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When you and your family are all prepared for a vacation, it can be easy to forget a few small practical considerations concerning your home. For this reason, if you are planning a vacation in the near future, you want to write down a checklist of things you will need to turn off before leaving while the topic is on your mind, and may also consider paying rent as a lump sum if you will be gone for several months. The great thing about a family vacation to a remote destination is that you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor, see new sights, catch up on quality time with loved ones (or quality time alone with a good book), and you get to bask in absolute peace of mind. This carries a caveat, however: you get to bask in peace of mind so long as you have remembered to turn off all the necessary devices and services before leaving your home. The last thing you want is to worry about such matters when you're already in away in "vacation mode."

Wasted Electricity

Most of the things you will want to turn off before leaving on vacation do not necessarily pose safety risks if left on so much as they threaten to needlessly use up electricity. When it comes to safety, of course, there are a few things you need to check. You want to make absolutely sure that you don't leave a coffee pot, stove, or curling iron switched on, as any of these could prove actual safety hazards. If you have a household cat that someone will be coming over to feed and water in your absence, you will want to make absolutely sure you've turned off your alarm clock before leaving so that you do not arrive home at the end of your vacation to shredded curtains and living room furniture.

In terms of wasted electricity, there are many more items you'll need to check than those named above. You will need to make sure you don't leave your home ablaze in lights. While you may want to consider leaving on one or two as "security lights," or placing your household lights on a timer to give the appearance that your home is still occupied, leaving several lights on for the whole time you're gone can bode poorly for your electric bill.

Check around for items that plug in also, such as your coffee pot. You want to not only turn your coffee pot and other plug-in items off before leaving, you want to unplug them altogether. Often, these items continue to drain a small amount of electricity even when they are not actively being used. This small drain can add up over the time that you're on vacation. You should also check for items such as cell phone or laptop chargers still plugged into the wall. As with your coffee pot, these can drain electricity even when their services are not presently being taken advantage of.

Services to Turn Off

What to turn off when you leave for vacation is not limited only to physical things in your house. For instance, you may want to turn off your mail delivery if you have not scheduled for a friend, family member, or neighbor to come over and retrieve it for you. Wherever possible, you want to reduce or eliminate signs to outsiders that the home is currently unoccupied. Empty houses are much more prone to break-ins that are those that are clearly occupied. If you have your sprinklers set to go off at a certain time of day, you may consider turning these off as well while you are not home to monitor it.

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