Do you have a travel system?
Every time my husband and I go on a cruise, we bring out the packing list just a few days before the trip and start packing, just like most people do. After packing all our bags, the big day comes and we start our trip. But, unlike many others, we have a travel-system that serves us well, particularly on leaving day. Do you?
What I mean by a travel system is that I first make a list of the things that are of the most important to us. Things that either we could not do without, or that would ruin our trip if we forgot. For example:
I make sure our home coffee maker, which is a restaurant model and keeps the water hot all the time, is emptied and turned upside down in our kitchen sink. Why? Because if we left it on and didn’t fill it with water, as in making coffee, the water would evaporate quickly, expose the heating coils, and potentially start a fire. Coming home to a pile of ashes is truly not in our plans.
I check to make sure the heater or air conditioner is only set to keep our house at a tolerable level – 85 during the summer and 55 in the winter. This will keep all systems working, but there’s really no reason to keep it at normal living temperature while we are gone.
I make sure that our water heater is set to low so that it doesn’t waste a lot of gas heating water that will be unused, but it will be quick and easy to heat up a tank full of water as soon as we arrive home.
Secondly, once these items are cleared and it’s time to get in the car, I back out of the garage and start asking questions (to both myself and my husband.) Where is your passport? Where are the cruise tickets, parking and hotel tickets? Where is the copy of the travel insurance? How much money is in our wallets? Where are our credit cards? Where are our medicines? Are our cell phones, computers and tablets in the car? The wrong answer to any of these questions necessitates a quick trip back into the house (and has done so more than once.) The best part of all this, while seeming a bit tedious at the time, is that it has saved us many a long return trip to the house, because with important items like medications, we literally could not complete the trip without them.
One would think that this would protect us from forgetting things, but what it actually does is keep us from forgetting things that are absolutely essential. Invariably, once we are actually on a trip, we do discover that this or that small thing was forgotten, despite all our precautions, but always, they are small things, and our trip continues without major trauma. For example, just two days ago, as we were about to disembark in Cozumel, we noticed that the umbrella we so carefully noted was “with us” on the floorboard of the car…was still on the floorboard of the car, safely parked in Galveston.
And so it goes….
So, do you have a travel system? If you do and you can improve on ours – or just have a different one – we would love to hear about it, so maybe we can improve and refine ours as we go.