You’ve worked all year and are ready for a vacation, which means it’s time to relax, explore, and have a good time. It’s a chance to get outside of your everyday routine, delve into a different way of life, and get back to your relaxed and inquisitive self.
Sometimes, though, things go awry on vacation. Sometimes, vacations end up creating more stress than ease, putting a major damper on even the most incredible trip. Obviously, it would be impossible to prevent all mishaps, inconveniences, and stresses, but planning ahead can certainly reduce the potential for issues during your trip. Here are some of the simple yet highly effective ways to prepare for your next vacation, so that it is truly the vacation you’ve been waiting for.
Buy packing cubes.
Packing intelligently has never been easier with the emerging variety of packing cubes. Designed specifically to help your suitcase accommodate a lot more, packing cubes ensure you have all the gear needed to hike the mountains, swim the oceans, go out to fancy dinners, and dance the night away. Maybe you’ll even get away with just a carry-on! Stop by Bed Bath and Beyond in the Flatiron District (at 620 6th Avenue), where you’ll be overwhelmed (in a good way) by how many ways there are to hack your packing.
Notify your banks.
The last thing you need is to be stuck in a foreign country with a frozen credit or debit card account. Contact your banks, either via telephone or online, and let them know the entirety of your travel plans. While you’re at it, if you’re not already set up with automatic withdrawals, make advance payments on any bills with upcoming due dates. Because the other last thing you need is to be thinking about overdue bills while drinking wine in Tuscany.
Notify your cell phone company.
If you’re traveling abroad, you’ll want to have your cell phone situation squared away long before you head out of town. Explore all the options for acquiring service, including access to the internet and the ability to send texts, and pick the plan that best suits your needs.
Download offline Google Maps.
Internet service is far from perfect, particularly if you’re headed to a remote location. Plan for this by downloading Google Maps for every place you intend to visit. Simply search the location on Google Maps, tap the name or address, and click “More.” Then, select the “Download Offline Maps” option. This way, when you’re looking for the best restaurant on the beaches of Nice, you can still search the map until you find it.
Get the right chargers.
Headed abroad? Don’t leave home without making sure you have compatible chargers that will work once you reach your destination. Stop by Target in Herald Square (at 112 West 34th Street) to find any adaptors you might need.
Check the weather.
Check out the weather forecast for the duration of your trip so you can pack any raincoats, extra cardigans, or swimsuits you might need. Don’t have a raincoat? Head over to TJ Maxx in the Financial District (at 14 Wall Street), where you can pick up any last minute necessities.
Stock up on healthy snacks.
Airport food is hit or miss—it can be good, it’s usually overpriced, and sometimes when you’re in a rush, you don’t even get to it in time. So, take matters into your own hands. Stock up on your own healthy snacks, getting exactly what you want, and ensuring you don’t go hungry. The Upper East Side Whole Foods (at 1551 3rd Avenue) is a great place to load up. Consider buying dried fruit, protein bars, and trail mix to enjoy while you’re in the air or on the road.