Some Tips For Easing The Pain Of Vacation Planning

March 10, 2017

Going on vacation can be like a love-hate relationship – you love getting away, but you hate planning for it.

To make your getaway as fun and stress-free as possible, you should prepare ahead of time. Yes, it can be a bit of a pain, but isn’t it better than forgetting to pack your passport or accidentally leaving behind your credit cards?

What helps make planning easier is creating a checklist of what you need to pack, things you have to do before leaving, etc. Lucky for you, you don’t have to start from scratch. Here are several suggestions to get you pointed in the right direction:

  • Wherever you’re going, take along snacks! This is especially important if you have kids who are constantly asking, “When are we going to eat?”

  • Notify your credit card company before you go on vacation so they can put a travel alert on your card.

  • If you discover once you’re at the hotel that you forgot a toiletry such as a toothbrush or comb, stop by the front desk and ask if they have complimentary ones available (most usually do).

  • Save space when packing by sticking socks and underwear inside of shoes.

  • Roll up clothes before placing them in a suitcase. Zip all zippers and button all buttons. And avoid taking clothes that require ironing. Who has time for that when you’re on vacation?!

  • Pass on packing new shoes or clothing. Guaranteed the shoes will be uncomfortable since they won’t be broken in, and you’ll worry about spilling something on your new shirt and skirt.

  • Don’t pack things that your hotel will provide, such as soap, shampoo, hair dryer, etc.

  • Leave behind jewelry that’s expensive and could attract the attention of crooks. Only take those pieces that you really plan to wear.

  • Take a reusable water bottle. It will save you money on buying expensive bottles of water and will also help save the planet a bit, too.

  • Carry your wallet in your front pocket. And if you carry a purse, hold it toward the front so you can keep a hand on it instead of leaving it dangle by your side.

  • Wherever you park your car – whether it’s at an airport parking lot or with you during your entire vacation – make sure it’s locked and don’t leave any valuables inside. Speaking of parking at an airport, take a photo of where your car is parked with your cell phone, making sure that an identifying symbol of the parking area (usually a conspicuously placed number or letter or a combination thereof) is clearly visible so it’s easier to find when you return from vacation.

  • Remember to tip the hotel housekeeping staff. A good rule of thumb is $2 per day, and maybe a little more if you have more than two people in a room. Hotels usually provide envelopes to leave the tips, but if they don’t, write a note saying the money is for the housekeeping person.

  • Use a travel kit for toiletries. Because of its compact size, it will force you to keep things to a minimum. And pack a travel-size first aid kit that includes pain relief medicine, bandages, allergy medicine, anti-itch cream, and anti-diarrhea medicine.

  • Bypass packing the electric toothbrush and razor in favor of manual models.

  • Pack chronologically, placing the items to be worn first on top. This will prevent you from turning a suitcase inside out looking for a particular piece of clothing.

  • Your carry-on luggage should hold your jewelry, travel documents, medication, keys, and other valuables. And if there’s room, throw in a change of underwear and clothes just in case your checked-in baggage gets lost or misplaced.

  • If traveling by air, check in advance the rules and regulations of the federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Go to

And here’s one more friendly reminder – don’t forget your passport and credit cards!

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