Vacation should be pure bliss. It’s indulging in everything you ordinarily say “no” to. Vacation is taking the stress out of your everyday life, serving as a break from all the things that keep you up at night. It’s the opportunity to take the biggest inhale and exhale of the year. Planning, packing, leaving the house, and actually getting to the vacation part, however, can often be stressful. So much so that you feel like you need a vacation from getting ready for this current vacation.
And while you’ve taken a huge chunk of the stress out by entrusting us to perfectly plan your vacation, you still have to get yourself packed and out the door. Sure, we can arrange your ride to the airport, but we can’t come to your house and pack for you. So in order to make leaving for vacation as stress-free as possible we’ve compiled our favorite tips. These are the tried and true methods we use to get us packed, prepped and out the door without stress. Vacation awaits!
Try it on and try it out beforehand
There is nothing worse when it comes to packing than realizing the new shoes you got for your dream vacation are only useful as a hand accessory as you carry them down the cobblestone streets of [insert European city] as you walk barefoot back to your hotel to tend to your blisters. Slightly less painful, but also easily remedied by a bit of trial and error, is realizing you packed everything for the beach, the fancy restaurants, but have nothing warm for the evening strolls along the boardwalk once the sun goes down.
You don’t have to be a fortune teller to pack effectively, but it sure would be nice. These days it’s easy enough to look at how the weather should be at any given hour when you arrive at your destination, and unless it is a climate you have never experienced, you should be able to have a decent idea of what you will want to wear.
Live out of your suitcase
Now put it on. The shoes too. Yes, I know, I know, you bought it especially for the trip. I realize your outfit for the Louvre may not be the perfect style for the local grocery store, but you are going to need to put a few miles in it. If there is one thing that is inevitable about travel, it is unforeseen walking. You will likely be putting in miles in nearly all of the clothing you bring, so make sure it feels good. If you can avoid the unpleasantness of rubbing, chafing, blisters, and just generally uncomfortable clothes on your trip by looking out of place at your local hardware store for a few minutes, isn’t it worth your time?
If you have a pretend vacation at home and live entirely out of your bag you will learn many things about your packing strategy. Some things may not be comfortable, some others, especially shoes may take some time to get broken in. Also you may realize the pants are too hot, the shirt is actually a little more see-through than you thought, and you completely forgot sunglasses. Your backpack is too small to find anything in, your sweater clashes with your shoes, and your favorite shirt has a mystery stain that was not there when you put it back in the closet last fall!
Prep your home for return
If you’ve ever walked into your home or apartment on a hot summer day when you forgot to take the garbage out that morning, you know that unforgettable scent. Or if you’ve ever come home after a long day to realize you forgot to pick up more shampoo at the store and you’re completely out, you understand how disappointing a lack of preparation can be. In order to avoid both of those situations, we recommend you schedule time into getting ready for vacation for getting prepared to arrive back home. While this sounds counter intuitive (who would ever want to think about coming home before even leaving for vacation), it will make your life so much more enjoyable knowing at the end of your journey home a clean bed and house await you.
Make a list for yourself that includes tasks to get done around the house before you take off on vacation bliss. Include items like take the garbage out, make sure the pantry is stocked with a few items to get you through the first few hours of getting home, and arrange transportation back home from the airport. If you’re feeling fancy, this could go as far as adding a new element to your bedroom that brings some of the hotel luxury home.
If you have time for nothing else, just take the garbage out. Unlike a fine wine or cheese, that will not get better with age.
Don’t leave anything for the last minute
Remember Home Alone? That amazing film would never have happened if Kevin’s mom had just read this. So I for one am glad she didn’t. But that isn’t the point here. Don’t leave anything for the day of.
The day you leave on your vacation can be one of two things, and it is up to you which one you choose. It’s either the last day of preparing to exit and dashing around the house completely ignoring the pizza boy and not noticing the fake policemen standing in your living room. Or it is the first day of your vacation. A day when you have finished with all the stresses of everyday life and are about to set sail into a week or two long dreamland of no emails, calls, or deadlines, and virtually no cares in the world. You pick up the bags you have already packed, you hop on the plane, and your mind is free of its burdens.
Of course this may mean a bit more rushing around in the weeks prior to the trip, but that isn’t your sacred vacation time, and future you will be so thankful you did.
You already bought future you an amazing vacation, do your best to make sure it doesn’t come with any strings attached.
Pack a logical and easy to access transportation bag
Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, or automobile, you’re going to need a few essentials en route. Snacks, water, phone, passport, headphones, earplugs, eye masks, tissues, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes all come to mind of items you’ll likely want to have quick access to. Instead of tossing these into the dark depths of your laptop bag or purse, we recommend packing them into a separate travel-friendly bag. This bag will be your go-to and easily accessible container of everything you’ll need while you’re traveling. Rather than digging into a bag that ended up in an overhead bin, this smaller bag can hang out under your seat or in the seatback pocket. This will keep everything close by and keep your brain more organized. That sinking heart feeling of wondering which pocket your passport is in won’t need to happen with everything happily tucked into the same bag.
Ready to get planning your dream vacation?
All of our tips here about how to take the stress out of leaving for vacation involve planning in advance to ensure every detail is taken care of. We can’t come over and pack for you, but we can plan your entire vacation for you – leaving you plenty of time to get fully prepared far in advance. Get in touch with us and let’s get planning!