The days and weeks before a planned trip can be an exciting time. Studies have shown that the anticipation enjoyed before a vacation can actually increase happiness levels just as much as (sometimes even more than) the event itself. At the same time, planning for a trip can be stressful. You may feel unsettled about knowing the right way to prepare for the best payout in fun and relaxation. Here are three tips that can help you get ready for your ultimate getaway and take the stress out of preparation.
1. Make a Bucket List
There’s a good chance you’ve chosen a vacation destination that has a few activities available you’d enjoy. It can help to make an “ultimate vacation” bucket list and go crazy thinking of all the possibilities. Then you can begin narrowing down these items by priority. For instance, if you’re looking at North Carolina coast rentals, you might want to try surfing and scuba diving. Or in Mexico, you might want to see the manatees and visit ancient ruins.
2. Have a Plan When It Matters
A good rule of thumb for vacation prep is to plan both the first day and the last day. These will likely be the two most memorable days of your trip, and having a plan in place will help you be sure to achieve whatever activities you want to make sure you get to before going home. Also have a “last day” packet with the items you’ll need for going home, like keys, cash, passports and any documents you’ll need. This will save on last-minute stress. And keeping the other days of your trip clear will allow for some flexibility since you never know what recommendations you’ll get from fellow travelers, or what opportunities will present themselves after your arrival.
3. Prepare Your Home
Hopefully, you’ve started thinking about things like reserving a kennel for cats and dogs or a housesitter for bringing in mail and watering plants. It’s also important to make sure your employer knows you’ll be unavailable, and prepare an automatic email response letting people know when you’ll be reachable again. If you have regular services at your home, such as housekeeping or deliveries, be sure to contact those organizations or put in a stop order.
Your vacation ought to be a time to make wonderful memories, and preparing sufficiently beforehand can make an enormous difference in your ability to truly enjoy the moment when you’re there. Prep like a pro and find yourself more able to savor this special time.