Don't forget about your plants
HUNTINGTON -- So you have reserved the place at the beach, packed your suitcase, gassed up the car and set light timers all over the house.
You are ready to go. Well you might want to think about a few other safeguards before peeling out of the driveway heading for Sunshine City.
It's not just the mail and newspaper that need to be addressed. What are you going to do about watering the houseplants to keep them lush and green? One sage suggested you move them away from direct sunlight so they don't need so much water. To water them there is the old trick of putting them all in a semi-filled bathtub on something raised with a strip of cotton material reaching from the water into the drain hole of the pot. If you don't trust that method there is an expensive gadget online that professes to water them for you. It might be easier to pay the teenager next door to come water them for you. The safeguard here would be to take the kid through it a couple of times so they do it properly.
Then there is all of that outdoor landscaping that is going to require some water as the summertime temperatures spike. This is a little easier to manage than the indoor plants. There are timers available that will turn the soaker hose on and off for you. It is recommended one try this out while you are at home to oversee it and then have a neighbor go by and check it out while you are gone.
Its summertime and the air conditioners are working overtime which sometimes brings about power surges. To protect your electronics unplug them or attach them to power strips that protect against this event. The power surge would happen whether you are home or not but it would probably make you feel better if you protect yourself while you are out of town.
Don't forget water problems. A toilet running for two weeks can leave quite a water bill, so check the toilets before you shut the door for the last time. Washers are notorious for bursting the connector hose that attaches them to the water source. If you are home it will be a mess but if you are gone it could be a catastrophe. It is a simple thing to turn off the water at the connector and could save you a mountain of heartache. Some suggest just turning the main water line off so you don't have to worry about any water problems.
For security reasons be selective about who you tell you are taking off for the wild blue yonder. You may like to chat it up on Facebook and Twitter but this is a topic where you might want to use some reserve until you return. You don't know who says what to whom and who sees what you post. So save those vacation photos and fish stories until you return to the home place.
Even so, there are a few folks you should alert to your absence. Tell your neighbors so they can keep an eye on things and look for anything out of the ordinary. Give them your emergency numbers to use if necessary. If you have a security company, alert them that the house will be empty for a few weeks. Call your credit card company and let them know you will be traveling and where. Also, give them your cell number so if they have to check charges they can talk to you and not leave a message on your home phone that you won't get for a few days or weeks.
Vacations are wonderful but it is always nice to return to your nest and it is even nicer if everything is safe and in order.