Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Any other Nervous Nellies out there when it gets down to the last 3 days? (

Hagan Mar 12th, 2007 05:09 PM

Any other Nervous Nellies out there when it gets down to the last 3 days?
We're leaving Thursday (this is Monday) for Paris and Rome, taking our 2 grandsons on their first trip. I'm going crazy trying to remember if I've forgotten anything important (I'm sure I have!), is there anything else I need to check out on the travel boards, is the house ready to be abandoned, what to do, what to do!!!
I can't sleep either, which just makes my brain function even slower. I keep thinking, "Is there anything else I should research one last time before I don't have a computer?" Panic!
Does anyone else go through this? Oh, it's really agonizing going through this travel ecstacy. Does it get any better or worse than the last few days before a big trip? Just deliciously awful!!!!!

canterbury Mar 12th, 2007 05:19 PM

Wow! You sound like really "grand" grandparents. How wonderful you can do something like this.

You'll be fine. We all go through this. I usually regret planning any trip the few days before departure. Once you're on the plane you'll feel great.

Safe travels to you!

snook Mar 12th, 2007 05:22 PM

YEP.. I know the feeling ..we leave tomrrow!

CAPH52 Mar 12th, 2007 05:40 PM

I'm not leaving until a week from Wednesday (the 21st) and I already feel that way! I go back and forth between being extremely excited and wondering what the hell I was thinking!:D

pantelia Mar 12th, 2007 05:40 PM

The last couple of days before we go anywhere, I usually tackle things like cleaning out the fridge, cleaning the oven, finding a task that I haven't really wanted to tackle, but it will take time and keep my mind off the 'what did I forget's'! It's nice to come home to a spotless house!

Hagan Mar 12th, 2007 05:41 PM

Snook, Bon Voyage, have a safe and wonderful trip!
Canterbury, thanks for the kind words. We really SHOULCN'T do this, financially, but it's something I've always dreamed of doing. We do feel lucky to be able to be young enough and healthy enough to share this with the grandkids, though, and hope we can continue through all the rest of them!

These are the oldest boys, 16 and 15, and we had to get them before the girls do, if you know what I mean.

Some smart Fodorite should really make a last-minute to-do list of things we could use to check off things before a trip. That would really help neurotic types like myself!

GreenDragon Mar 12th, 2007 06:16 PM

This is where I find lists very helpful. I have a list I just update for each trip, so I don't have to recreate it from scratch every time I travel from home. It includes things to make sure are done ahead of time (reservations, updated passport, get some Euros), stuff to be done at the house (stop deliveries, board cat, etc.), and stuff to pack in each piece of luggage (carryon and checked). That way I have more peace of mind, if everything is checked off.

I tend to group things in sets, for instance, my camera goes with batteries, recharger, adaptors, storage cards, plug, lenses, case, etc. The toiletries go in one set, the clothing in one set, you get the picture.

I still panic thinking I've left something off the list, but this makes it less likely that I've forgotten something.

AnselmAdorne Mar 12th, 2007 07:03 PM

Green Dragon, you are a kindred spirit. I have one of those lists: a checklist of things to do in the days leading up to departure, items to put in my carry-on, and items to pack. I think the cats would end up in our luggage if we didn't have a list.


StCirq Mar 12th, 2007 07:07 PM

Well, I'm a list person, too, in all aspects of life, but no, I don't get nervous at all when embarking on a trip, probably because I've taken hundreds and it's just another long exhausting day for me. I figure it I forget something, I'll buy it when I get there. In fact, I think I'm calmer when I'm about to embark on a trip than most of the rest of the time. The thing that always gets me is that it seems absolutely inevitable that my work schedule suddenly gets totally insane about two days before I leave for Europe, so that by the time I actually get on the plane I desperately need a vacation that I didn't necessarily need to begin with. Fate always conspires against me.

lauramor Mar 12th, 2007 07:21 PM

Well, I'm not sure of actual regulations, but have you checked into the requirement for written permission from the boys parents to take them out of the country? I had a friend that got turned around at the airport when he tried to take his daughter (he is divorced) to Cozumel. Because of his experience, I made sure to get a notarized letter for my son's friend when we took him along on a trip. No one ever asked us for it, but I was glad that we were covered just in case. It may be a specific airline requirement - I believe they flew Continental. Maybe someone else knows the actual requirements, but it wouldn't hurt just to play it safe if you haven't done this already.

Hagan Mar 13th, 2007 08:09 AM

Lauramor, Thanks for bringing up that point. Yes, our daughter typed up a letter stating all of our names and relationships, and that we had her permission to take them. Also, she added that we were their guardians in case they needed any type of medical care, and then she had it notarized.

katzen Mar 13th, 2007 08:22 AM

I'm actually anxious and very excited the last few days before we leave for our trips, but I seem to get a bit bummed as well due to the fact that my 'trip planning' has come to an end. Trip planning for me is half the fun!! :)

FainaAgain Mar 13th, 2007 08:46 AM

Another list person here. I have a generic list of things I might need and print one before each trip to mark it off. Generic - if my husband doesn't go with me, his electric razor is off the list. Or a swimsuit is off in winter.

Can't sleep the last 2-3 nights before the flight. Have I called the banks? Stopped the mail? Re-confirmed hotel reservations?

And unfortunately, it doesn't get easier with each next trip. But it's only 2-3 days, pre-travel anxiety, I'll sleep it off on the plain :)

el344 Mar 13th, 2007 09:12 AM

I'm definitely a list person. I even have a list that says "What to check as we walk out the door."

We leave tomorrow and I've been over all the lists at least three times now.

robjame Mar 13th, 2007 09:19 AM

Nervous? Me?
We always get to the airport WAY ahead of time. I smile when I read about people missing flights cause we are checking in four hours ahead of time.
I have been known to visit the washroom 3 times in the last half hour before the boarding call.

LoveItaly Mar 13th, 2007 02:08 PM

Hi Hagan, as I have posted before here is something that really works for me and the couple of times I didn't do it I was very stressed the day before I left.

Like others I do make a list for everything such as calling financial institutions, checking expiration date on my credit cards and ATM cards so they don't expire when on a trip (that happened once) all the "stuff" that one needs to do. I check off everything as it is taken care of. I make a packing list for clothes, toiletries, glasses, whatever. I check that off as they are packed.

And Hagan, I have everything done two nights before I am to leave. In otherwords if I am leaving on Thursday everything is done before I go to bed Tuesday night. The checkin bag, the carryon bag (which also holds my documents, money, cards etc) are in my entry. I consequently go to bed Tuesday night knowing I am ready to leave. During the day (Wednesday in this example) I empty the refrigerator, take out the garbage, change the linens on the bed etc. I consequently have time for some down time, to answer last minute emails, take last minute phone calls etc., without feeling stressed.

I also before going to bed the last night put a taped note on the interior of my front door as a reminder to turn of the heater/ac as they case may be.

Anyway that works for me. The few times I was packing the last day was a nightmare and consequently I was stressed and tired when leaving for the airport. Best wishes and enjoy your grandsons. I have loved travelling with mine! Precious memories for you and them.

sandypaws3 Mar 13th, 2007 05:03 PM

Yes! I worry that anything that can go wrong will go wrong :-) I worry about the car breaking down on the way to Chicago, I worry about my elderly parents, you name it, I worry about it until I get on the plane. Wonderful that you're taking your 2 grandsons. I'm looking forward to taking our granddaughters one day when they're old enough.


katzen Mar 14th, 2007 06:16 AM

A true story that happened to my husband and I last July before our trip to Germany and Switzerland:

I am a list person as well .. tons of them and on the morning we were leaving everything was checked off and we were ready to go. I was as ready and as organized as can be.

We had our digital cameras packed, our small laptop with which we had downloaded the software for both our digital cameras on, as well as downloading skype. We also had both our external hard drives packed. All of the above were packed in my husband's backpack.

Our friend finally came to pick us up (4 hours before our flight ... we live 10 minutes from Dulles airport) ..he was kind enough to take us to the airport. We had placed our bags in my husbands Wrangler. For some reason the extra Jeep key we gave our friend wouldn't start the jeep ... so our friend said he'd go and get his SUV and pull around back where we had our luggage. By the time our friend pulled around back, my husband used his key to get the Jeep started ... so we decided to take the Jeep due our friend's SUV not having air conditioning and it was the end of July. So our friend motioned for my husband to back the jeep out of the driveway ... now keep in mind we thought we were taking our friend's SUV so we had unpacked the Jeep ... bags and especially the backpack were on the side of the jeep on the driveway.

I started to walk back into the house to say one last goodbye to our to our two cats (yes, i'm a sucker for them) so it didn't hit me that my husband would start to back-up in the jeep w/o moving everything away from the jeep first.

It was seriously slow motion ... it hit me and I turned around and saw the big wrangler wheel backing up over the backpack with my 'work' laptop as well as our external hard drives. I yelled 'STOP' and my husband did but instead of coming to a complete stop he put the jeep in forward and ran back over the same part of the backpack.

Turns out my laptop screen was cracked and we couldn't see anything .. it was splintered ... one of our hard drives had a scratch on it so we weren't sure it would work properly .. and our small digital camera was busted but due to my husband's persistence in Germany, he was able to fix it.

We ended up taking my husbands laptop and he downloaded everything onto it at the airport while we were waiting to board.

Even though I thought we were good to go and had everything in order ... something happened that made me panic ... but it all worked out in the end. Not the best way to start out our honeymoon! :)

Sorry the story was soo long ... but i'm one of those anally organized people and to have this happen at the 12th hour was just unthinkable ... and we survived. :)

SuzieCII Mar 14th, 2007 11:27 AM

I confess a compulsive disorder (only going away though). Evidently, I am out the door, and lock the door. Then I have to unlock the door and check to make sure I've really really turned off the stove, coffee pot, hair curlers or whatever...I have to say it out loud to myself so that I know that I looked!

capmunn Mar 14th, 2007 11:35 AM

I check my purse at least 4-5 times to ensure that the e-ticket and my passport is there on the way to the airport (Yes, I recognize the OCD symptoms). We're leaving on the 21st for London and I'm going to start gathering everything to pack tonight.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:34 PM.