Vacation Anticipation

The planning part of travel is almost as good as the real thing.

I have a love/hate relationship with travel. It’s my reason for being, but just as in the rest of life, it has its annoying bits, too. To date, the good far outweighs the bad.

I really hate packing for a trip. That’s why I came up with a master pack list, which I update as needed, and then modify for the trip in question. No need for winter coats on that trip to Hawaii, after all. Oddly, this list also helps me avoid over packing, because I don’t overdo it for fear that I’m forgetting something important.

I also hate the stress-of-getting-to-your-destination part if I’m flying by plane or have to arrive at my hotel before they close, and so on. I don’t breathe easy until I’m in my room, and all my luggage has arrived with me. Then, let the fun begin! (That’s why road trips can be awesome, because you know you’ve got your stuff and nobody will lose it, and the journey is part of the fun.)

Naturally, I adore the actual being-there-and-experiencing-things part of travel. But I also love planning a trip with someone who is willing to actively participate in that part. I like deciding where we’ll go, and when, and what we’ll do. I like reading up on the region to find out what to see. I like learning its history, and if needed, it’s fun to have a rudimentary command of the language. I like watching movies about the area. I like reading guidebooks and deciding which places to stay.

I also find that the more homework you do on the front end, the smoother the trip will be. There’s nothing more frustrating than getting home from a trip and discovering that you had been really close to something amazing without realizing it. I see that as an epic fail.

I’m very lucky in that I now have a travel partner who enjoys the planning as much as I do. We both make an effort to include things that the other person is interested in. (More often than not we are into the same things, so that makes it easy.) He’s also as willing to try new food and have new adventures as I am. I don’t ever feel as if I’m dragging him along against his will, or that the burden of trip planning falls solely on my shoulders, so that makes it fun, even before the actual fun kicks in.

Don’t deprive yourself of the planning part of travel! It’s almost as good as the real thing. And then, of course, there’s coming home and blogging about it…

Frank-N-Furter knew what he was talking about.

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Foreign Travel 101

How to build a vacation.

I absolutely live to travel. It’s my reason for being. I’ve been to 22 countries, and I suspect that I have many more miles to go before I take that final sleep.

It has never been very far from my mind that I’m really a lot luckier than most people in terms of travel. According to this article, 40% of Americans never leave the country, 10% have never left their home state, and 76% wish they could travel more than they do currently. That’s a crying shame.

Based on those statistics, it’s safe to assume that for many people who are traveling abroad, it’s a trip of a lifetime for which they feel ill-prepared. But never fear. All of the advice I’m about to give you has come from years of trial and error.

First, read my blog post entitled Foreign Travel Advice for Americans. Even if you aren’t American, you’ll find it helpful. This is a very detailed post that discusses all the homework one must do prior to any trip. The more you do ahead of time, the less stressful and more fruitful your travel experience will be. I can’t emphasize this enough. For every hour of legwork you do in advance, you’ll save yourself days of hassle on the voyage.

Next, take a peek at my blog post entitled Packing for Your Trip. This is a master packing list I’ve made over time. Take that list, eliminate those things that don’t apply to you, your trip, or the season in which you are traveling, and what you have left should be a very thorough packing list for any holiday. But do yourself a favor and pack light. You have no idea how much time you’ll spend schlepping your luggage from pillar to post. So if you don’t absolutely need something, leave it home.

But it occurs to me that neither of those two posts actually gets into the nuts and bolts of building your trip. Package deals complete with tour guides are very easy and convenient, but frankly, I find those experiences to be soul-sucking. I’d much rather have a do it yourself trip, so that’s what I’ll describe below. Some of this is pretty basic, but it will come in handy if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

  1. Determine how much vacation time you have.

  2. Get a good, up to date guidebook of the country you’d like to visit, and read it cover to cover, highlighting the things you feel you absolutely must see, and, in a different color, the things you’d simply like to see.

  3. Also, talk to friends who have already taken this trip. They will be your best sources to determine what can or should be skipped, and what absolutely should not be missed.

  4. A good guidebook should be able to tell you how many days you need for each location. List your must see destinations, and how many days they should take. As hard as it may be to do, you might have to eliminate some of your must sees based on the time you have available. On the other hand, if you find you have a surplus of days (you lucky devil), you can start adding in your “like to see” destinations as well.

  5. Print out a line drawing of the country in question, and then pencil in the must-see destinations to determine which places are close together, so you can decide what route you should take through the country.

  6. Don’t forget that you’ll likely lose a half a day each time you move from one city to the next, so try to cluster your locations into hubs, and stay in central locations. Believe me when I say that it’s an absolute horror to stay in a different place every single night.

  7. Now that you have a sense of where you’d like to go, and in what order, it’s time to determine when to travel. Most guidebooks will tell you the high, shoulder, and low travel seasons for the country in question. Choose carefully.

    1. In low season, things will be cheaper and there will be fewer crowds, but certain destinations will be closed. Check before you go. It would be very unfortunate to arrive and discover that the one thing you wanted to see the most is shuttered for the next few months.

    2. On the other hand, high season is usually high season for a reason. The weather is optimal and there are a lot of exciting things going on. But the massive wall of humanity, along with their screaming children, can be a misery.

    3. I try to do shoulder season. It’s slightly less expensive and slightly less crowded than high season, and slightly more is open than in low season. If you can’t do that, at least do the very beginning or the very end of high season, especially if it means school is in session and the kiddies are less likely to be chewing on your ankles.

  8. Okay, great. Now you have a basic idea of where you want to go and when, and what you want to see. Let’s find out if it’s even possible. First of all, check into flights to and from home, and see if they’re available on the days in question. I highly recommend that you try to do your international flights on Monday through Thursday, rather than going on the weekends, as those weekday flights are usually much less expensive. But shop around. Visit Kayak.com, for example, and then check the website of the airline in question to see if an even better deal is available. Don’t forget to take advantage of any mileage points you’ve accumulated through credit cards. Don’t put this off until the last minute. The more lead time you have, the more options and price ranges will be available. You’ll find that once you’ve reserved those flights, the trip will seem even more exciting and real.

  9. Once that is done, it’s time to figure out how you’ll get from place to place within the country. Should you travel by train, bus, rental car, or domestic flights? Again, your guidebook will give you great advice along those lines.

  10. Once you have a sense of how you want to get around, and a basic skeleton of your itinerary, now check to be sure that your transportation mode is available on the desired day. No sense in planning to take a ferry to the Isle of Capri on a Sunday if the ferries don’t run on that day. Adjust your itinerary accordingly. (If you’re a museum buff, it’s also important to make sure the museum in question will be open on the day you plan to visit.)

  11. Once you’ve got your itinerary and your transportation nailed down, it’s time to reserve your hotels. Think about your budget. Decide whether you want to stay at 5 star hotels or Airbnbs or hostels or, if you’re really brave and don’t require luxury or privacy, check out couchsurfing.com. Read up on all the possibilities. Visit their websites. Check availability. Then make your reservations.

  12. Now the trip is really shaping up! It’s time to figure out what you’d like to do from day to day. What sites will you visit? How much time will it take? Take your guidebook seriously if it recommends advance reservations for various venues, and plan accordingly.

Don’t overpack your itinerary. Allow for things to go awry. Contrary to popular belief, the trains don’t always run on time. You may wish to linger longer than you anticipated. Who knows? A local might befriend you and invite you to attend a wedding. Experiences like that are priceless. Give yourself a little padding and be flexible.

Above all, remember, this is supposed to be fun! Do the work in advance and then relax and enjoy the trip! Bon voyage!

This spring, we plan to spend a few weeks in Italy! I’m so excited! I’ve wanted to explore Italy in depth for decades. But except for a brief, 12 hour taste of Venice (which was at best a cruel, frustrating tease), life just kept getting in the way. Rest assured I’ll be blogging about the experience in future posts.

Travel

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Moving from a Dog’s Perspective

Hi, I’m Quagmire! My mom would describe me as a little black Dachshund with a milk mustache and a serious screw loose. I’ve been known to lunge at a cop’s ankles, but hey, I have no front teeth, so I’m only trying to prove a point. I’ve also brought some strange grocery items into the house, and I refuse to admit where they come from. (More on that here.) But for all my quirks, I know I’m loved. For a dog, that’s really all that matters.

Mom is allowing me to be a guest writer on her blog today because I think she realized I have a need to vent. I recently had a very strange week. I think it will help if I can talk about it for a change. You people don’t seem to understand me when I bark.

For about a month now, I’ve watched as mom has put things into boxes. And she seemed very stressed out. It didn’t seem like boxing stuff up was helping. I tried to tell her that, but she wasn’t listening.

Then, very recently, those boxes started disappearing. I mean, it was really kind of creepy. I’d go outside to play, and when I’d come back in, things would be gone, and mom would be all sweaty. I started getting stressed out, too, and clingy. Very, very clingy. I was afraid that mom might disappear next!

Then one day, these intruders came into the house! I tried to protect our territory by barking and growling, and for my trouble, I got closed into the back yard! When mom let me in again, every piece of furniture was gone! And mom seemed happy about it. Now when I barked, I could hear an echo. How strange.

Next thing I knew, I was being stuffed into our car. Stuffed is the right word. There wasn’t much room. It was full of boxes and stuff. I kind of felt like I was part of the stuff, so I insisted on sitting on mom’s lap as she drove. Normally she’d never allow that, but I think she could tell I was really freaked out.

Next thing I know, we pull into this driveway, and mom carries me into this back yard, sits on the grass, and says, “Check it out, buddy! This is all yours!”

I wandered around, sniffing all the new sniffs, and checking the perimeter for security breaches. There were none. (Darn.) I was thrilled to see there were plenty of little hidey-holes for when I want to be in stealth mode, and there was lots of soft grass for when I feel the need to wriggle around on my back.

And then… gasp! I discovered that there’s another dog on the other side of the fence! His name is Hendrix, and we are now fence running buddies. He gets me when I bark, and keeps me up on the good gossip. We plan to play poker when our parents aren’t home.

I was thrilled to see some of our stuff on the patio. It’s always nice to have familiar smells. But I did have a brief moment of panic when mom left me in the yard. And suddenly I could see those same intruders driving up! Mom! Make them go away! They stole everything from the house last time! Let me at ’em! Call the cops!

But I must admit I’m easily distracted. (Mom says I have the attention span of a hummingbird. So sue me.) I went back to playing with Hendrix.

I guess a few hours passed, and suddenly mom came out the back door of this house. What was she doing in there? She didn’t even let me do a preliminary security check!

But when she let me in, it was like Christmas morning. All our stuff was in there! Boxes and furniture everywhere. She let me inspect every nook and cranny.

I was really happy to see our bed, especially when I discovered that when I’m on it, I have a perfect view of the street. That will make my job of keeping everything under control a lot easier.

After all this excitement, as you can imagine, we decided to take a nap. As I drifted off to sleep in her arms, I heard mom say, “We’re home, Quaggie! We’re home.”

Since I know that home is another word for love, I am one happy dog.

IMG_2306
Some assembly required.

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Do You Have a History of…

Packing for a move is always an interesting experience. It gives you an opportunity to really look at all of your stuff. I often encounter things I had forgotten I have. And that makes me wonder why I still have those things. If I could live without them for this long, why am I holding on to them? The pressure is even more intense since I’m moving to a much smaller place with very little storage.

With each item, I have to ask myself, will I ever read this, wear this or use this ever again? No? Then out it goes.

Some things have sentimental value. I do have a right to a certain amount of clutter after 52 years of living. At least that’s what I tell myself.

But the things I struggle with most are the “someday” things. For example, I’ve kept that bag of printed cloth because someday I want to make a quilt. And I’ve kept my pottery tools because someday I want to take up pottery again. And that box of cables, wires, and adapters… well, you never know when they’ll come in handy.

That’s when I have to get all adult-y and say to myself, “Barb, do you have a history of quilt making? Do you see yourself with immense amounts of spare time to all of a sudden take up new hobbies? Do you have enough of a burning need for cables that their storage would offset the expense if you ever had to buy one of these obscure items?”

Adult-y Barb has allowed me to donate a lot of things to Goodwill. But I only listen to her sporadically. If you saw some of the crap I have hauled across the continent just because… well… who knows why… you’d laugh.

I have no idea why this purging of the superfluous is such a struggle for me. I know for a fact that the less junk I have surrounding me, the better I feel. What I really need is a good flame thrower. But don’t tell my homeowner’s insurance agent that I said that. And don’t get any ideas, either.

I’m about to walk into my kitchen and get rid of every single gadget I haven’t used in the past year. Because, while I’d like to imagine myself as someone who will throw dinner parties… Not so much. Wish me luck.

stuff
Kindly ignore the superfluous L.

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I’ve Come Undone

I am at the end of my rope. I’m on the ragged edge. I’m losing it.

I’m buying a house. I’m packing, I’m moving. I’m making changes and updating and getting rid of stuff. I’m doing paperwork. I’m documenting. I’m panicking that I won’t get everything done on time, or I’ll forget something important. And I’m doing this all by myself.

Well, that’s not entirely true. My realtor and my loan officer have been great. But there is no one whom I can wake up in the middle of the night when I’m having an anxiety attack, unless you count my long-suffering dog, Quagmire. There’s no one to lighten the load. There’s no one who will shoulder the burden, even for just an hour or two, to give me the tiniest of breaks. I can’t say, “Honey, could you please make that particular decision? I’ve had it.” I’m fresh out of honey.

I’m going to have to hire people to help me move and clean and modify and repair, because lord knows no one is stepping up to volunteer. And I don’t have much money. I wish just one thing about all this would go smoothly. Just one.

I wish I were Amish, or something. Because it really does take a freakin’ village, and it feels like there’s no civilization for miles.

But I take a great deal of comfort from the quote below. This is growth. It may look like chaos, but it’s growth. I’ll just be glad when it’s over.

For-a-seed-to-achieve-its-greatest-expression-it-must-come-completely-undone

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Changing My Trajectory

As many of you know, I’ve been house hunting lately. I’m dreading the whole packing and moving thing, but it’s nice to think that my next move might just be my last. But who knows what the future holds?

That’s the exciting part. By moving, I’ll be changing my trajectory in life. I’ll be shopping at different stores, visiting different doctors and vets, going to different libraries and post offices. That means I’ll be meeting people I would not have met otherwise.

I’ll make some new friends, no doubt. Maybe one of them will consider me her best friend, which is a luxury I haven’t experienced since high school. Maybe I’ll finally meet another man who sees my value.

Either way, I will be taking a different route in life, and that’s always an adventure. It’s an opportunity to have new experiences and broaden my horizons and learn new things. I will create memories.

The future I’m creating today will become part of my history. It will shape me. I look forward to seeing what color my butterfly wings will be once I burst forth from my current chrysalis!

butterfly

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When Luxuries Become Necessities

I don’t own a clothes dryer, and I don’t particularly miss having one. It’s really not that inconvenient to hang things on a rack to dry. It takes about as long as it would to load the dryer. And I save on electricity and repair bills and space.

I also don’t own a hair dryer. Haven’t had one of those in decades. I’ve yet to be arrested by the fashion police. It takes a lot less time to get ready, and there’s less to pack when I travel.

I also don’t have a TV or an I-phone or a couch. Less stuff to lug from pillar to post. Fewer bills. Less to break down. I keep my kitchen gadgets to a minimum and I don’t collect stuff if I can help it.

I see it all the time. People get a nifty new little thingamajig, and it starts off as a luxury or a convenience or a time-saving device, and it quickly turns into this master/slave relationship, with the thing as the master. When you get something, you become responsible for it, and you also learn to depend upon it. People lose their doohickeys and they freak right out. How on earth are they going to survive without their whatchamacallit?

Stuff just weighs you down, dude. Simplify. You’ll be amazed how liberated you feel.

Having said that, get between me and my laptop or my washing machine and you’ll pull back a bloody stump.

stuff

[Image credit: simpleIjustdo.com]

Procrastination

This will be my 575th blog entry. I haven’t missed a day since I started this project back in December of 2012. It astounds me that I’ve been able to come up with this many points to ponder, but I have loved every minute of it. Because of this blog, my writing has improved and I’ve become much more observant. I’ve also made new friends and have become much more comfortable with who I am. It turns out I actually kind of like me. Go figure.

It really amazes me that I’ve kept this up for so long, though, because I’ve never tackled anything this ambitious before. I could never be bothered. College? Yeah, I always graduated with honors, but that wasn’t really a challenge for me. Education is just something I’m good at. If I could get paid for learning, I’d be a millionaire. This, on the other hand, takes effort, but I adore it. That’s why I never procrastinate when it comes to this blog. If anything, I often put it ahead of other things that I should be doing. That’s what I’m doing right now.

I’m supposed to be packing my apartment for my upcoming move, but I’m so overwhelmed I feel paralyzed. I don’t know where to start. Basically, I don’t wanna. That’s what procrastination is, if you think about it. It’s an internal temper tantrum that you’re throwing because you don’t want to do something that you have to do. Think about it. You never put off doing the fun stuff.

Even though I know that in these situations I always feel much better if I get it over with, that still doesn’t seem to motivate me to get off the couch. I’ll do it tomorrow. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do.

Since I know my ability to procrastinate so well, I try really hard not to have more than three unfinished projects lying around at any given time. Before I add something to the to-do list, and thus add to my stress level, I try to get rid of something else. But packing is the mother of all list generators, so I’m a bit of a wreck right now. Having more than three things hanging over my head is making me anxious.

If you are limiting yourself to only three projects a day, I highly recommend that you make one of the three a nap. So off I go, to tick that nasty little chore off my list. It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it. Honestly, you should be impressed. It’s not easy to sleep when you’ve got so much on your mind. But I’m willing to accept the challenge. I’m a go-getter.

4-10-procrastination-2

Out I Shall Get

The minute my boyfriend passed away, my landlady decided that even though I only rent 1/3rd the square footage (and now presumably would be using much less electricity), I should now pay 2/3rds of the electric bill. When I said that this was unfair, she told me that maybe someday I’d grow up (I’m 49) and realize that luxuries had to be paid for. Luxury, in this instance, is apparently setting one’s thermostat anything below 79 degrees. I was also informed that because I did not socialize with her, I led a hermit lifestyle. I was asked to leave.

Then, at 4 o’clock in the morning, I got a text message from her unemployed, ex-convict son who at the age of 50 lives with his mother, and delights in leaving cigarette butts on my doorstep. He informed me that I was “born to be miserable,” and that he couldn’t wait for me to leave. You haven’t lived until someone of that high quality weighs you, measures you, and finds you wanting.

Then the rental search began, and as has always been the case in this town, the only affordable places were one step up from a cardboard box and/or right next door to a crack den. I was really starting to panic. Images of having to give up my dogs and sleep in my car. But eventually I found a place and will be moving in at the first of the month. I can’t wait, as things are now understandably tense around here.

Setting aside the fact that now that I’ve paid an application fee, a pet fee, and a security deposit, I haven’t a clue where I’m going to come up with the first month’s rent, let’s now focus on the stress of packing my stuff for the fourth time in as many years, and since this, too, will be a rental, there will be another move in my future.

Ugh. I long to be a homeowner one last time. I’d move all my crap in and never, ever, ever leave again. Ever. Gone are the days when I could move everything in one or two carloads. Now I require trailers and long-suffering friends. Why, oh why do I always move during the hottest month of the year? And why do I have all this junk? Most of it never got unpacked from the last few moves. These things are nothing but a packing box shaped albatross around my neck. I ought to just pile all this stuff up and set it afire. Preferably in my old apartment as I drive away for the last time. It’s not like she’s going to give me back my security deposit anyway, right?

On a lighter note, I’m actually excited about this new place. It has a bathtub. When I saw that, I nearly burst into tears. It’s been so long since I’ve rented a place with a bathtub that my body cannot remember what it’s like to be submerged in water. And it’s much closer to one of the bridges where I work. Also, unlike my current residence, it doesn’t have wall to wall dark green shag carpet that is nothing but a dog hair magnet, and the owner won’t be hoarding rusting piles of debris in the back yard. And best of all, I won’t share a wall with anyone, with or without a prison record. When you work graveyard shifts, you appreciate that quality above all others.

Having a better place to look forward to kind of takes the sting off of the weeks of packing in my future. It will also take me out of the neighborhood that is full of nothing but painful memories of my late boyfriend. And heaven knows the utility bill will be lower.

At times, even when you realize deep down that change is needed, it takes a little bit of a push to get you started. Sometimes it takes a hostile shove. But who cares, as long as you land in a soft place? So if you want me to get out, dear lady, out I shall most definitely get.

get out

Packing for Your Trip

I live to travel. Over the years, as most people have, I have suffered the consequences of forgetting some crucial item, or forgetting to do something critical. This can put a damper on any vacation, so after years of holidays, I have compiled a master packing list.

Whenever I’m about to take a trip, I pull up this list on my computer, make a copy of it, and delete those items that don’t apply to this particular adventure. Then I can be sure I have everything I need.

So, without further ado, here’s my master packing list, for your future convenience.

Master Packing List

Beforehand:

  • Note: Capital One credit cards are the only one as of 2009 that do not charge foreign exchange fees.
  • Always plan to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours ahead of flight.
  • Call overseas Immunization to find out what shots are needed, and get Diarrhea Prescription.
  • Call credit cards and notify them that you’ll be making charges out of town.
  • Give people info on how to contact us in an emergency.
  • Upon return, pack souvenirs separately for customs.
  • Get Gas for Vehicle, top off fluids, & Check air in tires.
  • Obtain a small amount of foreign currency, Int’l Drivers License, Int’l Student ID, and Visas.
  • Think of irreplaceable items (Medicine, Camera, Eyeglass Prescription, gum for plane, etc.) that you need to pack on your carry on, and pack accordingly.
  • Confirm PIN numbers for credit cards and bankcard.
  • Get books and books on tape from library.
  • Arrange for Dog Sitter.
  • Many international airports have a Cooks, where you can exchange money.
  • Put temporary hold on mail. Confirmation # _______________

Clothing:

  • Flip-flops
  • Walking shoes
  • Socks
  • Hats
  • Sweat pants
  • Sweatshirts
  • Eye mask for sleeping on plane
  • Shirts
  • Gloves
  • Coat/Jacket
  • Tank Top/Boxers
  • Undershirts
  • Underwear/Bras/Slips
  • Pants
  • Shorts
  • Sunglasses
  • Swim Suits
  • 1 Change of Clothingfor Carry On luggage
  • Skirts

Medicine/Health/Toiletries:

  • Razors
  • Sleep Aids
  • Hair Brush
  • Cosmetics
  • Antibiotic Ointment
  • Band-Aids
  • Soap
  • Talcum Powder
  • Wash Cloth
  • TP
  • Sun Tan Lotion
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Bubble Bath
  • Ear Plugs
  • Nail Clippers
  • Sawyer Controlled Release DEET Formula  (Best anti-malaria)
  • Prescriptions
  • Toothpaste
  • Tooth Brush
  • Floss
  • Diarrhea Meds
  • Sinus Meds
  • Eyeglass Prescription
  • Towel
  • Detergent

 Misc.:

  • Blankets
  • Compass
  • Sleeping bags
  • Cheese cloth
  • Pillows
  • Tent
  • Portable Shower
  • Binoculars
  • Garbage Bags
  • Directions
  • House Key
  • Maps
  • Candles
  • Highlighter for Maps
  • Calculator
  • Sheets
  • Valuables Receipt from US Customs
  • Neck Pillow
  • Guidebook
  • Language Dictionary
  • Fanny Packs
  • Pens
  • Passport
  • Itinerary
  • Tickets
  • Reservations printouts
  • Cash in Small Denominations
  • Digital camera with cord, batteries and chargers.
  • Cell phone/Charger
  • AC Adapter
  • Photocopy of Passport
  • Credit Cards W/Pin
  • AAA Card
  • Small Notebook
  • Back Pack
  • Batteries
  • Flash light
  • Snacks
  • Gift List
  • Scissors
  • Health Insurance Cards
  • Bank Card & Pin
  • License
  • Wallet
  • International DriversLicense
  • Auto Insurance
  • Student ID’sI
  • n Case of EmergencyCards
  • Ledger:  (Write down things we saw, money spent and by whom, things charged and by whom.

Travel with Dogs

  • Dog food
  • Crate
  • Dog Bowls
  • Vet Records
  • Harnesses
  • Dog coats
  • Leashes
  • Water
  • Nail clipper
  • Meds and Peanut Butter
  • Brushes
  • Dental stuff
  • “No Chew”
  • Toys
  • Carpet Cleaner

Entertainment:

  • Puzzles
  • Stamps
  • Bird book
  • Playing Cards
  • Books on Tape
  • Books
  • Tape Recorder
  • Crafts
  • Writing ideas & Paper
  • Friends Addresses, Phone Numbers, Email
  • Laptop/plug

 Kitchen Stuff when Cabin/Camping

  • Knives
  • Forks
  • Ziploc Bags
  • Spoons
  • Thermos for Car
  • Can Opener
  • Dish Washing Liquid
  • Plates
  • Bowls
  • Cups
  • Dutch Oven
  • Strainer
  • Fry Pan
  • Pots
  • Cooler
  • Spatula
  • Dish Scrubber
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Plastic Storage Container
  • Matches
  • Camp stove and fuel
  • Charcoal

Last Minute Stuff:

  •  Double check for Tickets, Passports, Credit Cards, ID, Cash, and License.
  • Pack Deodorant, Alarm Clock, Pillow, Blanket, Toothbrush, and Cell Phone with charger.
  • Make sure that there is nothing in your luggage that would disturb airport security.
  • Pill and feed dogs.
  • Put water in thermos, and water for dogs.
  • Remove perishables from fridge.
  • Get ice for cooler.
  • Change Phone Message.
  • Leave Money, Key, Vet Records, contact info, and Instructions for Dog Sitter.  Also change sheets and put out fresh towels. Leave lights on for dog sitter. Confirm receipt of key and arrival time.
  • Dispose of any trash or recycles.
  • Adjust Thermostat, and make sure burners are off and faucets aren’t dripping.  If no one is going to stay at the house, shut off as many breakers as possible. Unplug things.

luggage full and ready to travel

[Image credit: kaleidoscopeadventures.com]