Great Tips for Holiday Travel

Vacations are supposed to be fun! However, it’s hard to relax when you’re thinking about all the things you have to do. There are so many things to remember and so many things to do before you leave.

Stress no more. The following Travel Checklist will help you remember some of the important things to do before you leave home:

• Make a list of all of the things you want to take & check them off as you put them in your suitcase.
• Notify the post office and arrange for them to hold your mail.
• Give someone close to you your itinerary if you have one. At the very least, give them your flight information.
• If you’re traveling abroad, make sure a trusted friend or family member has a color copy of your passport and drivers license, as well as a copy of your itinerary.
• Ask your neighbors or a good friend to keep an eye on your home.
• Leave a house key with your friend or neighbor.
• Adjust thermostats to save energy.
• Pay any bills that will come due while you are traveling.
• Lock all doors and windows.
• Close the blinds and/or curtains, especially in the back and side of the house.
• Set security alarms.
• Set up timers on lights and TVs to give the appearance that someone is home
• Inform your security monitoring company that you will be away and arrange for a security patrol.
• Check the fridge/kitchen for perishables and dispose of them. Take the garbage out!
• Since so many bags look alike, consider putting a bit of colored tape or ribbon on the handle to quickly identify your bag at the luggage carousel.
• Make sure to have all of your important travel information and documents all together in one place. (Note: *Carry important papers with you.! Do not check anything that you don’t want to lose)
• Photo identification
• Passports/Visas
• Itineraries/Schedules
• Tickets and Seat Assignments
• Frequent Flyer Cards
• Confirmation numbers
• Contact numbers for hotels or car rental agencies
• Money or Travelers Cheques

While going on vacation is exciting I think we can all agree that returning to work after a vacation is usually stressful. There’s a lot of mail, a ton of e-mails to go through and dozens of other things you need to get to that have been piling up while you were gone. It can almost seem like a punishment for ignoring your responsibilities.

Hopefully you will be relaxed and ready to tackle the many tasks that have been waiting for you upon your return. However, just in case you get overwhelmed, here are some tips to help you ease back into reality:

• Notify people you regularly interact with that you will be unavailable and away from the office. If people know you’ll be gone, they (hopefully) won’t try to contact you which will significantly reduce the amount of voice mails and email.
• Clear the inbox on your desk and your email inbox so that the new items you must attend to when you return will be obvious.
• Wrap up all of your “To Do’s” . This may be difficult depending on the type of job you have, but do the best you can.
• Make sure you don’t have any meetings or appointments the first day (or two) when you return to the office. You will definitely appreciate the time to get caught up.
• Arrive an hour early to work. Use this time to check your schedule, messages, mail and e-mail before co-workers get in and start asking about your trip and giving you more things to do.
• Take an extra day before heading back to work to regroup and catch-up on your life. Use the extra day to get things done at home so that you can focus on work when you return to the office.

Okay, now go and relax and know that when you get back from your vacation, you’ll have everything under control.

Wishing you a safe and relaxing vacation!