If 2020 wrecked havoc on your extended vacation travel plans, you're not alone! But that's no reason to stop dreaming of the day and the ways in which we can again - albeit, a little differently from how we've done it before.
A quick weekend city or country drive is always a joy, and a "standard" holiday of between 7 - 14 days can take that thrill and build on it, with more sight-seeing and a greater chance to acclimatise. A proper coast-to-coast holiday in the US or a trip down the spine of any land mass will inevitably be all the more enjoyable if you’ve got more time to soak in the culture and magic of each new place. Time is a luxury, and let’s face it, any chance to travel at the moment is too! But if you’re going to take a longer trip anytime in the near future, then you need to be prepared...and not just for the trip itself. Life doesn't stop while you’re away, so consider the following to cure concerns on the road and come back truly fresh!
ALLEVIATE POTENTIAL HEALTH CONCERNS
Wherever you are in the world, your well-being has to take precedence over anything else if you want have optimal time and energy to enjoy yourself. It’s known that travelling can leave you vulnerable to falling ill, be it simply jet-lag, exhaustion, dehydration, tummy upsets, or something more serious like a condition spread by insect bites or a local virus. If the last few months have taught us anything, it is essential to be aware of which vaccinations you need, and get them with enough time to spare before you leave.
You should also make sure that whichever country you are in at any time, you are covered by a form of insurance that entitles you to treatment under their guidelines. In some places, like Europe, this may be possible by means of an insurance card. So be aware of what your insurance covers in detail, as believe me, you could be in for some on-the-spot surprises in the midst of an emergency that you just weren't prepared for and you might not be in any state to properly deal with!
“Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life”
– Michael Palin
SMART HOME SECURITY PLANNING
Whether you’re introducing yourself to new friends, feeling homesick in foreign airports, or adjusting to the climate of a new country, thoughts of home are inevitable, even if they aren’t that welcome! The truth is that your domestic life hasn’t switched off while you’re away, and you won’t want to return to a disaster.
Apart from being smart about leaving your home in an "occupied-looking" state (hello timed lighting), and avoiding posting that you are away on social media, it may also be essential to arrange for a friend or family member to check on your home the evening you leave, and then on a regular basis thereafter. Consider making expensive valuables all the more secure with storage facilities to lock them down safely until your return. Ideally do not leave without being sure that you have active contents insurance for a worst case scenario. And finally, before you set off, run through a comprehensive check of turning off taps, sockets and other home hazards to avoid unnecessary risks.
PROPER PET PREP
Pets and their care is a big pre-vacay consideration for owners. Arranging for a pet-sitter to check on and feed them when necessary is one option, as is booking them into kennels for the duration - with some of their favourite home comforts in tow of course. Depending on where you are going, you may be able to bring along a pet such as a dog - but check that this will be possible before booking your trip, and make sure any necessary pet passporting documents and vaccinations are arranged before you leave. It's probably natural, but also talk to your pet and let them know you'll be back - they know more than we give them credit for!
“What you have to decide… is how you want your life to be. If you’re forever was ending tomorrow, would this be how you’d want to have spent it? Listen, the truth is, nothing is guaranteed. You know that more than anybody. So don’t be afraid. Be alive.”
– Sarah Dessen
A long holiday is a fabulous thing, but to make sure it is as relaxing as possible, have all of the above prepared ahead of time.
Taking our health, safety and freedoms for granted is so 2019.
Keep dreaming, adventure in thoughtful ways, and collect stories not things.