Preparing for a Trip

Trip prep is time consuming. Re-entry can be tough, too.  Some people say they need ” a vacation from their vacation.” Organized people will get well-prepared for a trip so they can enjoy it way before it even starts! The opposite of this can create disasters.

Here are some of my trip prep tips:

Stop your mail. If it’s going to be a long trip, put a note in your mailbox requesting this “stop mail form” from your mail carrier. You put the start and stop dates on it and they’ll save up all your mail and deliver it to you on the last day.

Trade favors with a neighbor and have them collect your daily newspaper so it isn’t obvious to others that your home is unoccupied. Or hire a neighbor kid to do this.

If it’s summer, you’ll need your plants watered. If you have a sprinkler system, you can gather up all  your container plants and put them where the sprinkler will hit them.

Pets—some people use kennels. I hire a neighbor instead to dog sit, get my mail and newspaper, feed my chickens and water my plants. It is peace of mind to know I have someone coming over daily to be on my property, check for doors or windows that might have been tampered with, etc.

Visit the carry-on size toiletries aisle at Target or Walmart to stock up on what you need for the flight. Spread out your trip prep errands so you are not overwhelmed. I go to Target one day, Elephant Trunk another day. Spreading it out will also increase the excitement for your travels!

Packing-–I start way early on this. It gives me an opportunity to see if anything needs to go to the Dry Cleaners or alterations place rather than last minute panicking. I love being packed early but I realize I might be unusual on this. 🙂 Before departing each hotel or city, I spend time , while I’m not tired, to re-pack and check my hotel room carefully. If you do this last minute or after a late night, it will mess you up for the next day.  For example, the next day, you may have to catch a very early shuttle to the airport. You need your mind clear for stressful transitions. You need to:

  • leave yourself a note the night before reminding you to empty your hotel safe,
  • check for passports and tickets,
  • gather up your phone charger that is still plugged into the wall, and any other essentials. ( I’ve trained my teenage sons to do this, too, from a young age)

I take a tote for the flight and I pack small cross-body bags to use when I arrive to the destination. The tote is perfect for flights and it has compartments for various essentials:

from internet
  • laptop (if I’m taking it),
  • Metamucil packets,
  • Advil,
  • ” no jet lag” pills,
  • DVDs in flat envelopes (not cases),
  • travel itinerary booklet,
  • travel toothbrush/toothpaste, etc….

I prefer being over-prepared and I have a funny story about it. My sister came over the day before one of our big journeys to Greece. She wanted to say “bon voyage” (or “Kalo Taxidi”, in our case).  She found me and my oldest son outside, sitting at a patio table. My son was listening to his favorite album on his iPod and I was reading a book. We were enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. She exclaimed, “how are you so relaxed the day before a trip? You look like you are already on vacation!?!?” I never realized it before—but I guess it had become my way of getting in vacation mode before we actually got to the vacation! All the over-prepping is a little gift you give to yourself.

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