Spontaneous Travel: 5 Ways You Can Make Sure You’re Always Ready to Go
5 Ways You Can Make Sure You’re Always Ready to Go
Think Fast! It’s the holiday season. You’re sitting in your living room. The lights are twinkling and the eggnog is flowing and suddenly there’s your significant other with a gleam in his/her eye. There’s one more gift they announce and while you may be raising an eyebrow because you thought you’d made the gift purchase limit budget clear, a small part of you is excited at the prospect.
What could it be?
And then they tell you.
It’s that dream vacation you’ve had your eyes on for years!
Or the reason the calendar of best beaches in the world stopped on your wall at July!
Maybe it’s the place where your parents grew up that you always hoped to take the kids to see.
Or that land you watched in the documentary but never knew when you’d get to.
Suddenly, opportunity is knocking.
You can go!
Someone bought the tickets and all you have to do is pack.
Amazing right? Yet there are some people for whom this might be a problem.
I really don’t want you to be that person.
And so, as my gift to you, I offer you solutions to the five wrenches threatening to stand in your way. Get your battle plan ready so that you can zip off on your dream vacation whenever it lands.
- Passport: Know where your passport is. Nothing will spoil that amazing surprise getaway faster than realizing you can’t go because your passport expired. Also not fun: tearing apart the house in a frenzy in a search or realizing you’ll need to spend a lifetime in the passport office (and pay the rush fee) to make your dream come true. Don’t do that to yourself. Instead give your passport a permanent spot so you always know where to find it. Another trick? Mark the expiry date on your calendar 6 months before it expires or set a recurring alert on your phone.
- Be Health Ready: Having your vaccinations up to date can make the difference between a trip of a lifetime and coming home with some unwanted health concerns. The last thing you’ll want to do before boarding a flight is spend time searching for your immunization record and trying to convince a doctor to give you a lifetime’s worth of shots. Make it easy on yourself by keeping your vaccinations up to date. Different spots are going to require different shots. What do you already have? When are you due for a booster? And sometimes it’s not what you might bring back but who you can affect when you’re there. Whether it’s the new niece you’re visiting (kids under age two are especially at risk of getting one of many serious childhood diseases that can be prevented through immunization) or the kids in a village that doesn’t have the luxury of choosing to vaccinate or not, your protection can often help more than yourself.
- Separate your Seasons: Want to know the definition of impossible? Trying to find ski gloves in June. Chances are your dream vacation is going to take you to a part of the world that is in a different season than the one at home. Now is not the time to go searching for a swimsuit that fits. Be wardrobe ready. Keep your favourite summer outfits in one spot so they’ll be easy to grab and go when the opportunity presents itself.
- Be Pre-Packed: The time to replenish your favourite travel-size hair gel or wonder where your comfortable earbuds – the ones that you only use on the plane – are hiding isn’t moments before you need them. Instead keep ever-ready by having a bag pre-packed with the things you only ever really use while on vacation. Travel sized-items, those travel socks you love, the empty water bottle you fill at the airport and a copy of important travel documents (passport, driver’s licence and immunization record) can all find a permanent home in your favourite carry-on bag.
- Make sure your home can function without you: Getting your neighbours on board to help with packages that arrive while you’re away, or making sure your automatic light timers work, is the kind of preparation that can be done long before it’s time to leave on vacation. Chat with friends, family and neighbours and make sure everyone knows where the other might need help. Laying the ground work in advance (and offering to reciprocate) will make calling last minute, to request the plan be put into action, easier. There is nothing more relaxing than knowing that should you slip away to a tropical island, someone’s got your driveway shovel out covered back home.
This post was developed in association with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The opinions are my own.