How Visualizing Your Arrival/Departure Days Can Help You Avoid Problems

I’m flying out to Hawaii two weeks from tomorrow (and spending 5 weeks there as our first stop).

I booked the tickets around 140 days ago and have been counting down since then. It feels amazing to be getting this close to lift off!

One of the things I do for fun/ to increase my excitement is visualize the first few days of a trip. I’ve discovered that this is also an extremely effective strategy for identifying things I’ve forgotten about.

I mainly visualize my travel day and then the first full day spent in the new place. I literally imagine all the way through the departure day from getting to sleep the night before, getting to the airport, the flight, and getting to my hotel or other accommodation.

These are the kinds of things visualizing helps me remember:

– Remembering to pack things I might have forgotten such as a jacket if I’m going to have a layover in an airport that’s likely to be cold.

– Remembering to add bags, select my seat, or order my vegan meal for the plane (although I’ve pretty much given up on eating airline meals and now just bring a giant stack of peanut butter sandwiches).

– Remembering to buy snack supplies next time I shop.

– Remembering to check if an airport has free wifi so I can let my family know whether or not I’ll be able to easily send them updates from each airport I arrive at (since I’m usually departing from New Zealand it tends to take lots of flights to get anywhere!).

– Remembering to look up the airport shuttle instructions for my arrival.

– Realizing I’ve forgotten to make firm plans about which of my family members will be dropping me to the airport.

– Remembering that I need to figure out how to maneuver my bike and my bag at all the stages I need to do that.

– Figuring out a strategy for how I’m going to NOT end up spending the first day of my trip working. Remembering to put autoresponders on my voicemail and email etc.

– Planning some alternative entertainment for if the in-flight entertainment doesn’t work (this has happened to me too many times on 10+ hour flights).

– Remembering if there are any prescriptions I need to get filled before I leave and remembering to take some medications for the plane (I get motion sick and have to take an antinausea med that goes under my lip for flights).

If you’re a “planner” like me, try visualizing.

Even though I call it “visualizing” it’s often “verbalizing” as often I talk Kathryn through the travel day and first full day while we’re out for a walk. Since I tend to do all the planning, this helps her get excited and adds to my excitement too.


  1. // Reply

    Great tips, plus I’ve always felt the anticipation is at least part of the fun of traveling. So if you don’t do a little anticipating (or visualizing, as you put it), you’re depriving yourself of some of the fun! 🙂

  2. // Reply

    I used to do this when I competed in gymnastics, and it has completely carried over to other parts of my adult life! Great ideas….have a great flight!

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