How to Prepare for a Vacation

Preparedness may not be the first word that comes to mind when getting ready to go on vacation. It’s a word that is more often used with, say, hurricanes or other natural disasters. But there is a lot to be said for using the principles of preparation when going on a vacation. While the whole idea of a holiday is to get away and have a great time, the reality is that you are often a stranger in a strange land. You may not know the language, let alone where the closest medical facility or police station is located. Ideally, it will all be idyllic, but If anything goes wrong when you are on your next holiday, it’s best to be prepared. Here’s how:

1. Get Your Affairs in Order

Before you leave on vacation, let someone know where you are going. Ideally, you will create a printed itinerary and leave it with a family member or friend. For a prolonged getaway, especially if you are travelling alone, it’s a good idea to have a regular check-in to confirm that you are okay. That way if you don’t turn up where you should be at some point, someone will have information as to your recent whereabouts.

2. Bring the Proper Documents

It goes without saying that you should never leave home without your ID, but you should also make a copy of your passport or driver’s license to keep in a separate place in case your wallet gets lost. Check also to make sure that you won’t need any other kinds of travel documents. Speaking of your wallet, you will want to have a travel wallet in a foreign destination. Never underestimate the skill of pick-pockets.

3. Bring Lots of Dough

While you don’t want to be carrying big wads of cash, you will want to have sufficient amounts to make sure that you can get yourself out of a tough spot if you need to. Also, be sure to carry a credit card with an open balance for emergencies, and traveller’s checks and a good amount of local currency for foreign travel.

4. Consider Travel Insurance

Travel insurance isn’t just to protect you if your bags are lost or your trip or flight is cancelled. One of the best aspects of travel insurance is that it can provide instant access to health coverage if you, say, need to be airlifted out of a remote island location. That said, you want to check all the parameters of the travel insurance policy to make sure that it will be relatively easy to utilize, especially in an international destination.

5. Consider Your Health

Don’t forget to pack extra prescriptions, backup eyeglasses, and any other medications you will need. If travelling to a remote destination, make sure that you have the appropriate immunizations and medications. For foreign travel, it never hurts to check with a travel health specialist, who is well-versed in the health concerns of your destination. It may be that you will need to bring special equipment, such as mosquito netting or a portable water purification system. And do try to scope out the location of local medical facilities and law enforcement. You don’t want to have to research this stuff in the middle of an emergency.

6. Arrange for Home Care

Don’t forget about the safety of your home while you are away. Arrange for someone to take care of your pets, water your plants, bring in your mail and newspapers, and generally make sure that everything is okay. Be sure to provide that person with your travel contact info, so you can be reached in the event of an emergency. Consider adding light timers to give the appearance of someone being home. Any activity that you can arrange for in your absence will help to make sure your home is safe from intruders.

7. Power Packing

Make a list and check off items as you pack them. Carefully consider your clothing needs so that you don’t overpack. Put essential items such as a TSA-approved shaving or cosmetic kit, change of clothing, extra lingerie and underwear, and a bathing suit in your carry-on so that you won’t be totally stuck if your bags show up a couple of days later than you do.

By taking these precautions and preparing in advance, you’ll be able to really relax and fully enjoy yourself on next vacation!

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