With just under two weeks until I head off to America for a fortnight (What! Can’t believe it’s so soon!), it’s fair to say my pre-trip rituals have well and truly begun. Well, I say that, but when I look back on things, my excessive planning has been going into overdrive for a good six months. I guess that’s what happens when you book your trip of a lifetime waaaay in advance…
For today’s post I thought I’d take a look at my weird pre-trip rituals. Every trip of mine seems to follow pretty much the same schedule – some of it useful, some just bloomin’ irritating.
6 months before
Once the trip is booked up, I begin straight away. I start by reading every single blog known to man about the location until I’m convinced I’ve already been there. I then make a list of absolutely every single sight I want to see. Once I’ve completed this list, I usually lose it, so have to write up another one two days later. And then I lose that one, so have to start another one. This pattern continues for the next 24 weeks.
4 months before
Right. Time to start thinking about budgeting: how much do I need to put aside each month to make sure I’ve got enough to do everything I want to do while I’m out there? How many times will I have to bring my own lunch into work to save money? Can I really afford that £50 Topshop dress, or should I put it on my Christmas list?
2-3 months before
Realise I don’t own any clothes that I’m happy to be photographed in during the trip. Buy that £50 Topshop dress anyway. Then begin to spend a small fortune on trip essentials. Things like black plimsols that I already have 3 pairs of. And more knitwear – even if it’s a beach holiday.
6 weeks before
Look into going on a diet so I don’t end up with photos I’m ashamed of. Look into signing up to a gym, realise I have no time. Forget the idea.
4 weeks before
Get the suitcase out of the loft. Start packing. This time I’m determined to not fill up the suitcase with crap…while also ensuring I’ve got absolutely everything I could possibly need for all potential scenarios.
Then I usually regret not starting packing months ago.
3 weeks before
Start up a folder with a colour-coded system and dividing panels. Travel documents? Day excursion details? Maps I’ve lovingly printed off the web? Pictures of the cats? They’re all in there.
2 weeks before
Get my hair cut. Why 2 weeks before? Why not just before I fly off? Well, I’m pretty fussy about my hair. It might not seem like it, but I’m very particular about the length. I don’t like it so short that it exposes all my facial features, but I also don’t like looking like I’ve been lost to the wilderness for the last 20 years. So, I figure if I get my hair cut 2 weeks before I go, by the time the holiday comes round the length will be at a happy medium. Yeah, the logic isn’t perfect…
Also at this time, I look at myself in the hairdresser’s mirror, with my hair scraped back and my face exposed. Rather, I look at my double chins, all exposed for the world to see. Remember I was supposed to go on a diet 4 weeks ago. Become annoyed at myself for not doing so. Become sad and eat chocolate.
13 days before
Practice poses in the mirror that don’t make my double chin look so obvious. It’s cool, we can work with this. Cake needn’t be avoided.
2 days before
Usually at some point around now I remember that I actually need money for the trip. I panic because I’m at work and don’t have time to get money/effort to wait in a queue all lunch to get my money changed up (there’s cake to be eaten, don’t you know). So, I usually just look into my old pre-paid card, and figure there will always be a place to exchange money further down the line.
1 day before
Sod’s law dictates that this is usually when I begin to get engrossed in a show on Netflix.
The morning of the flight
Worry I haven’t paid my cats enough attention over the last few weeks. Google information on whether or not it’s possible to take them with me on my next trip.
Waiting to board the plane
I usually spend the fews hours waiting in the departure lounge re-purchasing everything that’s in my suitcase. After all, it’s the only way to be sure I’ve got everything.
So far I’m pretty much bang on schedule with my pre-trip rituals. I’ve pretty much sacked off the diet in favour of cheesecake and pies. The folder is coming along nicely. Packing has begun. The cats are being lined up for hourly snuggles. I’m thinking I should probably get a head start on sorting out my currency, but apart from that, I’m pretty much ready. America: bring it on!