So as I’m getting ready to take my next trip, I stumbled to the realisation that there are a ton of pre-trip rituals we all take part in that are just a little bit weird. I’m not talking about doing the essentials like checking and then double checking (and often triple checking) our flight times, because, let’s face it, you can never be too sure. Or eating down the fresh stuff in the fridge so it doesn’t go mouldy while we’re away. I’m talking about those practices that are actually a bit off the wall in reality, but seem like a rite of passage before our trip. Here’s my list of weird things we all do before going on holiday.
Only wearing our basic clothes the week before we go
Now I can’t be the only one that does this? It’s a week or so before your holiday and you find yourself digging out your most worn and elementary clothes from the back of your wardrobe to tide you over until you go away, thus making sure you have ample options from your ‘bests’ to pack and take with you. Woe betide you if you happen to have any special occasions land during this time; you’ll settle for looking a little bit basic at that friend’s birthday so you can be your most chic while you’re away.
Buying holiday specific tech
We may only be heading off for seven nights, but for some reason we seem compelled to stock up on new kit to ensure that we can capture the magic while we’re away. I’ve invested in selfie sticks, waterproof phone cases, a Go Pro (because how else am I going to show you how close I got to a sea turtle?) snorkelling gear and so much more. This doesn’t sound bad at first, especially if we make ample use of these gadgets while we’re away. However, if you’re anything like me, life at home doesn’t lend to much snorkelling or action cam recording. Once I’m back on local soil, these devices are usually stowed away for safe keeping until next year… Except next year I’ve usually forgotten where they’ve been stored, or stored them so badly they’re no longer usable and have to buy them all over again – sigh.
Counting and recounting our travel money
Another weird thing on my pre-holiday check list is to constantly count and recount my travel money and then have mini heart attacks trying to remember where I’ve stored it pre-trip. Now, it’s rare we trust the counting skills of the person changing our travel money for us. They’ll usually get our coins together and count it out for us (with far too much projection in their voices) before handing it over and sending us on our merry way. It’s only natural to then confirm what we’ve been handed is correct in our own time. But after we’ve made sure it’s correct on the first count, why do we feel the need to go back later and count it again? And then again? Annnd again?
Checking our passport is in date (and then re-checking it)
Now, we know from our holiday last year that our passport is in date until 2025. The more attentive among us will give our passports a cursory glance just before we book our flights, because, well, better safe than sorry. But I often find myself, especially in the immediate build up to a trip constantly checking to make sure my passport is in date. I know it is. I triple double checked before I booked my flights. However, there is always this little bit of lingering doubt that makes me go ‘just one last time.’
Get a holiday manicure (or beauty treatment)
Thirty eight out of fifty two weeks in the year, you can find me with either bare nails or a chipped and grown out manicure. For some reason, booking a holiday convinces me that I should invest in a salon quality mani-pedi. Does it enhance my rest, relaxation and exploration capabilities? Nope. But it doesn’t stop me from doing it. Leg wax? Check. Eyelash extensions? Check. Hydrating facial? Check. For some weird reason we have to project our best selves while representing home abroad. We definitely get bonus points for effort.
Get a holiday hair-do
As a black girl, hair in general gets a lot of consideration, but holiday hair is taken to all new levels. A normal hair style change might get a few hours (yes, I know, but I did say I was black) of consideration before being committed to. Holiday hair on the other hand takes military precision and research. Is this a city break or a beach holiday? Is it going to be action packed or laid back? Is the climate dry and humid or wet and windy? These are all aspects of our travel we scrutinise and spend days researching before deciding on whether to go wig, weave, braids, crochets or natural. The YouTube add revenue generated from tutorials watched probably runs into the millions. Probably.
Convince ourselves we need to take more than necessary
Who packs for a three night say in Amsterdam and checks in 20K luggage? Me, that’s who. I know I’m not the only one that’s weird like this. In my regular day to day life I go through seven shirts in seven days, but when packing for a mini trip away I can easily convince myself I might have occasion to change my top three times in one day. My reasoning is always that it’s better to have options than getting caught out, but I could definitely be more strict with myself when packing. On more than one occasion I’ve convinced myself I’ll ‘definitely’ be wearing that dress/shoe/skirt/top and it’s come back unworn and with the tags on.
These are my top weird holiday rituals – have I missed any off? Leave a comment to let me know yours. 🙂