... by this time next friday I would be enjoying a feast of home cooked meal with my family, packing on the calories, fats and sugars with nay a worry in the world - well maybe in a few days when my pants begin to get tight around the middle!!!
yep people I am going home to the Philippines in a few days to spent my month long annual vacation!!!
... for most expats this is the biggest highlight of the year specially if you are planning to go back to your home country. Preparation for an annual vacation can start as early as six months before, starting with scouring airline websites and travel agencies with the best airfare deals specially if you are planning to spend Christmas at home where the ticket price can soar up to twice or thrice as much.
... then there is the frantic shopping frenzy for friends and family as a 'coming home' gifts of sorts. Shopping for gifts and souvenirs can really burn a hole in your pocket so the wise thing to do is watch out for mall sales and wait for promotional discounts. Buying one or two items during sale season in the course of a few months, saves you almost half the price and because you are spending in intervals you won't feel the 'pinch' at all.
... after the spending, comes the saving. I try not to spend too much a month before I go on my leave, saving my salary for other expenses i.e. small family trips, friends/ family get-togethers and shopping (for myself this time!) during my vacation. It's a cycle you see : spend-save-spend-save...
... there is also that small matter of taking care of the bills and rent. Be sure to clear any unpaid bills - you wouldn't want to flash that credit card in some swanky hotel only to get it declined would you? and I am sure you wouldn't like to come back to an eviction notice on your apartment with no electricity and internet service!! so pay-up, pay-up!
... maybe the most challenging task in preparation is getting your luggage ready. The airline I choose allows a limit of 35 kilos a luggage and if you think it is more than enough think again - remember not only will you be packing your own 'vacation' wardrobe, you'd be packing gifts for the family as well. So strategically plan the packing and make sure it doesn't exceed the limit. Its a big bummer to be paying for over baggage fees when you could have used that money to buy more gifts at the duty free.
... In my case a few days before my flight OC behavior kicks in, I frantically try to clean everything making sure I come back to no dirty laundry, no left-overs in the fridge, no mess. I like starting my-back-to-work mode clean, fuss and hassle free...
... this is more or less my routine. Sometimes I make a to-do list to make sure I don't forget anything... everthing seems to be set it seems!
oh and hey! don't forget to get your leave scheduled cleared and approved by your superior!!!