Most of the trips I’ve taken recently have been of the five-days-or-less variety. These sorts of things are pretty easy to set up and maneuver. You don’t need too much stuff, you don’t need to make many, if any, arrangements for while you’re gone. You can just pick up and go, and then, before you know it, you’re back, and life has gone pretty much fine without you.
My trip next month, though, is for two full weeks, which I’m incredibly excited about, but which also necessitates a bit more planning and preparation. Here’s what’s on my checklist.
I just so happen to be leaving town when taxes are due, and I’ve slacked on them because mine are ridiculously complicated this year. But I have to get them filed before I leave, which means now. I also have to make sure my money is all in the correct bank accounts for things like my mortgage autopayment, because although that’s something I could do online from anywhere, I won’t necessarily have time or access to do them abroad.
I have a cat. This is my first mistake, I know. But I need to have someone come in to feed her, clean up after her, and play with her a little so she doesn’t go insane. (How you people with dogs ever leave town without them, I don’t understand. They’re so much needier.) I’m lucky enough to have fantastic neighbors who happily do this for me, but I do have to ask them, make sure they’re available, and make sure they know where they put my spare key. (And then remember to buy them a little present while I’m gone, because seriously, they’re wonderful and otherwise I’m not quite sure what I’d do with the creature while I’m away.)
3) Day job
I’m lucky enough to have a day job that’s cool with me taking off for two weeks, even though some project schedules slipped and now this is a very inopportune time for me to be leaving. So I have to get a lot of work done in advance–in my job, that means rescheduling a lot of meetings and creating a lot of documents for someone else to tweak at the last minute–and then ask some coworkers to cover for me while I’m out, because I don’t actually have any employees who have to do this without me calling in favors and asking really nicely. This will necessitate more presents.
4) Emergency contact
Despite being of an age where I should really have a significant other to be my emergency contact, I have to tell my parents where I’m going. This is one of the more humiliating facts in my adult life. Flight info, hotels, how to get in touch with me if something goes horribly awry at home. My mom would probably appreciate a more detailed itinerary, but I don’t have one, because, spontaneity!, so it’s bare bones for them.