Wednesday, November 2, 2016

15 things I do the week before a trip

Cape Town, South Africa, January 2016

The best time to talk about how you wore yourself out preparing for a trip is when you're on the trip. I don't wear myself out exactly, but you know what I mean - the week before vacation, everything at work becomes extremely urgent and errands become fraught with peril in a race against the clock.

Some things I do the week before a trip:

1. Print out my big ass list of instructions for my dogsitter(s). My brother Sean is holding down the fort this week and he came over last Monday to get the low down and see my crazy lady list and supplement/medication labeling.

2. Yell at MFD about various things. I've been asking for that light to be fixed forever! When are you packing? Why is this here? Are you ready? It's sort of amazing that he's not killed me and gone on trips alone. Leaving For Vacation Day is fraught with peril in our house.

3. Clean myself up. Last week that meant getting my hair done, a gel manicure, and a brow wax. Not a huge fan of the gel nails, I get annoyed and my nails feel weird, but you can't beat them when you want your manicure to last for many days. I didn't need a pedicure or I'd get one of those too.

4. Pack, unpack, and pack again. I packed for this trip in a carry on size suitcase so I actually did this a number of times in the weeks leading up to this trip. I am shocked as shit that it all fit. I might need help getting souvenirs home, but for now, we're going with it.

5. Pick up and change the sheets on all beds. Since we always have someone stay with the dogs in our house, we cannot leave vacation preparation hurricane debris behind when we run out the door. Thank God our cleaning captain Linda was scheduled to come the Friday before we left.

6. Call the cards. I inform my bank and credit card company where I'll be. I also take photos of my cards (front and back) and our passports and store them in my dropbox. If we're traveling abroad, I usually get $100-300 in foreign currency so I don't have to dick around at the airport when I get there and can just be on my way and into a cab or onto a transportation system.

7. Swear I will clean out my travel stuff when I get back. I have too much of it and it needs to be culled. Since this is an item on this list, you can tell it doesn't happen.

8. Buy new shoes. Despite my personal knowledge that new shoes should not ever be taken on a trip, I buy them anyway. Then I get my head out of my ass, stow the bag in the closet, and return them when I get back.

9. Pay bills. Least fun thing on the list.

10. Confirm reservations. In order to be somewhere, you have to confirm that you really are set to be there. I also print everything out and carry it with me in a binder because there's no cell access in some areas so i can't rely on electronic copies of everything.

11. Stock the books. If traveling by air, I have at least one paperback that I am okay leaving behind somewhere and a lot of books on my kindle. If I'm traveling by car, library books are taken along for the ride.

12. Clean out my purse. Anything that is not essential for travel gets the boot.

13.Order from Amazon. There is absolutely always something I need at the last minute. This time it was plug adapters.

14. Stare at my dogs a lot and try not to think about how much I'll miss them. No need to elaborate. I also may or may not take 498 photos of them in the six hours before I leave.

15. Prepare for my return. I schedule a massage for one to two days after vacation and a grocery delivery for the day we get back.

We are here in Ireland for my Dad's 60th, and today is his actual 60th. Happy birthday Dad!

What do you do to prepare for vacation?

I am travelling and will reply to comments when I return. 
Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Scheduling a massage and grocery delivery for when you get back is genius.

  2. This is an excellent list. Especially contacting the credit card companies and the currency and printing itinerary. Anyone who travels, take note. Love. Your. Momma.

  3. These are great tips. I always feel insanely frantic before we leave. I always get my nails did before, so I don't have to worry about it, and it is a nice treat to kind of kick off vacay :)

  4. We were on vacation for four nights. I wanted to pack carry-ons only and my husband refused. I'll have to tell him you're going all the way to Europe with one (razors were his main concern... but then he didn't even shave!).

  5. Yep. All of this. Even when we leave the house at 4am the last thing I do is change the bed sheets and take out the trash. Even when the sitter doesn't stay with the dogs (like over a short weekend) I still clean everything because a) she'll be in the house and b) I HATE coming home to chaos.

  6. The grocery delivery scheduled is really genius, I love that one. I don't travel much, as you know, but my parents do. Their grocery delivery is ... me. They leave me a list I'm supposed to go buy the day they home lol.
    #8 made me laugh so hard. At least you return them!

  7. Leaving the dogs is the hardest part for me on a trip. I always feel bad because we usually end up having to board Mac so he doesn't get to stay in the comfort of hi sown home. Poor guy. Why is it that something is always forgotten that you need until the last minute? That happens every time!

  8. Girl, you have got it together! I'm organized, but even I don't do some of these things/probably should. :)

  9. 'Why is this here?' for some reason i never ask this in normal times but the week before vacation? all bets are off and KC is afraid to move anything or put anything down for fear i ask why is this HERE?! haha! the bills thing is totally not fun but i always stress that i'll forget to pay something and i won't know until we get back. the massage when you return - so smart. the last few trips, i have thought 'i need to clean out all my travel crap' and as we were decluttering and moving i thought to myself as i hauled all that crap 'i should really clean all of that out.... next time'. haha.
    happy actual birthday to your dad today! hope you're all having a fabulous time.

  10. Okay, hilarity aside ("Why is this here?" and associated frantic exclamations, OH SO TRUE) these are really good tips. I don't travel enough to be a good traveler, or to not need reminders on how to do everything airport-related before I go so I'm bookmarking this. Hope your trip is as amazing as it looks so far!

  11. I do a lot of these things, but grocery delivery when you get back is PURE GENIUS! We're just doing a short Vegas trip next month, but you better believe I'll be doing grocery delivery for the next day.

    It's always a surprise if we're speaking to each other on the way to the airport because we have an argument about what time we're going to leave for the aiport EVERY. SINGLE. TRIP.

  12. I definitely yell at Chris the week before traveling. It just gets so stressful and I start to majorly notice all the things that haven't happened around our house. Poor guy had it really rough before we left for Europe!

  13. LOL at yelling at MFD, I do the same thing to my husband. And yes to paying the bills, such a necessary evil :-P

  14. Hope you're having a great trip! What do I do before vacation? Stress the hell out. Overpack. Overthink. Panic.

  15. Love the scheduling of the massage for when you return. I need to remember that one. I make sure my folks have a copy of my itinerary, flight info, passport, etc. A little paranoia, but hey - that's what I do. LOL! Have a wonderful time!

  16. You really earn your vacation after all the prep! Hope you are having fun!

  17. I hope you guys are having a wonderful trip and what a fun way to celebrate your Dad's 60th. I swear #2 is me almost every weekend...Ugh! I'd say you have vacation prep down pat, especially for a longer trip...I never even thought to book a massage after because no doubt my neck and back kills after a long flight.

  18. This is a GREAT list. Some of it is helpful, and some of it is just plain honest. Whenever I think I take too many pictures of my animals, I just think to myself "I bet Steph takes just as many of her pugs and Kristen (SYIAP) takes just as many of her kitties", and I feel better.

  19. I love this list. I always have a massive list before we go anywhere though we haven't done a proper vacation since our honeymoon for years ago. But even a trip to hours away requires lots of planning yelling panicking and swearing on my part. Especially when you have a small human person that you have to take with you and figure out all their needs as well as your own because you know that your other half has no idea!

  20. my list of 15 things i do before a week before a trip would just be me freaking out in 15 varying ways. LOL

  21. I definitely learned to print everything on my China trip. It was an absolute mistake not to. I hope you'll share packing tips. I'm hoping to use a smaller suitcase on my next trip.

  22. You and me are cut from the same cloth and it makes my heart happy. I'm just catching up now, but I can't wait to see more photos from your trip.


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