Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Travel Day and tips for a smooth housesitting experience

Well people, the day is here.  Travel day!  We'll be basking in the aloha of our second home Hawaii for a few weeks.  Don't you worry, I've got plenty lined up for my absence so if it weren't for this post, you'd never have known I was gone!  HA!  I just wanted to let you know that I won't likely be responding to comments since I believe a vacation needs to be a vacation.  No real social media, no blogging (sorry, I'm not like other bloggers that blog every day on their trip and take precious time away from the whole reason you left in the first place.  Unless of course someone would like to send me on vacation to specifically blog about the vacation then feel free to email me!  HA!) but I might throw up a pic or two or 40 on Instagram so if you want to follow along over there just click here to follow me.

One thing I like to do before we leave is prep stuff for our departure.  We've been on a pancake kick lately and the Mr loves M&M's so I thought mini M&M pancakes would be the perfect way to kick off a travel day.  I made them Monday afternoon, kept them in the fridge, then heated them up this morning for 30 seconds, slapped some bananas between them and some light syrup commenced!

On to business...

I will share some of our tips for bringing in a housesitter to your home.  This is usually something people will do if they have pets they want to keep in the house while they're away but for us it gives an added sense of security and it gives the friend who always does ours a change of scenery.

1)  Only bring in someone you trust!  You can certainly hire a housesitter service that is licensed and bonded but honestly I'm not comfortable with strangers in my home when I'm not there.  Really evaluate the habits of the person you're considering and think of how they would react in basically having the run of someone's place.  I've read some horror stories about things broken, parties to be had and neglected pets.

2)  Assume they will go through your stuff.  I think it's kind of human nature.  You know what people present to you but when you stay in their home, you get to see the nitty gritty.  If there are things of a personal nature, documents (like wills, tax returns, etc) or that pair of crotchless undies you got as a bachelorette party gag gift but never got rid of...assume they'll find it.  (Or these days, take a pic of it and post it on their Facebook or Instagram saying "ooh, looky what I found!  Kink-ay!")  Put it all in a bin, put it somewhere they don't have access or at least would really have to dig around to discover.

3)  Decide on payment up front.  Some people prefer to be paid cash money while others just like the change of scenery or in our case...our guy likes to be compensated in food.  Does this really surprise anyone given the meals I make?  So I've got a lot of great stuff pre-made for him in the freezer with directions written in marker on how to heat them up.  He's got lasagna, spicy mexican stuffed shells, roasted red pepper macaroni and cheese, BBQ beef brisket and different sides like roasted garlic mashed potatoes, russet wedges and sweet potato fries.  I've also bought him some of his favorite treats and a gift card to his favorite pizza place in case he's feeling lazy one night.  The trick will be getting him to leave when we get home.  :-)

4)  Put together a manual.  If you have appliances that make weird noises (icemaker anyone?) or your house settles or one of your steps makes a loud bang that sounds like footsteps and you're used to it but make sure you make a note about it.  We have a restaurant not too far away that likes to throw heavy things into their big metal dumpster around 6am, so I'll be noting that. Give them important info like where the water shut off valve is, where fire extinguishers are, how to turn on your TV if you have a mighty A/V system in your home and 4 remotes, give them numbers of relatives in case there's an emergency and they're unable to reach you and things you'd want grabbed in a fire.  (We have a bin labeled "fire bin" in the living room he can grab on his way out.)  Also alert them to which, if any, neighbors are trustworthy.  We have some people around here that are nosey and/or stalky and we certainly would not want any info divulged to them in a loose lips conversation.  I basically tell him to keep your head down, hiss if necessary and definitely don't talk to the bitch lady next door or you might as well put an ad out.

5)  Most importantly, set ground rules!  Let them know whether or not it's okay to have people in the house while you're gone.  (Not okay with us.)  If there are things you don't want them using like your computer, then tell them to bring their own laptop.  If they have use of your cars.  (Some people allow this, not us. More because he's already got his own ride.  We write down the mileage and gas levels on the cars just in case.  HA!)    If you have attached neighbors, maybe remind them to be quiet from 10pm to 7am or whenever your noise ordinance laws state in case they break out the throbbing techno music.

I know this may sound like we run our house like a military state while we're gone but we don't.  We just ask that people treat our home with the same respect we would treat theirs if we were doing the same thing.

So that's about it!  Please send out good vibes for a smooth travel day.  The last 2 years have been less than stellar and I'm hoping for some good luck this time around.  Because with the year I've had so far, I really just want to be doing this asap...

Aloha and a hui hou!

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  1. Happy vacation and good wishes for your travel day! I know you won't be here much, but I'll still be here every day.:)

  2. Happy vacation and have fun!!!

  3. Have a wonderful trip. I am so jealous!

  4. Safe travels.

    Time for a sing along: Vacation, all I ever wanted. . .vacation, have to get away. . .

  5. Enjoy--I'm utterly jealous but hope you have a fabulous time!

  6. Safe travels and have a wonderful time!

  7. Have a WONDERFUL and relaxing time away! Safe travels.

  8. Have a wonderful time - looking forward to pictures!

  9. I am insanely jealous, you know that, right? I hope you have a fantastic trip. With LOTS of relaxation. :D

  10. Have a WONDERFUL trip!!! Can't wait to hear all about when you return. xoxoxoxoxo

  11. Oh my god. A month in Hawaii? I am so jealous!!! I'm also really happy for you. You both deserve this. I can't wait to see pictures.

  12. have a wonderful trip! I hope it's all you want it to be!

    As a housesitter, I like most of your tips. I'm one of those people who DON'T go through clients' belongings. We'll usually do a walk-through so that I can ask where things like spare rolls of TP are stored. then I have no need to go prowling. :)


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