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So you have your tickets and you are ready to go for an extended vacation!  Now What?!?

A few years ago we went on a vacation for a month to Costa Rica. First the reality of “holy crap we get to go on vacation!” settles in, then there is a slight panic of what do I need to do to be prepared, at home and on vacation!?!  We were still renting at the time so we needed to figure out what to do to make sure everything in our home life is taken care of and make sure our bills were in order.  So, I want to focus on the more boring aspect of your vacation, what you need to do to prepare your home and life while you are sipping mai tais on the beach(or where ever you may be going)!

Limiting expenses at home

Try to limit bills to only required bills.

General– Prepay, schedule or set up online payment for bills so that they are easily taken care of while you are gone. Late fees are bad fees:)

Phone– We suspended our phones on T-Mobile since they don’t work out of the country anyway. We still held our numbers but calling and data were switched off. I am not sure if you can do that on other carriers though.

Gym– Cancel or suspend gym membership. We go to the YMCA and you can cancel and restart your membership with no penalties as long as its less than 60 days! So no start up fee either!

Auto insurance– If you make a change for longer than 30 days with Allstate then they can change your plan.  We are going for 32 days so we set our cars insurance to the minimum required- which is a non-moving vehicle account. We just have to contact them a few days before we want to activate it back up.

House set-up


Unplug everything you can! You will use less electricity and have a cheaper bill! It probably reduces the risk of fire too!  We unplugged our tv’s, computers, microwave, and toaster.

Set up air conditioner/ Heater at a reasonable temperature if you have indoor animals. I think 78 is fine for our indoor cat in the Summer and 65 in the winter.

Set up sprinklers if needed. I got a timer from walmart for $38 that attaches 2 hoses and has a digital display. It should work great!  Run them in the middle of the night when its cool outside so water isn’t wasted!


Put a vacation hold on your mail, This will make sure you get a bundle of mail the day that you return. No Overflowing mail in your mailbox for an extended period!

Transportation To the Airport

Figure out how you are getting to the airport!  Here are a few cheap options.

  • Ask Friends– If you give them more notice they are less likely to hate you! Also offer gas money or a meal afterall they are helping you out!!

  • Lots of hotels will give you a discounted rate if you stay 1 night on either end of the stay.

  • Some hotels will just let you use their valet long term parking and take the hotel shuttle directly for free from the hotel.

  • But there is also Uber / Lyft check for promo codes to get a discount!

  • Some airports have cheap long term parking lots too.

    Prices for parking varys depending on the city so you just need to do a bit of research and figure out the best way!


Start playing use it or lose it!  Try to get rid of all of the food that will go bad in your house so that you don’t have to throw it away. It may make for some interesting menu items! You may even create a new family favorite:) My favorite that I created once was a pizzadilla:)  lol Its just how it sounds pizza ingredients in a tortilla.

I hope this was helpful! I am sure there is more but this is a start!

Let me know if you do anything else to prepare for a trip!

Thanks for reading!

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