zipping suitcase

13 things to do before you leave for a holiday

Here at Momentum Energy, we have a saying: it’s just not a holiday if the standby light’s still flashing (or at least I’m trying to make it one).

It doesn’t matter if you’re an off-grid camping nomad or a sun-lounging resort recliner, there’s just no justice in your empty home using more electricity than it needs to. Or your fridge playing host to new bacterial universes, come to think.

True bliss is coming home from a holiday to find everything is just as calm as you’ve been*. To ensure all this (recognising that I sound more like my mother with each passing day), my advice is simple: preparation is your ticket to a good time.

With that, here are some things to remember before a holiday to avoid those inconveniences that clearly don’t understand the meaning of relaxation.

Appliances: on standby

Turn everything unimportant off at the power point. Unimportant means that it doesn’t do things like keep your food cold, your garden watered, or your fish alive.

Travel snacks: packed

The only thing you want less than knowing what a salad roll looks like after hanging out on your kitchen bench for weeks on end, is knowing how it smells.

Hot water system: off

Not so important if it’s just for the weekend, but if you’ll be gone a few weeks, don’t waste energy keeping the water warm. If you’re a hot-shower-the-minute-you-get-home kind, this might not be for you – systems can take a few hours to heat up, and need to be at 60°C for at least half an hour before you use them, to minimise the risk of Legionella bacteria.

Compost: from wholesome friend to horrible foe in the space of a ten-day trip to Bali.

Bins: in good hands

Coming home to a full bin is… rubbish. Start by emptying the ones inside and if there’s a friend or neighbour who can make sure the big ones go out in exchange for a box of Favourites, give them a bell. If you’re away a long time, get them to chuck some of their stuff in there too.

Electronic timers: on

If you prefer to have a light or the radio come on in the evenings, hook them up to timers so they’re only using electricity when you want them to.

Fridge: biohazard-free

Smell-testing a box of leftovers that’s been busy breeding new life forms is a bad way to finish a holiday.

Forgettable stuff: with your keys

Things like travel snacks and gifts for people you’re visiting are easy to forget, especially if they’re in the fridge. Chuck your keys or phone with them the night before to give them a better chance at making the journey.

Bills: paid

You can either pay anything outstanding before you go, or set up direct debit so it comes out on the due date. Either way, it means no thinking about bills when you’re on holiday (or worse: payment reminders when you’re not).

This is how a toothbrush looks the exact moment you remember you’ve left it at home.

Toothbrush: packed

The annoying thing about the things we use most, is that we leave them out till the last minute, which means we usually forget them. Shout out to pyjamas as well – even the most pedantic outfit picker will forget to pack a nightie.

Washers: empty

In my rankness rankings, wet clothes in the washing machine are worse than dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Both, however, appear on my list of things I don’t wish to come home to.

Devices: charged

Charged batteries (and power packs) have very positive flow on effects: kids leave each other alone, and you don’t need to prioritise GPS-ing over finding the best place for a flat white. So, charge them overnight somewhere you absolutely won’t forget them.

Subscriptions: suspended

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of a real magazine or newspaper in your hands, but not after weeks of abandonment, protruding from a mailbox and half exposed to the elements. Do them the honour of being diverted for the time you won’t be there to care for them. You can also chuck a ‘no junk mail’ note on the mail box to avoid the inevitable build-up of Dominos coupons.

Plants: watered

Unless you’ve got someone looking after them while you’re away, try putting the thirstier ones in a tray of water (or a shallow bath) to keep them happy.

* If you’ve got young children or weird in-laws, we understand and appreciate that ‘calm’ might not be the word you’d use. For you, these tips might help you avoid any holiday-related chaos going on longer than it needs to. Good luck out there.

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