Lay The Groundwork For A Great Vacation

Are you ready to ditch the winter blahs and head out on a spring break vacation? Or are your setting your sights on summer vacation instead? Whatever your timeline or destination, it always helps to plan ahead.AdobeStock_96814574

One of the best ways to do that is to prepare a checklist of things you’ll need or have to do before you enjoy a little rest and relaxation. Try this kickstart list to get yourself in gear:

Pack like a pro. Unless you can afford to take a boatload of luggage with you on your trip, you’re going to need to pack judiciously. It all comes down to taking a “needs versus wants” approach.

For instance, you want to take 10 pairs of shoes to match all your outfits, but do you really need all of them? Can you get by with a minimum amount of makeup instead of carting a caseload with you? And do you really need a different outfit for morning, noon, and night for each day of your vacation?

Once you whittle down your list of necessities, it’s time to pack smart. Here are some vacation warrior tips to do just that:

  • Save space by sticking socks and underwear inside of shoes.
  • If you’re taking wrinkle-free clothes (which is always a good idea), roll them up before placing them in a suitcase.
  • If you have underwear that’s seen better days, take it along and toss it out after you wear it. That’s less you’ll have to take home!
  • Zip all zippers and button all buttons.
  • Check ahead to see what in-room amenities are available at your hotel, such as soap, shampoo, hair dryer, etc. That will help determine what not to pack.
  • Leave behind jewelry that’s flashy and pricey and could attract the attention of thieves. Only take those pieces that you really plan to wear.
  • Use a travel kit for toiletries. Because of its compact size, it will force you to keep things to a minimum.
  • Bypass the electric toothbrush and razor in favor of manual models.
  • Pack chronologically, placing the items to be worn first on top. This will prevent you from turning a suitcase inside out looking for a particular piece of clothing.
  • Place jewelry, travel documents, medication, keys, and other valuables in your carry-on luggage. And if you have room, place a single change of underwear and clothes in there, too, in case the luggage you checked in goes astray (not on its own, of course).

Traveling by air? Know what to expect before you get to the airport by familiarizing yourself with rules and regulations of the federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

One of them is the 3-1-1 Liquids rule. You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes through the security checkpoint. These items are limited to 3.4 ounces or less per item.

And remember to check your baggage for items that can’t be carried onto a plane. This includes certain tools and foods. Also keep in mind that TSA isn’t liable for damage caused to locked bags that must be opened for security purposes.

And don’t forget to travel-proof your home (and save money, too) while you’re away by doing such things as turning off the air conditioning or setting it at a higher temperature; unplugging devices like TVs and computers; and putting your lights on timers. It’s also a good idea to notify your local police department of your trip if you’re planning to be away for an extended period.

This is not an exhaustive list of travel tips, to say the least. But hopefully it will help steer you in the right direction.

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