You have listed your home with SabbaticalHomes.com, found the perfect match, set the date, and settled the details in a written agreement. Now, all that’s left to do is pack for your trip, and get your house ready for your guests–but where do you begin?
The first step in preparing for a long departure from your home is to take care of any business-related items as these may take a bit of time. Here is a brief checklist:
1. Contact your insurance professional to make sure your home is properly insured in your absence while tenants are staying there; also, determine your insurance needs for your new destination. Regulations vary from country to country and state to state so a double check of your coverage is essential.
2. Verify that your medical coverage is transferable to your new location and secure any prescriptions that you may need during your travels.
3. If you are traveling abroad, be sure to set up your bank account before you get there. American banks do not always have international branches. HSBC is a reliable international resource for banking.
4. If you are going to be forwarding your mail, notify your post office well in advance. If your tenants will be holding mail, provide them a drawer or box so it is convenient for them and nothing will be misplaced.
5. Arrange for a local emergency contact. Provide that person with all the necessary information to act in your place should anything come up that needs attention.
6. Make copies of legal documents and passport information and leave these in a safe place.
7. If you are leaving a four-legged family member behind, prepare feeding instructions, special notes, and the name and phone number of your family vet. Do the same for anything you will want done with watering in the garden.
With your business affairs in order, it is time to prepare your home…
8. Do a thorough walk-through and remove anything valuable or sentimental that you do not want harmed. Remember, accidents happen so you want to protect those things you cherish most. This might include artwork, photographs, personal documents, knick knacks, silverware, jewelry, electronics, computers, handmade linens, etc. Secure these in a storage unit, a locked closet, or with a friend. Add a special note about computers if you intend to make them available to your tenants, be sure to save any sensitive information that may be on your hard drive on a separate device to ensure security.
9. As you pack for your own trip, clear dresser drawers, make space in the closets, and allow room in bathrooms so that your guests can unpack and feel at home right away.
10. Prepare a notebook for your guests. Refer to our article for what information is great to include.
11. Last, but most important, prepare the home as you expect to find it upon your return. How your home looks for arriving tenants sets the tone. Leave the fireplace stocked with wood, the watering done, beds made, some cleaning supplies handy, etc. If it is neat and tidy, clear of clutter, and ready to move-in, you will have a greater chance of finding it that way when you get home. Your new friends will want to treat your home like their own.
Now, all you have to think about is having a wonderful trip! Bon voyage!