It’s been a while since I did a travel post but I actually have a lot of travel coming up so I think it’s time! Plus, I’m pretty sure everyone travels the most during summer months, right?
I’ve shared this before but traveling is a double-edged sword for me. If you’ve been reading for a while, you know I used to travel SO MUCH MORE – like almost every weekend there for a while – and then I did a 180. I was freaking burnt OUT from traveling so much and constantly felt like my life was a hot mess…so I stopped. I said no to pretty much all travel plans for a good few months and since then I’ve been much more selective about what I say yes to.
Over the past 6 months or so, I think I’ve hit a healthy balance. I still take about a trip a month (usually just weekend trips), but I’ve found my happy place in terms of HOW to travel and still feel good about it. Anyways, thought I’d share some of the ways I prep my life for a vacation (or any kind of travel, honestly). I’ve basically broken it down in terms of how to prep each area of your life, too, so hope that helps!
PS I still love these tips I wrote a while back about making travel less stressful, so don’t miss that either!
I’m definitely not perfect here, but I’m A LOT better than I used to be aka waiting until the last minute to plan ahead and then kinda letting the ball drop on everything while I was gone. Not fun! And it was one of the biggest reasons that travel started to overwhelm me – because I’d always fall behind with work and feel bad about myself. Here’s what I’ve started doing…
- Using an equation – I try to plan a week in advance for every 3 days I’ll be gone. So if it’s just a long weekend, I’ll plan the week BEFORE I leave for those days off. If I’m gone a week, I’ll plan a couple of weeks in advance. Giving myself this buffer lets me not only have time to think about my plan and take action, but it gives me leeway in case my motivation is lacking. Simply knowing that I need to prep and get work done in advance and giving myself enough time really does help! See if that equation works for you. You can also check out these time management tips to help you stay on track with you pre-vacation to do list!
- Clear instruction in an Out of Office Email – Before you leave, let those who need to know that you’ll be traveling and what they can do if they need X Y or Z while you’re out. At the same time, put that info in an Out of Office email for anything that’s coming in. By telling people exactly what to expect, who they can contact if needed, and when they’ll hear from you, you won’t have as much anxiety about what people will do without you.
- Have a backup person – No matter your job, I’d guess that MOST of us have someone we can ask to cover while we’re gone. Maybe it’s a teammate, an assistant, even a boss, but having security that if for some reason shit hits the fan while you’re away, someone can step in. Be the backup for that person the next time they travel too so that it’s fair for you both!
- Take an extra day off if possible – I swear by this! If possible, take an extra day off if your trip is longer than a week. There’s nothing worse than landing on a Sunday night and having to be at work Monday (SO MUCH SUNDAY NIGHT ANXIETY OMG). Even if you can work from home instead of taking it off, try to give yourself that buffer of going to the grocery, unpacking, and getting your life together.
If you’ve ever left on a trip to come back to a house that is a total disaster, you know the feeling stinks. Here’s how to prep your home for while you’re away…
- Clean before you go – Yep! It is kinda the worst at the time, but it’s the freaking BEST to return to. If you have help, ask them to come the day before you leave or after. Coming home to a clean house and clean sheets after traveling does something for the soul, I’m telling you. Also, this includes lawn care! Schedule someone to come mow the lawn slash take care of your landscaping while you’re gone so you don’t come back to a crazy jungle.
- Instacart – If you can’t take a day off when you’re coming home, or if it’s just a weekend trip, think about Instacarting food on your way home. That way, you’ll have enough food to at least get you through the next couple days until you can go to the store yourself.
- Plan for mail and packages – Either put a stop to your mail if you’ll be gone a while or ask a neighbor to grab the mail and any packages while you’re away.
- Have someone come and check in on your house – I have roommates and we’re not all usually gone at the same time, so I don’t have to worry about this one so much, but now that I’m a homeowner, I totally get why people have housesitters. It can definitely be kind of nervewracking leaving your home, especially if it’s for a long trip. Have a friend or neighbor come and check in every few days to make sure everything feels right and then check in with you. Or if you really want to, have someone come stay at your place while you’re gone (this works really well if you have pets!).
MIND AND BODY
Anyone else like to kind of prep themselves mentally and physically for travel? Maybe it’s just because I’m getting older, but this has become a pretty important step for me, especially when traveling internationally…
- Get hydrated – This goes for your skin and your body. If you’re traveling a long way, the last thing you want to do is show up feeling tired and like your skin is cracking from all the dry airplane air. The week of, load up on all the hydrating masks and creams (don’t be afraid to apply in-flight either – I like this mask for traveling!) and chug that water! Bring a refillable water bottle with you so you always have H2O with you during your travels, too.
- Sleep well the week of – Depending on what kind of trip you’re going on, vacation can sometimes mean you’re not getting the best sleep. Be sure to rest up the week before so you’re at your best. I know I’m always a MUCH happier person when I’ve gotten good sleep. If you struggle in this department, check out this post on switching off your brain at night and this one about how to actually get 8 hours of sleep.
- Calm any anxieties – I feel like prepping to go on vacation can be the most stressful part of traveling, right? Hopefully this post helps you with that and gets you feeling organized, but if you’re feeling stressed, try stepping away and going for a walk or do something that helps you clear your mind. Then come back to your work or house, or whatever you’re doing to prep for your trip and start fresh. I also suggest that once you’re finished prepping you do something to destress because you don’t want to start your vacation off with a mind full of work/home stuff.
Getting your packing right can help SO much. I didn’t want to leave this section out but I actually have a post here that covers everything y’all need to know. Make sure you read this one if you’re not the best packer, k?
Does anyone else have any tips? I feel like everyone has their own routine for this kind of thing and I’d love to know what y’all do when you’re getting to travel!
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