Today’s speaker was Juli Parrott of Table Mountain Travel in Lakewood, CO. Juli took her time today to discuss an aspect of traveling that we generally don’t think about. The first 24 hours of a vacation and the things you should do to make it a great trip. Those first 24 hours can truly set the tone for your entire vacation. Here are 10 things you should do to set the right tone for your trip.

1)   On the way to your final location plan your exit. Planning on how to get back to the airport is best done when you are leaving the airport and not when you are trying to catch a plane. Once you get off the plane get a feel for the layout of the airport – figure out how far from the car rental to the gates, also watch for a gas station that is close to the airport while leaving. Also when checking into your hotel, find out the check-out times and if you can leave without stopping by the front desk.

2)   Grab some food. This is one of the first things that most travelers look for when arriving at their vacation location. Most end up grabbing the first thing they find whether that be a fast food, something at the airport or room service. However with all the sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor it is really easy to find a restaurant that is close and offers good food. If you research prior to your arrival you will have a plan to get nourishment upon arrival.

3)   Reset your clock. If you changed time zones during your travel to your vacation location it is best to change your clock and assume the daily rhythms of that time zone right away. This means that from the type of food you eat to what you would normally do at that time of day. Do not succumb to the urge to stay on your old time zone schedule – especially for your most ingrained habits.

4)   Get outside. When you are traveling to a new place the light is different, the air has different smells and your entire sense of the world can be different. After spending many hours in airports and planes getting outside to see your new location can be invigorating. By getting outside into the sun will alert your brain as to what time of day it is and that you are done sitting around!

5)   Have a plan to deal with your caffeine addiction. Many people have a caffeine addiction and when traveling this can become an issue, as you are not on your normal schedule and may drink to much on your day of travel making that first night a long one. Or if you have been traveling and not had access to coffee having a cup late in the afternoon or early evening can also ruin your first night of vacation. If you really need a caffeine shot once you arrive at your destination get a sugar free caffeinated pop, they have less caffeine and should interfere with your sleep.

6)   Take pictures. Taking pictures in the first 24 hours when your eye is the freshest and when you are seeing things for the first time. If you wait you might ignore something really unique as you adjust to your new surroundings.

7)   Charge all of your electronics. As soon as you arrive in your hotel room take out all of your electronics and make sure that you can plug them in – especially if you are traveling internationally. This way if you need adapters, you can deal with it in the first few hours of your trip and not have to worry about this later on – like when your phone dies.

8)   Secure your valuables. If you are traveling with valuables the best place to keep them during travel is in your carry-on luggage and once you arrive at your hotel that is not the place to leave them. Most hotels now offer in room safes which you create your own code for. If not the hotel front desk has safe and you can leave them there until you need them. Leaving expensive items in your room – in a drawer is not the best nor the safest thing to do.

9)   Let someone know you have arrived. Especially when traveling alone calling when you arrive and letting someone at home know that you are there and where you are staying. You should also give them an alternate phone number to reach you ie. The hotel number and your room number.

10)   Check the weather. This may seem almost to simple, but it is better to have checked 24 hours before your arrival rather than get ambushed by a heat wave when you arrive. This will allow you to pack or change what you already packed so you have the appropriate clothes for the current weather conditions and so you don’t have to go shopping in the first hours of your vacation.

If you need a travel agent to guide you on that perfect vacation give Juli Parrott and Table Mountain Travel a call!

Juli Parrott * Table Mountain Travel * 303-277-1580 * juli@tablemountaintravel.com * www.tablemountaintravel.com