Vacations are meant to be relaxing, but they can also be downright stressful. Don’t get us wrong—we’re all for taking some much-needed R&R, but leaving the house to travel can be a huge source of anxiety (which these tips for stress-free travel can help with).
First of all, there’s the whirlwind of racing around the house gathering everything on your packing list and praying you didn’t forget everything. But then, even after you leave, your mind starts running. Did you turn the thermostat down? Is the oven still on? When you know you won’t be home for several days, the consequences of a tiny oversight are way more serious than when you normally leave the house—and it’ll be days before you’re home to find out if there was anything to fear.
To ease your anxiety, Sunil Metcalfe, Europe travel expert at Black Tomato, has a genius tip: take a picture.
“Similar to forwarding your emails to your colleague or leaving your pet in the care of someone you trust, taking a picture of the locked back door, the closed garage door or unplugged appliance, allows you peace of mind to let go and be fully present,” says Metcalfe. “We’ve all had that gut-wrenching moment en route to the airport where you think you’ve made a critical error in preparing for your trip. Having a picture eliminates this moment of panic.”
Metcalfe also says that he and his wife travel frequently, and have even gone as far as installing WiFi-enabled outlets in their home to double-check whether or not everything was turned off. “But taking a picture is a much more cost-effective option and leaves no room for technological error,” according to Metcalfe. Here are some additional things you can do to keep your home safe while you’re away.
Of course, accidents can still happen, no matter how careful you are. But even if there does happen to be a fire, break-in, or other random tragedy while you’re away, you’ll have photo evidence that it wasn’t from some silly oversight. Next, check out these stress-free vacation tips for the most relaxing vacation ever.