7 Quick Things Residents Should Do Before Holiday Travel


We’re calling this a holiday travel checklist for your residents, but it’s more accurate to say that it’s a list for you to give to them. Feel free to make adjustments that make sense for your properties.

Here are some quick, easy things your residents can do to stay safer and save energy before they leave for holiday travel.

One more thing we should mention: Numbers three and four need to be done in that order. Seriously.

Residents preparing for holiday travel

1. Inform you of their holiday travel plans

It’s always a good idea for your residents to get in touch with you before they leave on vacation or holiday travel. Even if they’re only going to be gone for a few days, it’s worth knowing whether anyone should be hanging around the unit.

If you have Yardi Breeze, all they need to do is send you a quick text or email via theit tenant portal. That way, there’s no question as to whether you got the message. It’s all stored in the cloud, accessible from anywhere at any time.

2. Close and lock all windows and doors

About 7% of Americans don’t lock their doors when they leave their home or apartment. Likewise, nearly one in three burglars walk in through an unlocked door. We’re not trying to scare anyone, but we hope these stats give you and residents something to think about. If any of your residents aren’t in the habit of locking up, they’re more likely to forget before holiday travel.

Doors are one thing, but those window locks are easier to forget. Residents should make this one of the last things they do before leaving.

3. Eat or throw away perishable food

Have you ever been in such a rush to leave for the holidays that you leave a half-empty quart of milk on the counter? We’d like to say we haven’t, but

When you’re in a rush to get out the door, the little things slip your mind. You don’t want food rotting on your counters. Your residents certainly don’t. And we’re pretty sure their neighbors feel the same way.

And that brings us to a very related point number four.

4. Take out the trash before leaving

You know you’ve forgotten this one the second you return home from a trip. It’s especially noticeable if you’ve closed and locked all the windows.

The trash has to be taken out after all perishables have been tossed. You might even suggest that your residents do this on the way out — after they’ve locked up — so there’s no chance of anyone throwing away one last piece of food.

Taking out the trash is also an easy way to safeguard against pests.

5. Put at least one house light on a timer

When the lights are on, it looks like someone’s home. It’s a simple deterrent to would-be home invaders. When your residents aren’t home, they can use a programmable timer or smart lightbulb to switch on at least one light at night.

These lights can be used for more than deterrence. If any of your residents have a pet at home (assuming regular check-ins from a friend or neighbor), a timer will let them live in normal light conditions.

They’ll probably still miss their owners, but at least they’ll be able to see. Of course, this only applies if you allow pets. If you don’t allow pets, see why you might want to adjust your pet policy.

6. Adjust the thermostat

Your residents will be kicking themselves if they come home from holiday travel only to realize they had the thermostat set too high or low, wasting money and energy.

Remind your residents to keep the temperature at a point that won’t risk damage to the pipes. This is especially important in the fall and winter months.

7. Unplug all electronics

There are a lot of reasons to unplug your electronics. These appliances draw electricity even when they’re not being used. Electronics that can be safely unplugged include TVs, computers, video games, kitchen appliances, etc.

Pro tip: Flipping the switch on a power strip is the same thing as unplugging all the connected electronics. There’s no need to unplug the strip after turning it off.

Residents should leave the fridge plugged in during their holiday travel, especially if they’re not leaving for more than a month. The same goes for dehumidifiers being used to prevent mold.

Reach out to residents before their holiday travel

It’s not a bad idea to email your tenants a week or so before major holidays and ask them to let you know if they’re traveling. We recommend using your property management software’s built-in email capability to send important messages.

Save your direct emails for important communications like this one. If you don’t email too frequently, you’ll likely to see better open rates. Want more tips? See our blog post: When You Should (& Shouldn’t) Email Your Tenants.