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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Guest Blogger: The Ideal Pre-Travel Preparation Checklist

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                                                                           By Joe Laing

It is great to be prepared for any eventuality, particularly when going on vacation. You can use this checklist to ensure your vacation can be the best it can be, without last minute panic setting in. Plan ahead and have a smooth, worry-free getaway time with your family.

Research Your Route and Destination
First things first! You need to determine where you are going and the route you will take to get there. Work out how long it will take you to get from place to place, including stops for meals, gas and breaks. In this way you can find attractions, parks or historical sites to see along the way, determine where you will be by nightfall and thus be able to make reservations at a motel, hotel or RV camping spot.
With the Internet and Google maps you can find nearby amenities, like restaurants, grocery stores, local pools or fitness centers. You can search for special deals on lodging or camping while you're at it. If you are going to pass through larger cities, you might research their public transit, as this gives you the opportunity to beat traffic but get to area attractions easily and quickly. Want to find out what kinds of entertainment you can enjoy while in one area? Local entertainment listings can be found by searching that town or city to see exactly what you can enjoy for an evening.

Set Up Care for the Pets and Your Home
When you have pets that must be cared for, you should contact the kennel or the pet-sitter to ensure they will be available for the time you are away. Your regular house-sitters should be scheduled in advance, and if they have other plans, so you need time to look around and book an available service.

Find out the Weather Forecast so You can Pack Right
Checking the weather is an important factor in knowing what to expect on your trip. Normally you'll find the climate very nice in Southern California, for example, but they do have intervals of rainy weather. Know what to pack for the weather you may experience at your destination. It could prevent you from getting very soggy as you visit a famous theme park or take a walking tour of a famous historic downtown area.

Prepare all Your Gadgets for Travel
As you prepare your vacation, download
free or inexpensive apps.
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Your smartphone and laptop can keep you connected to home when necessary, but they can also provide you with entertainment on those down times you may experience. Another great feature for your smartphone is the ability to run multiple apps. Download free or very inexpensive apps that can do all sorts of great things for you on vacation, like identify animal tracks, find inexpensive gas stations wherever you are or list the best attractions to visit in a city or town.
For your use of a laptop, once you have mapped your trip, you can find places along the way that provide free WiFi. This makes it easy to log on and access your email or search Google. Google maps can prevent you from getting lost. Maybe you'll even start a little travel blog so you can keep your friends updated on your adventures. Oh, and don't forget your hands-free device and your charging cables.

Preparation in the Last Few Days
If you prepare properly, you won't come home to a disaster, whether at your own home or at work. Ensure your duties at work are covered by a co-worker or your boss; the essentials cared for so you don't come home to an in-box stuffed with emergencies. Get those incomplete matters handled as thoroughly as possible so you won't be "deserting" anyone or anything. At home, ensure the laundry is done and save some clothes for your return so you won't have a lot of washing to do. Make sure your house is clean and tidy. You don't want to walk in after time away to a space in complete disorder.

Pack Wisely for Your Trip
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With everything else taken care of for your trip, now you can begin to pack. You can determine what you wish to take by making a complete and detailed list, like "toothbrush, toothpaste, brush, hairdryer, shaver, shaving cream, etc." Then when the time comes to put everything into your suitcases or into your RV, you can just mark off the items as you pack them. With a suitcase, roll your clothes instead of folding as this means fewer wrinkles. If you will be leaving the country, do not forget your passport.

When prepared for your journey, you can travel stress-free and enjoy some real relaxation, which you so deserve!

About the Author: Joe Laing is the Marketing Director for El Monte RV, your nationwide source for RV rentals. El Monte RV also sells used motorhomes through eight different locations across the United States.


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