Home Care Checklist Before Traveling

Home Care Checklist Before Traveling


Oct 04, 2017 | by Aon

Whether leaving for several weeks or just a few nights, you’re likely busy in the days and weeks before your trip – working to double-check plans and get all the necessities packed. But what about everything you leave behind?

Just as you make plans for childcare or pets before departing on a vacation, plan for some home care too. That way, you’re more likely to come home to find your place just as you left it.

A week before your trip:

  • Start eating any produce and perishable foods already in your kitchen, and try to limit buying more before you depart.
  • Ask a neighbor or friend to keep an eye on the house, and if you’re a renter, make sure your landlord has access to your home in case of emergency while you’re gone.
  • Put a stop order on your mail, and suspend newspaper deliveries, or ask someone to check and pick up all mail and packages for you each day.
  • Did you know that only flood insurance covers flood damage? Double check your homeowner’s, renter’s and travel insurance policies to clarify your coverage before you depart. Issues like water, fire and severe wind can damage your home while you’re away and travel interruption benefits should kick in to get you home to deal with the problem.

The day before departure:

  • Empty out all garbage cans throughout the house, and make arrangements for garbage pick-up.
  • Clean out the fridge and pantry:
    • Pack anything that must go and that you can take along as a snack for the car or plane trip.
    • Seal up dried goods you will leave at home, such as pasta, rice, crackers or nuts. Use airtight containers to deter critters.
  • Wash all the dishes in the sink, and run and empty the dishwasher.
  • Clean off all kitchen counters, and clean out the sink to ensure no food remains that could rot or attract bugs while you’re gone.
  • Make sure there aren’t any wet clothes left in the washing machine.
  • Water all plants, and make arrangements for any outdoor plant watering while away.
  • Take a stroll around your property to check gutters and downspouts; secure/cover outdoor furniture, and double-check that the kids didn’t forget to put a scooter back in the garage.

The morning you depart:

  • Turn off all power strips, and unplug any electrical devices you won’t need to keep running while you’re gone.
  • Turn off or turn down the heater/air conditioner. Set the thermostat to keep the house warmer than 50oF and cooler than 85oF.
  • Make sure all windows and doors are locked, and arm your security system if you have one. Turn off all lights, other than those you have set on timers to
  • Leaks happen and can be especially damaging if no one is home to detect them. Turn off the main water supply before you go, and if you have pets or plants being cared for while you’re gone, shut off the valves to common sources of water damage, such as the dishwasher, icemaker or washing machine.

Safe travels, and a safe return home!

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