Getting ready for an extended vacation? Here’s a quick checklist so that you can relax while you’re away.

Around the house
– Contact Canada Post and have your mail held or forwarded.
– Cancel or suspend your newspaper delivery.
– Make sure that you have timers on a few lights on your house, and motion detecting lights at the entrances to your home and garage.
– Consider turning off your water. This will prevent any surprises of the plumbing variety.
– Have a friend or trusted neighbour come in and check on your house periodically. If you’re not sure about how often, check with your insurance company.
– Leave a list of phone numbers for your contractor or handyman, plumber, electrician, cleaning service, landscaper and other trades who service your home.
– Check your documents. Birthdays are a good sign that ID cards and car registration will need updating. If you’re leaving the country, double check your passport will be valid enough based on the regulations in the country that you are travelling to. Be sure look after these items before you leave town.

Health and first aid for the whole family
– Make sure that any prescriptions are filled ahead of time, and that you have some extra medication on hand as well.
– Consider packing a well-stocked first aid kit. Include the regular supplies for bumps and bruises, but add insect bite relief lotion, extra sunscreen and sunburn soothing cream, and extra allergy relief medicine.
– Make sure that you pack a list of the phone numbers for your medical health team. Even if you won’t be in the area, it’s good idea to have your Doctor, Dentist and Pharmacist’s contact info handy on a moment’s notice.
– Make sure that you pet’s are up to date on their vaccinations, and that you’re leaving with a supply of flea/tick prevention medication. Pack their vaccination records if you plan on putting them in doggy daycare or boarding. And make sure that you’re well supplied with dog food and treats.

If you’re driving, don’t forget to get the car tuned!
– Make sure that you’ve had a recent oil change and fluid top up. New windshield wipers are a good idea if you can’t remember when you last replaced them.
– Consider investing in a roadside assistance package if you don’t have one. Even a minor hiccup like a flat tire or a dead battery can hamper summer plans.
– Have one good paper map of the area you’ll be travelling around in the car. Technology for navigation is great, but it’s best to have a backup just in case.
– Make sure that you have extra window washing fluid. You never know!
– An emergency roadside kit is important in the summer, too. You likely won’t need the thermal blanket, but it’s never a bad idea to keep an emergency kit in your car.

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