Vacation [Prep] All I Ever Wanted

By Carolyn Stine May 2, 2019 

We created the essential checklist for how to get your homebase prepped and ready when you jet off for vacation.

Whether it’s a four-day bachelorette weekend or your obsessed-over two-week honeymoon, there’s nothing we love more than the chance to get out of town. Cue the Sex and the City episode “Escape From New York” in the background. We enjoy every moment of planning a getaway, from choosing our dream destination, to finding the AirBnB that feels like a plussed-up home away from home, to scouring menus in search of the perfect spot for that first night dinner. What we decidedly do not love, and in fact dread, is thinking all of the loose ends that we need to tie up at work, the inbox that we need to clean out, and the tasks that we need to delegate before we hit the road. Oh, and once we do that, what the heck do we do with our apartment? Trying to figure out how to get our home prepped and ready often feels like an insurmountable task leading up to vacation, and we swear that there is always at least one thing (ok, at least two things) that we realize upon arriving home that we completely forgot about. Whether it’s the brown-tinged house plants, moldy berries in the fridge, or air conditioning that you’re kicking yourself for forgetting to turn off, we all have that lack-of-vacation-prep home horror story. So here at Bashed, we’ve put together a veritable treasure trove of vacation prep info that you can keep handy each time you’re packing up and getting ready to leave town. Read on and be prepared to head to your dream destination with a clear head and a clean home, to boot.

Vacation Prep | Bashed

Eats and Treats

 

Ah, the fridge. We have enough trouble keeping our fridge clean and tidy on a normal week, let alone when our heads are being torn in ten directions leading up to a getaway. When thinking about vacation prep, there are a few key areas to focus on in the weeks leading up to your departure. Travel food, the clean fridge, and the post-vacation first meal are where we like to put our focus before we travel.

 

Getting stuck with Frito’s from the gas station for a road trip lunch or weird plane food on a transcontinental flight are scenarios that we like to alleviate by bringing our own food with us when we travel. If it’s a short flight or road trip, put together a canvas tote by the door that you can stockpile with snacks that will keep you satiated until you arrive at your destination. Some of our current favorites are mocha chip Perfect Bars, Soozy’s Muffins in the heavenly sweet potato flavor (they pair perfectly with coffee), and Eaton Hemp Super Squares.

 

For longer flights during which we would normally enjoy a meal, we like to bring our own homemade and healthy options from home. A mason jar with chocolate chia seed pudding and berries takes the cake for breakfast, and we love a hearty quinoa salad for lunch or dinner, which doesn’t have greens as the base so it won’t wilt and become sad in your bag. And don’t forget to clean out your pyrex and use it on the way back - it’s the perfect storage for snacks you’re bringing for that return flight (hello, cookie stockpile from your fave vacation bakery).

 

The meals that travelers often forget to prep for are the ones directly after their return from their getaway. You know the feeling - you arrive back home with a growling stomach to an empty fridge, and somehow always seem to default to Postmates. One of the best hacks that we started practicing years back was prepping and freezing meals before we left, so that we had some home cooked goodness to look forward to upon our return. If you’re going for the path of least resistance, we’d recommend whipping up a batch of our all-time favorite fresh tomato sauce (courtesy of Marcella Hazan) and tossing it in the freezer. Have a box of Banza chickpea pasta in your cupboard, a few frozen veggie options in your freezer, and you can have a healthy, homemade meal ready to go in fifteen minutes flat.

 

Last but not least, please oh please make sure that your fridge is clean and pretty before you go. This is so important to us that we dedicated a whole article to it - you can check out our guide to prepping your fridge for vacation for all of the ways that we use up what’s in the fridge so nothing is wasted leading up to your departure. (Link to prep fridge for vacation article when live). We also have an excellent tutorial on using up your leftover herbs, and creative ways to demolish those takeout leftovers, too.

 

Sweet Greens

 

For those of us who can’t seem to live without a little (or a lot) of green in their homes, it’s an unfortunate fact that our plant babies are often the first to suffer when we head out of town. There is literally nothing worse than coming home to brown, shriveled plants that seem to be crying out for our love and affection. Here’s our cheat sheet for tending to your urban jungle when you’re on a remote beach somewhere far away.

 

For plants that require more regular watering and care, such as herbs and houseplants, we have a few hacks for keeping them clean and green. If your plant is in need of sunlight and has to stay where it is on your window sill, we like investing in a glass watering globe. You fill it with water before you leave, and it slow releases the H2O so that your sensitive plants get just the right drink of water. We also tried out plant watering spikes, which are even more discreet than the globe and water plants for up to two weeks.

 

If you have plants that do not need lots of sunlight and live in potted containers with drainage at the bottom, your bathtub or sink just become your new best friend. Fill your sink or tub with a few inches of water, and rest your pots in there right before you leave town. The plants will draw water up from the roots via the bottom of the pot - voila!

 

For succulents, also known as the cats of the plant world, you should have no problem leaving these self-sustaining guys behind sans-care plan. They can easily go for two weeks without being watered.

 

One more tip for all plants is to prune them before you leave town. This trim will help them to require less water while you’re away, and leave them at their healthiest.

 

It’s Electric

 

Being conscious of the energy being used at your apartment is a really important note to add to your vacation prep checklist. We recommend unplugging everything, turning off your power bricks and surge protectors, and unplugging your router prior to leaving home. Not only is this a fire precaution, but you’ll save on your energy bill, and it’s a plus for the environment.

 

If you have a thermostat, our rule of thumb is to let your space come more in line with the temperature that it is outdoors. If it’s cold out, let your apartment stay cold while away so you don’t waste gas. If it’s warm out, let your apartment stay warm so you don’t waste energy on air conditioning.

 

Neighborhood Watch

 

No matter how safe we feel leaving our home unattended, it is always a good idea to have a backup set of eyes on watch. We always let our landlord know when we head out of town, and if you know your neighbors, it’s a good idea to let a trusted neighbor know as well. They’re the ones who know the building, and can alert you if something looks amiss.

 

We also like to have a friendly neighbor pick up our packages if you don’t have a doorman. And if you’re worried that mail may pile up while you’re OOO, you can easily fill out an online USPS form to pause your mail during the duration of your trip.

 

Last But Not Least...

 

It’s all about the little things. Period, full stop. And for us, returning home to empty garbage cans and clean sheets are the little things that go a heck of a long way. Take the extra few minutes to clean your apartment, make your bed, and take out all of your trash. Post-vacation you will thank you.

Ever forgotten to take the trash out, killed all of your plants, or come home to a scary surprise in your fridge? Share your mishaps with us in the comments!

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Carolyn Stine

A party without cake is just a meeting.

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