Getting ready to travel sends this detail addict into overdrive. I prepare lists of lists and required gear sits obediently in assorted piles weeks prior to departure. Several days before takeoff the geometric packing puzzle is completed.
No matter how organized one is, unexpected surprises can wreak havoc on the travel organizer and so was the case as we departed for Peru. The gods of water flow delivered a parting gift and we discovered a flood in our basement the evening prior to take off.
An outdoor water faucet gone cranky through winter freeze would prove to be the culprit, but in all honesty who doesn’t get irritable in -20C weather of what seems like endless Canadian winter.
Apparently Mr. Faucet had enough of that frosty treatment and blew a gasket so to speak installing a sprinkler system in our basement ceiling. Handy if you have a fire but rather unfortunate should you want to travel to a different continent the following morning.
It is one of those discoveries where you stand with jaw open and think “Perhaps I could just close the door and pretend I don’t see this.” Not an especially nice thing to do to your house sitter. Our evening activities included welcoming the disaster emergency cleanup crew and plumber over for a cordial visit to swampland.
By the morning departure giant fans were blowing with tropical storm force velocity at gaping holes in the ceiling, walls and causing the sodden carpet to do a dancing imitation of the sand dunes of the Sahara desert.
5 Tips to Prepare for Travel
This was not the first post from Peru I planned to write. However we are living proof that things can happen to throw a wrench in your travel plans. Even though we had a flood in our home 15 hours before traveling to Peru, we got on a plane smiling. Here’s how we managed to do it.
1) Get organized and get packed
Do not leave packing and organizing yourself to the last minute. There can be unusual surprises to be dealt with, whether it be a waterpark being developed in your basement or an elephant taking up residence in your living room (Could happen you never know) Have your bags packed and weighed and all travel documents ready to go 24 hours ahead of time.
2) What does your travel insurance cover?
Know what your insurance coverage includes. Medical, cancellation, home insurance – all of it. Hours before a flight is not the time to be reading the fine print to see if water running out of your ceiling is covered. Have all phone numbers and contact information, as well as policy numbers, at the ready.
3) Who cares for your home when you travel?
Have someone checking on your home regularly. Better yet get a house sitter so you have peace of mind on the road. There is nothing like arriving home to find your house has been broken into. Trust us we know from experience.
We have good friends who for the fourth year in a row are staying in our home. So far they have endured a hail stone coming through the sky light, a city flood, a renovation in full swing and now the sprinkler installation. I have suggested I will bring on a hurricane next year for their arrival.
Security systems and informed neighbors assist in ensuring a worry free vacation.
4) Who will manage urgent concerns while you travel?
Remember when your teenagers are driving you mad that if you don’t strangle them they grow into confident, responsible adults who you can leave the indoor swimming pool maintenance to. Thank you Robyn.
If not an offspring be sure you have enlisted someone to keep copies of your travel documents, copies of credit cards and agree to be available in case of emergencies whether they be at your place of residence or to you the traveler while on the road.
5) Positive Attitude for Peaceful Travel
Whether it be prior to departure or while away, unexpected changes and surprises happen when traveling. How you prepare your expectations for your traveling experience will make all the difference. Travel is not for the rigid and inflexible. Life happens whether you have planned the trip of a lifetime or not. Keep smiling.
Oh yes and welcome to Peru!