Planning for a trip can be fun! Looking forward to all the possibilities of travel again is exciting and a little bit scary.
I love to travel and in seems in the not-so-distant past getting ready was no big deal. Passport? Check. 2 pair of shoes? Check. Underwear? Check. Stop the paper/mail? Check. I didn’t even have a pre-written list. I just knew what to do and the suitcase almost packed itself. If I forgot something I could buy it when I got to my destination.
Times have changed both in the world we live in and with my husband and my older bodies. There seems to be more uncertainty and we move slower. I don’t think I am alone with this.
I am still excited about a couple of trips we have looming but now I am making more lists and checking them twice.
· Airflights – these need to be made much more in advance, especially if you have special needs. If you want assistance from the airline, have lots of patience. It took me three days to hook up with a Delta agent (“we are experiencing a high volume of traffic .. your wait time is 7 hours”), but it was totally worth it for my piece of mind
· Car rental – almost impossible – check way in advance and prepare to be flexible
· Park and ride – in the past we would call in a couple of days before the flight to arrange this but now they are running fewer shuttles with less people on each shuttle – so book as soon as you confirm your flight
· Hotels – people are beginning to travel again, and hotels are booking way ahead
· Air travel– airlines, at this point in time, are only giving a few snacks and drinks – if you are doing a cross country flight and/or have special dietary needs pack what you will need on your carry on – don’t expect that you will be able to grab what you need from the airport
· Driving – fast food places are operating but if you have special dietary needs it is best to pack your meals for your travel time and for the first morning’s breakfast
Medical/First aide needs:
· Drugs – pack what you need plus an extra day or two in case there are delays – also have a list of the prescriptions that you use or access to a portal with that information
· Devices – if you use a monitor or cpap machine pack what you need in carry-on baggage
· Other – see that your sunscreen, bug repellent, hand sanitizer, or other first aide items that you are packing are not expired
· Phones/iPads – have your correct chargers for plugging into the wall at the hotel and also into your car
· Computer – for one road trip I will need my computer – so having headset, mouse, and power cord are all important
· Clothes – I have a premade list (note to self – add masks to that list) that I check off to see what is appropriate for this trip and season
· Dopp kit – check to see that it is current – hate to get there and see that I am down to that last dap of toothpaste
· Accessories – hats, umbrellas, sunglasses, etc.
· Reading material – books, magazines, iPad
· Travel documents – tickets, passports, driver’s license, insurance cards, contact lists, packing list
Before you go:
· Stop paper/mail
· Let a neighbor know how to contact you in case of emergency
· Set up for plant watering or pet sitting
· Clear out your fridge of anything that might spoil
· Get extra cash – have right amounts in your wallet for tipping
· Have all electronics fully charged
For me one of the main reasons to have all of these lists is so that I can release all of those thoughts from circling around in my head. If it is on paper and I have a checklist then I am worry free. You may have wondered why pack the packing list if you are already packed and ready to go. I find that looking over that list before repacking to come home may save me from leaving a charger in the hotel room.
If you have any ideas as to what I might have left off these lists, please share. It will help me and maybe others have a stress-free trip – and that’s what it is all about.
If you want help or just some accountability in working through any project or organizational plan to save you time or money, join Diane Quintana and me on our Clear Space For You clutter support group.
Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, award-winning author, as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients tackle the toughest organizational issues. Jonda does hands on organizing and virtual organizing. For more of Jonda’s tips connect with her on Facebook.