15 May How to Plan for Travel: What’s left to do?
This is Part 11 in my How to Plan for Travel countdown series with one blog post per month containing travel tips to get my family, friends, clients and you ready to go for your next vacation overseas. From August 1 through June 30, I’ll be counting down the tips by how far in advance it’s optimal to plan. If you stumble across this blog post in June, and you’re planning a trip in July, you’re not too late. You’ll just have to do things a little more quickly.
How can I get organized for travel: 1-2 months before
How to Plan for Travel: What’s left to do after all of this travel planning we’ve been doing?
Wowzers! Your trip is just around the corner! Doesn’t it feel good having so much of the planning done? The more you prepare ahead of time, the more you can truly enjoy your vacation when you arrive.
If you’ve already completed the suggestions from my previous posts, you’re really just down to some easy odds and ends to help make departure even smoother. Consider:
Book your important help
If any of these apply to you, you’ll want to reserve them as soon as possible because the great ones book up early:
If any of the above do apply, you’ll want to create a mini-manual for how to handle things while you’re gone. Over the next week, do a brain dump into your tablet, laptop, phone or a notebook about the kinds of tasks you complete related to your kids, house, and/or pets. Reflect on past crazy incidents as well – it’s better to give them too much information than not enough. You’ll be able to turn this draft into your manual to give to the babysitter, house sitter, or kennel. Be sure to include your emergency numbers and email addresses, as well as an emergency contact stateside in case they can’t reach you overseas. Be sure to also leave written permission for your sitter to seek medical attention for your kids and/or pets, and to arrange for emergency repairs for your house.
Create your house departure checklist
It never fails that something will crop up at the last minute that you have to take care of, and you aren’t able to leave your abode in a normal, easy-going manner. When these situations arise, you don’t always remember what to turn off or leave on, or what to leave open or closed. It’s best that you have a checklist so that you don’t have to rack your brain as you leave – or worry on the plane, “Did I…?”
Start thinking about what you’ll do on the plane
It’s a funny thing to ask someone, “What will you do on the plane?” They might answer you with something like, “Duh, fly!” But if you’re traveling overseas, you might want to prepare for what you’ll do for 6 or 10 or 15 hours. I don’t like being cooped up for so long, but I’ve got no choice if I want to travel around the world – and a private jet isn’t in the budget.
Listening – Perhaps you’re a big music or podcast fan. You’ll want to be sure you’re loaded up with content, your device is charged, and you have ear buds that are easily accessible.
Watching – All overseas flights offer movies, many now with an individual screen on the seatback in front of you. You can listen with your own ear buds or the headsets the flight attendants will offer you. If you prefer to bring your own selection, have your tablet or laptop charged and loaded with your favorite movies.
Reading – Most airlines have one magazine and one shopping catalog located in the seatback in front of you. Even if you read every single word, you’ll be finished with both of those within the first 90 minutes. Bring a novel or travel guide or tablet to keep you occupied.
Exercising – Every article on flying tips includes exercise because it’s important. Your circulation can be affected by sitting in the same position for a long time, so it’s a good idea to plan for exercising. You can rotate your ankles and stretch in your seat. You should also consider going for a walk (doing laps) when the flight attendants aren’t serving from the carts. You can hang in the galley in the back of the plane to do stretching exercises before or after using the restroom. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to jog, but you can at least move around.
Sleeping – Once I board the plane at the final layover airport, I set my watch to the time in the arrival city. I try to get my body started on functioning in the new time zone. I’ll watch movies or read until 10 PM or so in the new time zone, then try to catch some shut eye. It doesn’t always work, but a couple of hours of sleep is better than none.
Check on your phone service
If you plan to call, text or email from your device, be sure to check on your smartphone plan before you leave. I found it helpful to stop in at my local service center and talk to an associate about all of my options and the prices for each one. I’ve opted to go with temporarily adding an overseas package to my phone for one month. I don’t plan on calling or texting or emailing while I’m gone – it’s more for emergencies since we’ll have family traveling with us on this trip. (Normally, we travel electronics-free.) This option may not work for your individual situation, so definitely ask your cell phone carrier about your options.
At my new keynote and workshops website, I’ve got a free packing list and home checklist for you to download. Just look for the complimentary “Productivity Kick Starter Kit” in the sidebar at www.HeleneSegura.com.
How to Plan for Travel series:
Part 1: Budget
Part 2: Set your travel goals
Part 6: What documentation do you need?
Part 8: How to avoid being slapped
Part 9: It’s time to start spending!
Part 10: What travel supplies do you need?
Part 11: What’s left to do?
Next time: Putting the finishing touches on your travel plans