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Breaking your “norm” by discovering new places can be as exciting as it sounds. But, often taking care of the details (destination, travel, accommodations) is equally time-consuming and daunting.

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Maybe you’ve already visited all of the hot spots that tourists recommend and you’re craving to go somewhere new. Or maybe you want to find a place based on your interests but you don’t have the time to research what’s within your budget.

One way to create the next entry in your travel journal is the Pack Up + Go 3-day trip. The trip is based on your preferences, so you won’t be going anywhere you don’t want to, but the exact location will be a surprise. We’ll take care of not only your travel plans, but where you’ll stay and what to do too. There can be such a thing as a pleasant surprise when it comes to traveling!

Despite where we’ll send you, here’s a universal checklist of what to pack and what to do before you depart.


Pack

Avoid making a U-turn at the airport behind by checking them off the following list:

  • Travel documents: Passport, visa, identification, frequent flyer card, insurance card

  • Electronics: Adapters, chargers, headphones

  • Accessories: Sunglasses, wallet, collapsible umbrella or poncho

  • Wellness necessities: Medication, personal hygiene products, lip balm, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, makeup, neck pillow for air travel

Over-packing is a gut instinct for most of us. After all, it’s better to have it than to not have it if you find yourself in a pinch. That’s always a big “what-if” though. Here’s how to limit your suitcase to just the essentials:

  • The basics: A t-shirt you can layer with a hoodie and then a jacket and finally a scarf. One pair of jeans or shorts and one pair of pajamas that you can re-wear. A single pair of comfortable shoes that you can wear day after day. Don’t forget a hat for bad hair days, which means you won’t have to pack shampoo or conditioner.

  • Hotel freebies: Don’t overlook the travel-sized products you’ll have access to at the hotel. That means you shouldn’t have to pack soap or lotion. Sometimes they’ll even provide a toothbrush and razor if you ask the front desk.

Note: For some items, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has specific instructions for travelers. Its 3-1-1 liquids, for instance, limits the amount of liquids you can bring in your carry-on to one quart-sized bag, with each container in the bag no larger than 3.4 ounces (100 ml). The rule applies to your hair gel, body spray, drinking water, toothpaste, moisturizer, etc.  


Prepare

You’re almost ready for your vacation! You just need to take care of a few matters at home so everything is still up and running when you return. Here are some last-minute to-do’s:

  • Pets: If Fido + Lassie can’t tag along in your travels, make sure you find accommodations for them. You could consider an animal daycare, but leaving your pet with a fellow animal lover in the comfort of their home is probably best. Rover is an app where you can find pet sitters that are highly reviewed in your area and new users receive $10 off their first booking!

  • Maintenance: The worst thing to come home to is a mess. Do your due diligence before heading out by removing perishable foods from the refrigerator, taking out the garbage, and wiping down surfaces. If you’re still suffering from the big chill this winter, don’t forget to keep your heat running. Pipes can freeze and burst, which will make you instantly regret going on vacation.

  • Security: Lock all the windows, doors, and outdoor gates. Secure your important belongings in a safe place. Power down and unplug electronics and appliances. You might consider letting a trustworthy neighbor know that you’ll be away for the weekend so they can keep an eye on your place. If you expect to be gone awhile, you might install an alarm system and protect your belongings with a home protection plan.


Enjoy

Sometimes the easiest thing to forget while traveling is to stop and smell the roses. A three-day weekend is a short retreat, but worthwhile when you’re able to really take it all in. Live like a local by dining at family owned restaurants and shopping at small businesses.

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Jot down your new memories on a notepad back in the hotel or on the back of a postcard. Take pictures not just for Instagram, but also for looking back on when the daily grind gets you down come Monday morning.

The most important thing is to try your best—your very, very best—not to dwell on what awaits you back at home. Sign out of your company email, shut down your computer, and let friends and family know that you’ll be unavailable to text this weekend. Open your eyes and mind to what’s happening at the present moment.

As Jawaharial Nehru said, “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.


What are your best tips for planning a getaway and making sure your mind is stress-free when you go to leave? Tell us in the comments!













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