Sunday, June 12, 2011

Organizing Your Summer Travel

Ahh, the summer vacation. Whether you fly or drive, it's going to go much smoother with a little organization.  I am a little bit of a travel junkie and am the happiest planning a trip.  How do you handle all the printouts?  Genius idea from the folks at Smead is a Travel Organizer.  (see photo below) It has a front Velcro pocket for your receipts or boarding pass, and tabbed sections for maps, directions, car rental confirmations, hotel reservations, itineraries and more. The front is clear, left side and bottom are sealed and there's a right hand side flap that keeps the papers safely inside. They are sold in sets of two.  Smead even has Travel Tips for gathering your information.

Other useful tools for making your vacation run smoother:  I recently discovered www.workflowy.com and used it to generate a packing list that I can print each time I need to pack my suitcase.  You could make lists for each family member to pack his or her own suitcase.

Things don't always go as planned.  Take a flexible attitude. The things that don't go perfect make the best vacation stories. Pack a few things to help deal with the unexpected.
Always pack your bathing suit in a carry-on because it's easy to buy T-shirts and shorts at the department store at your destination if your luggage is lost, but a bathing suit purchase is more complex and even impossible if it is late August and the stores a hawking school supplies and jackets.  And if your room is not ready, you can slip into your suit and wait happily at the pool.
Other handy things to have in your carry-on:
-A few granola bars or snacks in case you are delayed. No sense in being grumpy and hungry.
-Playing cards, small games, or electronics. Sometimes you just have to wait and you might as well have a little fun.
-Ziploc bags-all sizes. They are great for all kinds of things from seashells to wet swimsuits.
If you are flying and you aren't a frequent flier, please note the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) still has the 3-1-1 guidelines for liquids in effect.  I am often surprised by how many people are completely unaware of this. Yes, this really means you cannot carry-on your family-sized Suave shampoo or giant bottle of No-Ad sunscreen.
Wishing you safe and organized travels this summer!

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