A great travel plan can be easily ruined by slipping across some common pitfalls
Bags are packed. Sun shades are out. You are already whistling as you tuck that last beach shirt in the suitcase.
But wait, is everything really tucked in?
Here are a few things you may want to run a quick eye over before nodding off with dreams for a great holiday.
In the happy madness of folding everything up at work and at home, have you assigned someone to take care of any plants that you have? Is someone or some app going to water them regularly? Do you have a lawn that might need tending too in case you are gone for a number of days?
Have you indicated about your absence to the TV/Cable service? Have any weekly, bi-monthly magazine subscriptions or grocery baskets been put on snooze button as per your travel duration? Do you alert the newspaper/laundry/milk delivery guy before you are off?
Just as you dangle your keys with a merry walk, do you suddenly find yourself staring at your pet? Forgot to ensure that they would be looked after well in your absence? Someone would feed the goldfish, play with the dog and bear the cat’s tantrums when you are away, right?
Draped the curtains well, covered the furniture for unsolicited dust and bolted all doors and windows securely?
Wait, did you check the geyser button, washing machine chute and the gas knob?
Does the refrigerator stink to greet you when you are back or do you sort out its inventory a day in advance before hopping away? Do some electronics stay plugged during a trip or do you want this the other way?
If you have any reliable neighbours, have you left a word with them too? Just in case.
Have you shared your new co-ordinates or alternate numbers with emergency contacts?
Did you confirm your flight details well in time?
Have you checked the terminal or station that you are supposed to take off from? It would be a pity to find oneself at the wrong place, at the penultimate minute, due to a small confusion, wouldn’t it?
If you are travelling abroad, have you figured out your destination, arrival, accommodation, pick-up, drop arrangements etc.? Also, have you double-checked all the documents that would be crucial for various formalities and checks?
Taken enough currency for the new place? You find a lot of airport and destination converters along the way too but you might want to compare service charges, rates etc. before you assume some important parts.
Do you take any specific medicines? Packed them well (With prescriptions, in case of a check or an emergency)? What about any allergies that you might suffer? Is there a handy first-aid box with the large straw hat in your suitcase? Do you have medical insurance?
Talking of insurance, have you considered travel insurance for a foreign trip? This may sound like an unnecessary expense but you never know when you lose a luggage or break a bag (or a bone).
Have you taken any courtesy gifts for any friends or relatives you would be meeting? Sometimes we don’t want to add weight to our luggage in the hope that we will pick something at the airport or mid-way. But you might not find something from your place ‘there’ and plus, it can be completely irrelevant for them, or costly for you. Of course, that’s the case when you don’t completely forget to pick something as you struggle with a nasty jet lag.
Did you set a vacation alert on your email and voice mail or whatever thingamajig you use as a portal to the world out there? Have you set any forwarding enablers if you need them?
Enough balance for the modern essentials – the phone, the Internet, the apps? Taken destination-friendly chargers, electric plug points etc.?
Made adequate arrangements for vehicles that you would need from the house and anywhere else through the journey?
Finally, don’t forget to take the keys and hum happily as you strut ahead with your luggage. If you have checked most of the things on the list above, you would be humming equally cheerfully as you unlock the doors when you come back.
If not, well, what’s a trip without some misadventure!