Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Traveling? Save money while you're gone...

Many people are traveling this time of year and visiting friends and family. If that's your case, why not "pack up" the house too? Not to take with you, of course, but rather to save some money on your bills while you are gone.

It makes most sense to turn down the heat to something that will still keep your plumbing from freezing up. In the case that you are traveling during warm weather, make sure your air conditioner will not be on all the time (or turn off). And what about your water heater? Some people have a "vacation" setting they can use.

We have used a checklist in the past to remind ourselves of things we didn't want to forget when we were busy packing. Some things we did a few days before. Others where done the day before and some were done the morning or a few hours before heading out. Organizing our travel this way ranked right up there with the best ideas we've done. It went something like this....

Hold your mail at the Post Office. See if you can do it online.
Turn in all library books and materials.
Have someone water plants (if needed).
Secure someone to feed pets and check them.
Clean all toilets.
Clear refrigerator of foods that may go bad.
Wipe down counters and wipe stove off.
Wash and put away all dishes and clean sink.
Check that all windows are closed and locked.
Tidy up, picking things up and putting things away.
Turn heat down.
Turn water heater to vacation setting or to pilot.
Close curtains and drapes.
Unplug all things not needed while gone (this may include the computer, stereo, lamps, alarm clocks, small appliances, etc., but leaving the refrigerator and chest freezer on).
Double check that the stove burners and oven are turned off (can unplug if easily accessible or gone for a long period of time).
Make sure all faucets are turned off and are not dripping.
Make sure toilets are not running unnecessarily.

There may have been others, but these come to mind right now. I know that each household will be different and have other things to remember. What I liked about a checklist is that we were reminded of things, in the busyness of getting packed and ready to go, we didn't have to think about it. Things were all written down.

The biggest benefit for me, besides saving money while we were gone, was having a clean house to return to. So nice. Like someone gave me a jump start when we returned.

Remember to leave your checklist out for when you return to make sure you turn things back on. No one wants a cold shower, so turn that water heater back on when returning.

Now enjoy your time with family, worry free.


Ramona said...

Merry Christmas!

Loretta said...

And a blessed Christmas to you too! Thanks. =)