March 22, 2016 – Issue 29
Photo: Traveling (Quan) © www.flickr.com
Do you often feel overwhelmed or note an increase in your stress level while preparing for your vacation? There could be a number of things that could be contributing to you feeling this way. With preparing in advance at the planning stage of your trip you can reduce some of these headaches.
For today’s blog, I have created a checklist which you can use to assist and support you and your family to be more organized, effective, efficient and less stressed for your next holiday.
Prep Work Prior To The Trip
⎕ Identifying, researching and determining the cost of what kind of vacation you want to take.
⎕ Obtain vaccinations and other medications necessary to visit certain countries (Update your international vaccination card if applicable).
⎕ Check to ensure everyone’s passports are still valid 6+ months depending on the country you are visiting.
⎕ Make sure you do your research to find if you need to obtain a Visa when travelling to certain countries. For some countries the process and requirements are easier than for other countries, so make sure you do your homework.
⎕ Make sure for longer trips that your credit card will not expire while you are away and let your credit card company know you will be traveling.
⎕ If you are traveling abroad, it is highly recommended you inform the Canadian embassy of your travels as well.
⎕ Complete any last minute work or projects that are due while you are away.
⎕ Report off to whoever will be covering your work or area while you are away.
⎕ Desk is cleaned off so upon you return back to work, you can start fresh.
⎕ Arrange for someone to take care of the animals, water the plants and check on the house while you are away, to pick up your mail and flyers delivered to your door and to make sure everything is okay while you are away.
⎕ Don’t post anything on your social media sites informing the world you will be away on vacation, this just lets criminals know they can make a house call while you are away.
⎕ Keep your curtains open versus closing, since it is more likely to draw attention that you may be away.
⎕ Use a light switch timer which can turn your lights on and off automatically according to a programmed schedule to distract any attention that no one is home to shut the lights off at certain times in a 24-hour period.
⎕ Unplug your electronics such as your TV, computer, toaster oven and other appliances to protect them from power surges, plus this will save on your electric bill, since you are using less power.
⎕ Have all your bills that are due, paid while you are away.
⎕ If you receive the newspaper at home, arrange to put a hold on your delivery.
⎕ Make sure your family / friends have a copy of your itinerary with the names and phone numbers of your hotels and locations you will be visiting, in case they need to reach you for emergency.
⎕ Do laundry a few days before your trip for the clothes you want to take with you.
⎕ Create a list of what clothes to pack. Depending on your trip, if you do this for different types of vacations and store it on your computer then you can refer to it. Eg – camping, cruising, European trip, skiing, and African safari.
Research and book:
⎕ What kind of trip you will take
⎕ Flight / cruise / train / bus etc
⎕ Places to see
⎕ Transportation from airport to your destination (check to see if there is a convenient public transit option or an affordable shuttle that needs to be reserved ahead of time).
⎕ Travel insurance
⎕ Discount passport books / tickets (if available in the city you are travelling to)
⎕ Obtain traveler’s cheques, prepaid currency card or exchange your money at the bank
⎕ Travel size toiletries
Packing your carry-on bag:
⎕ Airline / cruise boarding pass
⎕ Extra cash
⎕ Visa (if required)
⎕ Keep both digital and physical copies of your passport, visas, driver’s license, birth certificate, health insurance card, serial numbers, and important phone numbers ready to go in case of an emergency (and also leave a copy of your passport with family/friends).
⎕ Bring your travel agent’s name, phone number, and email address and the confirmation numbers of all your bookings.
⎕ Bring two different credit cards (as a back-up if one card doesn’t work for some reason, gets stolen or lost).
⎕ Address and phone numbers (if you’re going to visit people)
⎕ Phone and charger
⎕ A notebook
⎕ Computer / iPad, battery and charger
⎕ Camera, battery and charger
⎕ Water bottle
⎕ Prescription medications for you and your family (bring enough for your trip)
⎕ Family’s favorite snacks (if case they may not be available to be purchased where you are going)
⎕ Children’s favorite toy, game and books to keep them occupy
⎕ A book and/or something else to pass the time for yourself while on the plane
⎕ If you have an infant there will of course be diapers, change of clothing, liquids and food, and toys
⎕ Earplugs and eye-masks (if you are sensitive to sound and light)
Packing your suitcase:
⎕ Alarm clock
⎕ Sewing kit
⎕ Toiletry items (Use one-quart Ziploc bags for getting liquids, gels and toiletries through airport security. Bottles with liquids/gels may not exceed 100 ml).
⎕ First Aid/Medication Kit (bandages, tweezers, Tylenol and Gravel for adults and children, calamine lotion (good for insect bites, poison ivy, sunburns), something for allergies, diarrhea and infection.
⎕ Several pairs of shoes to use for i.e. walking, out on the beach or visiting a nice restaurant
⎕ Backpack (to use when out sightseeing to carry all your belongings)
⎕ Depending on your destination bring prevention products with you, like sunscreen or insect repellent, sunglasses, small umbrella or foldable raincoat and a hat
⎕ Large i.e. garbage bag that you can use to stuff your unclean clothes in
⎕ Money belt (depending where you are traveling in the world, you may want to use this)
⎕ Small flashlight
⎕ Small pillow (if you still have room in your suitcase)
⎕ TSA-approved luggage locks
Avoid bedbugs when travelling
⎕ When packing or unpacking your bag, put it on an un-upholstered piece of furniture such as a dresser, table or folding luggage stand. Also, avoid putting your clothes into dresser drawers, if possible. Keep your possessions in your luggage or hang things up in the closet instead.
⎕ Peel back the blankets of the bed in the hotel / cruise room as one of the first things you do after entering the room. Use your flashlight to check for bloodstains that may point to bedbugs.
This is not an all-inclusive list but it certainly will assist you and your family in the process of getting prepared for your next trip. Also check out this site for an extensive list of clothing and many other items to refer to when packing http://www.independenttraveler.com/packing. Remember it all comes down to planning, preparation and being organized. Enjoy your trip.