It’s almost summer, and after the way things have been the past couple of years, getting out and hitting the road or taking a well-deserved vacation is in order!
A little rest and relaxation are what the doctor ordered, and you can’t wait to head out and make some memories. But if you don’t plan your trip effectively, especially when you return, your trip will end up being more of a mistake than a reward.
In order to have the best vacation, you need to plan, set a budget for the trip and when you return, take care of things around the house, pack your things to be the most efficient, and keep them safe while you travel.
When you plan your trip, you need to create a checklist to leave no stones unturned.
Taking Care Of Things At Home
The first thing to do when you plan your trip is to consider how you will manage the things around the house while you’re gone.
Preparing your home before a trip doesn’t have to be stressful, but it is something you should devote some time to before you leave.
Budget: Looking at your vacation budget is easy, but what are you planning to do to pay the bills after you get home and before you have your next paycheck? Too often, people plan their trip without considering the bills that are due while they travel and once they return.
Pets: One of the most overlooked, last-minute scrambles is what to do about the pets. You are set if you have a familiar family member or friend willing to take care of your pets while you’re gone.
For others, you may need to consider hiring someone or paying to board your pets by putting them up in a “pet hotel.” But, of course, those things cost money and have specific vaccination requirements, so be prepared to spend even more than if you had the opportunity to have a family member or friend look after the pets.
Utilities And Mail: In addition to budgeting for bills while you’re gone, getting someone to take care of the pets is to have the utilities and mail addressed. In some places, you can have the utilities temporarily suspended and the mail withheld from delivery until you return.
How To Prepare For Your Trip
Once you’ve figured out the home front, it’s time for the trip! Unfortunately, it’s easy to get disoriented and forget some things from planning, budgeting, and packing for your vacation.
Making a checklist is crucial to avoid the last-minute scramble, or like the parents in the movie “Home Alone,” who left for Paris during Christmas leaving their eight-year-old behind in a mad scramble.
Things to include in your packing checklist include;
- Contact information for family
- Identification, including driver’s licenses, passports, and visas, if necessary
- Return tickets if flying
- Credit cards, debit cards, and traveler’s checks
- Confirmation numbers for hotels, rentals, flights
- If traveling overseas, consulate contact information
- List of prescriptions and medications
Once you have your itinerary and trip checklist figured out, it’s time to turn your attention to packing.
Packing for your trip is crucial. If you are traveling by car, you have some room to overpack, but keep in mind that space in your vehicle is finite, and the quality of time spent in the car is as important as the destination.
Overpacking can make the road trip uncomfortable, so the trick is to pack your bags and car, unload, take out at least 10% of all items, and repack. It’s an added step that will make your trip much more enjoyable.
If you’re flying, airline space is even more constricted than in your car, and airlines charge a premium for the room, meaning if you plan on taking multiple bags, expect to pay for that privilege.
While packing for a road trip and flight has different limitations, what you don’t want to skimp on is protecting your stuff.
For larger items like a guitar, you need to get a hard case that allows you to lock it when it’s not in your immediate vicinity. You can research hard cases for your acoustic guitar online or head to a music shop and discuss your needs with a salesperson.
There’s nothing like a vacation to unwind and make memories for a lifetime.
Don’t ruin your time away by forgetting about the “real world” that will meet you when you return. Also, making sure that your valuables are safe and secure when you travel is just as important as your safety, so plan accordingly and have the time of your life.