Cottage Rentals Safety Series: packing up and heading home
Hopefully you enjoyed the cottage and had great weather during your visit. Again, safety is a part of life and whether you are a family, a group of friends, or an elderly couple enjoying nature, being safe and responsible is always a necessity. The departure should as consistently safe and secure, as your arrival…..so we can see you again next time!!
It is the morning the last day at the cottage and it is time to pack up and head home. We want to make our trip home as safe and stress free as possible. At the same time, we want to ensure we’ve done our part as cottage renters, to leave the cottage, “as we found it”: clean, no damages, with all trash and crumbs accounted and taken away. The departure day is always the toughest part of any cottage rental. And if you want to rent the same place more than once, it’s important to respect the departure conditions, at the same time as repacking the car for a safe drive home.
The same rules apply as arrival: do a second and third check of the grounds and dwelling. Some cottage rentals do include a property inspection by the site manager or the owner. Give yourselves time for this. In the event that you can leave at any time, the double check, and possibly even a few timed pictures would be a good idea. And always remember to LOCK the dwelling and any bunkies or garages that are part of your rental. If there are any damages caused by your usage, and they were not immediately reported, it would be a good idea to take stock of them and report them honestly before you leave. Damage deposits are established before you rent and sign agreements. (We have cashed the cheque or used the cash to pay for the damage and then either mailed back or joined up with our rental guests to reimburse them the difference.) Nothing sours a vacation more than having to pay double because you broke the washer, fridge or burned the carpet. Be honest and responsible.
Part of the stress on the way home will be the traffic. The major highways are usually full from 11 am to around 6pm (sometimes even later) and if there is an accident, it’s even worse. If possible, check the traffic news, and having a plan “b” route will help to eliminate the stress of stop and go traffic that usually goes hand in hand with a Sunday drive home from cottage country. (Sometimes, leaving the night prior and heading home early to avoid traffic delays, could be a nice option too.) Families sometimes need the extra day before going back to work to unload and do laundry. Most cottage rentals are similar to hotels where check out time is 11am. To avoid most of the traffic, an option could be to have most of the car packed the previous night and leave before 10 am.
When packing the car, place the more sturdy items on the floor of the trunk and the fill up the rest with less sturdy items. Make sure that your belongings do not go above the height of the rear seats. If your belongings go above the rear seats, they can very easily fall into the rear seats, possibly hurting the passengers sitting in the back seats. Make sure that while packing the vehicle, once everything is in the vehicle it is secured against movement. Always do a walk around the car to looking for possible safety issues and check the fluid levels and top up as needed.
If you are pulling a trailer, make sure that it is secured to your vehicle properly and that the tires are filled to the appropriate level. Once you have loaded your trailer it is required by law that it is strapped down to prevent you belongings spilling on the road in the unlikely event of a roll over. And as always, make sure your trailer lights are working!!!