7 Simple Steps to Protect Your Home When You Travel

A nice home exterior on a sunny day

According to a recent AAA travel survey, nearly 100 million of us are planning to take a family vacation this year, with 70 percent of those getaways happening during the summer months. And it is hard to imagine a worse ending to a summer vacation than returning to find that your home has been damaged or burglarized. To have peace of mind while you are on vacation, take time to protect your home with this checklist:

  • If you have a home security system, alert them of your travel plans and make sure the alarm is set properly when you leave. Display your security stickers prominently near your most obvious and accessible entry points like your front and back door.
  • Set timers on interior lights to give the illusion that someone is always home. Motion-sensor exterior lights can also prove to be useful for general home security when you are home and away.
  • Place a hold on mail, newspapers, and packages in your absence. Overflowing mailboxes and newspapers piled in the driveway are dead giveaways that you aren’t home.
  • Make a plan for lawn care maintenance. Have a friend or lawn care service mow the lawn at least once a week during your absence.
  • Alert a trusted friend or neighbor of your travel plans and have them check in every few days. They can take care of any unexpected deliveries and carry on with normal routines such as watering plants and bringing trash cans to the curb. 
  • Be prepared for a power surge while you are away. Unplug all electronics or make sure they are plugged safely into a surge protector.
  • Do not broadcast your travel plans on social media sites either before or during your vacation. Before your trip, inform only those who need to know. There will be plenty of time to share thoughts and photos of your vacation after you are safely home. 

If you are taking an extended leave from your home, we would love to talk to you about the storage solutions that Zippy Shell has to offer. Contact us today for a free quote and see how simple storing your belongings away while you travel can be!

How to Get Back into the Business Routine After a Summer Vacation

After a long vacation in the sun, going back into the office can be a tough transition. However, with just a little planning, you can make your return much easier and less stressful!

Tie up all loose ends before you leave for vacation

Start planning for your trip a few weeks before you leave so you have plenty of time to get organized. Do what you can to finish up all of your time-sensitive work before you leave for vacation. Anything that can wait until after you get back can wait. This way, you won’t have as many urgent projects immediately upon your return.

Communicate

Make sure you tell your team and your colleagues well in advance of your vacation. Give them ample time to ask you questions or get your input on a project, so your leave won’t hold anything up.

Balance out the work you must do

If you are gone for a week, or even two weeks, you will likely get a little behind on your work. Don’t stress about it too much! Put a detailed list together, estimate the time each project will take, then schedule how much work you need to catch up on each day. This way, you can finish all of your makeup work efficiently, rather than trying to tackle it all in a day or two. You won’t be expected catch up on everything on your first day back, so ease yourself back into all of the work.

Prioritize your tasks

A full inbox is nothing to be afraid of. Read through your oldest emails first, so you do not miss anything due relatively soon, and finish with the most recent emails. Keep in mind that you will not need to reply to all of these emails as well. Reply to the ones that require an urgent response and leave the rest for another time. Once you have read through all of your emails, write out all the tasks that have been assigned to you. Prioritize their deadlines, so you know where to start.

Don’t forget to give yourself a break

Yes, you were just on vacation and got to relax, but that doesn’t mean you are not allowed any downtime now that you are back to work. While you are working hard to complete your tasks, stop, and give yourself a coffee break or a short walk. You will only be able to make up all of your work if you have the energy and focus. Don’t try to push through an entire day without stopping for a couple of breaks.

Replicate a vacation

The vacation may be over, but the fun isn’t! Take some time to catch up with your coworkers. It’s also a great idea to plan a fun activity for that following weekend, or a nice dinner out Friday night. This will help you push through your first week back in the office.

7 Family Vacation Travel Tips

Family with kids at airport traveling

July is the most popular month for many families when it comes to going on a vacation. Whether your family is traveling locally or going out of the country, make the most of your time and money and use our tips to make it a perfect vacation!

1.    Give yourself extra time

When planning out a trip with the kids, remember that everything is going to take longer to do than it normally would. Children will naturally be fussy on any long trip, and will need to stop frequently for bathroom breaks, to eat, etc. Build in some extra time into your travel itinerary so that you are not rushing to the airport or miss out on activities you want to do because you are short on time.

2.    Make plans ahead of time

When having a whole family to keep track of, making plans on the fly can be tricky. Make sure to book your flights and hotel arrangements way ahead of time, so you know exactly where and when you will arrive. From there, you can also book sightseeing activities, tours, theme parks, and much more.

3.    Be transparent

Let your children know exactly what is going to happen throughout the trip and try to set behavioral expectations up. This will help them behave at each point on the trip at the airport, hotel, restaurant, etc. While kids will be kids no matter the situation, if they have a general idea of the timeline of events, they might be a little more behaved throughout the vacation.

4.    Bring entertainment

When your children start to get antsy on the trip, you are going to be the one they complain to. Electronics are always an easy portable activity they can use during the downtime moments of your trip. Consider also bringing toys or board games for when you are all hanging around the hotel.

5.    Pack snacks

Hunger may be the difference whether you have a good trip or a bad trip. A hungry child is never a happy child, so keep your children provided with food throughout the journey. Pack some easy to grab snacks for your children when they get hungry, and don’t forget to pack some for yourself as well! Just keep in mind your mode of travel; if you are flying, travel rules may prohibit you from taking some food items and drinks on a plane.

6.    Get your kids a disposable camera

Children love to imitate adults, so while you are taking pictures with your fancy camera, give them a disposable camera to take photos alongside you. They will love getting to join in on the fun and it doesn’t cost much to buy a couple or to replace if it gets damaged.

7.    Ask for child discounts

There is almost always a discount for children when participating in vacation activities, especially at theme parks and restaurants. Check online or ask at the venue if there are any discounts that are available for families with children. The money you can save from all of the places you visit and stay at can add up.