Even while on vacation, we are responsible for the things we leave behind: pets, cars, home, mail. We are also still responsible for our health. It’s important to take steps so that you can leave home feeling that things are settled: pets are taken care of and the house is being guarded.
- What is your plan for your pets? If they are coming with you, make sure you pack all the necessary supplies as in water dish, food dish, food, any medicines, toys, and treats. Packing for your pet is a simplified version of packing for your children. If they are staying at home, make the necessary arrangements for their proper care so they stay healthy. They will need some interaction with people to prevent loneliness and to encourage exercise. Currently, we have a bird named Sundrop. He’s a yellow budgie (small parakeet) On shorter trips, we have a friend stop by every other day to change water and food. For Sundrop’s companionship, we turn on the radio. However, for this longer trip, we will be bringing him to a neighbor’s house for the length of our vacation.
- Have you eaten everything that could go bad in your refrigerator? The last thing you want to come home to is a putrid odor in your home. Is all the milk used up? Are your eggs fresh enough to keep or should you make a meal of scrambled eggs? What about leftovers. Are you able to freeze some of it or should you eat it before you go. These won’t smell horribly terrible, but what is your plan for your open boxes of crackers and chips. Is there a way to bring those with you so they don’t become stale and inedible while you are away?
- What is your plan for exercising while you are away? Don’t forget to pack your athletic shoes and some clothes for activity. Yes, you can take a break from your normal routine, but you will enjoy your trip so much more if you don’t let your muscles atrophy completely away. For some of us, exercise will be wandering around Disneyland or Sea World all day. And believe me that counts. You will want to pack appropriately for that. Others of us will be sitting on the beach all day trying to relax. Or like our family, taking a road trip, on those long days of driving, I will need to figure out how to stretch my muscles and so will the kids.
- How will you protect the house? Stopping the mail and informing a trusted neighbor about where you are, your house will be better secured. Or if you wanted, you could ask a local (and very well trusted) college student to spend time in your house while you are away. Twice I did this for a family while I was in college. In our case, we have some friends who may need a place to stay for a week or two. This would be the perfect solution to both our needs. (if we did that, it would also be a solution to taking care of our Sundrop).
Being well prepared is more than just packing well, getting your vehicle ready, and mentally preparing yourself. It’s about protecting those things that matter to you when you return and about making sure that people who you trust are aware of your plans.
Vacation should be fun, exciting, relaxing, whatever you are hoping to get out of it. The way to relaxation is being well prepared.