Winter Break Travel Guide: How to Prep Your Home

By Danielle Wirsansky on December 10, 2018

Winter Break is a much-needed vacation from the stresses of college life. A college student’s reprieve between semesters, it is a time to rest, recharge, and go home. Unlike winter break for high schoolers, your classes are over and there is no homework to be done. And your break is a lot, longer—for some schools it can be nearly a month of time off! It is also many people’s favorite time of the year due to the holidays, and you certainly want to be able to enjoy those as well.

Most students choose to go home or travel for winter break, leaving their dorm room or apartment far behind. Whether you are going back to your hometown, visiting family and friends, and exploring someplace new, you are most likely going to be traveling at some point during the break. When you lived at home, you did not have to think much about your travel plans. Usually, your parents told you when and what to do and you just did it. But now you are in charge of yourself—your home and your travel arrangements. So, read on for some quick tips and things you should know. A Winter Break Travel Guide, if you will!

Photo by Simon Migaj from Pexels

Clean

It might not seem like a really big deal, but before you go is to clean up your living space. When you let things that are dirty sit for a while, they can become much bigger problems. It is easy to try and push it off until you return, but it will just become a big, gross mess. Things that are gross that sit just become more gross. It is not just obvious stuff either. It can be little things that you might not have thought of that build up and can make your space really unpleasant when you return from your travels.

One thing you really want to remember to do before you head off on your winter break travel plans is empty out your fridge. We sometimes forget that good actually has an expiration date and that when we get back after a long hiatus, the food will not be good anymore. And what does food do when it is past its expiration date? It spoils! And what does spoiled food do? It stinks! And it can also change textures or become a gross, hard-to-clean-up mess.

If you’re only going to be gone for a few days, this might be less of a big deal. But if you are going home for the entirety of winter break, you are going to want to throw out anything that will expire while you are gone. Check everything. Many dorms make you unplug your fridge while you are gone and it will thaw out and make a big puddle you will have to clean up if you are not careful.

You want to also do other cleaning tasks, like taking out the trash, cleaning out your microwave, and wiping down your kitchen sink. These small things can make a big difference, especially to the odor of your space.

Turn Off Air Conditioning

A lot of people forget to turn off their air conditioning before they leave on a trip. But if no one is going to be living in the space while you are gone, why pay to keep it at the temperature it would need to be kept at for a human being to live in it? The winter is cold, which means you generally have your heater on. Why keep your apartment heated when you are not there? Your furniture will not be affected by some brisk winter nights without the heater. Save yourself some unnecessarily expensive electric bills by just turning your air conditioning off altogether when you are not going to be home.

If you are afraid of the room or apartment getting overly stuffy, just leave a ceiling fan on at a low speed to help keep the air circulating in the space. You obviously cannot keep a window open, even a crack, if you are not going to be home for a long time because winter break is an obvious time for burglars to hit college town student living!

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

Check Your List Twice

As Santa does, check your list twice! Do you have everything you need before you return home for the month of winter break you have? Do you have any medications packed? Do you have the clothing (weather appropriate) that you need? Did you remember your fish’s food? Do you have your wallet? You will not be able to come home and get anything that you forgot so you want to make sure nothing important is left behind.

Have you made your own travel plans? Check them! Make sure you know when and where you need to be and how you plan to get there.

Make sure all of your affairs are in order so you have a relaxing and stress-free winter break and can come back to an apartment or dorm in good shape, ready to take on the new semester!

Danielle Wirsansky graduated from FSU with a BA in Theatre, a BA in Creative Writing with a minor in History, and an MA in Modern European History with a minor in Public History. While a graduate student, she served as the Communications Officer for the History Graduate Student Association and President/Artistic Director of White Mouse Theatre Productions. She studied abroad in London, England for the Spring 2015 semester at FSU's study center for the Playwriting Program and interned for the English National Theatre of Israel in Summer of 2015. Her first musical, City of Light, opened as part of FSU's New Horizons Festival in Spring of 2016. She has also won the MRCE and URCAA Research grants from FSU. In the past, she served as the Marketing Director for the FSU Student Theatre Association, the intern for the Holocaust Education Resource Council, and the research assistant of Prof. Nathan Stoltzfus. She has previously written for Context Florida (Contributing Writer), USA Today College (Contributing Writer), Sheroes of History (Contributing Blogger), No(le)Reservations (Contributing Blogger), Female, Reloaded (Arts/Entertainment Editor) , I Want a Buzz Magazine (intern), Mandarin Newsline (youth arts update columnist), Distink Designs (Guest blogger), whatscheaper.com (associate editor), escapewizard.com (associate editor), Spark TLH (Contributor), the Tallahassee Democrat (contributor), Elan Literary Magazine (Head of Marketing), and the Improviser Newspaper (Opinions Editor). Danielle has been lucky to be writing for Uloop since 2015 and to have served as the FSU Campus Editor since 2015.

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