9 ways to keep costs down at home while you’re away on vacation

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9 ways to keep costs down at home while you’re away on vacation
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When the subject of frugal vacationing comes up, the focus is understandably on the cost of the actual vacation. You know, the airfare, hotel, car rental, meals and entertainment.

However, there’s one area that can bring down your vacation costs that most people don’t think about — and that is to minimize any and all home expenses while you’re away.

9 ways to avoid extra costs while you’re on vacation

Minimize electricity

Walk through each room of your home and turn off or unplug anything that won’t be used. This includes your entertainment devices, clocks, microwave, computer router and anything else that draws vampire power while not in use. Make it easier by plugging like items into a single surge protector.

Needless to say, do not unplug your refrigerator! However, you might want to employ this life hack to ensure that you didn’t had a blackout while away from home.

Read more: Here are 16 more ways to reduce your energy bills.

Adjust your thermostat

No need to maintain your current thermostat settings if your house or apartment is sitting empty. Although people in warm climates might choose to completely turn off their furnaces or air conditioning, those in colder areas should never set the temperature below 55°, which is the industry standard to avoid frozen water pipes and maintain your home insurance coverage.

Suspend subscriptions

Not only does it waste money to continue a newspaper subscription while out of town, it’s a red light to burglars that your house is sitting empty. Call your newspaper’s subscription department and suspend delivery for the days when you’re out of town.

You can also put other paid subscriptions such as Hulu on hold while away. Even though you’ll save just $7.99 per month, it’s worth the effort if you’re confident that your vacation will be blissfully screen-free. Just click HERE for the wikihow instructions.

Hit up your neighbors

Having a close relationship with your neighbors is great when you need to borrow an extra egg for chocolate chip cookies, but it’s freaking amazing when you’re away from home. Not only can you make sure that your plants get watered and your cats get fed, but having someone keep an eye on your house is an important safety precaution. Just make sure to offer to do the same for when those neighbors then take their vacations.

Prepay your bills

Nothing is more of a bummer than to come home from a relaxing vacation to find that you’ve forgotten a bill. Avoid this situation by either prepaying any bills that would come due or by setting up automatic payments.

Here’s a list of more tips to stay on top of your bills.

Fill your prescriptions

If you take daily medications, you might want to fill any prescriptions before leaving town. The headache of contacting your physician and then having to pay for an out of insurance pharmacy is surely not part of your vacation plans.

Avoid Burglars

It doesn’t matter how frugal your vacation is if your time away from home becomes an invitation to burglars. Protect yourself and your home by following these tips:

  • Buy a few timers for your lights, and then program them for differing times so your house doesn’t advertise its empty status.
  • Lock all doors, windows, gates and screen doors. You may feel that your house is battened down, but you still need to double and then triple check.
  • Have a neighbor check your porch on a daily basis to make sure there aren’t any packages or flyers that red flag that your home as being unoccupied.
  • Leave a car in the driveway if possible.

Read more: Convicted burglar reveals nine secrets to keep your home safe

Plan your arrival meal

Anticipate that you’ll be exhausted when you finish traveling home from your vacation, so plan a ready to go meal that requires nothing more than pulling it from the freezer. Avoid the temptation to call for a pricey takeout meal.

Rent out your home

This tip is certainly not for everyone, but it’s becoming increasingly common for people to take advantage of websites such as HomeAway.com, Airbnb.com or VRBO.com to rent out their homes. Yes, you take a risk by renting out your personal residence, but many people have had great success using these short term rental companies. Just make sure to familiarize yourself with your city’s laws and regulations before venturing into this endeavor.

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Katy Wolk-Stanley About the author:
Katy Wolk-Stanley, a.k.a. The Non-Consumer Advocate is a Portland, Oregon based RN and writer who describes herself as a utility bill scholar, library patron, laundry-hanger-upper and teenage boy wrangler. She’s been featured on The Today Show, The NY Times and The National Enquirer.
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