In the words of a beloved HBO character, winter is coming. Already the air bites cold at night and frost glosses windshields. It’s a time of year rife with winter preparations. Shovels are located, holiday gifts are purchased, and (most importantly of all), vacations are planned.
For people affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder, a holiday someplace warm during the depths of winter can make or break the season. Once you’ve chosen your perfect holiday destination, the next step is to decide what you want to bring with you. A bit of retail therapy can stave off the SAD, but you want shopping to be intentional, which is why it’s important to have a list of things you need to purchase before your vacation. Here are the Top 6 items to bring with you on vacation this winter.
A Good Book
With the day to day responsibilities life throws at you day after day, it can be difficult to find time to read. Vacations can be the perfect time to catch up on your reading, especially as long plane rides or layovers may prevent other holiday activities you might do once you arrive at your destination. Don’t forget that if you have kids along you should pack books for them as well.
A Dobb Bag
No one likes arriving in a hotel only to realize that during the trip a bottle of shampoo leaked over an entire week’s worth of clothing. A Dobb bag, or toiletry bag, prevents this by separating your toiletries from the rest of your luggage. It’s small and portable, and can also be slipped into your carry-on so that if your luggage arrives behind you, or you get stuck at a layover while your luggage continues on without you, you are assured that you have the necessities with you. Makeup, toothpaste, shower supplies, and medication can be all be safely squirreled away within these versatile bags.
One of the benefits of a winter vacation is to expose yourself to more sunlight and prevent seasonal depression. That said, your eyes are one thing that decidedly do not need sun. UV rays are dangerous to eyes and can cause blurred vision and even cataracts. Sunglasses aren’t just a fashion statement. Investing in a good pair of sunglasses is an investment in yourself and your vision. Check out Sunglass Picks to decide which sunglasses are best for you.
If you’re into retail therapy, fall is the perfect time to purchase summer clothes, which are often discounted this time of year as department stores try to rid their shelves of last season’s clothes and bring in new clothes for winter. If you’re planning to take a winter vacation to somewhere warm, you’ll need warm-weather clothing. Take advantage of the narrow window of opportunity the fall season provides and shop for summer clothes now. Just make sure you’re doing your research and checking what the weather will actually be like in your vacation spot when you arrive. You don’t want to pack for sun only if it will rain three of the days you’re there!
An Extra Bag (Or Two)
It happens every time: You pack your luggage perfectly for the trip there, but by the time you make your trip home your clean clothes and dirty clothes are rattling around in your luggage together while your wet swimsuit turns the dirt on your sneakers into mud. Prevent this by thinking ahead and packing a couple of extra bags in your luggage to begin with. This way you can separate wet clothes from dry and clean clothes from dirty when you get to your location.
The last thing that you want to do is arrive at your vacation destination only to realize that you don’t know what to do while you’re there. Having a guide book and a map on hand ensures that you can make last-minute decisions, and that if one attraction is closed on the day you had planned to attend you can always come up with a back-up plan. Most guide books also have a list of restaurants in the area and other necessities. Not having to search for these will save you time and stress during your travels!
Once you’ve packed all of your necessities, you’re ready for your trip. Don’t forget to prepare your home for the time you’ll be gone by taking out the trash, washing any dishes, and cleaning out the fridge. Vacations are about relaxing, and the last thing that you’re going to want to do after investing time and money in bringing your stress levels down is to come home to a messy house. Save yourself the hassle by taking proactive steps now. When your vacation is over, you won’t dread coming home because you’ll know that the relaxation can continue on your own couch or in your own bed.