By Contikivacations | August 14, 2012
We've all run into this problem: Vacation-itis. Similar to its cousin senioritis (often experienced during our senior year of high school), vacationitis is a condition where your vacation is looming and you already feel the productivity levels dip to an all-time low.
You're ready to get going already but time seems to be slowing down and there's still so much to do. Kick your rear in gear with this "un-procrastination" checklist that will get you primed and ready to go for your Contiki!
Ready, set, go!
Step 1. Sign up for Contiki Meetups
It won't take you very long to register your tour on Contiki's MeetUps! You'll find other passengers who are going on the same tour, so you can connect, share travel advice, and be BFFs before you even visit your first destination. A pat on the back for you for being so proactive and making friends already!
Step 2: Paper or Plastic?
If you've already determined how much moolah to bring with you on your trip, stop by your bank to get the best exchange rates and have some cash on hand when you disembark from the plane - no waiting in line to exchange your dollar bills at the airport. If you plan on bringing credit cards, make sure to check the expiration dates and if the card is linked to your bank account, notify your bank that you will be traveling. The other passengers will be green with envy because you're so cool and collected.
Step 3: Destination Notification
Your lack of Facebook updates and your phone number going straight to voicemail isn't the best way to notify people that you have checked out for the month. Notify your friends and family about your travel plans and communication preferences. Plan ahead to set up your iPhone if you're traveling internationally. Set up an out-of-office message on either your work and/or personal email to let people know that you won't be able to chat about the latest episode of True Blood until your return!
Step 4: Pay Those Bills, Bills, Bills
If you'll be traveling when your electric bill is due, it's probably a good idea to set up an automatic payment for that - and for any other expenses you have. If you have roommates or if you live with your parents, be sure to ask them to collect your mail and keep it in a safe spot for you because you don't want to come home to a random mountain of coupons for your local supermarket.
Step 5: Organize Your Documents
Your travel documents are important - that's why Contiki sends you a travel wallet to keep everything together. Follow these tips about prepping your papers so they are all in one place. Also, keep scanned copies of your visas and passports and these documents in your email. Email them to yourself so you always have a digital copy in case you lose your paper version.
Step 6: Prepare a Vacation Shot List
When you're flipping through your photos, you want to be able to proudly state, "Look at this great photo of XYZ!" Too often we come back and say, 'i wish I had taken a jumping picture in front of the Eiffel Tower!" Prepare a quick shot list of the pics that you wouldn't be able to live without and you will come back with an amazing portfolio of different shots.
Step 7: Pack!!
It's the one activity that most people put off until the last minute - something about performing well under pressure! Yet that can be the recipe for disaster when items that you need aren't readily available abroad (i.e. deodorant). Pack the essentials first that keep you feeling fresh and clean (toothbrush & toothpaste, hair brush, etc.) and take into account the fact that you may be traveling for a few weeks with no access to a washer/dryer. Packing can be the last thing you do, but it's the most important so take great care! Check out our suggested packing list and resource round-up for ideas.
If you complete these 7 steps, you will not only feel accomplished, but you'll be well on your way to being a confident and happy traveler who is fully prepared to take on your vacation. Now stop procrastinating and start doing!