Travel Series Part 1: Getting Ready To Go
I love to travel, seeing new places around the world, but when it comes to the actual traveling part I'm not the best at it. Since I don't want to stay home I've developed routines that make traveling easier for me. This three part series will cover everything from preparing to leave to time changing at the destination. Part one is about getting ready to go.
Plane rides are hard - I'm nervous about turbulence, I almost never sleep on planes, and long haul flights almost always leave me feeling sick, provided I don't get sick on the plane. But I've found that I can manage better if I prepare myself before I leave, and set my trips up in a certain way.
When faced with going on a trip for pleasure my instinct is to want to maximize my time in whatever place I'm visiting. I used to follow this instinct and hop on the plane all wound up from work, expecting to relax as soon as I got to my destination. What always ended up happening was me getting sick, either on the plane or more often once I got there, and I wouldn't really relax until I was ready to go home. Super fun.
So now I start winding down the week before I get on the plane. If possible I take two full days off before I get on the plane. As soon as I get home from work I consider myself officially on vacation. I don't run around trying to do errands or squeezing in whatever I can before I leave. I sit on my couch and contemplate my navel, take naps, read magazines, watch movies, and basically just relax. I allow myself to do a couple of loads of laundry, but that's it.
Packing? I try to do that in the run up to my time off. I decide what to take often a week ahead so I don't have to worry about it and to reduce the amount of laundry I have to do at the last minute. My travel toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, hair gel, etc.) are also packed in advance. My toothbrush and other items that I use every day go in the morning that I leave.
It may sound extreme and I know it's not possible for everyone, I don't have children to pack and care for and am lucky to have a good amount of vacation time from my job, but this works for me. Not only do I feel better when I arrive, but it helps me manage my travel anxieties. And it makes my vacations seem a lot more like actual vacations than made dashes.
Do you have trouble traveling? How do you manage?
Photo by Sophia Dunkin-Hubby.