It’s the third week of December which can only mean one thing – Christmas is coming! Excitement is in the air and there’s Christmas fun, gifts and time with family and friends to look forward to. Before you travel home for Christmas though, there are a few things to think about. Getting home safely and swiftly is what you need and you don’t want to come back to three week old bread!

Getting home

There’s lots of tech that can help you on your journey, whether you’re driving home for Christmas or not! Follow @TrafficScotland and your local roads on Twitter if you’re in a car and get The Trainline app to keep up to date with the railways. Don’t forget that public transport is less frequent over the next couple of weeks!

Tenancy agreement

Especially if you are a student double check the terms agreed with your landlord. For instance your tenancy period may only cover term time, and so you may find yourself having to move everything home for the holidays until your course starts back in the New Year. On the other hand, your agreement might cover every month over a 6 month or 12 month period. In this instance you may find yourself paying rent for a property you’re not living in throughout the majority of December and January. It’s important to check your agreement to know what’s expected of you over the festive period.Cairn 22 Dec

Storage

If your tenancy agreement does not cover you for accommodation over the festive period you may find yourself with a lot of belongings and nowhere to put them at home. If this is the case, you will need to take a look at storage options. Perhaps you’ll have a friend generous enough to hang on to some of your stuff for you, but failing that, there are storage companies which can hold your belongings on a short term basis like Little Yellow from Big Yellow.

Security

If you are leaving a property for any length of time think about security. Statistically, Christmas is one of the most popular time for burglars to strike. This is a combination of valuable items in the house (Christmas presents) and people being out of the house a lot more, either for festive gatherings or to travel for Christmas. Either way, you’ll want to ensure your home and belongings are secure when you’re not around.

There’s no need to go to Macaulay Culkin levels of burglary defence, however you should be wary. If possible, set your lights on a timer, or at least leave one on to give the illusion of being home. Additionally, be sure to double check all doors and windows are secure before setting off and keep any valuables out of plain sight.Cairn 22 2nd

General home prep

As well as placing your valuables in a safe, out-of-view location, you should take a couple of other precautions to ensure you return to your home in the same condition you left it in. For instance scan the cupboards and fridge for food which is due to go off and throw it out before you leave. Set your heating and hot water on for at least an hour or two per day, even when you’re not home, to prevent your pipes freezing or bursting.

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