12 Things to do Before Your Panama City Beach Vacation

The vacation is booked. The kids have been driving you mad with excitement for weeks now, and you’re MORE than ready to be leaving the office for a while.

In all the excitement, it might be easy to overlook a few important things you should do before leaving on your vacation to the “World’s Most Beautiful Beaches“.

We put together this handy checklist to make sure your vacation in paradise isn’t interrupted by any avoidable “emergencies“.

confirm booking

1. Confirm Your Booking

This is a good tip no matter where you stay. Don’t show up, bathing suit in hand, and learn that you never actually confirmed your booking, and now there’s no availability.

A quick 2 minute phone call the day before will put your mind at rest. Now you can check-in, and jump into the pool within minutes of arriving!


leave a key

2. Leave a Key

Pick a relative, or a neighbor you can trust, and let them know where you’re going. (If they don’t get too upset with jealousy) they will probably be more than happy to keep an eye on your house while you’re away!

This can really give you peace of mind, knowing that if anyone needs to get in while you’re gone, it’s in good hands.


inform credit

3. Tell Your Credit Providers

If you start running credit out of town, many credit cards will put a freeze on your account because it looks like “suspicious behavior”. It’s a safety feature there to help protect you, but it can feel pretty unhelpful if your card suddenly gets declined when you come to pay for the family meal in a restaurant.

A quick phone call to let them know where you are going can help stop this from kicking in, leaving you free to “splash out” here on the beach! 😀



4. Adjust Your Thermostat

You probably don’t want to come back home from an amazing vacation, feeling relaxed, and at one with the World, to be hit with a four-figure electricity bill because you left the heat / AC on full blast the whole time you were gone.

Set it to a comfortable 72 – 73 degrees on the day you leave. That will ensure the house remains climate controlled, but won’t run up a crazy bill to bring you back down to Earth with a thud!


old food

5. “What’s That Smell?!”

Here’s a game that nobody wants to play… Coming home from a vacation, and trying to locate the source of a rotten smell… It only takes a second to do a quick check through the kitchen before you leave…

Empty the fridge, and cupboards / pantry of anything that is likely to spoil while you’re away. Don’t come home to discover something that looks like a science experiment gone wrong!



6. Turn Off Main Water Supply

Chances are, if you’re gonna have a major leak, it’s going to happen while you’re away. That just seems to be how things work.

A major leak could be catastrophic if there’s nobody around to deal with it, but if the worst does happen – this way there’s only going to be a little water pressure left in the pipes. (Also see #2 – Leave a Key with somebody).


online bills

7. Schedule Online Payments

If you pay all your monthly bills manually each time, make sure you schedule them ahead of time so you don’t get hit with any late payment fees / missed payments.

We all work so hard to make sure our credit is in good shape, a little bit of planning ahead can make sure there’s no accidental slip-ups. After all, when you’re laid back in a hammock, sipping on a tropical drink – the LAST thing on your mind is going to be those bills!



8. You Know What Time it is

If crime is a real concern, or even if you just like to be “better-safe-than-sorry“, then you could consider installing timer-switches to some of your home’s lights.

Set the lights to come on and turn off, making it look just like you are home the entire time. It should be enough to put off any would-be burglars who might otherwise see an opportunity.



9. You Gotta Go!

#5 would be bad enough – coming home to a single food item that had been left out the entire time. Now imagine an entire garbage bag full of a potent gooey, mystery mush…

Do a quick run around all the trash cans in the house – the kitchen is likely to be the main offender, but check bathrooms / bedrooms / offices too. Febreeze can only do so much! 🙁


suspend memberships

10. If You Can, Turn Them Off

More relevant to our “snowbirds” who visit for months at a time, but still a good idea. You don’t need newspapers or magazine subscriptions piling up on your doorstep the entire time. Nothing says “Psst… Hey Burglars – we’re not home” quite like a huge pile of undelivered mail on your doorstep.

Plus, some gyms will let you freeze your membership if you know you’re not gonna be there – that way you don’t end up paying for something you’re not using 🙂



11. Watch Out For Vampires!

You might be surprised to learn just how much power electronics draw by being plugged in, and on standby the entire time.

This is a good tip for all year round, if you aren’t using it – and it’s not SUPER inconvenient to do so, then unplugging your electronics / phone chargers from the mains can save you hundreds of dollars over the year. After all, you wouldn’t leave a light on in a room you weren’t in – it’s something to consider. Read More: Vampire Electronics.


lock up12. Well, Duh!

Yep, it sounds silly and obvious doesn’t it? But in the excitement and hurry to get to the beach, it’s completely understandable that you might accidentally leave a window open, or, even forget to lock the front door!

Make sure to do a final run-through to check all points of entry. Even if it’s just to ease your mind – why disturb a relaxing vacation day floating around the Lazy River Ride wondering “Did I lock the garage door??