8 Things You Must Do to Stay Organized During Your Summer Travels
It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me. Ahtough you've not received a newsletter recently, we've been busy writing content as you will see in the next section below.
I took some time off recently and spent nearly a month in Europe for our honeymoon. Our honeymoon was a trip of a lifetime with just a few hiccups; the most major one being our luggage not arriving in Rome. Rob’s was missing for two days and mine nearly three. By about the third day; I was about ready to borrow some of Rob’s clothes! Although the airlines paid for clothing and personal items, we wanted to sight-see; so we just grabbed a few items and prayed our luggage would arrive. Thankfully it did.
Whether your travel plans this summer include travel across the country or abroad; here are some tips to help you stay organized during your travels. I can assure you; the more organized you are for your travels; the more restful your time away will be.
1. Create a “Before Vacation” list. Make a list of everything you “must” do before you leave on vacation. This is not a list of what you “want” to do; but what must be done before you can leave. I use one to remind me what I need to do in the office before I can take time off. I also have a separate list I use for personal things that must be done before we leave town. I created these lists in Microsoft Word so I can modify them over the years – and print a new checklist out each time I leave town.
2. Take a picture. Use your phone to take pictures of all checked luggage – take pictures of both sides. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words – and while you don’t need a thousand words to describe your luggage, it will be easier to show a picture of it to the airline if it is lost and substantiate any damage they did to your bag.
3. Label your luggage. In addition to a luggage tag (that can accidentally be torn off luggage), label the inside of your luggage with your name, cell phone, email address and home address. Tape this information to the inside of your suitcase lid or put it inside one of the outside pockets. You may even want to include a copy of your itinerary or a copy hotel confirmation where you will be staying so the airlines can find you if they need to deliver your luggage.
4. Organize your documents. You can organize these electronically, in hard-copy format or both – depending on your preference. Create a “temporary” folder in your e-mail to hold all of your travel documents, such as airline itineraries, hotel reservation confirmations, receipts for tickets you’ve pre-purchased for attractions or sightseeing, travel insurance, etc… If you are more comfortable with paper, organize them into a folder that you label with the destination and travel dates. Whether electronic or paper, your folder name might look like this: Maui: July 4 – 14, 2012. Because I shut my phone off when we went to Europe, I printed all of the documents we needed and organized them into a 5-part folder that you see pictured. I also included copies of our passports. Each major destination had its own section. Keep in mind I was gone for nearly a month; and this is not something I would typically do if I was going to be gone for just a week or two.
5. Scan your passport. E-mail yourself a copy of your scanned passport or other forms of identification, just in case they are stolen. You can also store a copy of your passport in the “cloud” using a service such as Dropbox.
6. Pre-Pack. Start your packing as early as possible, saving it until the last minute just adds to your stress level. If you have the space, designate an area where you can set items aside for your trip, or use an over the door hook to hold clothes you intend to pack. Doing this at least a week ahead of time will give you the opportunity to determine what clothes still need to be laundered or what supplies you may need to purchase at the store.
7. Use a receipt envelope. If you like to track your spending or are traveling abroad and need to reconcile exchange rates, toss in an envelope to contain all receipts. At the end of each day, put them in the envelope to reconcile upon your return. When traveling abroad, it’s hard to remember where you’ve spent money without a receipt to trigger your memory. You want to ensure you don’t end up purchasing a bike in another country when you’ve never been there – due to credit card theft. This actually happened to my dad.
8. Credit Card Collage. Take a picture of the front and back of each credit card. Insert the images into a Word document and password protect the document. Store this document in your Dropbox as well in case you ever need to contact one of the credit card companies to turn your card off (in case of theft) or call because it was shut off when traveling abroad. Be sure to include in this document any extra phone numbers not printed on the card in case you need to call when out of the country to resolve issues.
Each one of these ideas help ensure my vacation is stress-free – now I just need to get the airlines to cooperate! I hope you will find these ideas useful for your summer or upcoming vacation travel.
Organizing with Laura Blog
In a recent newsletter I announced that we are now bloggind for Real Estate.com.
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