August 15, 2012

The Fun Way to Prepare for Vacation

Every year since middle school–without giving away my age, we’ll just say for a long time–I have been blessed to go to Hawaii on vacation with my family.

Back story: Long before I was thought of, as my father likes to say–he went to Hawaii when he was in the Navy. After traveling all over the world he concluded it’s the only place that actually looks like the post cards. Hence, the obsession begins. And yes, there are worse things than having to go to Hawaii every year, but it’s a big world, and I wanna see it. Alas, that’s a post for another day…

Fast forward, yearsssss, and we have present day. There are many approaches you can take to preparing for vacation, but the important thing is to find the one that works for you. Personally, I spend the final week’ish prior to departure, preparing. My cousin, on the other hand, has been shopping and organizing since Feb. And then there’s my friend D, who despises packing more than anyone I know and stresses up until the last moments. (No, she’s not going with us on vacation. Just an example.)

Here’s where I’ve landed:
– Do not over pack. No matter where you go, you can but the ‘it’ you think you need. And then you can say you got that ‘it’ from your vacation destination.
The Fun Way: Every year, I am the woman in the check-in line at the airport unzipping her suitcase, sweating profusely as she shifts stuff from one bag to another because her suitcase apparently meets the obesity standards set forth by airlines all over, and I don’t want to pay the additional fee. Don’t be me. And weigh your bag(s) before leaving.

– Always confirm your flight time.
The Fun Way: Or, you can realize after your father has arranged for transportation to pick you up at the airport in Hawaii, that your flight changed and is now coming in later than originally scheduled. (I can call the car service, Daddy doesn’t need to know.) Which brings me to my next point, transportation.

– Find and verify reliable transportation to and from the airport.
The Fun Way: Call the car service you booked online to take you to BWI a few days prior to leaving, because you haven’t received their confirmation call, to find out they don’t do pick ups in the state of MD, only in D.C. Spend the days before leaving finding the cheapest car service you can and hope for the best.

(Note: Yes, friends are an option. One year, mine overslept and I had to drive myself to the airport and then have my other friends retrieve my car so I didn’t incur the $20 a day fee for 2 weeks. And in this year’s case, there aren’t too many volunteers to take me to the airport at 5am on a Sunday.)

That brings us to today. I still need to remind my neighbor to drop my dog off at the kennel on Monday. I haven’t packed. And technically, my suitcase zipper is broken. But to me the number one thing to do to prepare–get excited! And that I have covered…everything else will come together.

Look for frequent posts over the next two weeks from paradise, aka Hawaii.

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