Vacations are supposed to be times for fun and relaxation, maybe with an adventure or two thrown in for good measure. They are not supposed to be stressful. Unfortunately, anyone who has ever tried to plan for an upcoming trip knows how unrealistic that can be. Between making the travel arrangements, packing and wrapping up any loose ends, you may find yourself needing a vacation from your vacation. 

It doesn’t have to be that way. If you have a trip coming up, stop and take a few minutes to relax. Then, read on to see a few tips that can help you get your house ready so you can stop stressing, enjoy your vacation and come home to an organized home. 

Start Planning Early

The earlier you start planning the details of your trip, the sooner you can start getting your house ready. So, if you know eight months out that you will be away on one of the amazing cruises from Miami, start thinking about what steps you need to take. You might also want to take notes about your routine so you can give it to any service providers when the time comes. 

If you are a known procrastinator — you know who you are — then you have to pay special attention to this step. Planning won’t happen on its own; you must take an active role. Try to be realistic and set small planning goals for yourself to reach each week so you don’t end up rushing at the last minute. 

Make a Checklist

People who travel frequently may have their checklist memorized, but most people don’t vacation enough to make it routine. That’s why it’s a good idea to make a physical checklist that you can refer back to throughout the planning and preparation steps. You’ll also use it on the day of your departure to make sure all the boxes have been checked. 

It isn’t enough to write down what you need to do before you leave; you have to follow through. Keep the checklist handy and mark tasks off as you complete them. This will give you visual verification that everything is done so you can relax and enjoy your trip.

Some people prefer to make lists, while others prefer calendars or online task managers. You might need to try a few to find the format that works best for you. Regardless of how you keep track of them, there are a few tasks that almost everyone will need to address. These include:

  • Scheduling a mail hold
  • Arranging for someone to care for the plants and gardens
  • Hiring a pet sitter

Plan for Your Return

The idea of coming home to a dusty, empty house is rarely appealing. Luckily, you can plan ahead so that coming home is safe and comfortable. A few things that may help include having a cleaner come in and do a quick refresh if you are away for more than a few days, setting the thermostat to a comfortable setting, and arranging for any held mail to be delivered that day or the next. If you are coming home late at night, make sure to arrange for a few lights to be on. You can also install a smart bulb or two so you can turn them on once you get close. 

Have Someone You Can Call To Check On Things

No matter how good you are at planning, there is probably something you will forget — or worry that you forgot. Having someone you can call who will go check on your house while you are gone goes a long way to remove the stress of this problem. Remember that this should be someone you trust completely since they will have access to your home while you are away. 

Planning a vacation can be tough, but coming home to a messy and overwhelmed house can be worse. Luckily, you can limit that frustration by thinking ahead, making checklists, and having a reliable person on call just in case you forget something.