What is that smell?

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend honoring those who have been so brave and made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.  It marked the “unofficial” start to summer in our house. We still have a few weeks left of school but we are slowly creeping into summer mode. Over the weekend we spent some time giggling, laughing and having fun as a family.  It was the first time since March we didn’t have soccer or anything on the calendar. It was so freeing! We spent Saturday hiking and kayaking at a state park, we learned that it’s best to float the river rather than paddle upstream.  That evening we went to the local Drive-In movie theater to watch the remake of one of my favorite movies, Aladdin. The remainder of the weekend was relaxing at the pool, playing games and baking up some goodies. Some weekends we just need to reset, recharge and relax. 

Memorial day weekend also means the start of summer vacation season! Yes!  You have, hopefully, contacted your super- amazing Travel Professional to help you plan the perfect experience and shopped- for and packed all your new cute travel clothes....you’re ready? Maybe not! Have you made sure to leave your home in good shape so it stays clean, protected and even energy-efficient while you are gone?

Tips for prepping the house for Vacation?


  • Change the sheets//When you arrive home from your vacation, nothing beats collapsing into crisp, clean sheets...in your own bed. It’s worth the few extra minutes it takes before you leave.

  • Take out the trash//Nothing could be worse than arriving home to realize you forgot to take out the garbage! Not exactly the atmosphere you want to experience!

  • Empty out the Fridge// Throw out any leftovers and maybe offer any perishables that won’t last to your friendly neighbors. No sense wasting good food, plus you don’t want to have to worry about it when you return.


  • Lock all of your windows// It’s easy to remember to lock the doors, but be sure all windows are shut tightly and locked. You don’t want to come home to puddles of rainwater, or an unexpected intruder!

  • Be sure someone has a key// Find a trusted family member or neighbor and ensure that they have a way in to your home or apartment in case of an emergency. You never know when it could come in handy. One time, we were away and a hurricane came through and flooded our basement...our neighbor was able to go in and pump it out for us.

  • Email yourself copies of your credit cards, ID and travel documents to a web- based email account.// Just in case something happens while you are traveling(can you say “pickpockets”?) you can easily access all your important confirmations and details wherever you can get online. Remember to photocopy both sides of your credit cards and insurance cards!


  • Adjust the thermostat//Be sure to set the air conditioning or heat to an appropriate level to save on energy costs while you are away. Also, you might consider turning down the hot water heater temp as well. You will be very glad you did when you receive next month’s utility bills!

  • Invest in a timer// An inexpensive timer unit from any hardware store allows you to program your lights for security purposes (and energy conservation). Those nasty home stalkers will think someone is home and pass you by!

  • Unplug!// Unplug any appliances that you can while you are gone (think toaster, coffee maker and office printer). They can be a fire hazard, as well as sucking precious electricity even while you are thousands of miles away on the beach.

By following these suggestions, you can make sure that your next amazing vacation isn't ruined by a nasty surprise lurking inside your front door....It's depressing enough having to return to reality without finding a stinky trash can! Trust me...I know!

Lastly, don't forget to pay bills and stop mail/newspaper delivery before leaving.