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Travel Tips

Two weeks ahead:
  • Reconfirm all your reservations.
  • Get travelerís checks from the bank.
  • Make arrangements to purchase some foreign currency if you are traveling abroad.
  • Check your insurance for expiration dates and coverage for your automobile, home and the valuables that youíll take with you, as well as those youíll leave at home.
  • If traveling by car, get the car checked and have the oil changed. Donít wait until the last minute, it may take time to get an appointment and parts may need to be ordered. You also want some time to drive around town and make sure that whatever they fixed stays fixed.
  • Put your valuables and jewelry in a safety deposit box.
  • If you donít have, or canít get access to a safety deposit box, you still want to hinder a hurried burglar by hiding valuable items in your house.
    One weeks ahead:
  • Reduce the amount of fresh items you buy at the grocery, such as milk, fruit and other perishables youíll need to throw out before you leave.
  • Get out the suitcase and start your packing.
  • Be sure your luggage is marked with identification on the inside and out.
  • Start adjusting your sleeping and eating habits closer to your destinationís time zone to help avoid jetlag.
  • Make at least two lists of credit card numbers and travelers check serial numbers.
  • Make several copies of your passport. Leave one list at home and keep the other with you in case you lose your passport. Do not keep the copies on your person, rather keep a copy in your suitcase and/or give your traveling companion a copy.
  • Notify the local police and security system company to immediately consider any alarms as real. Leave with them the names of anyone responsible to watch over your house.
  • Check prescriptions for necessary refills; bring a list with the drugís generic name listed since the brand names available can differ in other areas.
  • Pick up all your items from the dry cleaners.
    One day before:
  • Pay bills that will come due while you are away.
  • Walk around with your packed luggage to evaluate your comfort with the weight of the luggage.
  • Move houseplants away from direct sunlight, water thoroughly and wrap pots with plastic. Most plants can then live without further watering for two weeks.
  • Empty the refrigerator of items that might spoil.
  • Cancel or hold your newspaper delivery.
  • Fill the car with gas before you pack the car. Check the fluid levels and tire pressure, since your tire pressure will effect the ride and gas mileage you get on your trip.
  • You might want to turn your refrigerator to its lowest setting.
  • Set automatic light and radio timers. Check the bulbs to see if they will last for your entire trip.
    The day you leave:
  • Turn water heater down to the lowest setting.
  • Turn your air conditioner up in summer. You want to reduce your bills, but you may have to keep the house from getting too hot to protect your pets and electronics.
  • Turn your heat down or off in spring or fall. Be sure to leave the house warm enough in the winter. You may want to reduce your bills, but you may need to keep the house from getting too cold to protect your pets and water pipes.
  • Leave shades or drapes as you normally do.
  • Plug a cheap radio into a timer so you can have some noise in the house during part of the day.
  • Lock all doors and windows including basement & garage.
  • Unplug electronic items, such as, your computer to protect them if you have a storm while youíre gone. Remember to unhook your phone line from the modem. Unfortunately, you may have to leave it all hooked up if your computer is your only answering machine. Make sure your surge protectors are properly installed.
  • Pack the car inside the garage, with the door down, so people driving by wonít find out youíre leaving.
  • Disconnect the garage door. Unplug it if you can, donít pull the fuse for the garage door until you verify the fuse isnít hooked up to something that needs to stay on, such as, your refrigerator or maybe a freezer in the garage.

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