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The Art of Taking Off

Written by Staff Writer

The Art of Taking Off

by Darcy Guttwein


Most travelers would say their vacation begins the day of departure – but I invite you to start thinking differently. Transitioning in and out of a holiday mindset can take days, if not weeks. By my calculations, that puts in jeopardy a large portion of the hard earned, much anticipated journey you may have planned. Why not ensure enjoyment and extend your trip by taking off in style hours, or even days, before the trip begins? 

Don’t rob yourself by allowing turbulence to follow you to the gate; a vacation state of mind is yours to be had far before departure.


Looking for inspiration? Try following a favorite, age-old practice – the star rating system – to create departing habits that delight. Simple or grand, choose the star upgrade that works best for you.

One-Star Take Off


Pack early. 

Procrastinators, I’m looking at you.


Treat yourself to an “early” departure. 

Cancel plans the day prior to leaving your abode, therefore building in time to execute last-minute packing, home cleaning, or simply relaxing. No need to rush. 


For those traveling with kids, spend several days prior to departing in service of building excitement for the trip. 

Decorate your home in a theme based on your destination, or plan meals around traditional culinary themes that reflect your destination. This can be a tool to enhance enthusiasm and family bonding. 

Two-Star Take Off


Let someone else handle the meal prep. 

For anyone who has left for vacation while forgetting dirty dishes in the sink, I have a solution for you! One (hyphenated) word: Take-out. Why not enjoy a cultural delicacy that you will find at your destination and build anticipation for the locale ahead!


Children underfoot? Call the babysitter! 

Let the kids be cared for while the adults have some down time to relax prior to a travel day. Extend that sitter over several evenings and enjoy a leisurely packing pace, whether you’re bringing luggage for yourself, or the whole family. 


Three-Star Take Off


Treat yourself before take off. 

Indulge a little early, and take yourself out for a shopping spree! Traveling solo? Treat yourself to a luxurious new travel outfit – think comfort, style, and maybe even a little sparkle. Touring as a family? Go the extra mile with custom-made t-shirts or matching outfits for a laugh.


Ensure your car is road-trip worthy.

Let’s not forget about the classic road trip! Spiff up your drive by getting your car professionally detailed, inside and out. Incorporate snacks and candies and a favorite audiobook to keep you satisfied and entertained. Despite the absence of a First Class upgrade, road tripping can still be done in style! 


Four-Star Take Off


Get a massage. 

The night before departure, hire an in-home masseuse. This will help to guide you into a tranquil state of mind, and ready you for whatever travels lie ahead. One guest swears by a pre-trip massage to get her in the right frame of mind for the journey ahead.


Don’t rush for that early flight. 

Who doesn’t dread an early flight? Make that dawn boarding time more bearable by staying at the airport’s adjoining hotel the night before departure. This allows those few extra minutes to prepare for whatever the day has in store. Not to mention, if traveling with young ones, this routine almost guarantees you’ll avoid any fatigue-induced outbursts!


Five-Star Take Off

Organize a professional luggage service. 

Say farewell to the heavy lifting and utilize a luggage service to send your luggage ahead to your final destination. This enables a seamless travel experience, and saves time if traveling by sea, rail, or air. Some accommodations will even provide an unpacking service, so you can be neatly unpacked and fabulously pressed from the minute you enter your guestroom.

Arrange an “airport nanny.”

Bringing the family? Bring the “airport” nanny! Childcare just for the airport navigation and flight time. With the expert help of a nanny, long flights and mad-dash layovers can be a breeze. This way, you can be assured that the youngest travelers are well taken care of, leaving you to navigate travel or simply enjoy the ride.


It is a widely accepted misconception that the lead-up to a vacation is inherently messy, if not entirely chaotic – but your ritual for departing can be just as relaxing as the holiday itself. Make “bon voyage” a ritual that seamlessly transports you from daily existence to holiday life–before arriving at your destination.


Happy trails!


Leader of the To Home Lifestyling brand, Darcy Guttwein is a seasoned world traveler with a passion for lifestyle improvement. She utilizes the luxury hotel template to improve one’s at-home living by sharing solutions that elevate personal comfort, joy, and wellbeing during everyday living in her book, “Hotels to Home: Living the Luxury Hotel Experience at Home.”

For more, visit https://www.tohomelifestyling.com/



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