When are you taking your next vacation?
It’s the middle of December, 2014 and I am finally on the way to my first week off for the year. Sitting on the plane now, I reflect back on what it took to prepare for this trip. Obviously, all the hard work during the year, but here is what I did.
Yuri frequently points out to me that I complicate my life by over thinking and over planning. “It’s just my nature.” I respond to him that: “Our brains are wired differently!”‚Ä¶.and he nods with a smile. Men vs. Women?! Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus! Well maybe. Do you agree?Mauna Lani, Big Island, HI ~ December 2014
I came to realize, whatever your approach to life is, these critical steps have to be addressed
Now this is were Yuri and I will never agree. Yes, I need more clothes and shoes, and jewelry and make up! I think you get it:)
-What kind of trip are you taking? Beach vacation, exploring and sightseeing, a cruise, a little bit of each?
-Check the weather.
– How long is your trip? Think an outfit per day. I always bring two extra, in case the weather prediction is off. (Well, let me be honest ‚Ä¶ in case I change my mind:)
-Think comfortable shoes. Don’t forget a pair of dressy shoes for a special night out. Yes, men you too! Can’t wear Toms all the time!
2. Closing the loop at work & home
-I feel that the most productive day at work is the last day before your vacation starts.
-Wrap all the outstanding projects, or extend your deadlines.
– READ and answer all emails.
-Are you bringing your computer with you?
– Will you be responding to emails?
– Is your vacation responder on?
– Who is your point of contact in case of work related emergency?
-Do you need a home sitter?
-Who’s watching your pets?
-Newspapers and mail suspended on hold
3. What you gonna do when you get there?
I know that you’ve already planned your trip.
– Are there any last minute items that you need finalize?
-Hotel, flight and car reservations confirmed?
-Travel documents in place? Visa and/or passport?
-Some trips I don’t plan much ahead of time. Just get there and figure out on the spot. Other trips, makes sense to think through and pre-book excursions or other activities ahead of time. It saves money:)
Last, but not least!
This time around, I actually prepared well in advance.
-We paid for flight, hotel and car ahead of time.
Remember, Fixed Expenses?
-The only expenses left are food and entertainment. Variable Expenses.
Now, just like in the everyday life, come up with a budget. I know vacation is about relaxing and having fun. But you will agree with me that when vacation is over, you don’t want to be stuck with a huge, unplanned bill to pay.
-Figure out how much you will spend per day. Do you need $200, $300 or $500 per day for variable expenses (food, entertainment, excursions)
– If you use a credit card, know your limit! Use your daily budget as guideline.
-I prefer to have estimated budget amount already allocated in my checking account. Only use credit card in emergency, or not at all.
I know that I may have forgotten something, but my most critical items are taken care off. Now it’s time to relax and have fun!