Taking a Vacation This Summer? Here Are Some Tips to Prepare

If you are anything like me, you’ve started thinking about your vacation plans for the remainder of the Spring and the Summer. I’m actually taking my first (of two ) international trips of 2019 later this month. As a planner, I get great joy out of planning out the details of my trip. Here are some of the things I regularly do to plan for trips that are longer that a weekend.

Confirm + Share Travel Arrangements

Even if you aren’t a hardcore planner like me, make sure you’ve confirmed your travel logistics and boarding arrangements for your journey to your destination and at least your first night. I know some people like to play it looser, but I prefer to book all of my boarding arrangements in advance whether they are hotels, hostels, or Airbnbs. I also share my itinerary details with my close family + friends (basically anyone I personally see or communicate with on a daily or weekly basis). You don’t want someone to think you’re missing simply because you forgot to tell them you were taking a vacation! I like to remain in touch with folks when I’m traveling, so I prefer to use an international phone plan and internet service for international trips so I can do so. This may not be an issue for people who specifically want to unplug or are traveling to a destination where wifi or phone service is spotty. I don’t currently have a pet, but when I did, my travel prep also included figuring out who was going to care for my cat when I was out of town. If I were traveling a significant amount of time, I’d ask someone to water my plants so my plant babies don’t dry up and die!

Don’t Forget to Plan for Safety Also!

Other important considerations for international travel include:

  • Figuring out how to safely access your money (and bringing back up money or a credit card in case of an emergency)…the details of how you will manage this will differ depending on where you’re traveling to.

  • Also be sure to write down (on paper!) the address of the American Embassy at your destination and at least a general idea of where it’s located in proximity to where you’re staying. If you want to take it a step further (which I advise particularly if you’re traveling solo), register your travel with the State Department so you’ll be sent travel warnings for your destination(s).

  • Invest in a travel wallet or a secure bag to carry your belongings in on a daily basis during your travels.

  • Regardless of whether your destination is domestic or international, be mindful of your surroundings and don’t bury your head in your phone! Curb habits you’d do in familiar surroundings like putting your phone or other important items in your pockets (that someone can reach into and easily steal).

Pack (Preferably Carry-on Only!)

So again, I know some people thrive on packing last minute, but I hate doing that because I always manage to forget something important. Regardless of if you’re an early packer like me who tends to fully pack at least a few days in advance or are a last minute packer, do try to pack carry-on only unless you’re traveling for more than two weeks. When packing, be sure to:

  • Try on all outfits and take photos in front of your mirror (channel Cher getting ready for school from the 90s movie Clueless if you’re old enough to remember that movie). Create outfits that can be mixed and matched so you can pack lighter. Bringing layers is ideal for most destinations because of unpredictable weather and frigid air conditioning.

  • Confirm personal care items and replenish if necessary. Do yourself a favor and just keep a carry-on dop kit filled at all times so you just have to drop it in your bag when you’re packing for your next trip. I’m pretty sure I picked up that tip from Hitha on the Go.

  • Confirm en route entertainment for me this means downloading books onto my kindle, downloading shows and movies to watch on Netflix, and downloading some podcasts on my to-listen list.

Clean Your Home + Purchase Food Staples for Your Return

Do yourself a favor and do some cursory cleaning of your home before you go on your trip. Your future self will thank you. Do your laundry or at minimum, change your sheets. Also be sure to clean your fridge so you don’t come home to rotten food. If you don’t already have them on hand, be sure to purchase dry goods like grains and beans that can make a meal in a pinch like Beans and Rice, Lentils, Pasta over Marinara, etc. Also purchase frozen veggies that can easily be added to meals to bulk up nutrition. If you’re really ambitious, do some meal prepping and freeze meals or items that can make a meal quickly like smoothing fixings, whole made pesto, veggie stock.

After you’ve finished your preparation, pat yourself on the back and enjoy your trip!