It happens around this time every afternoon. You find yourself sitting at your desk, staring at the wall in front of you, but the picture in your mind is something very different. You envision the ocean extended before you, waves gently splashing against a pristine beach of white sand. Seagulls dip in the breeze as you sip the colorful drink in your hand. You ponder for a moment why a beverage needs an umbrella, but the thought drifts away as a peaceful calm overtakes you. Then suddenly the phone rings, you coworker sneezes and you see that your inbox has been flooded while you were daydreaming; reality check, you're not on the beach just yet. It once seemed as if your beach getaway would never arrive, but now that it's around the corner you are now starting to realize you haven't done much to prepare yourself. Your mind races when you think of the seemingly never-ending list of things, both large and miniscule, that need to be handled before you leave. First piece of advice: donâ€™t get overwhelmed. The truth is there are only a few things you need to have handled before you go.
Choose Your Match
If you havenâ€™t already, pick the right beach destination for you. The world is filled with hundreds of types of beaches with access to thousands of amenities and excursions. While that might sound daunting, remember you donâ€™t have to experience them all on this trip. Pick a couple that sound fun and possibly adventurous and leave the rest for next time, or the time after. The last thing you want is to feel rushed or hurried while on vacation. If you are at a total loss as to what kinds of things you want to do, there are all-inclusive destinations that take the decision-making process out of your hands; this way you only have to pick a theme instead of specific activities.
Donâ€™t stress over what you need to pack. Unless you are going to a highly secluded beach (not recommended for a novice traveler), most beaches are designed for tourists. Pack the important things: bathing suits, books, music, clothes to go out and basic toiletries. Anything you forget can be easily found a short distance from most all vacation destinations or even in a resort store. Besides, sometimes a forgotten item can often lead to interesting adventures or an opportunity to meet new people.
Call in Reinforcements
Designate someone staying behind to look after things for you while you are gone. Pick someone in your life who can handle both the simple things and any small emergencies that might arise. Equip this person with the phone numbers of people who can help in case of an emergency, such as your pet's vet or your trusted plumber.
There is nothing worse than sitting on the beach wondering if you are going to come home to a house full of dying plants or missed opportunities. Let this person handle your mail, both electronic and snail, feed your pets, water your plants, etc. If appropriate, ask them to stay at your place while you are gone so that they can respond immediately to anything that arises.
Let it Go
More than just everyone's favorite song from Frozen, this must become your mantra.Choose to take the worry out of the what ifs in life. Things happen, often when you least expect it. Make sure everyone of importance knows you will be leaving and when you will get back. Make sure all of your documents are up to date and available. Purchase travel insurance so you're prepared for unexpected situations. The provides help for everything from trip delays and baggage coverage to rental coverage and medical emergencies. And then let the rest go, trusting that it will all work out.
As with many things in life, a little preparation ahead of time can make a huge difference in the end. There is nothing quite like the experience of being on a beach for the first time. The great T.S. Eliot said it best, â€œAt the beach, time you enjoyed wasting, is not time wasted.