Perfect Planning

Perfect vacations rarely happen without some thoughtful planning. While not always as exciting as a spur-of-the-moment getaway, a well-thought-out trip may be less likely to deliver stress and frustration. To start the vacation planning process, compile all your trip details in a 3-ring binder or a spiral notebook plus a 2-pocket folder. Whether you’re in the early planning stages or just days away from your trip, gather these items so they’re at your fingertips when you need them.

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• your travel agent’s phone number and email address
• airline or train reservation information, plus phone numbers and website addresses (to check in online or
verify on-time status)
• car rental agency phone numbers, coupons, and confirmation numbers
• hotel brochures, phone and confirmation numbers
• maps of the area you’re traveling to, as well as maps and directions to help you get there
• brochures of interesting places to visit on the way or upon arrival at your destination (museums, state parks, theme parks, historic sites, etc.)
• complete itinerary of your trip

Also, to keep your home tidy in the days or weeks leading up to the trip, dedicate one central location (such as a laundry basket tucked away in a closet or a suitcase stashed in the laundry room) for take-along items. As you encounter things that must be packed (such as travel books and beach towels), toss them in and forget about them until packing day.

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