By Malorie Mackey
When it comes to planning out your perfect adventure, there are many complicated elements that can come in to play. Nevertheless, people tend to focus on just one or two elements of trip preparation, whether that be packing or choosing the best activities to participate in. However, there is so much more to planning your ideal vacation that many don’t realize. And if you’re not perfectly prepared for a trip, you may not be able to get the most out of it. So, here today I want to discuss some of the small little odds and ends that can help make your trip the best it can be.
Don’t forget your home affairs
Prior to focusing your attention on your new adventures, it’s important to ensure that your home and anything you are leaving behind is well taken care of. If you live alone, have you spoken with the post office to ensure they will hold your mail over the course of your trip, or do you have someone checking in on your house to make sure the mail gets picked up daily?
Do you have someone coming by to water your plants and take care of your pets or have you scheduled boarding for your pets?
If you live in a smart home, it’s a good idea to program your lights to still come on at certain times so your home doesn’t look as if it’s empty. In the same vein, if you have someone watching your house, you should consider having them move your car around every other day so your house still looks lived in. You’ll be less likely to experience any break ins or issues while being gone if your home looks occupied.
Packing and preparations
If you’re looking for an exceptionally detailed packing list, be sure to review this packing list here.
Aside from the generic packing that you always do, ensure that you have your passport, visa, and any additional important papers that you will need. Be sure to scan them and keep a digital copy of them on your phone, as well, so that if they get lost, you are prepared with the correct data.
The most important thing you can prepare prior to your trip, in my opinion, is a full itinerary with directions just in case you ever have an issue with your phone. We rely so much on our phones now that we would be truly lost without them. After all, it is so easy just to plug in a location in Google Maps and follow the instruction on how to get there. But what if you don’t have your phone? It’s possible that you left it back at your place or, God forbid, it gets lost on your trip. Or say your carrier is having problems. I’ve had issues with my carrier on almost every trip despite trying to buy 5G service for my trip prior to taking off on the first plane. What do you do?
I find that it’s helpful to work out as much of your itinerary as you can in a word document so you never run into this issue. Put the order in which you’d ideally like to see things every day and how long it will take to get there from your Point A to your next destination. Then, go to Google Maps or another map platform you prefer to use, and download the map and instructions. You can save each set of directions throughout your trip, from one attraction to the next, starting at your hotel and ending back up at your hotel, as a PDF and merge it with your overall itinerary document. By having everything in one document mapped out and ready to go, you could really save yourself if you find yourself without service. This way, you can only ever get so lost.
When I lived in Cannes for a few weeks, I had directions like this printed before I even left the states. I kept track of where the nearest grocery store was, how to get to the train station, and how to get to anywhere I wanted to go from my apartment just in case I ever needed it. It truly saved my life.
Now, you can save this file as a pdf on your phone so you can access it digitally at any point (even without the internet or any form of network) and you can also print it to have a physical copy just in case, too.
It never hurts to be prepared with the right bits of information. So, the next time you plan for your trip, I encourage you to map everything out prior to your adventure and really familiarize yourself with the area you’re going to so it seems a little less daunting and a little more fun when you first get there. You’ll be more prepared therefore, much more ready to go take on the world. Happy travels!