“I wander through life lusting for all it has to offer,” Susan “Honey” Good
The totality of what is in our reach is gigantic. Our goal, darlings, is to be curious about all life has to offer.
The subject on my mind today is one of many areas of life I lust after. Having the opportunity to expand my worldliness in a multitude of ways has been a marvelous world history class. To study as I travel, I taught myself organization skills. Skills I want to share with you in my musings, today. I can sum it up like this: How to travel stress-free and enjoy the ride.
ORGANIZATION BEFORE TRAVEL
The first leg, so to speak, of my trip, begins at home. My mind is geared towards leaving home, organized.
That means making lists after list and checking them twice and then making sure everything on my list is crossed through before I leave our home.
It is a massive chore because I live a big life. I take writing out my lists exceptionally seriously!
For example, my five-month-old pooch is healthy, but never-the-less I took him for a check-up. He had been to the vet within the last four weeks.
My ultimate concierge and I are healthy but what if we get sick while traveling? I phone our doctor, tell him where we are traveling and he prescribes everything we might need as a preventative measure. My lists leave no stone unturned.
I use the app, Reminders, as my list organizer. It is simple, and I owe my sense of sanity to my Reminders App. Remember, darlings, life without organization is havoc. I have lived with chaos, so I know this to be true.
ORGANIZATION WITH A TRAVEL PLAN
Employ a well-traveled and respected travel agent. Do not hire an agent until you check them out. Beware of the agent who plans your trip on a computer. I say, no, no, no, to that idea.
The first question I asked our ‘new’ agent before planning this trip to Singapore and Bali, “Have you spent time in Singapore and Bali.” She had. She was able to answer all of my questions and meet all my needs. She helped me choose the right hotels, restaurants, and sights to see because she had walked the streets, eaten in the restaurants and visited the sights.
My travel agent told me to take a poncho because of the chance of sudden rain. I even knew the hospital care was outstanding, just in case. She knew to ask for early check-in and late check out. Though I did not do the actual legwork, I did the mental work with her, between several hours on the phone and emails back and forth.
I knew when I received my Pocket Travel App, with our entire trip laid out with minute details, that my ultimate concierge and I would have an amazing trip…because it was planned and organized to fit our lifestyle.
If you chose not to have an agent, consider watching the History Channel, listen to podcasts or watch videos. Purchase a 5-star travel book(s) and, of course, ask trusted friends. You can do your homework and be organized in this manner.
Remember this saying, “Nothing good happens by accident.”
ORGANIZATION UPON ARRIVAL
I learned from my southern girlfriend, Norma Jean, that one should check the room before you accept it when traveling. Southern girls know the importance of taking care of their needs!
I cannot mention how many times I looked at more than one room before I said, “yes.” And, you can’t believe how many times I said to myself, “Thank you, Norma Jean!”
I am not a spoiled woman, I am a smart traveler. Don’t settle. Your room is your home and it should be as special as your home unless you are taking a trip that you know will have a particular type of accommodation.
When our luggage is delivered to our room, I don’t let the porter leave. No way! Not only do I want a lovely room, but I also have a need for organization, so I start asking our bellman questions: “Please show me how to work the clicker. What number on the clicker is my favorite news channel? What is the WiFi password? Is it free?”
I check to see if we have enough hangers, two luggage racks for our suitcases, how to work the complicated coffee machine — if there is one –and I ask for extra towels.
Our room is now organized for our stay and my ultimate concierge and I can have fun and know our home away from home is as organized as our actual home.
ORGANIZATION OF DAYS AND EVENINGS
Several years ago we traveled outside of London to the Cotswolds. We went with four other members of our family through marvelous hamlets. I learned nothing because we did not have an organized itinerary because the member in charge of our plans did not have a plan except, hotel reservations. We needed a guide. I missed learning. I missed restaurants. I missed learning all I could have learned in the Cotswolds.
I learned from this experience to leave nothing to chance. No guesswork. After all, we are spending expensive time away from home. Every day and evening has a plan in place.
We make dinner reservations, buy tickets in advance, hire a guide if we need one, know which museums have exhibits we will enjoy, etc. ORGANIZATION, DARLINGS, ORGANIZATION.
WHEN TO THROW ORGANIZATION OUT THE WINDOW…
I have no idea until it hits me what I want to bring home as a memory to savor our trip. Honestly, shopping is not my priority. I have never traveled to shop.
After I have been in a city or country for a time and learn something that I find memorable, I look for a unique gift that I can hold onto as my memory.
In Africa, it was a plain white ostrich egg. The egg, in my mind, is symbolic of the survival of Africa because the Africans used the ostrich egg as a canteen. Without water, they would have perished.
In Cuba, I bought a portrait of a large Cuban woman with a bandanna covering her head, a Cuban cigar in her mouth and spiritual-religious beads around her neck. All of Cuba and I love her.
In Israel, I brought home my red Kabbalah strings that I bought in Jerusalem at the Wailing Wall.
Genuine feelings direct my purchase. You might want to copy me. I would love that.
Many of you are empty nesters, retired and have the time to travel in the USA or abroad. My musings today can be of immense help. After all, I learned the hard way, by trial and error. I am giving you a tutorial that I guarantee will work and make your trip immensely enjoyable and stress-free. Bon Voyage, darlings, bon voyage.
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