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Books, Brooms, and Avoidance of the Bathroom: My Pre-Trip Travel Routine

In a previous blog post, I shared with you some must-do things before taking an international trip. These were kind of the run of the mill, standard, everybody should do this, type of thing. Here, I give you a glance at my own personal pre-trip routine. These are a few things that I do, without fail, before any major trip.

Read a Book

Anytime I’m visiting a new country (or revisiting), I make it a point to read a book set in that country. Typically, it’s some sort of historical-based, non-fiction book that helps me garner a better understanding of how that country was shaped; or, dives into the life and personal experiences of a native author. I find that reading a book before traveling to a country gives me a deeper connection and appreciation of the travel experience itself. I marinate on the words that I’ve read and visualize its details. Landmarks become more than just landmarks. Cultural nuisances are better understood. Unfamiliar surroundings seems familial. Try it the next time you travel, you’ll see what I mean.

My current {re}read, for an upcoming trip to Amsterdam, is Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. I’m actually listening to the audiobook because I knew I wouldn’t have time to sit and read it before my trip because procrastinator. I read this book many moons ago, while in school, and have even visited the Anne Frank House, in 2006. But, as I walked in her footsteps throughout the annex, I wished that I’d re-read the book, for all the reasons mentioned above.

Go Home

I don’t live in the same city as my family so, before any big trip, I always go home to see my loved ones. Luckily, they only live about an hour and half from me, so it’s not too difficult to do. I do this because you never know what may happen, and if God forbid anything should happen to me while traveling, I never want to leave them having not said proper goodbyes, with hugs, and I love you’s and such. Plus, I can usually convince my grandmother to make all my favorite foods during my visit; that in and of itself is worth going home for.

Clean House

Speaking of family. I always give my apartment a thorough cleaning before going on any trip. What does that have to do with my family? Well, yeah, coming home to a clean house is must, and it’s about 10% of the reason why I make sure it’s done; but, the REAL reason why is because I have an irrational fear of dying with my home in disarray and my aforementioned, very Southern and very fussy grandmother coming to help clean out my place and chastising me, even through her grief, about a messy apartment. I prefaced this by saying it was irrational, right? Right.

I can just hear her now, from the grave:

“I can’t believe she left here with this bed unmade like this.”

“Look at this dust around these baseboards. She’s probably never cleaned these things.”

I say this all in jest, and likely only my family and close friends will find the humor in this, simply because you have to know the fire-red head lady, whose personality is just as fiery as her hair, and who keeps us all thoroughly entertained and in check.

Purge my phone

There is nothing worse than traveling and getting that dreaded “iPhone Storage Full” message. What do you meeeeean storage full?! I JUST deleted like 13 photos yesterday! What more do you want from my liiiife?!

Sigh, but, I guess deleting 13 of the 12,800+ photos and videos really does nothing hoarder, much ?.

So, I take on the tedious task of selecting which of the gazillion screenshots, nearly identical food pics, and the “you still need to work on finding your angle” selfies must go.  Honestly, I usually do this when I’m sitting in the airport, waiting to board the plane or during the flight. Either way, I do it before I get to my destination so that I have room for the additional 12k photos I’m going to take during my travel ventures.

Speaking of my phone, I also make sure to back up my phone before leaving home. God forbid something happens to it and I lose EVERYTHING. The devastation!

Cook a Home Cooked Meal

Ok this may be TMI, but my stomach is fickle af and does not always touch and agree with certain foods. The very last thing I need is to be stuck on a 10 hour flight with a bout of the BGs. So, the day before I travel I won’t eat anything that was not prepared in my own kitchen. Leftovers are even better, because if I’ve eaten it before and had no problems, then I shouldn’t have any problems when I eat it again. Nobody wants to be that person on a plane. I, sure as sh*t, don’t (pun intended).

Welp, that is my pre-trip routine, in all it’s irrational, rational, glory. Do you have any things you do, don’t do, won’t do before a trip? I’d love to hear about them! Leave me a comment below.


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