You're stoked about your vacation. It's way overdue, and this time you're sure things should go without a hitch. But wait...Yes, many great travel experiences are full of serendipity. However, too many curve balls can mess up a trip royally. Here are three things to avoid before you even leave home:
1) The "Everything But the Kitchen Sink" Syndrome
Of course you love those lavender stilettos and new snorkeling fins, but will you really use them on your hiking trip to Austria or your cruise to Alaska? When in doubt, leave it out. Your luggage can be your vacation ball and chain, keeping you from enjoying free and easy travel. It's a pain to pull a muscle, miss a tight train connection, fork out luggage surcharges, or spend hours tracking down a checked bag lost en route, all because you allowed your heavy luggage to hold you hostage. Less is more. Trust us!
2) The "I Didn't Get Around to It" Trap
Time is indeed the most precious of commodities in today's fast-paced world. We need to take our vacations to restore balance, to feed our hearts and souls, and to escape from routine. Besides, vacations are good for health. Yet far too often, our time off becomes just a P.S. in our lives, relegated to the back burner of life's priorities until the very last minute. That's when the trouble starts. A little planning and a handful of research go a long way to ensuring a fairly smooth trip. Don't fall victim to "Before we left, I just didn't have time to...a) reconfirm our flights, make sure our seat assignments are still intact, and print our boarding passes b) make copies of the hotel and car rental confirmations c) check our passport expiration dates d) confirm whether or not we need a visa for the country we're visiting e) make sure that special museum is open the one day we hit the city f) verify rail schedules to see if the day trips are really doable from our base town g) read the weather forecast for our vacation spot h) ask the neighbor to collect our mail, water the plants, check our house in our absence, etc. Save yourself the stress. A trained travel agent can help you. Make a short list of what to do and what to know before you go. Start checking things off little by little. Then you'll be able to kick back and enjoy your getaway worry-free.
3) The "I'll Sleep Longer, Eat Better, Drink More H2O, Exercise More When I Get There" Myth
No you won't. Start now. It's probably not a smart idea to pull three back-to-back all-nighters before a long flight to New Zealand, or even a shorter one to L.A. for that matter. Rest up before you go. Break in those cool new shoes. Your feet will thank you for it. Run around the block and briskly go up a flight of stairs with your packed suitcase in tow. It's a quick fitness test. Get in reasonable shape several weeks before you head out. Start hydrating days before your flights. Sure you might have to get up from your airplane seat more often, but drinking plenty of water is great for your skin. It helps you beat jet lag and keeps you regular too. Yep. A rested, nourished, fitter person is usually a more content, easy-going traveler, and a heckuva lot more pleasant to be around in transit and on vacation. Now, let's see if WE too can just practice what we preach next time we leave home! :) Happy travels.
~Ann Lombardi & Wendy Swartzell
The Trip Chicks®