Getting ready for a trip, no matter whether cruise, road trip, or other, means finding out about where you are going (ie what there is to do there), and to understand the weather.

These may sound like obvious ideas, but it is amazing how many people can forget them.

What to do

Figuring out what there is to do someplace means doing detailed or not so detailed research. That may involve looking through books, talking to others, or even searching the internet.

Since cruises usually stop at a variety of ports, this kind of research may mean looking up a variety of areas. Each cruise has its own itinerary, and that lets you know what areas you need to research. Cruise lines will often have excursions for the various ports, that will give you an idea of things to do. But researching on your own may opening up additional ideas that the cruise line does mention.

If you’re not doing a cruise, maybe flying someplace you need to look into what’s available wherever you’re at.


Understanding the weather, can usually just mean checking weather for that particular area you intend to visit. Searching something like or will allow you to seek specific areas for the time your may need.

One reason this is important is that we forget how different another area’s weather can be. For instance, summer in Texas can mean 100+ days, with evenings warm in the upper 70’s. But if you were going to Seattle in summer the weather would be much different. You might have days in the mid 70’s to mid 80’s, with evenings that much cooler. So you might need a light jacket in Seattle during the summer, where you might just need something to keep the sun off you in Texas. And if you’re going to more than one place, you may need to plan on a variety of weather conditions.

Check the weather. It can mean the difference between enjoying your vacation and having to go shopping in order to be comfortable. And once you know what the weather will be, you have a better idea of what you may need to pack.

How are you getting there

How you are getting to where you are going matters. If you’re doing a road trip as a trip itself, what size vehicle are you taking (car, truck, RV, etc.), how many people are going (how much luggage can you take), where are you staying (RV, tent, hotels, etc.)? And more questions to ask yourself. What is your budget (are you paying for everything yourself, sharing expenses, is someone else paying)? Is it a combination trip – maybe you’re camping some days but staying in a hotel other days? It might seem odd but your need to take a lot of this into consideration.

Last year (2023) I did a trip to CA. I flew there, then drove back with a friend (plus 2 dogs). So I had to plan on the trip there, staying in an RV, then driving back to TX in a car, with stops along the way.