Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Art of Travel: Part 5 - Gearing Up For Your Future Trip

The other day I was speaking to my business partner, who is getting ready to do more traveling. While she relishes the opportunity to be on the road - networking, meeting and greeting; she has a difficult time gearing up for the actual traveling. I imagine that she is not alone. Many people love to travel, but the actual preparation and gearing up for it can be a different story. There is always so much to do and prepare for, that it can oftentimes become overwhelming. I offered her a few tricks to help with that sense of urgency that can overtake you while you are thinking about everything you need to do before you leave.
  • The number one recommendation I made was for her to make a list of everything she needed to do before she left. That way, it's written down and she can "scratch" it off of the list once it's been completed. 
  • If you have animals, make sure that they will have someone to take care of them while you are away, or that they will be properly boarded.
  • Sometimes when traveling for a significant length of time, it is a good idea to have your mail service stopped so it does not build up in your mailbox. A lot of people have friends or services who take care of this, but if you don't have the luxury of having someone stop by your home on a frequent basis, it's best to just have delivery stopped until your return.
  • Depending on the time of year and where you live (especially in colder regions during the winter months), you will want to make sure that any sources of possible water damages (ie, water hoses, pipes), are taken care of prior to leaving. The last thing you want to come back to are broken water pipes and several feet of water in your basement. Many services can advise of what you can do while you are away to stave off any of these types of issues. As the old saying goes, "An ounce of prevention..."
  • Bills...yes, the dreaded bills. Fortunately, most people can do their bill paying and banking over the Internet; however, for those individuals who are not comfortable with that, it is advisable to ensure that all of your bills are paid prior to your departure. It's better they are paid early, versus late; especially with most companies charging hefty late fees. This is an often overlooked item, but it's important.
  • Clean out your refrigerator and have some food in your freezer for your return. I can not tell you how many people have returned from their vacations to find piles of molded food in their refrigerators, and nothing to eat. When I travel, I always like to clean out my refrigerator and get rid of anything that may go bad while I'm away. Also, I like to have a frozen pizza or some food in my freezer, so when I return I don't have to worry about going hungry. Sometimes you may get back from a trip later in the evening, and after schlepping from the airport, etc, you are just not in the mood to go to the grocery store, or even stop and pick up food. Having food in your cabinets or freezer will ensure you have something to eat upon your return. 
  • Adding on to that last one - take your trash out. I think that one speaks for itself. Most people aren't as neurotic as I am, but I always like to leave a clean house. I launder my bed linens and make sure my house is clean. It makes me feel good - 'nuff said.
I could go on forever, but I think this is a fairly exhaustive list that can help you out while you are getting geared up for your travels!

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