Having just experienced a major travel goof-up (left my make-up bag at home – yikes! Fortunately it was just an overnight, with golfing the next day, but still!) I thought it would be a good idea to review some of the major items that you simply must prepare for before you head out to vacay. Besides your make-up bag, here are a few more that will make your travels less stressful.
Two weeks out…
1. Review your prescription refills a couple of weeks ahead of time. If some of them need your physician’s authorization for refill, that can take time. Two weeks should give you enough time to secure any permissions and get the refills you need. Also (and this is one that’s been so helpful) take a picture of the label on the bottles of the medications you take and store them in a folder on your phone, or on a Photo Stream (which will sync up on iCloud and also be available on your computer.) It will show the prescription number and the strength of the medication(s), which can come in very handy if you need to make a trip to a physician or the emergency room while you are traveling.
2. Start to chart your outfits for the various activities you have planned, then try them on. If any need repairs or cleaning, you still have time to get this done. If some don’t fit anymore, either replace them or take them off your list and replace them with ones that do fit. This is especially important if you’ve got an “important” occasion (such as a wedding or graduation or dinner with the boss, etc.) You don’t want to be taken by surprise with something that fit you last year but – whoops! – what happened this year? This goes for shoes and other accessories too, such as purses and jewelry.
3. Closely tied in with the above, write down your clothing plan day-by-day. (Download a travel planning grid HERE.) You’ll readily see which items are working well for you and which ones aren’t (those that perhaps are only worn once?) Let things simmer for a few days as you mix and match the possibilities. If you have items that need replacing or perhaps a few new pieces to make it all work, make a shopping list and pick those up now.
One week out…
4. Pre-pack the basics, such as shampoos, bubble baths (a favorite of mine that I always like to travel with), underwear (especially any specialty underwear such as shapers, strapless bras, etc.), exercise wear, etc.
5. Check the weather at your destination and make any last minute adjustments to your wardrobe and outerwear. Plan your travel outfit (I like to wear the same outfit on both the outbound and inbound legs of the trip.)
6. Schedule any vacation holds on mail or newspapers on-line. Download books or magazines you want to read, or go through those magazines that have been piling up and decide which ones you’ll take to read on the road.
7. Keep a running list of items that you want to make sure to take care of but which can’t be done until the last minute (taking power cords, snack bars, etc.; notes to the pet or house sitter, etc.) I don’t trust my memory for these things anymore, but I do trust my list-making. Because these thoughts about last minute items can come to me at random times, I love the “Notes” feature on my phone.
8. Get a good night’s sleep and then get up a little earlier than you think you need to. There are always a few things that take longer than you planned and you don’t want to be a hot mess rushing to the airport.
Have a great vacation!