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Pre-Cruise: Weather the Storm Before the Calm

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Finally! We’re down to the final days before our long-awaited Alaskan cruise. As much as I would love to spend the time daydreaming about glaciers and wild animals, I am busy with final preparations – last minute shopping, packing and confirming of reservations. If that weren’t enough, there are other necessary pre-vacation tasks to attend to in order to avoid coming home to chaos and a mountain of projects.

Don’t overlook the chores and responsibilities that need to be completed before you leave – both at work and at home. It’ll ensure a relaxing vacation and a stress-free return home. Start by writing a detailed, prioritized to-do list of everything that needs to be done before you leave. With the most critical jobs at the top of the list, you will be certain those are taken care of. If you run out of time for the less important chores at the end of the list, it won’t matter as much if they don’t get done.

I generally make two lists. One is for me and tasks I need to complete before vacation can commence: pre-pay the bills, notify the credit card companies, stop the mail and newspaper deliveries, and other routine things. The second list is for the family member or friend who has the distinct honor of watching the house while we’re gone. If it’s a current resident manning the fort, say your young adult offspring, there are additional reminders – take out the trash, lock the doors, close the windows, feed the cat, clean up after yourself … and, of course, no wild parties.

Those are just the must-do jobs on the home front. Work is another matter with responsibilities to complete, deadlines to meet, and so forth. If this is the case and you find yourself overwhelmed and wondering how you’ll ever finish, ask your co-workers for a little help. Just remember to bring them a nice souvenir from your trip or offer to take them to lunch when you return.

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It's amazing Jan!! Were about to embark on our 10th cruise in November and we STILL print out a Crazies packing list for every cruise! Even still, we ALWAYS seem to forget something. Prior to our last cruise on the Jewel in May, I brought a new digital video camera that records in HD. I bought an extra, heavy duty battery as a backup for it and extra SD cards to record on. I packed everything related to the camera AND our still camera in the camera bag. On the way to the port, Chrissy decided to do some video taping while I was driving and held onto the camera. When we finally arrived at the parking lot near the Port of Tampa, we excitedly unloaded the luggage, gave it to the driver and he put it on the shuttle. When we boarded the Jewel, I realized the camera bag was still in my truck at the parking lot. I hope the cameras cables, extra battery, my tablet charger and all the camera accessories had a great vacation for the week....in my truck at the lot!!! And I was hoping after this many cruises, I would have it down to a science!!!

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Too funny, Tim! Though we haven't left an entire bag of accessories behind, we do at least one pit stop somewhere in port on each cruise for batteries, a digital card or a charging cable for whichever we forgot. You're right. I faithfully follow the Crazies packing list, but all it takes is one deviation from the plan to mess it all up.

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