Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What To Do Before You Leave for Vacation

Top 10 Things to Do Before You Leave on a Trip

  • I have recently read an article which discussed the top things someone should do before leaving home for a trip. You have your hotel, flights, transportation all lined up. Now what? To make a trip even more stress free, write these things down and check them off before your next vacation.

    1. Contact the kennel or house sitter
    2. Take care of stop orders or advance payments
    3. Plan the first day of your trip before you leave
    4. If driving, map out the drive to your very first location
    5. Pack your cell phone earpiece
    6. Make a withdrawal from your own ATM to help manage cash flow
    7. Do a web search for any of your hobbies at your destination
    8. Understand all public transit available at your vacation spot (i.e. subways, trains, buses etc) and map them out
    9. Check the local entertainment listings where you will be staying
    10. Check and know what the weather will be like.

    I have to give an example of how #10 can be critical. Being a northern California native, I always knew that you need to be prepared for a variety of weather changes when visiting the San Francisco Bay Area. The weather across the bay from downtown San Francisco can be different then if you were actually in the city limits of San Francisco. The sun can be shining in Oakland and foggy and drizzly in San Francisco with a drastic temperature difference. Anyone who has been to that area before knows you need to be prepared for the worst because 55 degrees in San Francisco can feel like freezing somewhere else. Well...I was attending a SF Giants Baseball game which was also a night game. It is not uncommon to see fans wearing stocking caps and heavy coats at a Giants game in June (back when they played at Candlestick Park). Pregame this particular night had sunshine and decent temps. I had noticed not far from me a couple of people who were wearing shorts and t-shirts. Now this would seem like normal apparel for a Summer game anywhere else in the Country. And since it was sunny and warm at the time, these 2 people probably thought this was normal for good old Candlestick Park right on the edge of the San Francisco Bay.

    But I also noticed is that these 2 did not have any other type of blanket or coat or anything to be prepared for what was inevitably going to happen which was the rolling in of fog and the severe drop in temperature. Those of us with experience knew what was coming. Someone who had done some homework would know to never go to a night game at Candlestick Park without a coat, gloves or stocking cap in the Summer.

    Most of us sitting near this couple noticed early on that their shirts were a dead giveaway that they were not from around the area and simply just 2 tourists looking to take in a local sporting event. Their lack of preparation and advance planning made for one of the longest nights I am sure they ever had in the middle of Summer. It was not too long before hoards of people were offering extra blankets or coats to try to warm these people up. I still get a chuckle thinking back on that today.

    So the moral is...take some time before you leave home to be better prepared which can make a trip even that much more enjoyable.

    Top 10 items taken from a story in the independent traveler and written by Ed Hewitt.

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