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Old 05-12-2021, 01:33 PM
 
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What sort of vacation? Road trip? Cruise? Vacation home rental? One place, or touring to many places with many flights/hotels/etc.? It makes a difference on what you will be doing and how much "free" time you will have.
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Old 05-12-2021, 01:56 PM
 
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It's important to have someone check the interior of your house, and it is likely a requirement of your homeowner's insurance as well. Last thing you need after a vacation is a claim denied where your house was damaged by water or other peril.
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Old 05-12-2021, 02:29 PM
 
1,635 posts, read 606,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBtwinz View Post
Bills, we double them by making an extra payment plus a bit of fudge factor. This works for utilities. With todays mobility and smart phones everything else you can do online. Pre smart phones we used public library's for internet access and you still can if you need to print something out.

Mail we have held it and then let them deliver the few days after the 30 days. We have also had neighbors pick it up for us.

Medicines, we always bring enough, though from a friend that stayed with us left his diabetic medicine at home so I went on the internet and found his doctors info so he could call the office and he used the CVS in our town to pick up his refill. It helps having a national retailer to purchase your prescriptions from.

Pack light, we packed the laundry balls and a few dryer sheets with us and trash bags to put our dirty clothes in.

If you have smart lights use them, if not timers. We turn off the water also. Someone mentioned lawn cutting.

Credit cards, have more than one. We always let our credit card company know we are headed overseas or domestically traveling. While it has not happened to us we have family members who had their cards shut down as their purchases from different locations sent a flag. The card company tries to notify you but that does not always work.

Doesn't bother me but my wife brings her own pillow on long trips for the hotels that have horrible ones.

Check in with a family member each day or so with your location.

I always take a picture of my drivers license, credit cards, medical card and passport with my phone (in case I lose my wallet). Make sure you lock your phone.

Friend just came back from Vegas and the Grand Canyon, her phone was not synched to the cloud. Unfortunately she lost her phone and all her pictures.

Keep the tank filled once you reach half, not so much for possible shortages but we have been on the Pacific Coast Highway and so blown away by the scenery we almost ran out by not paying attention. This has happened several times over the years but I do not tell the wife unless the light comes on (which it has).
We pack a small cooler and fill each morning at the hotel. We usually get some fruit and a flat of water for the trip.

On a last note if you have your hotel reservations already done for a few weeks out I like to put them on a word document with their address, phone number and confirmation number as it makes for easy access.

If it is a long road trip, how about AAA.

Everyone has contributed some great advice here. Have a great trip and stay safe.
Thanks so much for all that!

It’s funny — when he was much younger my husband once ran out of gas and since then he is persnickety about always filling up when the tank it is half full (as you suggest). However, not long ago, we were so engrossed with what we were doing we forgot to notice that the tank was only half full. In fact we didn’t think about the gas at all until there was a long loud BEEP in the car and we said: What the heck is that? Then noticed the gas light flashing. So, I guess you can only plan so much for distraction
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Old 05-12-2021, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Louisiana and Pennsylvania
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Originally Posted by Jill_Schramm View Post
This summer my husband and I will be leaving on our first ever very long vacation — 34 days from out the door to back home again. Does anyone have any tips? Planning this feels very different from planning a one week or even two week vacation.

Things that I have already thought of:

*Bills — we will miss an entire billing cycle, so I will need to set up automatic payments or handle this in some other way.
* Mail — the post office only holds mail for 30 days. I suppose we could just have them hold thirty days, then let the extra four days accumulate in the mail box.
* Medicines — we need to make sure we will have enough before we leave and get prescription renewed.

Anything else I am not thinking of?

We don’t have any pets, so that is one thing we don’t have to worry about.

We usually have someone watch our house when we are out, but only from the outside. (They don’t have a key.) Maybe we should find someone we trust to come inside. (My husband is extremely hesitant to give anyone who is not a family member a key to our place, though, and we have no family members nearby).
Jill if I may add:

Even though you are having the house watched, contact your local PD anyway to not only let them know someone else will be on the property, but they may stop by and check as well on occasion, given your long absence. Most departments have this service.

Turn water off and unplug anything extra in the electrical outlets in case of a storm or power surge while you are gone. I learned this from my dad when we went on trips. Drove my mom crazy, but it worked and for peace of mind. Things have a way of breaking/going wrong when away.

For the trip since you mentioned driving, best to get a case or two of water, a few bottles of soft drinks, beer, a bottle of wine, liquor etc to keep..definitely beats running to the store and the high prices at hotels and in the machines. One hotel I stayed had a little area behind the front check in area which sold single bottles of beer for 8-10 bucks. I went to a local store a few blocks away and got a six pack for that price. That's just me lol.

Good idea to have Uber and Lyft apps even if you are driving. You may not feel like driving around some days and good to give the car and yourselves a break. I have done this on a day or night I may feel like having a few drinks with or after dinner and not worry about driving.

Find and research a car repair/service facility in the area you will be in the event of a malfunction, unless your car is fairly new.

For security, I carry a small portable safe that i keep in my luggage and then tether the luggage to something immovable. When not in my room, i always keep my luggage locked. Additionally, if i can't bear to part with it, I leave it at home. I also have a door stop with an alarm i put under the door after in for the night and any slight jarring will set it off. I always bring a first aid kit with me when traveling either internationally or domestically.

Also extra chargers, surge protector for laptop, plugs, etc. If I will be going to the beach, pool, or lake a lot, I bring ziplock bags and place my phone and other belongings in them to protect from sand, dirt, moisture or a sudden downpour.

plastic cups, plates and utensils for nights you may feel like ordering/dinning in.

Enjoy and safe trip

Last edited by Gil3; 05-12-2021 at 02:49 PM..
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Old 05-12-2021, 02:31 PM
 
1,635 posts, read 606,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Bear View Post
What sort of vacation? Road trip? Cruise? Vacation home rental? One place, or touring to many places with many flights/hotels/etc.? It makes a difference on what you will be doing and how much "free" time you will have.
Road trip w many stops (14 different hotels/AirBnbs) in a small car.
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Old 05-12-2021, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
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We keep a cooler and chairs in the car so we can stop wherever we want and have a snack and a drink.

I pack a lot of black clothing for both of us. I'm not up for doing laundry on vaycay and if I'm taking my car, I'm not packing light. There is no reason to pack light.

Make copies of all of your passport, drivers license, credit cards and keep the photos on your phone.
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Old 05-12-2021, 04:48 PM
 
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Download the smartphone apps for your credit cards so you can monitor them and pay them in real time (I paid a credit card bill from Cambodia once). Also, download your banks app and you can use this to pay bills. Some utilities (cable, internet) have apps also so you can pay while away.
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Old 05-12-2021, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
10,222 posts, read 5,688,010 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueherons View Post
There is no reason to pack light.
In this case there is. The OP is driving a Prius C. Nice little cars, but not a huge amount of storage space, unless she folds the rear seat down. And even then, still not a huge amount of storage space.

Oh, that reminds me. OP, when you stop for the night, you should bring your luggage inside with you, even if you won't need it that night. IIRC, there's no cover for the storage area in a Prius C, so anyone would be able to look inside your car and see that you have suitcases that might be tempting to a thief.
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Old 05-12-2021, 05:38 PM
 
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Thanks for all the suggestions.

I am particularly concerned about the water. I want to shut it off, but if we do that, how will we keep the lawn watered? (We have an automatic sprinkler system.) And if the lawn is not watered for a month, it will die and I don’t want to have to pay for re-sodding (of course). I suppose there should be a way of turning off the water on the inside of the house, but not the outside, but unfortunately, neither my husband or I have any clue how to do it. One idea my husband had is hiring a plumber to fix a tiny leak we have, then while he is here ask him about this.

My husband has agreed to leave the key w a close, trustworthy friend of mine. I am going to have the next door neighbors take in the mail (and let me know if anything important comes), but I don’t want to leave a key with them, because they are a large family with children and while I trust the adults, I don’t trust the kids. I don’t think they will rob us, but I know they will be tempted to use our pool (they have begged in the past, but we said no for privacy and liability reasons.)

I agree with traveling light.

We are thinking about AAA, but I’m not sure about this.

I really like the idea of getting hard copies of our documents. We have always done this with passports, but for some reason not our other cards/documents.

I’m not sure about the smart phone controlled lights. My husband is a computer scientist and he worries about all this smart this and that and the hacking vulnerabilities.

Is it hard to install a timer for the lights? I suppose we might need a handyman for this.

Thanks!
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Old 05-12-2021, 06:27 PM
 
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^^^There should be a water shut off valve by your washing machine. That's an important one to shut off. Hoses can crack and make a real mess. Every house we've owned has also had a main valve in the garage for water coming into the house. In my experience the water for the irrigation system is separate from this but we've always lived in newer homes so I'm not sure if that's common with most homes.

You can buy a lamp timer in any hardware store or Walmart. They just attach to most lamps in the house and there will be instructions on the package. No real install needed - it's just an attachment to the existing lamp.

I forgot to mention copies of your health insurance cards along with the other important cards and documents.
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