|Who.A.U. bikini top, Gilly Hicks bottoms, Pac Sun sunglasses|
As far as prepping for a vacation goes, I have a few essential to-do items that help me feel calm, cool, and collected before I head out the door. Whether you're planning a beach getaway, a city exploration, or some combination of the two, here are a few tips that will get you set for your travels.
Do a suitcase edit.
By suitcase, I mean whatever bag you plan to bring with you. For most of my trips, I rely exclusively upon my trusty Jansport and a small purse. Regardless of the bag I take, I always try to lay out everything I want to bring at least two days before my trip. That way I have some time to figure out what I actually need and delete anything that isn't essential. I'm all about packing as light as possible. This is particularly important when you're traveling carry-on only and you plan to buy things on your trip. You need all the space you can get.
Download or print out a map of your destination.
Going to a new place can be disorienting at first. I try to ease this discomfort a bit by feeling as prepared and knowledgeable as possible. For me, this means knowing how to get to basic destinations, like the airport, the train station, and my hostel. I like to either print out Google directions or download a map of the area to my phone. Then I don't have to worry about getting lost at the beginning of my trip.
Charge your tech.
The thing about traveling is you're always on the move. Because of this, the opportunity to juice up your electronics may not come up as frequently as you think. I save myself this stress by charging all my technology, whether that means my phone, my Ipod, or my camera, before I leave. That way I know I'll be good to go once I reach my destination.
Have a pamper session.
Traveling on the cheap often means minimalist packing and inexpensive accommodations. I prefer to focus more upon fully experiencing my trip location than spending time on unnecessary luxuries like spa treatments and fancy hotel rooms. Instead, I'll give myself a mini spa night before I leave. A fresh mani/pedi and a good exfoliation and skin moisture session always help me to feel my best before I depart.
What's on your pre-trip to-do list? I'd love to hear from you in the comments or on Twitter!
P.S. Check out my articles on The Holiday Girl for even more travel tips and recommendations.