Thursday, July 7, 2011

Travel Tips

My boyfriend and I leave for New Orleans tomorrow morning for a weekend with my family, followed by a quick additional trip up to Arkansas (where my family lives) afterward, to visit with some old friends. I'm super excited. I love road trips, and my last vacation to New Orleans a year and a half ago (also with my mom and her husband) was a wonderful experience. I am happy to be sharing this trip with Steve, as well as my two siblings this time! I think it's going to be a blast. I will try to blog Monday and Tuesday from Arkansas, but no promises. We'll see how packed my visiting schedule gets...and how much I'm recovering from Bourbon St. Tee hee.

I thought this would be a perfect time to share some of my prepare-to-travel tips. These are some of the routine things I do before leaving town:

Wash the sheets!
You'll probably be doing some laundry before your trip anyway, so be sure to throw your bed sheets into a load as well. Put them back on and make the bed before you leave. It is so nice to come back home to a fresh, clean bed, especially after being spoiled with comfy hotel or guest beds (is it just me, or do other people's beds always seem like the most comfortable EVER?).

Clean out the fridge and take out all trash!
Not a pleasant task, but it's a perfect time to do a chore that probably needed to be done anyway. It's no fun coming home to a smelly kitchen, or a fridge full of old food. Get it done now. You'll be glad you did.
If you have extra time, give your place a quick de-cluttering job and even vacuum the carpets. Once again, it makes that coming home experience much more inviting.

Make a list!
As I've mentioned before, I'm notorious for making hand-written to-do lists. A week or so before I go on a trip, I have a pad and pen handy at all times to jot down any little, easily-forgettable items whenever they come to mind. Certain things (such as phone chargers or nail polish for manicure touch ups) are super easy to forget when you're running around throwing everything into a suitcase the night before you leave. Having a list that you've been compiling all week really takes some stress out of it, and you can drive (or fly) away in confidence that you haven't forgotten anything (although, I pretty much still always still get that nervous twinge that I've left something behind. But I'm just neurotic that way).

Be your own stylist!
I usually put a decent amount of time deciding what I want to wear on my trip, which ensemble I want to where for each day, and whether I'll be changing into evening wear, etc. Of course, that's because I fully enjoy playing "stylist" to myself. The good thing is, doing this keeps me organized and prepared when packing. If you're not that into fashion, you probably don't need (or want) to put much effort into this kind of thing, but then again, you're also probably not reading this blog.
Once again, if you start doing this type of planning in advance, certain things may occur to you such as, "Oh, wait, that's the day we'll be doing a lot of walking, so I should probably wear my most comfy flats that day". Then you can change up your planned outfit accordingly and wear something that looks great with those super-comfy black flats you have, for example. This keeps me from packing WAY more than I actually need, because I know I have an appropriate outfit ready for each day or night. It also saves a lot of time on your actual trip when you're getting ready, because you already know what you need to put on and what look you're creating. I'd rather spend my time experiencing the vacation, not primping in the bathroom! I honestly have some make-up and hair ideas already in the back of my mind for each outfit, too.
Don't get me wrong though, I do like having some freedom in what I'm going to wear. You never know what mood may strike you when you're getting ready in the morning. So I try to bring generally versatile items that are easy to mix up a bit, if I feel the need. I'll also throw in a few wardrobe staples that are nice to have, just in case (a pair of regular sneakers, simple tank tops, a good pair of jeans, etc.).

What tips do you live by when getting ready for a vacation? Any advice for me?

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