Planning is Part of the Vacation

Planning is Part of the Vacation

Get geared up for your next destination and enjoy the slow build until departure day.


It’s safe to say that the majority of us don’t love some of the “work” that comes with trip prep: packing, laundry, scheduling that kennel stay for the family pet, lining up the neighbor to water the plants you’ve worked so hard to nurture, and the cleaningbecause no one likes to come home to a messy house.

But there’s the upside to putting together a vacation and the anticipation that comes along with the planning portion. That type of forecasting – where to go, what to do, what to pack – can be just as uplifting and exciting as the actual trip itself.

Planning our June vacation is just what I need to get through March and on to spring. My advice: Don’t miss out on the fun that comes with planning. Here’s your window to experience the place you’re visiting before you’ve actually arrived!

Enjoy Your Destination Ahead of Time
Reading the stories of where you want to go, through literary characters or tour guides, will help you imagine yourself and your family there before you arrive. You don’t have to be a bookworm to enjoy the thrills of paper and ink. Fiction or non-fiction, pick your passion and lose yourself in a book.

It’s an escape, a getaway of sorts (and you haven’t even left your sofa). Wherever you’re headed, try to score some travel books or literature from the area to get a sense of the place (beyond what you think or heard is true). Hitting up the library is a good idea to give you options: books, books on tape, guides, travel shows and videos that relate to the destination.

If you’re not into reading a novel, splurge on a photography-based coffee table book so the family can thumb through gorgeous images at their leisure. Picture yourself (and your loved ones) near the attractions and sights, and against a background of colors.

Mentally visit the destination ahead of time. If your group likes checking out trails for mountain biking or hiking, check out some map books or walking guides. You never know what you’ll learn about the wildlife and what to explore or avoid along the way.

Eat Like You’re on Vacation
Bring the flavors of your trip to life before you ever touch down or step foot on the soil. Remember: Every destination has its own signature dish. Wherever you’re headed, try your hand at a local dish or two before you embark upon your trip. If you’re staying stateside, read up on what meals are specific to the region you’re visiting.

Heading to Maine? Start eating like you’re there now. Take your lobster game up a notch or two, and get to know the trusted tricks of the East Coast so you know what to look for when you order. Let the local offerings dominate (or simply support) your menu as you lead up to the trip.

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You can take this as far as you’d like. Pull the kids in to get their hands a little dirty in the fun. You’ll all get a taste for what’s to come – and savor the flavor before you embark on the adventure!

Bring Your Destination Home
As you read up on your destination, imagine your family experiencing the various activities in your mind’s eye. Think about the scenes that your destination conjures up: beaches or mountains, green and lush, or rustic and dry?

Expose Your Family to Music from the Area
Let them respond to the sounds and moods evoked with each song. Set the mood and bring some of those fun activities to life in your own backyard or house before the trip. Luau? Lei anyone? Can’t get to Hawaii fast enough? Invite the scent in with Febreze Aloha Breeze.

Tip: If you’re headed somewhere warm, try on summer clothes and turn up the thermostat a few degrees. It is sure to get your little ones in the spirit!

Enjoy the Culture through Language
Digging into the culture up front – and looking forward to the adventure – will help you and the gang get more immersed and feel connected. You can have fun by learning a few simple, conversational phrases and then speak to each other in the new language before departure time.

Consider listening to language learning tutorials, and have fun with it. Knowing the basics of ordering food and navigating through the city will go a long way in a new place.

So let’s revel in the excitement of our upcoming adventure and enjoy it when we need it most.

What’s your secret to counting down to vacation?

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