Sometimes a trip or vacation comes up sporadically and on short notice, however most often the idea is “in the cooker” for weeks and months prior to. Today is “Day 1” for me in planning for a conference in August 2012. I was so excited to know that I could attend, and have already started brainstorming about what needs to happen to make sure I have an amazing, safe trip. Things to start planning and looking into for me are:
Flights – Which airline will I travel? Do they have requirements for passengers with allergies? What policies do they have with respect to Peanuts and Tree nuts? Do they allow pets on board?
For example: Air Canada requires medical approval and notice at least 48 hrs in advance of the scheduled flight if they are to set up a <buffer zone> – Air Canada Medical Approval & Advance Notice
Accomodations – Will I be staying in a hotel or trying to find friends who I can stay with for the length of the conference? If I stay in a hotel, which one? I have to start calling around now to see which ones allow pets (quite a few do). I must find out which hotels have windows that CAN BE OPENED (as I have been stuck in some that do not open and had to switch hotels). Which of my friends would have a relatively safe place for me to stay? Do they have pets? Have they ever had pets in their apartment or house? Is it carpeted? Is it a much older place?
Food – What meals will be served? Is there a caterer I can be in communication with? Where are the local grocery stores and how feasible will it be for me to make my own lunches and bring them to the conference? …
And then I can start to get into the easier logistics & planning that shouldn’t be as tricky and require as much investigation, like transportation.
Never a dull moment. I know from experience that the best and safest trips I have ever taken are the ones when I left the house prepared. I felt like everything was already coordinated and that all the discussions with hotels and organizers and caterers were done. I had my “to do” checklist marked as complete and my confidence was 100%. On these trips I always had a few non-perishables with me, some fruit bars, apple sauce, rice crackers and other things. Oh, and I almost forgot! … BABY FOOD 🙂 Check out my earlier post on Convenient food for Travel to understand the “baby food”.
What do you do when planning for a trip? Do you have a ready made checklist? What are your first action items?