Trip Planning – Planning to be away
Author: Mark Plante
Published: January 3, 2020

If you’ve been following the Blog regarding planning a trip for Disney World in Orlando, FL, you have seen that we have been only focusing on what you will need to do or need to have when you are in Florida.  But, what are the things that you need to do at home BEFORE you leave for your trip.

Shopping for Florida

You will want to do some shopping at home for products that you will need for when you are on your vacation.  Purchasing things that you will need for Disney World before you leave will save you quite a bit of money.  Even though there are national chain stores such as Target and Walmart very close to the Disney World Resorts, it is still Orlando and prices, most-likely will be quite a bit more than if you purchased them at home.

Always keep in mind TSA requirements if you are going to fly to Orlando when purchasing any liquid products.  If the product you buy is larger or not packaged properly, you may not be allowed to take it on your flight.

Here are our suggested items to purchase BEFORE you get to Orlando:

  • Clothing (shorts, lightweight shirts)
  • Prescription Medicine
  • Personal Care Products
  • Comfortable Shoes
  • Ponchos/Rain Gear

You will be able to get most of the above products in Orlando, but like we said, it will most likely cost you more there.

Take Care of Pets

Unless you are taking your pets with you (Yes Disney does now allow dogs in some of the Resort Rooms), you will need to plan for your families pet.  Whether you are boarding your cat or dog at a kennel or having someone come to your house to pet-sit, make sure that you plan way in advance for your furry little friends.

Also, keep in mind that if you are boarding your cat or dog at a kennel, most will require that the animal has had certain shots in a specified time before they are boarded.  For example, in Rhode Island the following is required:

  • Required vaccinations for dogs: Rabies, Distemper, Bordetella (kennel cough), Canine Influenza, Leptospirosis.
  • Required vaccinations for cats: Rabies, Distemper

Check with your local kennel and/or State or Country Agency on what is needed and if the vaccinations need to be given in a certain time period before the animal is to enter the kennel to be boarded.

Home Security

Let’s face it, you are going to be away from your for more than a week most-likely.  People will notice this and unfortunately, not everyone is as honest as we would like them to be.  A homeowner on vacation can be an open invitation for an unwanted intruder while you are not home. Here are some tips to keep your home and belongings safe while you are away.

  • Don’t announce that you are away – Don’t broadcast on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. accounts that you are going away.  You might as well send out invitations to the criminals that are on Social Media when to break into your home.  If you have to post pictures while you are away, you may want to set them to private or in a group that you trust, otherwise you are letting everyone know that there is no one in your house or apartment.
  • Put a stop on your mail – Nothing screams “I’M NOT HOME RIGHT NOW” than a pile of mail in your mailbox or packages sitting by your front door for a few days.  You may want to contact your local Post Office and stop your mail for the time that you are away and if you might get a delivery for any reason why you are away, have it shipped to someone you knows address or cancel the shipment all together until you get home.
  • Have a House-sitter – If you have a friend or relative that may want to stay at your house for a few days, offer it to them.  Thieves will most-likely not try to enter a home if there is a person there, not necessarily the home-owner.
  • Make it look like someone is there – Again, A thief will most-likely not try to enter a home if they think a person is there.  So make them think that.  Purchase a couple of timers from a store like Home Depot and plug lamps, a radio or even a TV into them.  This will make your home seem like someone is there.
  • Have someone keep an eye on your property – Have relative or a neighbor that you really trust keep an eye on you house.  Let them know that you will be away and to notify the Police is there is anyone there that they think shouldn’t be. You may also want to let your local Police Department know that you will not be home during that period.  They may provide extra patrols to just keep an eye on your home.
  • Utilities – Depending on what utilities you have in your home, you may want to take the following actions:
    • Turn down heat – You may want to turn down the temperature of your heating system if nobody is staying at the house to save on heating costs (no need to heat the house if nobody is there.). You do not want to turn the heat off if you are going during Winter months and you live in a cold climate.  You do not want to come home to frozen pipes.
    • Turn off water – If you are able to, you may want to shut off the water to your house.  If a pipe were to break while you are away, you will be coming home to a huge mess.  Check all of your other utilities to make sure they are not dependent on water.  Some heating systems require water to circulate through the system in order to heat the house.
    • Unplug electronic devices – You may want to unplug non-essential appliances such as computers, televisions, etc while you are away.  If there is a power interruption or surge while you are gone, they may still be damaged, even with a surge protector.

These tips are some of the things that our family does when we go on vacation.  We have learned that they are things that may slip your mind and will cause you to have to go in a mad scramble to get them done if you wait too long. The Home Security tips will let you have a better piece of mind while you are on vacation and could prevent heartache and aggravation when you return.

We hope that the information that we are given in this series on our blog is helpful.  If there is anything that your family does that we might not have mentioned, please let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

Thank you for taking the time to visit our Blog, we only hope that we are able to help in a small way to make your next Walt Disney World Vacation more memorable for you and your family.

Mark Plante and his family have been visitors to the Orlando area for 15+ years. They are using information, tricks and knowledge that they have accumulated during that time to create this blog.