Things You Should Know



Even before I came across a column by Erin Geiger Smith (WSJ, 8.24) entitled “Own the Last Day of Vacation,” I have always paid particular attention to how any vacation comes to an end — whether that be allocating time to do “nothing” for a day, or reserving a particular restaurant for our “last meal” (hopefully not in the literal sense).  There is some risk, of course, that plans go awry — say you’ve planned for a baseball game that gets rained out or someone gets sick.  The point is, planning at least gives one a shot a savoring that vacation aura for as long as possible. 
Erin’s tips are listed below, and my comments are below hers (if I may be so bold):


Do pack early, perhaps even as you go along.
I pack as we go along — particularly on the long trips.  In fact by week 3, I don’t even open one of the suitcases as it is dedicated to bags of laundry collected along the way. No, I’m not bothered by it at home.
This is what you don’t want to happen
Do book a special meal or excursion.
As I’ve written before, we’ve ended two long trips with incredible dinners at L’Atelier Joel Robouchon (London and Hong Kong).  Highly recommend this practice wherever you are …
Do ask locals where they’d go if they had a last day in town.
If you’re at a good hotel, USE your concierge to weigh in on what you should not miss. I’ll admit to asking a random concierge some questions if we’re out and about in a city, even if it’s not our hotel, but only a few questions.  It is their livelihood.  And we like engaging locals at restaurants … you can learn so much.
Do catch the final sunset, perhaps with a cocktail in hand.
The Four Seasons, Kuda Huraa Maldives, happened to have a sunset cocktail party while we waited for our transport to the airport.  It was a perfect ending.


Do talk about what you loved about the trip.
This drives the kids crazy.  But I persist and the hubby goes along.  Called “High Point/Low Point”
Do find some alone time if you’re traveling with children, even if just a short stroll.
This applies to traveling with adult children — they want their alone time as well.
Do save something you’re looking forward to for the last day.
Shopping! Unless obviously you see something you can’t live without and don’t want to take a chance that it’s the last one on the planet.  Yes, I’ve used that logic. 
Don’t choose something weather-dependent.
See my opening comments.
Don’t check work email on the last day.
If you’re fortunate to really get away, congrats.  The hubby and I are both sole proprietors of our businesses so checking work email while we travel is just part of the equation.  We manage to compartmentalize pretty well …
Don’t choose an activity that requires lots of transportation-save that for the trip home!
Couldn’t agree more — get out and walk around, even if it is at the airport.  You have lots of sitting ahead of you …