It’s finally here. The sweet summer season has arrived, and with it, your plans to spend days, weeks, or months at your vacation home. But if you only enjoy your getaway during the summer, there are a few things you’ll need to take care of before getting settled.
To make opening and closing your summer home a breeze, keep it maintained during the winter months. If you don’t live close to your vacation home, have a friend check on the house from time to time or hire a property management company to address any off-season issues. If the temperature drops below the freezing level, pipes could burst; and there’s always the chance that an appliance could leak or the electricity could go out and reset timed systems.
Assuming there aren’t any major maintenance issues when you first arrive at your summer home, setup shouldn’t be too complicated. Turn on any circuit breakers that were off and plug in appliances. Check and replace or refill smoke detector batteries, light bulbs, and any propane tanks if needed. (If your home is heated by propane, keep track of the level throughout the year and, if possible, have the tank refilled before you arrive for the summer.)
Open windows, blinds, and doors to get the fresh air circulating. Even if your home doesn’t smell musty, you’ll want a clean start. Hire a cleaning company to spruce up your space before you arrive, or do it yourself. Give all the rooms inside a deep clean, but you can simply uncover and wipe down outdoor furniture.
Finally, take inventory of pantry goods, cleaning supplies, and paper products, and make a run to the store to stock up on essentials. Purchase a surplus of items like toilet paper so you can enjoy your days at home instead of making regular trips to the store.
KEEP EVERYONE ENTERTAINED WITH GAMES
Some people prefer the “do nothing” style of vacationing. If your everyday life is hectic, it can be a relief to know that there’s nothing on the agenda but sleeping in, sipping lemonade on the patio, reading a good book, and enjoying evenings by the fire. But if you’re hosting multiple generations or “keep busy” vacationers, you’ll want to have plenty of entertainment options on hand.
Start with a basic selection of board games: Monopoly, Clue, Life, and Risk are all classic options that take up a fair amount of time. Word games such as Taboo, Scrabble, Apples to Apples, and Scattergories stimulate brain activity as will trivia games like Cranium and Trivial Pursuit. Include simpler games, such as Candy Land, Cootie, and Chutes and Ladders, for a young audience. And it never hurts to have a few sets of traditional playing cards and other card games like Memory, Old Maid, or Uno.
If you have the space, think big. Arcade games can keep people entertained for hours, and they can be a special attraction that’s only featured at your family vacation home. Consider adding a standing video game, pinball machine, air hockey table, or all three. You can’t go wrong with a billiards table and a dart board. The pub games are fun for all.
If the weather is pleasant, take full advantage of the outdoors with lawn games. Croquet, badminton, and bean bag toss games are all easy to store over winter and set up in the backyard. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose; it’s how you play the game.