While snowbirds are commonly known as retirees escaping the harshest temperatures and rough seasons, couples and families alike have been known to “migrate” during the spring and fall. If this is your first time traveling to reach a better climate or to get out of the city for the summer, there are a few things you’ll need to think about before you leave.

“Summarize” Your Permanent Home

Depending on how long you plan on being away, there are a variety of things to take care of before leaving your permanent home–especially if you don’t plan on returning until the fall.

  • Put away lawn furniture
  • Close the drapes and blinds
  • Postpone newspapers and mail
  • Turn up your air conditioning to a higher temperature (but don’t turn it off)
  • Drain standing water from pipes and turn off the water
  • Open the doors on your dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer
  • Turn off your hot water heater

There are a ton of other things you might need to think about before leaving for the season. Check out this list to make sure you remembered everything. Whenever possible, leave a key to your home with a neighbor or someone you trust in case of an emergency.

Prepare for Anything

Right off the bat, you might think of packing items like clothing and your favorite set of golf clubs, but there are plenty of items you might not think of until after you leave. It’s a good idea to make a packing list so that you remember to include everything you might need.

A few of these items might include:

  • A first aid kit
  • Extra chargers or batteries
  • An emergency roadside kit
  • Basic tools
  • Any relevant documents you might need: ID, prescriptions, etc.

Remember That Some Things Can Wait

Your instinct might be to pack everything you need, but for an easier travel experience, wait to purchase everyday items like toiletries, cookware, cleaning products, and food items until you arrive. This way, you’ll have less to lug around as you’re getting settled. Then, at the end of the season, you can elect to leave these items at your summer home or replace them as needed.