in the morning so that you can avoid a long diversion or, even worse, a missed check-in slot!
Leaving the car at the airport? Pre-booked airport parking and car hire will save you money and help take the stress out of departure and arrival.
Money, money, money
Cheapest rates for travel money are online, and you can arrange for currencies to be collected in person or delivered to your home in advance of your departure.
If you’re planning to use the plastic abroad, get yourself a ‘prepaid’ credit card specifically designed for overseas usage with lower or no fees than your own bank card.
Also, tell your bank before you go abroad, because overseas activity can cause it to become suspicious of fraudulent activity and – without warning – your card could be stopped, pending further investigation.
Sort out pet care
Organise care for the furriest family members in advance of going away. Speak to pet loving friends and get kennel recommendations or ask a family member to care for them in your absence. They will miss you terribly while you’re away so it’s important they are safe and happy.
You may have items that regularly arrive at the house. If things are left outside, it will alert undesirables to your absence. Things to consider cancelling or redirecting during holidays are:
Shutting the house down
Turn off the heating. However, if you’re taking a winter break, consider leaving it on occasionally so the pipes don’t freeze and burst. Programmable thermostats, like Nest, can be controlled from your smartphone too, meaning you’ll always be in control wherever you are.
Turn off all non-essential electrical outlets, too. The dishwasher, TVs, alarm clocks and washing machines are often forgotten in the pre-holiday chaos.
Water all the plants or ask a neighbour to pop in and do it for you if you’re going away for a week or more.
About 60% of burglaries occur when there’s nobody home so you must take home security seriously. There are several things you can do to avoid returning home to a devastating incident.
Lock it up
The front and back doors need to be locked, but if you have any of the following, make sure they are locked, too:
Remove keys from all locks and put them in the safe or hide them, and remove all items of value in view from your window sills and car.
Make sure the house alarm are set if you have one, and don’t advertise to passers-by that you’re not home, i.e. by shutting all the curtains, just make it look ‘normal’. Social media is a common way for thieves to find out you’re on holiday so check your security settings too.
If you are burgled on holiday and you haven’t secured your home properly, your insurance could be deemed invalid – so be extra vigilant.
When returning from a holiday, you want to ease back into normal life rather than jump straight back into housework, so clean the house before you go away. That way, you can flop straight onto the couch and commiserate over the miserable weather as you look at holiday snaps.
Before you jet away, clear out the fridge and empty the bins. The smell of rotting food will pull you right out of your holiday glow.
Once home, you’re still on holiday time until after you’ve eaten your first meal, so you needn’t feel guilty ordering a takeaway to enjoy after you unpack! However, if you’re trying to claw back some holiday money or enjoy a healthy meal after weeks of excess, freeze a meal for your return so you have something easy and quick available for you when you walk through the door.
The more you do to prepare for a secure home and comfortable return, the more you’ll enjoy your holiday! Cover all of your bases, and have a fabulous time!
"We have found their services very professional and the cleaning is to a high standard.
The Client Account Manager is always on hand to manage the cleaners wherever needed and also to ensure holiday and sickness is always covered.
We are pleased with the services offered and glad we appointed them."
"Cleaner Care have been doing the changeover cleans and deep cleans at our holiday cottage since 2017.
They are totally reliable and easy to work with. We have never had any complaints about the cleanliness of the cottage from guests.
The cleaning Team always leave the cottage looking beautiful and welcoming.
Cleaner Care have also arranged carpet cleans and the occasional odd job for us as we live away from the cottage and are not there to organise them ourselves."
"Cleaner Care have provided the School with a high quality cleaning service for many years. They are always on hand to help with School functions and events and provide a reliable and professional support function.
But much more than that...they are always extremely happy and willing to go that extra mile in caring for our staff and pupil's needs; they are part of the team."
We’ve been using Cleaner Care for a number of years and it’s the best cleaning service we’ve used. The staff are lovely and friendly and our house always looks amazing after a clean.
Thank you for a great service which gives us time to enjoy the things we enjoy doing!"
"Cleaner Care Ltd have cleaned several of our premises for a number of years.
We have always found them to be reliable and helpful - always responding positively when asked to undertake extra work or attend to an emergency situation."
"Just to say a big thank you to all the staff who worked here over March. This was one of our busiest times ever with the various shows and large scale events. Your staff were professional and helpful and we could not have managed without them, they did an excellent job, sometimes under extreme circumstances."
"As a result of Covid-19 I had a property that became vacant suddenly and left in a poor state of cleanliness.
I contacted Cleaner Care who were really efficient in responding to my request, I was really impressed with their level of attention to detail and high standards.
In light of pandemic, Denise was able to organise a team who were from the same household to protect her workforce and myself.
The property was cleaned to an immaculate standard and it was also really helpful to have Cleaner Care organise a carpet cleaner too, saving me significant time.
I would absolutely recommend Cleaner Care to anyone who wants a reliable, high standard of cleaning for Domestic or Commercial purposes."