Getaway Guide: 10 Ways to Prepare for Your Next Vacation

Vacations are the best time to relax and reflect on life. They rejuvenate the mind and body, but it takes some preparation beforehand to enjoy every minute. Before packing those cute sneakers, sunhats, and swimsuits, explore the top 10 ways that you can prepare for your next vacation right now.

Tip #1: Get Your Documents in Order

Preparing for your getaway starts with mundane yet critically important items. Print out flight, rental car, and hotel confirmations. Keep them in a safe place. Although you might have these items saved on your cellphone, hard copies are priceless if cell service is spotty at your destination.

Pull out your passport, driver’s license, or other documentation for the trip too. Everything should be current, with expiration dates far into the future. Traveling anywhere today requires a lot of preparation, but having your documents in order only streamlines the process.

Tip #2: Check on Regional Weather

The weather at home might be starkly different from that of your destination. Most areas across the globe have at least a seven-day forecast available online. Keep an eye on your destination’s weather as the dates draw closer, and plan your clothing accordingly. Even in tropical destinations, you might want to bring trendy hoodies or an extra jacket for cooler nighttime temperatures, for example.

Also check on other aspects of the weather, such as pollen counts for allergy sufferers. You’ll know if packing some medications for sneezing and other issues might be necessary.

Tip #3: Stock Up on Clothing Essentials

It’s smart to bring versatile clothing that you can combine in different ways to make multiple outfits so that you don’t have to pack too much. For example, swap out cute blouses with one or two neutral-colored shorts. It’s not necessary to have a dozen pairs of shorts and blouses on the trip. They can be used repeatedly on separate days.

Bring along items that can be layered too. It might be cool in the morning, but the afternoon offers warm temperatures. Stripping off layers throughout the day keeps you comfortable.

Tip #4: Book Activities Now

Destinations with many activities, such as water sports, can get really busy. Don’t wait to book an activity when you’ve arrived at the destination. It’s a clever idea to book activities as far in advance as possible.

Pick the activities that you don’t want to miss, such as a wine tour in wine country. Many people make the mistake of planning activities all day, every day that they’re on vacation. You’re there to relax; while you don’t want to miss the truly remarkable sites, the last thing you want is to get stressed out on vacation.

Tip #5: Ready the Household

Get your house ready by turning off your router, automatic coffee makers, and other appliances. Turn the water heater’s setting down to vacation mode if you’ll be gone for a week or longer. These small details save on utility costs while you’re gone.

Think about asking someone to watch the house while you’re on vacation too. A loved one can water the plants and check on the property so that nothing is out of place. A person entering the house every day gives the home a lived-in quality, which reduces possible theft.

Tip #6: Gather Travel Supplies

Most hotels offer amenities such as shampoo, conditioner, and body soap. Check with your lodging beforehand to verify their offerings. This information helps you pack important toiletries.

Travel as light as possible if you’re flying. Airlines continue to have a limit on liquids in bottles of only 3.4 ounces each. Be sure to bring only these containers for your toiletries.

Bring your essential medications too. Always keep them in your personal bag that remains with you at all times. You don’t want to be separated from medications that are critical to your health.

Tip #7: Create a Rough Budget

Travelers usually pay for lodging and transportation upfront. With these costs in mind, create a rough budget for other expenditures. Consider food, entertainment, and leisure spending while you’re on vacation. Although some costs are difficult to estimate, try to get a handle on the overall price for the getaway.

Tip #8: Pack Strategically

You might have all your clothes picked out for the trip, but packing is the next challenge. The best way to fit as much as possible into a suitcase without wrinkling the items is by rolling each piece. By rolling clothes up like a sleeping bag, their surface area is greatly reduced. Place them side by side in the suitcase, and stack them if necessary.

Additionally, consider packable hats and winter vests. Both of these items work well for summer and winter, respectively, but don’t take up too much space in your bag.

Tip #9: Confirm Transportation and Lodging

The day before you leave, call the rental car facility, hotel, and any other service you’ll need for transport or lodging. Verify dates and times for everything. This important detail ensures that tomorrow will go smoothly. No traveler wants to arrive at the destination with problems facing them, such as a missing reservation. Confirmations over the phone allow you to deal with any issues before you even leave the house.

Tip #10: Head Out Early

Set your alarms 15 to 20 minutes earlier than you think you need on the big travel day. It’s always better to be early and wait than to rush out at a later time. This is especially important for air travel. Bring a book or download a movie to watch as you wait for a plane or other transport. You’ll always be on time with this strategy.

Get Away on Vacation With Less Stress

From packing your favorite dress to booking excursions on the beach, your vacation plans have a lot of detail associated with them. Be prepared before you head out the door so that nothing is left to chance. Your relaxation can begin the moment you step off your front porch.

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