While a vacation may pose a romantic notion of simply dropping everything and taking off for a relaxing, exotic getaway, reality doesnâ€™t always work that way. We are simply too connected, too hard-wired to our day-to-day routines that itâ€™s virtually impossible to cut ties and disappear at a momentâ€™s notice. Not only that, but there are more practical considerations that must be addressed ahead of time. Otherwise, your dropping off the grid could lead to a serious mess upon your return.
Hereâ€™s a checklist of things to take care of before you set off on your eagerly anticipated jaunt:
- Got pets? Plants? A garden? Certain aspects of domesticity rely upon your regular attention. If you have a pet sitter, house sitter or dependable neighbor, be sure to get in touch so that theyâ€™ll be able to tend to your flora and fauna in your absence. If you kennel your pets, make a reservation; holiday weekends arenâ€™t just a busy time for human hotels. If youâ€™re planning on taking your animals with you, make sure the place youâ€™re staying is amenable.
- Check your schedule. What regular appointments â€“ such as a house cleaning or a trip to the dentist â€“ do you have that need to be rescheduled? Do you take a class, such as yoga, martial arts or pottery? If so, itâ€™s always courteous to let the instructor know when youâ€™re going to miss a session or two. If you have a gardening service, make sure theyâ€™re paid up through your vacation period. And donâ€™t forget about such regular deliveries as mail and newspapers; you donâ€™t want those piling up while youâ€™re gone.
- Have cash on hand. Be sure to have enough to get you through the first few days of your trip. While plastic is convenient in most situations, you donâ€™t want to stop at a gas station or other retailer, only to discover that their credit card machines are down. You also donâ€™t want to have to immediately hit the nearest ATM, which might not be for your bank, and which could charge exorbitant fees. To that end, itâ€™s a good idea to go online and see if your bank has branches in the vicinity of where youâ€™ll be staying. If youâ€™re traveling internationally, your best bet is to hit an ATM when you arrive in that foreign country. That way, youâ€™ll do better on conversion rates than if you were to stop at a currency exchange outlet.
- And while weâ€™re on the subject of foreign travel, itâ€™s always a good idea to let your credit card company know that youâ€™re going to be traveling outside of the U.S. That way, they wonâ€™t see foreign charges as potentially fraudulent, which could lead to them locking your account or canceling your card â€“ all in the interest of protecting you. Itâ€™s definitely worth the phone call.
- Plan out your first day. Avoid the inevitable conversation that begins, â€śNow what do we want to do first?â€ť Or rather, have the conversation before you go. That way, you can actually spend your vacation time doing, instead of puttering about, trying to get organized. This will also help you familiarize yourself with your surroundings, which can be especially useful if itâ€™s a city youâ€™ve never previously visited. And if doing nothing is your plan, make sure youâ€™ve got everything you need to help you chillax.
- See whatâ€™s happening. While there are attractions to be enjoyed at any time of year, it can be fun to see if there are any special events occurring during your visit. Is there a food festival? Perhaps a favorite band is playing in town. Is there a sporting event thatâ€™s worth checking out? Not only will this knowledge give you additional things to do during your trip, but it will also help prepare you for possible traffic tie-ups and parking problems. You can access public transportation maps and get routes online, which will allow you to leave your car and save yourself the hassle.
- Check the weather. While thereâ€™s no way to guarantee a 100% accurate forecast, having an idea of whatâ€™s in store â€“ Is a storm coming in? Is snow in the forecast? Are they predicting higher-than-average temperatures? â€“ can help you decide what to pack, and which activities might be a washout. Itâ€™s a lot easier to formulate a â€śplan Bâ€ť before â€śplan Aâ€ť gets scrubbed.
Putting in some effort before you travel can help ensure that your trip lives up to its promise as the vacation you deserve. To plan your next trip, give us a call at (888) 269-0182.