Away-from-Home Best Practices for the Holidays
Who doesn’t love traveling for the holidays? Seeing old friends, favorite family members and fun places over Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other end-of-the-year holidays can bring out the sentimental side in everybody and conjure up memories of simpler times and holidays past.
But despite the fun, leaving your apartment for several days or even a couple of weeks can sometimes be stressful. Worrying about everything that could go wrong while you’re away can really distract from the end of the year festivities — but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Taking some common sense measures before you leave can provide peace of mind, so check out our tips, tricks and favorite gadgets to keep your animals safe, plants alive and Greystar apartment home secure during the holidays.
There’s no rule against taking your potted plants along on vacation, but you’ll most likely want to leave them at home. Most house plants require consistent watering, so asking a friend to stop by and give them a drink can keep them healthy and thriving. If you’ll be out for an extended period of time, there are a wide variety of automatic watering options, from the simple to complex.
Make sure you turn your air conditioning up to 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (or heat to 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit) to keep utility costs down while you’re gone. These ranges won’t cause your apartment to feel overly stuffy or chilly when you return and could prevent pipes from freezing if you live in a cold climate.
Naturally, you’ll want to keep the air at a more tolerable level if your pets are staying behind and a friend is checking on them. If you’re going to be gone for a long period of time, consider hiring a professional pet sitter or give your animals a vacation of their own at a licensed boarding house.
To Time or Not to Time?
It used to be common practice to set lights or a radio on a timer to come on at a preset time during the evening hours. However, regular lights coming on and off while you are away may give savvy thieves the entirely wrong impression as to your whereabouts, so this practice is not as widely used as it once was. For mini-vacations or shorter absences (one to two days) though, it’s still a viable means for providing an extra tier of security. Setting lights to turn on and off by a timer is a much “greener” option than leaving lights on full-time while you are away. You may also consider unplugging appliances such as toasters and computers to save power and prevent damage from power surges.
Mail and Packages
Nothing screams “Nobody’s home!” like an overflowing mailbox, so fill out the required form to ask the post office to hold your mail until you get back. Request that packages be held or delivered to your leasing office instead.
Remember never to post on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter that you will be away from home. Even if you think your information is only visible to family and friends, it’s not a good idea to advertise your detailed vacation plans over the Internet.
Whether you’ll be gone for two days or two weeks this holiday season, the above tips can ensure peace of mind. Hurry home to your Greystar apartment! We’ll be happy to see you when you return.