Monday, June 28, 2021

TWTW - the late June one

Friday It was the work week from hell and at the end of it I took a long walk, ordered dinner, and read a book pretty much in its entirety, staying up to finish.
Saturday I slept in until 8 then had a typical summer Saturday: turnover hauling 2389429348 bags of bedding laundry to the car, and doing my tasks before and after my cleaning crew came through. The folks leaving were great and I hope they return. I did some cushion cleaning and tried to battle driveway sand and lost as usual. I hit the beach for a few hours to read after that and ordered dinner from Boyar's. MFD and the old dogs arrived around 10 and I finished book two of the weekend.
Sunday I was at the beach by 9 after painting my nails OPI I Just Can't Cope-acabana and Spare Me a French Quarter?). I got a bowl for breakfast and it was delicious. MFD joined me around 11 and we stayed until 1:30 then came back to lay around and escape the humidity. I finished my third book of the weekend. We took B and B to Dog Beach to cap off the weekend. I found a fishing knife on our walk which MFD will keep for fishing and of course had to photograph it to document we found it and the date in case it comes up in a future murder investigation. My murder book reading knowledge is put to good use all the time. 

Another busy work week ahead, my Dad & Carol move out of the last parental home I lived in before I lived on my own, and we're already coming into the freaking Fourth. How?

Happy happy birthday to my brother-in-law Marcus Aurelius today. 

How was yours?

Saturday, June 26, 2021

3 Creative Crafting Ideas

Happy Saturday friends! Since you know for sure I am not a crafter, enjoy this post from Maggie Hammond, who is the proud mama to two little people and has one too many furry friends. She is passionate about alternative medicine, education, the great outdoors, and animal welfare.

Many people consider themselves creative people and just have a way of approaching things in a really special way. They say creativity is something that comes naturally but, for some people, it seems a little easier to tap into. If you’re the type that would love to try crafting but aren’t sure you’ve got the creative chops to give it a go, it’s time to think again. Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding the right craft that suits your skills, interests and natural talents. Here are three creative crafting ideas that could be perfect for beginners.

Start Painting with Acrylic

Painting is among one of the most creative hobbies and outlets a person can embrace. Not only can it be relaxing and allow you to create your masterpieces, but there is no right or wrong way to do things. The whole point of painting is that you call the shots - you decide the subject matter, the colours, the composition, texture and the size and scale. There’s no need to feel nervous about your skills or wonder how you get started, as anything you paint will be fabulous.

If you want to put together an acrylic painting starter kit, the essentials you'll need to include are:

  • Paintbrushes

  • Acrylic paints

  • An artist palette

  • Painting surface (paper, canvas, wood, or any other material you choose)

  • A small jar of clean water

  • Paper towels or rags

  • Varnish

Once you become more comfortable with painting, you can start to expand your kit and add more advanced essentials.

Learn Embroidery

Here’s a wonderful and creative craft that you can use in many ways. Embroidery simply involves adding decoration to an existing fabric by using a needle and special embroidery thread. You can embroider anything you want and get as creative as you like. It allows you to customise the d├ęcor in the home, add unique touches to your clothing and show off your personality and style. You can work with a pattern or embroider free-hand, whatever you feel most comfortable with.

To get started, be sure to check out an embroidery shop London for the essentials and you can refer to online tutorials or pick up an introductory embroidery book.

Become an Amateur Photographer

Another creative outlet that you can embrace is photography. While not exactly a craft, it is still a creative hobby that can be transformed into a craft through such things as photo walls, photo albums/books, customised calendars and so forth. It’s all about getting comfortable with your camera and stepping outside the box when it comes to framing your photos. Even the most seemingly mundane subject matter can look beautiful and interesting when photographed in the right way. Photography is an art form and can be a wonderful craft to embrace.

Tapping Into Your Creative Side

Each of these ideas gives you a way to tap into your creative side and allows you to explore what you’re capable of. Besides the satisfaction that it gives you, you’ll also be able to come up with some really beautiful pieces that are perfect for your needs, your home and even for gifting.

Moving onto a narrowboat

An increasing number of people are turning to canal-living as an alternative mode of living - but is it right for you? This is the kind of lifestyle that you don’t want to rush into, and it is probably true that it also requires a particular kind of personality in order to make it work and for it to be enjoyable. But if you are considering this change, there are a few things that you are going to want to be aware of first and foremost. Let’s take a look at some of the essentials of moving onto a narrowboat.

Pic Credit - CCO Licence

Decide On Your Optimal Boat Length

Once you start to look around at narrowboats, you are immediately going to discover that there are actually many types of them to choose from, and it is going to be necessary to compare and contrast them as well as you can. One thing you need to decide upon is what length you want - around 40ft is probably the minimum you would want, and suitable only for a solo individual, whereas if there are two or more of you, it might be better to look more at around the 55ft-60ft mark. Ultimately, it’s up to you.

Bear In Mind The Maintenance Costs

Living on a narrowboat is generally going to be a lot more affordable than renting a home, but there are still maintenance costs that you will need to prepare for. It is best to work out your likely annual budget for each of these and then divide it by twelve, and put aside that money each month. You need to consider the cost of diesel for the engine, coal or wood for the fire, and the cost of having the boat surveyed and blacked every three years. Likewise, there might be other costs to consider, depending on what your specific situation might be.

Get Breakdown Cover

You might not have been aware of this, but you can get breakdown cover for boats just as you can for cars, and it is definitely a wise move to make sure you have this before you move onto your boat. Such cover can protect you and get you back to a safe place should you break down, and often these policies will come with an annual engine service too. You could avoid a lot of boating accident injuries this way, so it’s definitely something to budget for.

Pic Credit - CCO Licence

Permanent Mooring Or Continuous Cruiser?

You’ll also want to decide whether you are going to be moored up somewhere permanently or a continuous cruiser. If the latter, you have to follow the rules around how much you can stay in one place. Generally, you can stay somewhere for 14 days, after which time you will have to move around 20 miles. But if you prefer, you can get a private mooring - this costs you an annual fee, but still nowhere near as much as rent on a house.

Those are the major things you need to think about if you are going to move onto a narrowboat.

This post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Thursday Thoughts - I believe it's time for me to fly

Hanging shit wherever I want, as I always do. My house is not going to be in magazines and it's not for show. It's for me to live in and enjoy. I had this in one of the spare rooms for probably the past 10 years and it makes me so happy but I rarely saw it in there so I jammed it in right here in our bedroom.

Choosing art by Asja Boros for bedside in our room. I have one in the  middle of the gallery wall too.

Accepting MFD's desire for more precise hanging on the gallery wall that was painted this week. It's not done and we'll be swapping some things out, but I'm happy to not have shit sitting in piles to be hung anymore.
Focusing on putting covers on the risers next, so we intentionally did not have the trim painted. I desire a little whimsy on these and that's what I got. 

Thinking a lot of people have this twisted, and we were taught this so that we fight each other and punch down or sideways in a capitalist system instead of punching up. Hard work is great but it is not what makes you a good or bad person. Too many people beating their chest with the I work hard for what I have that are shitty neighbors and humans. No thanks. I'd rather live among people who are good neighbors and community members that understand work is the price of capitalism and not the marker of a good person and that people who don't work hard deserve at the least basic humanitarian needs fulfilled - food, housing, healthcare including mental healthcare. There is a better way than what we're doing now, what we've been doing for a long time in this country.

Using Mad Hippie face serums and loving them.

Wanting everyone to get vaccinated for reasons like this

Appreciating the fact that Gus can spend so much of his time in his declining years snoozing in the yard, which is one of his favorites and always has been.

Hanging on for dear life this week. I worked until 9:30 Monday night, 8:30 Tuesday night, 7:00 last night. Started early today, will make a stop to drive to the shore, and be back at it. Deadlines are afoot. Putting in these hours is a lot harder for me after March 2020. My brain, focus, and capacity have shifted. 

Phoning it in on every other front aside from work this week, including here. That's how it is sometimes. 

Booking a hotel for the first time since 2017? I think it's been that long since I stayed in a hotel type accommodation vs booking a private home or visiting someone at their home. I'm looking forward to road tripping out of town with MFD in August to visit a place neither of us has been before. 

Reading The Invisible Husband of Frick Island. I had two (to me) turds this week. If you ever want to see what I'm reading in between Show Us Your Books, you can follow me on Goodreads. Midway through the year I've finished 67 books so it appears that my pre-pandemic reading has returned. I read differently though, consuming books in a few hours here or there versus morning and night reading like I used to. I still do a little of both but still not with pre-pandemic consistency.

What's new with you?

What appears beyond the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts titles is what I'm listening to when I'm starting this - this week is Time for Me To Fly by REO Speedwagon

Monday, June 21, 2021

TWTW - the one with the dads

Friday My brain was stuck in neutral after an 11 hour workday Thursday and two morning meetings, so instead of spinning my wheels I flexed time and hit the beach for two hours. I also got a slice of pizza and some soap oh and left my phone on a fucking boardwalk bench THEN hit two stores THEN set up my beach chair so I had to sprint back with no shoes on and hope it was there. It was.  After work I walked the boards on an errand for Aubrey, then walked down to see the sunset. I stayed up until 1 to finish my book.
Saturday I slept in until 8. The people checking out thought checkout was 11 and that threw everything off. We managed to get them out then MFD painted the door and frame their dog damaged and got the new TV we brought from Philly up and running. I swapped out shower curtains and all bedding and someone clearly had some sort of HiC and I had to pull the whole mattress on the top bunk down. It was a lot. We were doing stuff from about 10:40 - 3 since our people coming in were arriving late. I'm thankful we knew that or I would have had a nervous breakdown.
MFD went fishing in the afternoon, and I went to Boyar's to get a few things for a salad and smiled at the Juneteenth greetings along the way, then  rode my bike to the library to drop off and pick up books. I made chicken leg quarters in the air fryer, painted my nails, showered, unboxed Ben's barkbox (he is always so happy and grateful), then walked up to the beach and boards with MFD for a little ice cream. 
Sunday I was on the beach with a book and coffee by 8:30. The sun was insane. Back to the house to walk dogs and load up the car and hit the road before 11. Gus pooped in my damn car but thankfully we were not moving yet so easy cleanup and major disaster averted. I got home and did some laundry, read, rested, made your standard old school cold taco dip, and headed to Aubrey's parents. We have a nice Father's Day gathering with the two families every year and I always enjoy it. This year we tried the TikTok watermelon and mustard phenomenon. It was fine! Home by 8 and I fell asleep on the couch and didn't go upstairs until 5 am. 

Happy 65th to my Mom! Her birthday was Saturday. I dropped cards for her birthday and Rich's Father's Day off at lunch today before hightailing it home for a call.

Today is Prime Day, and even as I move away from Amazon, I always recommend the Kindle Paperwhite for people like me who must wear polarized sunglasses and/or read outside a lot both in sun and shade. It is the only e-reader I can use like that. It's $80 for prime day and normally $130.

Crushed under work deadlines this week. Hopefully see you Thursday! See you on Instagram until then, mainly in stories, which I like to remind myself and others that I said I'd never do and now I do daily.

Friday, June 18, 2021

First vacation in years? Let's go back over the basics

Are you going to be going on vacation for the first time in years? If the answer is yes, then there are certain things that you need to make sure of, and make sure that you have considered. There are so many things that you need to plan out before you can even go on vacation that the stress alone might be enough to change your mind, but we all need that break, so stick with it. If you don’t know what we’re talking about when we say ‘the basics’ then it’s a good thing that you have come across this article. Down below, we’re going to be looking at some of these, so keep reading if you would like to find out more.

Choose A Destination

The first thing that you are going to need to do is choose a destination. You might have a few ideas saved up from the last couple of years in which you haven’t been able to go anywhere, but you also may be struggling to narrow it down. Or, you might be in the position where you know that you want to go somewhere, you’re just not entirely sure where somewhere is. This is a common problem for a lot of people so don’t think that you shouldn’t be going somewhere simply because you can’t figure it out just yet. 

So, if you are trying to work out where you want to go, then we’ve got a few ideas for you. First, you can use the globe method. To do this, you simply need to get a globe, spin it, close your eyes and then put your finger on the globe. It will stop, and whatever destination you have put your finger on will be your holiday destination. Of course, if it’s somewhere that you have been or in the middle of the ocean, try again. This is the best way to do it because you will end up visiting places that you never would have thought about before, and these could be the best times of your life.

Or, you could find an event that you would like to attend and then head to that destination. There is bound to be more than just that one event going on, so it’s the perfect opportunity to explore a new place, where you know that you have at least one thing to do.

Sort Out Accommodation
The next thing that you are going to need to do is sort out your accommodation. Too many people leave this to the last second and then aren’t able to find accommodation in their chosen city, and are forced to venture outwards. The problem with this is that you are likely going to have to pay more than if you would have just booked it online when you did everything else, and it is going to eat into your holiday. Not to mention the amount of stress that it is going to cause you trying to sort this out when you should be enjoying yourself.

You will be able to find lots of fantastic accommodation deals online, so we suggest that you take a good look at them. Find the one that suits you best, and then go for it. Don’t think that you are going to find something better when you get there because the chances are that you aren’t.

Think About Some Activities

Once you know where you are going, you can try and figure out some activities that you can do while you are there. Of course, there is always the fun element of simply going where the wind takes you and doing random things on any given day, however it is also nice to have some kind of structure sometimes. For example, you could visit MetLife Stadium, New York Jets/New York Giants if you are a fan of baseball and find yourself in New York, or you could head out to explore the Anne Frank Huis if you are in Amsterdam. There are so many different things that you can do, you just need to find them!

It doesn’t just have to be things to see though, there are also plenty of things that you can do. Each place is going to have it’s own fun list of attractions for people, so working out what they are shouldn’t be too hard. It could be a theme park, it could be a place where you can do water sports, skydiving and so much more.

Budget Your Money
Of course, you are going to have to budget your money or you are going to end up with none. There is nothing worse than being on holiday and running out of money with a few days left. The problem here is that you are going to be incredibly bored for those few days, especially if you can’t get any more money from anywhere. As such, we highly recommend that you budget your money before you even get on the plane. To do this, you need to work out exactly how much you have for the duration of your trip. Once you have got this worked out, divide it by the number of days that you are staying. Each little pile is going to be your money for any given day to ensure that you always have some.

If there is some left over from the day that you are on, then it can roll into the next days and so on. But, you should never take money out of a day that is ahead, because this is a bad habit to get into and you can end up running out of money this way too.

Packing What You Need

You have got to make sure that you have packed everything you need to avoid a nightmare. You need to go through your packing checklist and ensure that you have got everything on it, even if that means that you are unpacking and repacking your suitcase three times. It is better to ensure that you have everything than to be stuck in a place that you don’t know without an item that you need. Of course, if it’s something that you can easily buy locally then it’s not going to be too much of an issue, but it’s very rarely the case that these are the items we forget.

Don’t Book Until You’re Sure
The last thing that we are going to say is that you should never book your vacation until you are sure that you can go on it. Of course, when we say this, we are not including any last minute emergencies that may or not come up, but that’s what travel insurance is for. No, by this we mean that you need to be sure that you have the time off work to go on this vacation, and you’re not booking it with the intention of requesting the time off later down the line. You should never book a vacation until you’re 100% sure that you will be able to go on it.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the basics that you need to know if you are going to be going on your first vacation in years soon. It’s important that you do all of these things and consider everything on this list, otherwise you could be at major risk of something going wrong. Seeing as this is going to be your first vacation in years, this is certainly not something that we want to happen. We wish you the very best of luck.
This post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Thursday Thoughts - and if you want to find me I'll be out in the sandbox

Loving yard art, this is from Hearth & Sole in Ocean City and I adore them

Urging you to check out this book, Fuel Your Best, by my friend Jen - I got one for my niece and one for the shore house kids library. She's a great person and this has a great message for kids and for us!

Monitoring baby bird status out back as the mother has squatted in my begonia and killed it because she doesn't like us to water it
Congratulating all teachers, admin and school staff, kids, and parents for making it through not the easiest of school years

Repurposing election signs to hang solar lanterns from this year to complement the mini shepherd hooks

Recommending this, I get it at Marshalls usually. It's only $7 there and that is much friendlier than Living Proof's price. Living Proof is still my favorite dry shampoo, but this is entirely serviceable most days. This is my fourth bottle.

Swapping desks, bringing the bigger one into my office and moving the smaller one into the back basement room. I need room. I'm finally getting my home office as I want it just in time for my office office to officially reopen. We have no you have to be in a certain number of days thing. I'm aiming for one day a week or one every other at least. 

Hanging out with dogs
Handing dog duty over to MFD as he's been working from the shore this week both on his actual work and on becoming Tan Mom using the sun instead of tanning beds
Arguing with people on the internet again. This time on the our shore town owner’s Facebook page with people who speculated houses are being left in poor condition upon checkout because it’s people using stimulus money. Excuse me what now? 

I told them this was classism. They told me this was not classism even though they were grouping people together by income level and assigning certain behaviors to them. They were sorry I was offended. I said I’m not offended but I’m disappointed you’re blowing smoke at me acting like issues between classes don’t exist and like you are not grouping people together by income level and ascribing behaviors to that group. 

The moderator turned off comments and deleted all of the ones under the person saying she heard the renters were bad this year assuming because they used stimulus money. One person said he doesn't think these people understand the ethics of renting a vacation home. When I tell you I lost my fucking mind, I am not exaggerating. 

Imagine being like this. Just because people make less money does not mean they do not deserve material comforts, joy, or vacations. They do not need to do with their money what you think they should do with their money. We are not here to work until we die and punching down does not put you closer to billionaires.   

Reading Two library books this week. It's been a lot of advanced reader copies from Netgalley on the kindle so library books felt good. Both were recommended in the Show Us Your Books linkup (who recommended After the Fire? and definitely Laura from Alabama + Graffiti on Milk Fed), and Milk Fed was a timely read for Pride month.
Reminding us all that making Juneteenth a federal holiday actually does nothing for Black people. How about we press the government for 1) Passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Act for protection and expansion of voting rights 2) teach accurate history in schools and stop fucking wilding out over Critical Race Theory 3) Passing the goddamn Emmett Till Antilynching Act to make lynching a federal hate crime 4) Halting the destabilization of COVID relief efforts 5) reimagining public safety 6) reparations 7) Legalize cannabis 8) Decriminalize drug possession, expunge drug records, end the war on drugs  

What's new with you?

What appears beyond the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts titles is what I'm listening to when I'm starting this - this week is Brian Wilson by Barenaked Ladies

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

This morning I was sitting out back thinking

-How fucking great it is to have the ability on a work day to sit out back and think with a cup of coffee instead of rushing out the door like a fucking crazy person.

-Mae makes a an awful keening sound that sounds distinctly human and is very jolting. 

-About my BFF Michelle, who celebrates her birthday today. When I talk about the people who have seen the literal worst moments of my life and never looked away but instead either sat beside me in my pain or grief or rage, or helped me figure it out, she is at the top of that list. It's funny how life brings you people that you need. We met about/over 18 years ago now at the Hulmeville because she was dating a friend of ours and bonded over soap operas of all things. Life went on and she didn't keep him, but I kept her and will forever. I keep all the real ones who see me and let me see them. Everyone else falls off when they're meant to. Happy birthday Michelle!

-The glorious smell of in-season, perfectly ripe strawberries that wafts out when you open the fridge

-The comfort I get from having furniture of my grandmom's and great grandmom's

-How sad it is when people do not have true friends who really see and accept and love them 

-How fucking bizarre the concept of an influencer is, and in that same internet vein, how heavy and hard it must be for some people to have an online persona and a face to face persona and those people are not the same people. We are here to be our authentic selves in this one life, and not doing that removes authenticity, truth, and imperfect human beauty from the world. Be who you are. Everyone else is taken. 

-Summer rain rules because then you don't have to water plants. 

-Dogs have become clingy monsters in pandemic life. I will never be sad to have all the extra time with Gus as his body breaks down and he approaches 16. 

-I put two seriously late birthday cards for the Kims, Michelle's card, and my bonus grandfather's Father's Day card in the mailbox today. Do mail people still take letters to be mailed from the box or do they have to go in the actual mailbox on the street? Update, I know you were on the edge of your seat: my mail person took them

-Birds are pushy squatters. 

-Actually flexing flex time is a whole new world. Gus was up shitting at 5 am and I had been up until midnight reading. I got all the dogs up and out, fed them, pulled the sheets off the bed, gathered towels throughout the house, threw a load of laundry in, got a bin out as the trash still hadn't been picked up, and went back to sleep for an hour. I started work at 9:30 and will just extend. I didn't stress or run around and it is such a nicer way to exist. We've always had flex time, but it's harder to flex when you are commuting and dealing with train schedules. They start to suck after the 6 pm hour.

-I am up to my armpits in deadline driven work for the next month.

-I will never understand the unwillingness to get a vaccine in a global pandemic especially when the excuse is big pharma or govt using you as research. What the fuck do you think they're doing through the device you're reading this on right now? Or because you don't want that in your body, but you ingest chemicals through your skin, mouth, and nose in the products you use on your body/face/hair, how you care for your lawn, what you eat and drink, what comes through your pipes. Man alive.

-Life has become a series of the eating same foods over and over prepared just a bit differently. I'm making greek orzo salad today.

-I have to start stretching. I think this all the time but I have to.

-There is a shit load of organizing, furniture moving, and painting to be done in the Philly house. I am a broken record with this as I swear projects lag here like they don't at the shore, probably because they can't at the shore due to it being a vacation rental for some of the year. We're in a holding pattern for a while as everything is off the walls through quite a few rooms as we paint and move stuff around. The gallery wall alone going up the steps has so much on it. One of the bedrooms is basically empty as we wait to paint it. We're living among piles. I want to throw it all out.

Love, Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy and also me.

Monday, June 14, 2021

TWTW - the one sliding into summer

Friday My first shore commute snafu of the summer season - I was going to leave before work, then at noon. I left at 3 and there were accidents and bullshit all the way and it took me almost three hours. I ended up taking the back roads after I finally made it over the Walt Whitman, and I haven't done that in years.  It's a much more enjoyable ride. I got food from Boyar's and was super jazzed to find my pre-ordered copy of The Afrominimalist's Guide to Living With Less by Christine Platt had arrived. It's officially out today or tomorrow. I was up reading until about 12:30. I had Bruce and Mae alone and it was weird for all of us. I never split Bruce and Ben. They were suspect. 
Saturday I slept in and had a leisurely morning. I made hard boiled eggs and did some organizing. Guests left and I headed up in the house to do my turnover tasks before our cleaning crew came. MFD arrived at about 10:30 and joined me in the house then took care of outside cleanup. I saved a highlight for vacation rental ownership stuff on Instagram and will probably try to share a little more about that this summer, primarily on Saturdays which is when we do turnover. It's something not super usual so I figured why not.

We went down to the North End but the wind was wild and the only thing biting were crabs. The island is coming into full bloom and it is glorious. I was hangry so we had lunch at Sand House Kitchen on Beach Road. It's a new restaurant, but the location and bones are the shack I used to get  hotdogs, sodas, and french fries at on North Street Beach when I was a kid. It feels the same in the shade LOL. The food was good, we split dirty fries with crab meat and cheese and I had a calamari po boy. When we got home I did my nails (9th & Maxwell eggplant, Essie suits you swell topped with OPI rainbows a go go on the pointer fingers). 
We went up to the boardwalk for a stroll and MFD was on a headband buying binge, for "us" even though only one of us wears them now. We tried Ocean's South End Pizza which is new this year and it was two thumbs up from both of us. It was a nice night capped off with a big bucket of Johnson's buttered popcorn.

Sunday I was up a little around 6 then slept until 9:30 and it was amazing. MFD got breakfast sandwiches from Boyar's (mine came with cheese even though I asked for none, anyone else out there a no cheese on most sandwiches person?). I stopped by the library to pick up holds. Parking next to a pickup of surfboards is definitely not something that happens in the city. We went back to the North End and it was much nicer wind-wise. I finished a book and we were back home lounging by 3. After a long walk the dogs were tired out. I brought them all home with me around 7:30 and got all the trash out. 

This week is set up to be busy on the work front and on the home front as I try to get some shit done. 

Let's do it!

Saturday, June 12, 2021

How to prepare for the practicalities of an extended holiday

Image Pixabay CC0 License

The anticipation and the excitement of looking forward to a trip is always a great feeling whether you are going on a short weekend break or a fortnight away. But, when you are heading off on an extended holiday, there is even more to look forward to. Taking an extended break and travelling for weeks or even months is an ideal opportunity to get even more enjoyment from your time away. However, to ensure your trip lives up to your expectations, it is wise to plan it as carefully as you can. If you love spontaneity and prefer just to wing it when you go away, you may want to make a plan for this trip to ensure you make the most of every moment of your journey; after all, it is not every day you get the chance to escape from ordinary life for months at a time. To help you make the most of this exciting opportunity and to keep any stressful situations at bay, you may want to consider some of the following points:

Check Your Documents

Whether you plan to stay in the same location throughout your trip or travel around, it is essential to check which travel documents you will need. Depending on where you are travelling, you may need to apply for a visa, or you may be allowed to travel without a visa but need to comply with restrictions on the length of your stay and when you can return to the country. Either way, it is wise to understand which pieces of documentation you will need as soon as possible to prevent a stressful rush to complete the paperwork when your travel date gets closer.

Don’t forget to double check the expiry date on your passport before you travel too. If you are visiting countries that require you to have at least six months left on your passport, it is helpful to think about this before you take your extended trip and ensure you have plenty of time left before your passport expires.

Make Arrangements for Your Responsibilities

While it is a great feeling to have the freedom to travel whenever and wherever you like, as an adult, it is usually necessary to balance your everyday responsibilities against your wanderlust. Unfortunately, this often means sorting out some practicalities before you can head off on your travels. This is not too much hassle to arrange for a regular holiday, but when you are planning a more extended trip, there is a bit more to think about. 

If you will be away for several weeks or even several months, you may be concerned about leaving your home for this amount of time. Leaving your home empty can be concerning both from a security point of view, but also financially. So, you may want to consider having a friend or relative house sit for you while you are away. Or you could even explore the idea of renting out your home as a short term let to make some money while you are away if that is something you are comfortable with. 

If you have pets, you will also need to arrange for them to be looked after while you are on your trip. Starting to make arrangements for pet care early is the best solution to ensure your pet is looked after well until you return back home. Knowing your pet is in safe hands will prevent you from worrying while you are away and enable you to enjoy your holiday knowing they are being taken care of by someone you trust.

Protect Yourself

Of course, staying safe and healthy is a major priority when you are travelling, especially if you are far from home. Thinking about the best ways to protect yourself while you are away is essential. The first thing you can do is stay up to date with all the latest travel advice issued by the government. Monitoring the foreign travel advice provided on the government website will help you to stay informed about any changes in advice that could impact your trip, such as health warnings.

Suppose you will need vaccinations to protect yourself while travelling or require malaria medication. In that case, it is best to get your appointments for these scheduled so that you allow yourself enough time to receive the doses needed before you travel. If you take regular medication for other conditions, you will also need to discuss your prescriptions with your doctor so that they can issue you enough medication for your trip. Don’t forget; some countries have different rules about which medications you can bring into the country, so it is essential to check this before travelling.

Researching the best travel insurance offers is also a wise idea when you are travelling for a more extended period. Finding the right level of insurance cover to match your needs will provide you with added peace of mind while away and allow you to relax and enjoy your trip.

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Final Thoughts for Planning the Perfect Long Break

Planning a longer holiday can feel overwhelming. You may feel stressed about preparing for a long trip and feel under pressure to make sure you make the most of this opportunity and do not let it go to waste. 

The best way to avoid any of the pitfalls that can scupper your trip, it is a good idea to start your planning as soon as you can. Getting the formal details, such as your documentation, sorted out early will enable you to focus your attention on the more exciting parts of your trip. With the paperwork out the way, you will be able to spend your time putting together your must-visit list of places to visit, plus things to see and do while you are there. With all the planning complete, you will be able to look forward to and count down the days until your exciting adventure, and then enjoy every second of it while you are there.


This post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind

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