You know all that excitement leading up to your beach vacation? Then all of that “What did we forget” angst as soon as you leave home? That’s a thing of the past with Southern’s top five vacation hacks:

  1. Take A Picture

Think you left something on (or open) at home? Not anymore. Enjoy the peace of mind of knowing you turned everything off with this simple pre-vacation hack. Before you leave, take a photo of the stove, the iron, the flat iron, and the garage. This tiny trick calls your attention to things you may otherwise overlook, only to spend your trip agonizing over “did I or didn’t I.” With these photos in hand, you’ll be able to enjoy your trip, worry free.

  1. Sprinkle Baking Soda Down Drains

This little trick makes sure you return to a house that smells fresh and clean upon return. Baking soda eliminates the stale odor of stagnant water and pipes. This way, when you walk in, all you have to do is drop your bags and revel like Dorothy upon her return to Kansas.

  1. Keep Plastic Shower Caddies in the Car

This is a great car-hack year-round, and especially when you have a lengthy drive ahead. Grab a few plastic shower caddies (dorm room style, plastic handle, divider in the middle) and keep them stashed in the car. They’re perfect for holding kids’ meals from drive-throughs so you can avoid the mess and meltdown of eating on the go. Plus, they do double duty as game or toy organizers and temporary trash bins.

  1. Memorize this Google Maps Hack

Pass somewhere you want to visit again on the way to your destination? Found a great hole-in-the-wall restaurant? Just type “ok maps” into Google Maps and it will download the area so you can access it offline. You can also name the map so you remember exactly why you wanted to go there again. Example: “organic bakery downtown.”

  1. Use

Ready to escape to somewhere tropical? Where all you have to do is kick back and listen to the waves roll in. Then visit to make sure you’re getting the best deal on the best beach homes and condos in Northwest Florida and Coastal Alabama. You’ll find Gulf-front homes and condos, with all the best amenities including bicycles, private pools, hot tubs, grills, and more. Stay in a gorgeous villa like Sandcastle Dreams or a breathtaking beachfront condo like Beach Club 1606C.

With these vacation hacks, you’ll do more than go on vacation, you’ll conquer it!