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June 18, 2024

Planning a well-deserved vacation can fill you with a rush of positive emotions. But getting caught up in the excitement of an upcoming trip makes it easy to overlook essential tasks. While a packing checklist can confirm you’ve gathered all the essentials for your destination, completing a pre-vacation checklist can help you avoid a costly homecoming. 
Pre-vacation Checklist

Notify Your Credit Union
To protect your funds from unauthorized transactions, your credit union or bank may flag unusual transactions, including debit or credit card use outside of your state or country of residence. To ensure uninterrupted use of your debit or credit card during travel, notify your credit union or bank ahead of time. HawaiiUSA members with Digital Banking can easily create a travel note online or in the mobile app. 

Unplug Devices

Unplug small appliances and electronic devices before leaving for vacation. Power surges or brownouts can occur unexpectedly, causing damage to your plugged-in devices, even when you’re away. This could result in the loss of your appliances or even a fire hazard. Before you leave, take a few minutes to go through your home and unplug items such as your coffee maker, toaster, TV, and computer.

Turn Off the Water Supply

Shut off the main water supply to minimize the risk of potential leaks or flooding while you’re away. Failing to turn off the water supply before leaving for vacation is a common blind spot that can lead to costly repairs if a leak or flood occurs in your absence. Along with expensive repairs, the damage might require that you stay somewhere else until the issue is resolved.

Redirect Deliveries

An overflowing mailbox or packages that linger on your doorstep can be a telltale sign that your home is unoccupied. Stop deliveries or arrange for a trusted neighbor to collect them. This can prevent the accumulation of mail and package deliveries that gain the unwanted attention of a thief. 

Maintain Your Home’s Exterior 

People who have had their homes broken into often report feeling a sense of loss, fear, and a lingering sense of unease in their own homes. The process of assessing the damage, reporting the crime to the police, and working with insurance companies can be emotionally and mentally draining, adding to the stress of an already traumatic situation.

A well-maintained home exterior may reduce the risk of attracting criminals who target unoccupied homes. Consider maintaining regularly scheduled services, such as lawn care, while you’re away. Additionally, motion-activated outdoor lighting can enhance your home’s security by automatically turning on when movement is detected.

Adjust the Thermostat

Set your thermostat closer to the outside temperature to reduce energy costs. This could help reduce the energy your cooling system uses when the home is unoccupied. Use a programmable thermostat to avoid coming home to high utility bills. Set it to cool your home to a comfortable level just before you're scheduled to return.

For example, if you typically keep your thermostat at 72°F, consider setting it to 82°F while you’re away. Program it to return to 72°F a few hours before you arrive home from vacation.

Lock All Points of Entry

Protect your property from unauthorized access while you're away by properly locking all entry points, such as doors and garages. Don’t forget first and second story windows. Keeping these points secure could significantly reduce the risk of break-ins and subsequent repairs. Such security measures not only protect your property but can also give you peace of mind during your vacation.

Conduct a thorough walkthrough of your home before departing, double-checking each lock. Plan on leaving a spare key with a trusted friend or neighbor who can access the home in an emergency.

Keep your eyes open to these vacation prep blind spots to ensure a worry-free getaway.