Before Going on Holiday Have You Remembered to…
Most expats in Dubai take longer than the normal two weeks for their summer vacation, with a few lucky ones being away for a couple of months, so additional items need to be added to the final check list to ensure you don’t arrive back to a disaster. Expat Echo Dubai have listed a few items below that really ought to be on your holiday check list when preparing to shut up the house and escape the summer heat.
The question is always, should I leave it on or turn it off?
There is one school of thought that if you turn the air-conditioning off completely your home could lay prey to mould however, other people confidently turn their A/C off every vacation and never have a problem. We turned to the experts, Jim Will Fix It, for some advice on this matter and they explained that the answer could be YES and NO! If you leave your A/C on then make sure it is the upstairs units as cold air sinks. If you leave the downstairs units on you will be wasting a lot of electricity for the A/C just to cool down stairs. Make sure you leave all the doors open to allow the air to circulate and keep the air at a constant temperature (approx 25 degrees) to stop condensation occurring as this is when the mould will form. However the only problem with leaving the A/C on is that there is a risk of a blockage occurring in the waste pipe and if this occurs then water will flood through the ceiling. Therefore if you plan to leave the A/C on while you are away for a couple of months, then make sure you get someone to pop in and check on your house.
Turn the Water Pump Off
If you have any leaks (i.e. the water heaters) the water will keep on flowing if the water pump is still on causing flooding.
Make sure you have paid all your utility bills to ensure you don’t arrive back, for example, to find that the electricity has been disconnected. If you are away for a few months set up your utility bills to be paid on-line, so you can check and pay them from anywhere in the world.
No-one is going to be jumping into the pool for a few months so remember to turn the chiller off.
Lock away your valuables, such as jewellery, which you will not be taking on holiday with you. Either deposit them with a company such as JFT Safety Deposit Lockers or buy a safe deposit box from shops such as ACE Hardware or Carrefour and have it drilled into the walls of your home.
To avoid people coming in and out of your home, leave your indoor plants with a friend who is going to be here for the summer.
Obviously do not cancel the gardener or you really will come back to a desert, but there may be some pot plants that he does not usually look after so if they are really valuable remind him to water them. Or if the gardener just works twice a week get him to extend the irrigation line into the potted plants temporarily.
Cancel – Maids, Laundry Man, Newspapers
If you use a maid agency then remember to advise them of the exact dates you will be away on vacation. Also, if you have a regular laundry company advise them that you will not be needing laundry services for a few weeks, but best not to specify your exact dates and tell them you will contact them when you next need them again. Lastly, remember to tell the newspaper subscription section to stop delivering, as nothing indicates an empty house more than a pile of unread newspapers outside the front door.
In the summer months many of us turn our water heaters off, as the cold water is hot enough! But if you haven’t done this yet then turn them off to save electricity.
If you’ll be gone for an extended vacation of four weeks or more, you may want to turn it off. If so, thoroughly clean it out and prop the door open to prevent mildew from forming. When you clear your perishable food away you can give it to the Security man rather than throw it away, if it’s any good …
Leave the soap dispenser and door of washing machine/dishwasher clean and open to stop mildew growing.
If you can leave your car keys with a friend and get them to start the car and run the engine throughout your holiday, this should ensure your car starts with no problems when you get back. If you have no one to do this for you then another idea would be to disconnect the car battery. See this article.
Lock all Doors & Windows
This is an obvious point but it is also a good idea to double protect sliding doors quite simple by inserting a metal or wooden pole in between the runners, to avoid someone from forcing the door open.
Check all the rooms and take all the plugs out – remember to check your teenager’s room (the room you are never allowed into) and unplug play-stations, mobile phone chargers etc.