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GeneralYour Last-Minute Travel ChecklistThings to do before you go.Carry-On Luggage Make It All FitIt IS possible to get what you need for a week's trip or less into a carry-on bag. Keeping Your Home Safe While You TravelHere are some smart "insider tips" from industry professionals and everyday travelers we interviewed that cover the preparation of your home while you are on vacation. Helpful Tips for Hotel StaysStaying in a hotel, motel, hostel or B&B on your next vacation? Here are a few handy tips… Travel Insurance What You Need to KnowTravel insurance is like other insurance: it reimburses you if the unexpected occurs. Talk to your insurance agent about what areas are covered under your current homeowners (or other insurance) policy before purchasing travel insurance.

Keeping Your Home Safe While You Travel

Here are some smart "insider tips" from industry professionals and everyday travelers we interviewed that cover the preparation of your home while you are on vacation.

The House: Main Rooms

Have a friend, family member or trusted neighbor check on your house.

Give the person your house keys and security codes (if necessary).

WHN Tip: Take in the Paper
If you're going on a short trip, ask a friend or family member to take in the papers. Your house should look occupied while you're gone

Kitchen

Empty the refrigerator of anything that might spoil - dairy, meat, and produce – and adjust the temperature to a lower setting.

Unplug toaster, coffeemaker, toaster oven, other small appliances.

Shut off water to dishwasher.

Bathroom

Unplug blow dryer, curling or flat irons, toothbrush chargers, shavers, other electrical appliances.

Laundry Room

Unplug the iron

Be sure your dryer ducts are properly covered (so squirrels don't come in).

Shut off water to clotheswasher.

Turn water heater to lowest setting.

Bedroom and Den

Unplug TVs, radios, computers, shredders (This protects them from power surges if there's a storm while you’re gone.)

Not unplugging electronics? Make sure your surge protectors are properly installed.

The Rest of the House

Set automatic light and radio timers.

Leave shades or drapes as you normally do. This will make your house look lived-in.

Put your valuables and jewelry in a safety deposit box or safe.

WHN Tip: If you don’t have a safe or safety deposit box, put jewelry/valuables in a nondescript cardboard box in a closet, under a sink, pantry, etc. Why? Thieves won’t think to look there.

Empty trash cans.

Be sure all candles and fireplaces are OUT.

Lock all doors and windows including basement and garage.

WHN Tip: Turn Down the Volume
If you use an answering machine, turn down or turn off the volume so a thief won't hear the messages. Consider shutting off your phone ringers, so they can't tell that you're not there to answer the phone.

Outside

Bring in last deliveries of mail or newspapers.

WHN Tip: No Mail
If you stop the newspaper and mail, have a friend or neighbor check your mailbox. Sometimes it may take a day or two AFTER you've left for your request to take effect.

Pick up any toys, tools, objects, ladders, etc. that might be in your yard.

Check outdoor electronics (hot tubs, fountains, lights) to be sure they are either off or on 'economy' (this depends on how long you will be gone).

WHN Tip: Thanks, Neighbor!
If it snows where you live, keep your driveway plowed when you're gone - it will look like you're home. Extra tip? Have your neighbor drive in and out of the plowed driveway; the tire tracks will make it look like you're home.

Final Checklist

Reconfirm all reservations and confirmation numbers.

  • Hotel: Reconfirmed - Date of Conversation - Person Spoke With - Confirmation number(s) - Email Confirmations Printed
  • Airplane: Reconfirmed tickets/departure time - Date of Conversation - Person Spoke With - Confirmation number(s) - Email Confirmations Printed
  • Car Rental: Reconfirmed - Date of Conversation - Person Spoke With - Confirmation number(s) - Email Confirmations Printed
  • Train: Reconfirmed tickets/departure time - Date of Conversation - Person Spoke With - Confirmation number(s) - Email Confirmations Printed

Driving to your vacation destination? Call ahead and reconfirm: Your Arrival - Date/Time of Conversation - Person Spoke With - Confirming (and printing) route you're planning to take

Other: Reconfirmed - Date of Conversation - Person Spoke With - Email Confirmations Printed

Re-evaluate itinerary. Make any necessary changes. Leave a final copy with a friend, family member or trusted neighbor.

WHN Tip: At the Office
Leave your itinerary with a co-worker. Why? Often the first sign that something may be wrong is when someone doesn't show up at work when they are due back.

Check the weather for your destination(s). Take out or add items to your luggage, if necessary.

Departing

Make arrangements to get to (and from!) the airport.

Double-check that you have all necessary tickets, passports, photo I.D.s, money, cameras, medicine and all bags ON YOUR PERSON.

WHN Tip: Currency Exchange as You Go.
Flying to a foreign country? Convert some money before you go so when you land at the airport you have pocket change.

Just as you're leaving - double-check that all doors and windows are locked.

Have fun!

GeneralCarry-On Luggage Make It All Fit

It IS possible to get what you need for a week's trip or less into a carry-on bag.

 Read More
Helpful Tips for Hotel Stays

Staying in a hotel, motel, hostel or B&B on your next vacation? Here are a few handy tips…

 Read More
Keeping Your Home Safe While You Travel

Here are some smart "insider tips" from industry professionals and everyday travelers we interviewed that cover the preparation of your home while you are on vacation.

 Read More
Travel Insurance What You Need to Know

Travel insurance is like other insurance: it reimburses you if the unexpected occurs. Talk to your insurance agent about what areas are covered under your current homeowners (or other insurance) policy before purchasing travel insurance.

 Read More
Your Last-Minute Travel Checklist

Things to do before you go.

 Read More