Your vacation rentals time is finally here! It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of planning your vacation, wanting to get every last detail in place for a carefree vacation. Have you also thought about how to prepare your house for rentals? Sooner or later – often later – you do think about how your house will be unattended for an extended period.

Then you frantically try to get this necessary task done at the last minute, causing a lot of unnecessary stress. Then while on vacation you fret over some possibly forgotten, essential preparation. Here's a basic list you can use to prepare your house for vacation time.

First, you'll want to line up a family member or neighbor who can stop by your house every couple of days to check for packages which might have been left at your door, or fliers which someone might have tucked in your front door handle. These give thieves indications that no one's home. If you have house plants, either put them on an automatic feeding system, or ask the family/neighbor to do this.

Notify the post office to hold your mail for the applicable dates. If you ask them to hold your mail beginning on the day before you, leave, you'll be assured there's no mix up. If you take a newspaper, notify them as well. With your email, if you don't expect to be checking your email, be sure to notify just those who need to know. You don't need to notify your entire list of contacts (some people do).

When you prepare your house for house rentals, all of your pets must be a priority. If you have a reliable neighbor who can take care of your pets while you're gone, make that arrangement. This requires some dedication, so paying a babysitter fee is a good idea. If not, be prepared to board your pets so they have proper care. Boarding is the best idea.

Here's one many people overlook. When you prepare your house for vacation, be sure to schedule payments of bills that will become due during the time you're gone. Those penalties can be tough!

If you live in a private home, install an auto timer for your porch lights. If you live in a condo or apartment complex, it's likely outside lights are already automatically timed. You might also put living room and bedroom lights on timers as an extra safety precaution. Be sure to leave a copy of your itinerary, including hotel numbers, with a family member or whoever you want to be contacted by in the case of an emergency.

This an optional step, but it can be a good idea to give your local police or sheriff's office a call. They will often make a particular note to patrol your street during the period you'll be away. So these are the basic guidelines to prepare your house for vacation. Go through this list and think of the odd situations which might also be issues for you. Then, go on your vacation, worry free and have a good one!