With millions traveling abroad each year, Americans are great travelers. Some return delighted, while others walk away with a bitter taste in their mouths. The difference? Planning. That’s all!

Organizing for a smooth journey takes a lot of planning. Work that goes into a trip is, in fact, made up of 80% of the time spent before leaving, and the remaining 20% once on your way. Indeed, most of one’s time goes in mainly dreaming about the beautiful holiday to come! Planning outings, clothing, destinations, immunizations, and important papers in advance is beneficial. Also think of tickets, luggage, and new clothes well in advance. Just a bit of foresight will help you truly relax and enjoy what the holidays have to offer.

Before you Travel

To begin planning, you need to first list your needs. Sit down together with the people with whom you will be travelling. What are the needs this trip calls for? Rest, cultural discoveries, work, or sport? Are there persons with different characteristics, and therefore, special needs? A pregnant woman, perhaps? A person with allergies? A young baby or an elderly person?

Then, set yourself a budget. Vacations that far exceed the budget available will give you stress, just the opposite of what you’re looking for. Provide for contingencies precisely.

Finally, think over all those important documents you need, and begin somewhat early the steps needed to obtain them prior to departure. Whether it is your passport, an international driving license, travelers checks, copies of prescriptions, travel dictionaries, air, ferry, or train tickets, all these documents need time to be arranged for. Don’t stress about these at the last minute! Start planning early.

During the Journey

During the journey, just enjoy yourself! There are so many people who worry about all that they’ve left back home. What can you do anyway, sitting on your island paradise? You can solve problems, if any, when you return. Learn to awaken your senses: listen to new songs of birds and the sound of waves. Smell the scents of new flowers. Touch the so soft and warm sand. Watch a sunset splitting itself into infinite hues. Delight in new flavors on your palate. Make the most of every second available to you and consider yourself blessed to be there at that time.

After the Trip

If you were ill abroad, when you return, visit your doctor without delay. Above all, don’t curse the end of the holidays. That’ll ruin whatever good you got out of it. Admit you were privileged to have had one, and continue to live your life. Nothing’s stopping you from choosing to continue life a little slower, a little calmer, and much happier!

Tips to Better Manage Your Luggage

Before leaving, make sure there’s enough for souvenirs. Make a list of people you plan to buy them for one and the nature of the purchase. This will help calculate the additional space.

  • If you’re traveling with another person, divide the contents of your luggage so that they each contain a bit of the other’s clothes. If a bag gets lost, you’ll thank us for this one.
  • To avoid damage, replace all aerosol products with their equivalents in stick or powder form. Do not fill bottles to the brim with liquid products, because they can expand under the effect of cold. As a precaution, put them in an airtight freezer bag.
  • If you plan to write letters or postcards to loved ones, copy their addresses on a piece of paper.
  • Shoes take up more space. Slip into each shoe a plastic bag that contains rolled socks or underwear. This will fill the gap and prevent the shoe from deforming.
  • To preserve the freshness of your clothes, place a sheet of fabric softener in your luggage.
  • Roll your ties to avoid the unsightly fold that forms when you simply fold them in half.
  • Choose wrinkle-free clothes.
  • Button up shirts or blouses so that they fall properly when you wear them.
  • Roll t-shirts and surround them with your other clothes, and place them wrapped in clear bags of laundry. It is contact between clothes which creates wrinkles.
  • Use the straps inside the bag to prevent the clothes from moving.
  • Unpack as soon as you arrive. If some items are wrinkled, hang them in the bathroom while you take a shower. Steam the wrinkles.
  • For a vacation outside of Canada and the United States, electrical adapters are ideal in order to use your hairdryer or your cell phone charger.
  • A combination lock, a travel alarm clock, nail clippers, spare batteries for the camera and a bit of laundry soap are always needed, regardless of your destination.

Standards for Gels, Liquids and Aerosols Permitted in Carry-On Baggage

Gels, liquids and aerosols are allowed at checkpoints and boarding in sizes of 100 ml, 100 g (3.4 oz) or less. Containers must be placed and well-sealed in one transparent plastic bag with a press-seal, of a maximum capacity of one liter (quart). The approximate dimensions of this bag need to be 6 inches by 9 inches, or 8 inches by 7 inches. Articles should neither fill the bag fully nor stretch the sides. One bag per person is allowed.

Checklist of Items you Leave Behind

  • Pets
  • Plants
  • Water heater
  • Snow or grass
  • Fire risks
  • Newspapers and circulars
  • Garbage
  • Refrigerator
  • Heating oil
  • Bills
  • Timers on lamps
  • Doors and windows
  • Blinds and curtains