When it comes to planning for my vacations, I’ve always been obsessive. I love writing packing lists, itineraries, outfit sketches, actual packing.
Every part of planning a vacation, for me, is vital to the success of the vacation itself, and sometimes is more fun. That’s not because planning has ever led to failure, but simply because I prefer a book and a shaded room to sun and a swimming pool complex.
But what planning means, apart from personal satisfaction, is that I allow myself to account for every possibility that crosses my mind. I budget for disasters. I brush up on local languages, at least conversationally. The only reason I know the phone number of my GP is because I started including it in my holiday planning a few years ago. The idea to include an extension lead in my packing list may have never occurred to me, had I not written down every electrical item I need to take.
It isn’t an easy process, or fast. Whilst my mind is meticulously organised, my room is the opposite. I couldn’t just go in and find everything I would need. I start with basic ideas and research, before moving onto list-making. I buy notebooks and folders specifically for the trip. Seriously, this is a four day excursion. You just wait until I plan for my summer holiday.
Here’s a quick outline of how I planned for Paris.
Paris residential trip 02-05 March 2014
October 2013 – informed of trip, paid for trip, checked validity of passport and EHIC (European Health Insurance Card, a must).
December 2013 – begin pre-vacation craze, revisit knowledge of language, in this case French (use textbooks)
January 2014 – Assess general weather trends, research past March weather in area, buy A5 notebook (spiral-bound) and A4 folder
February 2014- Planning commences in full force – Print A4 maps of Disney Parks, Metro, Paris streets/ Save PDFs of the aforementioned, download relevant apps (in case you didn’t know, all Disney Resorts have interactive maps that include wait times for rides and useful information. They need internet but if you take your phone or device to the parks there is generally a wifi hotspot or two) on both iPad and Galaxy SIII. Create/ Collect itinerary, research metro tickets, research routes to walk in Paris, make lists of rides to do at DLRP, buy any necessary items, write packing list, sketch outfit ideas, write emergency paper*, pack, budget, exchange currency, get hair cut, dye hair (a recent development)
March 2014 – GO TO PARIS!
In upcoming posts, I’ll stagger the packing tips so that I don’t just have one gigantic blog entry. I’ll be photographing everything that I use and adding useful links.
See you soon, my lovelies,