Sometimes the most stressful part of travelling is everything leading up to the trip – and let’s face it, it can take the fun out of the trip before it even starts. Use these tips to reduce the stress before you leave, while you are travelling and when you return!
1. Check the weather forecast at your destination – even if travelling to a warm country – for ideas on what to pack. Build your travel wardrobe around one basic color (black, navy or brown) to expand wardrobe options and limit luggage. If you plan on driving and it calls for snow, try to leave room in your schedule so that you can take off earlier to avoid the storm. If travelling through snow is necessary, pack an emergency kit, a shovel and some gravel in case you get stuck.
2. Use travel sized toiletry items to save space. Fill them only three-quarters full to save on extra weight charges if travelling by air. Place in zipper freezer bags to avoid leakage. If you have the time, purchase these items once you arrive at your destination. If your suitcase is full and you want to squeeze a few more items in, drop the bag on the floor a few times to make everything settle and create more space.
3. Use plastic dry cleaner bags or tissue around clothing to reduce wrinkles. Another method is to place two items of clothing together flat and fold them around each other. Try not to fold clothing any more than it needs to be to fit in the suitcase. Some may even iron everything before placing it in the suitcase. If it goes in crisp and clean, odds are more in its favour of coming out the same.
4. Pack snacks and bottled water for yourself and the kids. Fill a cooler if you’re on the road. This eliminates unnecessary stopping and can be much cheaper. Eating in the car can be hard for kids to manage, so use a shoe box as a tray to hold a sandwich, a drink or fries and keep from spilling.
5. Pack an extra bag for items you buy or receive on your trip. This especially applies during the holidays. If time permits, wait to wrap presents you will be giving until after you arrive at your destination. This saves on space and you don’t have to worry about damaging your pretty wrapping paper.
6. Take care of home before you leave. You will be returning at some point, so tidy your house before you leave. The thought of returning to a messy house can put a damper on your vacation. Try not to let too many people know you are going away and set several lamps on timers to switch on/off at various times so it appears as if you are home. Have a neighbour pick up your mail – or stop service – and take out the garbage bin on garbage day.
You can’t do everything, so if everything is not perfect before you leave, try not to let it bother you. Once you have left your house there is nothing you can do about it, so wait and take care of it when you get back - you might as well enjoy your trip!
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© 2007 Colette Robicheau
The Organizing Coach
Phone: (902) 233-1577
Fax: (902) 455-0553
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