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Old 11-27-2013, 10:51 AM
 
Location: DFW
6,944 posts, read 13,374,937 times
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I'm wondering if anyone does these in a different order (these aren't exhaustive but just some key steps I always make sure are completed in my pre-travel prep ritual.)

1) Fantasize about vacation (could go on for months or even years)

2) Ask spouse/partner if they'd like to come

3) Ask boss for time off (spouse does the same)

4) Book flight tickets

5) Book pet sitter (if you have a pet)

6) Book hotels

7) Ask post office to hold mail
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Old 11-27-2013, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Colorado
2,483 posts, read 4,023,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ragnarkar View Post
I'm wondering if anyone does these in a different order (these aren't exhaustive but just some key steps I always make sure are completed in my pre-travel prep ritual.)
1) Think about upcoming year… time I have off and where I want/need to go that year (usually down months or even year in advance)

2) Make sure spouse agrees on a rough outline of our plans

3) Book flight tickets or plan road route

4) Inform co-workers of time off (but I check my business cal at step 1 and spouse doesn't work)

5) Arrange tortoise sitter, and maybe a ride to/from the airport (family/friends)

6) Spend a lot of time researching hotels, campgrounds, activities, restaurants and everything else and make a detailed itinerary which contains timeframes, directions, phone numbers, cost and other good info for every activity, travel, dining and lodging aspect for each day. I will even slot in things like what we'll be cooking and whose job it is each day and I will also schedule free time. We're not stuck to the schedule if things come up, in fact it makes it easier because if something arises or you change your mind about what you feel like doing, then you can easily know what to give up to make that happen.

7) Ask post office to hold mail (maybe, if it's more than a few days and if I remember. We have a POB box only so they would just hold it either way, but they do like to know head of time if your box will be overflowing for weeks so that they can store it elsewhere)

8) Pack clothes, food, etc.. and go. For road trips we usually use our RV which we keep fully stocked with clothes and some dry goods, so we just do a trip to the grocery store as needed and then load it up and go… sometimes we even do that part en route.
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Old 11-28-2013, 01:57 AM
 
Location: Honolulu
1,662 posts, read 2,076,916 times
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Pretty much my planning too. Since I live in Hawaii, I have to make extra sure of my flight plans since they're non-refundable and very expensive. It's usually at least $500 to the west coast.
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Old 11-28-2013, 04:35 AM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
21,424 posts, read 25,529,183 times
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Climate, the weather expected somewhere, is my first priority. And I do a lot of research on weatherunderground.com for that. I live in the desert, accustomed to very low humidity, and cannot tolerate being anywhere where I'm going to suffer from high humidity levels, combined with heat. Expected rain, that's another factor, as I don't want to get rained on when I'm there. And how cloudy can I expect it to be!

That mission taken care of, strange as it may seem, I scout out the perfect hotel in a city I'm considering, and I refuse to stay in a hotel without balconies! And it must have a central location and not expensive!

I have had no desire to travel to New Orleans, but out of curiosity, I check out hotels there and I spotted my perfect hotel, with big balconies and a rooftop deck/pool, in an older hotel, for under $100, and then? Now I have a desire to go to New Orleans! Just because of the hotel and its downtown location!

I've stopped renting cars when I travel, so a good mass transit system also comes into play.
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Old 11-28-2013, 06:25 AM
 
Location: Gorgeous Scotland
4,120 posts, read 5,192,123 times
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1) Decide which place on our long list of places to visit to go to next. (US for a month a year is a given as my family is there.)

2) Retired, no need to ask for time off any more.

3) Do research.

4) Book airline tickets - see if we have enough airmiles to upgrade to business.

5) Book accommodation and car if needed

6) Have a mail slot in door so no need to hold the mail. No pets due to the fact that we travel a lot.

7) Ask friend to cut the grass if summer, water houseplants.

8) Start packing two weeks ahead of time.

9) Let banks know we are travelling abroad and will be using card(s). Check on travel insurance. Any visas needed.
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Old 11-28-2013, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Western NC
729 posts, read 1,394,431 times
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We spend a lot of time on Google Earth looking at the region and photos people have posted. We actually found an out of the way, unmarked castle in Scotland because we recognized the unmarked parking area and path from our searches on Google Earth
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Gorgeous Scotland
4,120 posts, read 5,192,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by young92 View Post
We spend a lot of time on Google Earth looking at the region and photos people have posted. We actually found an out of the way, unmarked castle in Scotland because we recognized the unmarked parking area and path from our searches on Google Earth
Which one?

I love checking out the world on Google Earth.
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Old 11-29-2013, 03:05 AM
 
Location: Airports all over the world
6,995 posts, read 7,206,032 times
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I am a spur of the moment type of traveler. For me to book a vacation months ahead would drive me insane. Most of the time if I get the urge to go somewhere I make it happen in less than a week. If I can not find decent travel to where I want to go on short notice, I usually end up making my destination fit whatever travel I come up with.

As far as a routine

Before leaving (usually the day before leaving)
-Clean house
-Remove any potential science projects from the fridge.
-Do laundry and pack
-Reserve a rental car

While traveling
-Arrive at destination
-Get rental car
-Confirm when I need to be back at the airport for my return trip home
-Wing it till I have to head home.
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Old 11-29-2013, 07:45 AM
 
Location: NW Indiana
1,446 posts, read 1,409,988 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan Mutt View Post
I am a spur of the moment type of traveler. For me to book a vacation months ahead would drive me insane. Most of the time if I get the urge to go somewhere I make it happen in less than a week. If I can not find decent travel to where I want to go on short notice, I usually end up making my destination fit whatever travel I come up with.

As far as a routine

Before leaving (usually the day before leaving)
-Clean house
-Remove any potential science projects from the fridge.
-Do laundry and pack
-Reserve a rental car

While traveling
-Arrive at destination
-Get rental car
-Confirm when I need to be back at the airport for my return trip home
-Wing it till I have to head home.
Nice comment about the "potential science projects in the fridge"! You will not make that mistake more than once.

I travel as often as I can and can agree with a lot of the comments in this thread.

One item I would add is to see if your destination requires a passport. If so, you will need to get one ahead of time. It can take a while and getting one expedited is more expensive.

I love to think about travel destinations and regularly check out a number of travel sites for ideas and information.

I also have learned to check out the weather. For example, I do not care how cheap it is, travel to the Caribbean in Hurricane season is not a good deal. In fact, it can be a very, very bad idea.
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Old 11-29-2013, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Gorgeous Scotland
4,120 posts, read 5,192,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyTarge13 View Post
Nice comment about the "potential science projects in the fridge"! You will not make that mistake more than once.

I travel as often as I can and can agree with a lot of the comments in this thread.

One item I would add is to see if your destination requires a passport. If so, you will need to get one ahead of time. It can take a while and getting one expedited is more expensive.

I love to think about travel destinations and regularly check out a number of travel sites for ideas and information.

I also have learned to check out the weather. For example, I do not care how cheap it is, travel to the Caribbean in Hurricane season is not a good deal. In fact, it can be a very, very bad idea.
All of mine take a passport!

Also want to add I have a 'closing up the house' list. Things to do or check before we leave. One year we were on the way to the airport for a one month trip and I remembered that I'd left the last of the bananas in the kitchen. Phoned our neighbour to go get it!

We have a big fridge/freezer in our laundry room and an undercounter (European-style) fridge in the kitchen. I move whatever is left from the kitchen fridge into the back one and turn off the one in the kitchen.
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