Here we are. The middle of August, one month to go, and what seems like a lot to do. This entry is just as much about writing down all the little things I need to remember to do as much as it is to tell you all about it.
- Netflix: Netflix used to offer a vacation hold feature, but not anymore. However, the subscription can be canceled anytime with all preferences information stored for a period of 12 months. Cancellation cannot occur mid-cycle and service will continue until a cycle is completed. This is my first reminder – Cancel Netflix after August 19th and service will continue until September 19th.
- Comcast Internet: Comcast does offer a vacation hold option at a rate of $14 / month. Not ideal that you have to pay to keep a service suspended, but might be worth the hassle of starting all over with new equipment and a service call when we return. I’m on the fence on if we’ll cancel completely or not.
- Verizon Cell Phone: Verizon offers two options for suspending service. What I cannot figure out is why there are two options in the first place. I must be missing something.
- Option 1: Suspend with Billing – You will continue to be billed and your contract continues on the original scheduled time frame. My confusion with this is that if you are going to be billed, why even suspend it in the first place?
- Option 2: Suspend without Billing – You will not be billed during the suspension period of up to 90 days. The contract length will get extended by the suspension period. A suspension can be issued twice a year at 90 days each, totaling 180 days each year.
- Goodies and Naked Wines: I do have a a few food-related subscription services that charge me every month. Goodies is an operation run by Wal-Mart that is essentially a product testing platform. For $7 / month they send about $20 worth of stuff to test out. They then ask you to review items to earn points for free products. Pretty cool system, but I have no need for goodies to be delivered while away. Naked Wines is a crowd-funded wine subscription program that charges you a fixed amount each month which is then used to support various wineries. You then get to use this money towards purchase of wine at an affordable price. This subscription costs me $40 / month at this point so it’s high on the list of things to be canceled.
- Auto Insurance: A lapse in car insurance is not a good thing when it comes time to shopping for coverage again, so we will not be pursuing a full cancellation. Instead, at least based on Illinois laws, we can pursue storage coverage. I know rates can vary, but I was quoted $86 for a 6-month premium under storage only.
Get Rid of More Stuff
We’ve got a lot of stuff. Clothes, books, old electronics, pots, pans, cups, and containers. There’s just too much of it. And heck, if we can live out of a backpack for 6 months, I think we can make do with a little less stuff at home so things are nice and tidy when we come home.
This month’s goal: 2 Large Boxes to the Salvation Army
Winterizing the Condo: The Plan
- Set the heat to hold at a brisk 58. Program the cycle to 58 in case of power loss.
- Change the air filter.
- Turn the water heater to vacation mode.
- Clean out the fridge.
- Turn off the water to the ice machine, washing machine, and dishwasher.
- Turn off the breaker to selected switches.
- Remove all dry foods.
- Insulate the windows and door jambs.
- Unplug everything.
- Make copies of keys for people who will be checking in.
- Let the property manager know.
Take Care of Mail
I talked about the plan for mail while we are away, but now it’s time to execute:
- Sign up for Earth Class Mail.
- Fill out the Postal Service Form 1583 authorizing Earth Class Mail to accept mail on my behalf.
- Fill out a temporary change of address form online.
Other Miscellaneous To-Do’s (So I Don’t Forget)
- Remind Kristin to figure out her medical insurance details.
- Consider booking accommodations for the first couple destinations (we’ve already done this for London and Paris since we’re locked into a flight / train schedule).
- Call banks to inform them of travel schedule.
- Quit work! We both only have about 2 weeks left and Kris says it feels like the last couple weeks of school before summer break where you’re zoned out planning for all the fun things you’re gonna do once you break free.
- Add Kristin to my auto coverage since she’ll be canceling hers.
- Europe reading, routing, and planning.
- Get that international driver’s license. We’ve been slacking on this one.
- Should we get personal business cards? MOO is supposed to be a simple, affordable option.
- Do we have all of our gear? I think so…