Anywhere or bust

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Photo credit: Valerie Cheatham


You’ve spent the entire semester wishing for this day to arrive, the end of your schoolwork and the beginning of a well-deserved summer vacation. You’ve been meticulously counting down the days until you’re free from exams and ready to relax. Free from the stresses of college life, it may be tempting to hop a plane or train with just your backpack and ticket, but even the most skilled travelers prepare lists. Making a travel checklist helps in remembering what to bring with you and what to leave at home. If you’ve ever taken any type of extended trip, you understand how easy it is to forget important items. Making a checklist can help you avoid this problem and prevent getting yourself in a bind far from home.

Preparing for travel shouldn’t be a stressful or overwhelming task.

It’s more fun to research places to go than figuring out how many shirts to bring. It’s a time to plan amazing adventures and memories with family and friends. But in order for it to go as smoothly as possible some pre-trip planning is recommended.

One of the first places to start is the travel information government page located at website. The site provides helpful travel tips, including required documents needed for traveling out of the country. In addition to these items, health advisories and immunization requirements are listed for most countries you inquire about.

A site well-known to amateur and seasoned travelers called TravelSmith, has travel products and videos showing how and what to pack. You can even download different types of checklists catered to your specific type of destination.

Having a vast amount of resources available may still not convince you that good preparation is the way to go, but not planning ahead can wreak havoc on your travels.

Rachel and Grace Wylie (a junior and freshman here at UVU) know firsthand how lacking a checklist created vacation fails. While traveling to Washington D.C. from Pennsylvania, Grace spilled her juice drink all over her pants. Not planning ahead, she forgot to bring an extra pair of pants. Grace ended up walking around D.C., in the summer heat, wearing her pajama bottoms, her Christmas themed pajama bottoms.

Not creating a list causes Rachel Wylie to forget her most important item, “I’m always forgetting my toothbrush, that’s the worst thing to forget.”

To prevent these types of experiences from happening it’s important to research and prepare your travel checklist a head of time. Suggested items to remember include: passport, driver’s license, itinerary, airline tickets, credit cards and traveler’s checks.

As far as what to do or places to see while on your trip, you can take the advice that Rachel and Grace gave, “we just Google the place we plan to go visit, and see what sites people recommend or what looks interesting and exciting to us.”

Preparing for travel doesn’t have to feel daunting or scary, as long as you take a little time to develop a good checklist to follow.