Organizing your next trip - lots to do!


It goes without saying that you need to decide where you’re going, and the purpose of your trip.  Do you want to relax and recharge your batteries? Explore and experience adventure? Tantalize your taste buds? Enjoy art, music, history and culture? Do you want to do it all? That’s me and my honey!

As a trained professional organizer currently planning a one month trip to Israel, I thought that I would outline some steps which could be helpful in planning your next vacation.

Besides the minutiae of planning, which I’ve detailed below, it’s really important to do some research about your destination. For example, in Israel, the buses don’t run on Shabbat (Saturday) and many places are closed for business that day. In Muslim countries, everything is closed in the daytime during the month of Ramadan, and certain countries operate different opening hours for tourist attractions depending on whether it’s on or off season. 

Book your ticket, no matter whether you’re using points, searching the internet for deals, or simply driving to your destination.  

If you need vaccinations, be sure to book them well in advance. Some vaccines need to be administered in two or even three doses.

Ensure you have the proper converters for your technology!

Unless you are travelling within Canada (or your own country), you will need to ensure that your passport has not expired. Some countries require that your passport expire not less than six months after your return. Even though you’re not supposed to smile broadly for passport photos, a subtle half smile is acceptable, and makes a big difference in the photo.

Travel insurance is essential to insure your belongings, your ticket (in case you need to return home in a hurry), and your health. If you are injured or feeling ill, it’s wonderful to be able to call your insurance company and receive the required treatment without worrying about the cost. This is the voice of experience talking!

Book your hotels or wherever else you’re opting to stay. It’s easy to check out the ratings of a place on Trip Advisor or a similar site, which is definitely helpful in the decision process. If you’re travelling during a non-peak period, you could possibly rent last minute lodging, depending where the wind takes you. That’s how I travelled years ago on my solo cycling trips in Greece, Italy, and France.

Consider transportation to the airport, train or bus station, as well as from the airport, train station or bus terminal to your hotel.

Prepare a list of clothing, footwear, toiletries, and any medications after checking the anticipated weather. Purchase what you need, and aim to finish packing at least one week prior to your departure. That way you can check whether you have everything on your list, including sunscreen, a hat, Gravol (I use it), gum for the plane, etc.

Other considerations: travel guides (people, not books), car rental, train or bus pass, books on Kindle, paper books, magazines, downloading movies to watch, etc. 

Cancel your newspaper, arrange for snow removal in your absence, and plan for someone to water your plants, take in the mail, and feed the cat!

Maybe pack a snack for the trip and a bottle of water, and get ready to have a wonderful, memorable time! After all this preparation, you deserve (and need?) a fantastic journey! Enjoy!

Most importantly, go with the flow. You’re on vacation, relax and take it easy!