Before you leave on vacation…
It’s summertime, vacation time. But before you can take a vacation and luxuriate in the fact that you’re on vacation and don’t have to plan taking a vacation, there are nine things you need to do.
* Decide where you want to go.
I like the mountains. My wife likes the beach. But thanks to frequent flyer miles, we think we’ll be able to go to Poughkeepsie.
* Decide how you’re going to get there.
You could fly. You also could spend three and a half hours in the airport before your delayed flight is cancelled and they can get you there on Wednesday if you don’t mind standing. Also, please note that the airline is not responsible for the cancellation because it has to do with weather and they had no idea there was going to be weather on the day you were traveling.
Also, the airline is not responsible because, well, the airline is never responsible.
Instead, you could drive. This would allow you to take as much stuff as you want, and not pay for your first bag or take off your shoes in the security line when you are wearing very old socks.
* Make reservations.
If you’re traveling by plane, don’t forget to make your reservations right now before the price goes up, you have to change planes in Poughkeepsie and the only seat left will be next to a life insurance salesman with a bad head cold.
* Decide what you want to do when you get to your vacation spot.
Some people like to just relax on their vacations while others like to explore and discover. Still others like to argue with the airline about where their suitcases are.
* Put a vacation stop on your mail.
This way, when you return home, your mailbox won’t be filled with 17 credit card solicitations, 14 mountain foreclosure sale advertisements, nine clothing catalogues and three cards telling you you’ve won a free trip to Cancun if you will just call this number.
* Tell your neighbors you will be going out of town.
This way, your neighbors can collect the newspapers piling up in your driveway and protect your house from other neighbors who would like to read the sports section.
* Tell the credit card company that you are going on vacation and will be out of town and to keep an eye out for odd transactions.
This way, when the credit card company gets a transaction for thousands of dollars of jewelry bought in La Paz, Bolivia, you will realize you should have gone to La Paz where there are good buys on jewelry and not to Poughkeepsie.
* Shut off the oven. French fries do not take a week to cook.
* Make a to-do list of all the things you have to do before you leave on your vacation.
Neil Offen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.