Friday, February 27, 2009

ProTravel Tip: Prep for Trip

Dear Travel Guru:

I’m usually so organized and I don’t know why, but right before I leave for a trip, I get very flustered and I always forget something! Last year, my husband and I went on an international trip and I forgot to check which airport we were flying from. Imagine my embarrassment when we got to Newark and the flight left from Kennedy airport. I still haven’t lived that down.

How can I prepare for a trip more calmly?

Carol W., Brooklyn, NY

Dear Carol:

Most people don’t have to worry about which of three airports to go to. I can just imagine the look on your face when they told you they had no flight to your destination!

There’s an easy way to solve this problem. Create a checklist on the computer to customize and print out ahead of time for each trip. Start the list for the day prior and have it run through to the time you depart. Your list might include such actions as:

-->Set timers on lights
-->Pets to kennel or Note to pet sitter
-->Confirm airport
-->Pack important phone numbers, addresses
-->Pack vitamins, prescriptions
-->Pack money, tickets, maps, guidebooks, camera, hotel reservations and passport
-->Pack drivers license or photo ID
-->Check weather for destination
-->Water plants
-->Check that window are closed and locked
-->Advise neighbors (or police) of departure, drop off key, if applicable
-->Schedule cab or car service (if applicable)

Day of departure actions might include:
-->Turn off all electronics (and list them one by one)
-->Turn off/down air conditioning, turn down temperature on heating
-->Lock garage, front and back doors
-->Feed pets (if sitter isn’t coming until later)
-->Put all bags together by door, so none can be left behind
-->Confirm flight is on time
-->Lock door behind you

Depending on the length of the trip and your destination, this list may change.

If you need assistance with the earlier planning phase, you may be interested in our article, “Getting Ready to Go.”

I bet it’ll be smooth sailing with a list!

Best regards,

The Travel Guru

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