In light of the fact that I will be laying on Punta Cana’s famous white sand exactly one month from now, I’ve started to take my trip planning a little more seriously. With so many other projects, exams, and social events on the go this month, I think it’s important to keep my vacation in the back of my mind for reward reasons (IE: if I have to exhaust myself by studying for these exams, it’s okay because I can relax on my trip) but also for organizational purposes. Because let’s be honest, this past semester has flown by at the speed of light, so it’s a little scary to think about how fast this next month will move. So for everyone heading South this holiday season, stay on top of your plans with my scheduling tips!
One Month ’til Departure – Finalize your Budget: I would hope that you’ve had a rough idea of how much money you’ll need on your trip from the moment you booked it, but now is the time to make sure those funds are actually there. With only about 2 or 3 pay cheques left before you leave, make sure you’re dedicating a good amount of that money to your travel plans. Luckily, my vacation is all-inclusive, and I only plan to spend money on tips and excursions (and maybe a corn row or two if I’m feeling adventurous) but I know this isn’t always the case. For instance, when I travel to BC this summer, I’ll be paying for a lot more meals and I’m hoping to do a good amount of shopping – so this step will become a lot more crucial then.
Three Weeks ’til Departure – Hit the Gym: Depending on your fitness goals/lifestyle, this may have been something you’ve kept up with for quite some time. Unfortunately for me, working out is something that takes the back burner when my schedule is packed with other commitments throughout the term. But thankfully I’ve been blessed with a super speedy metabolism (thanks mom!) so I haven’t been overly concerned with this aspect. However as my trip nears, I plan to challenge myself to hit as many hot yoga classes as possible before the holiday craziness ensues. Hot yoga is not only a great way to tone up fast, but it’s also an awesome way to sweat out any excess stress that may be holding you back. So although it’s important to feel confident and comfortable in your swimsuit, it’s even more important to stay as relaxed as possible so your vacation doesn’t end up feeling like a chore.
Two Weeks ’til Departure – Make a Packing List: Okay, you caught me, I love lists. But I think it’s so important to put together a packing list at least 2 weeks in advance so you have enough time to pick up anything you may be missing. The easiest way to ensure that you don’t forget anything is to mentally go through each day of your trip, and think about anything you could possibly need for that day. This goes for outfits (shoes, jewelry, hair), to health (medication, sunscreen, aloe), to travel documents (passports, boarding passes, insurance), and anything else you might be putting in your suitcase. And if you’re missing anything at all, make ANOTHER list of the things you need to pick up!
One Week ’til Departure – Get Yourself Together: This might be the funnest part of travel prep, at least for me. Self preparation for tropical vacations in the middle of winter pretty much consists of all the awesome things about summer – pedicures and tans. I’ve already scheduled my mani/pedi (conveniently right after my last exam – even more of a treat!) and I’ll be sure to get on my self-tanner grind so I don’t look transparent on the beach (there are some really awesome gradual tanning lotions that won’t make you look super dark the first day you apply them – so you won’t look out of place at your Christmas dinners). Overall, this step definately won’t be the same for everyone. So my tip for you guys is to decide what will make you feel fully prepared for this trip, and get it done. This could be anything from finishing up a big project at work, to making sure you have dinner with your best friend.
One Day ’til Departure – Say Your Goodbyes: This final task isn’t as morbid as it seems, I simply mean that the day before your trip should be somewhat relaxing – hang out with friends and family, and pack your bags without a sense of urgency. Another good idea is to set an auto email response – especially if you have a lot on the go right before you leave. A lot of people recognize that others aren’t as inclined to answer emails during the holiday season to begin with, but if you’re like me and people are used to an almost instant reply, think of it as common courtesy to let people know that you’ll get back to them when you’re back in the country and the swing of things.
If people are interested enough , I’m considering making “Travel Diaries” a sort of mini series, as I think it’s so important to see the world at this age! So let me know what you guys think, or what you’d like me to write about!