Now when we plan for a trip I take a few simple steps to keep me from loosing it the night before and morning we pile in the van to go! The following are the steps I take to create a pleasant atmosphere as we plan for a fun time together
- Start a two week To Do List - two weeks before we leave I start a To Do List and on the list I have the day of the week, things to do, errands to run, phone calls to make and the menu for that day. As I think of something I need to do, I simply flip to that day and write it down! I like to have the menu planned so I don't get so busy we eat out all week! I don't want to spend our spending money before we leave just because I did not plan an easy pre-vacation menu.
- Plan to return to a clean house - We all want to leave the house clean and organized so why not set a plan to do that? It much better to plan ahead instead of being up until 4 am the night before working like a mad woman trying to get it all done! Again Guilty!!! Make a plan, what do you want done before you leave? Write it down and start working the plan!
- Create a packing check list! As you can tell I'm a list gal! It makes life so much easier. I create a packing list for each person in the house (I type it in a word document then just print it every trip). The list consist of everything they need to pack such as number of pants, number of socks, number of shirts, deodorant, toothpaste.....as you think of things add it to the list so when its time to pack you have a list on hand. Your less likely to forget something if you start a list.
- Pack early! We start to pack three days before leaving. I give the kids their list and have them lay it all on their bed, then when its time to put in the suitcase I go in and make sure they pulled out appropriate items. We then put it in the luggage then place in the room for those last minute items and toiletries. This makes it nice because your not running around the night before trying to do laundry and realize everyone needs socks then your off to Wal-Mart!!! Yep, guilty of that too!
- Recruit help! Going on a vacation is a family affair so get the family involved in the pre-planning of the trip. Assign cleaning jobs to the kids they will appreciate the trip more if there apart of the work getting to go. Since we plan two weeks out they get one extra job a day for our pre-planning. The extra jobs are usually a $5 job so they not only help me with getting some jobs done but they earn spending money for the trip too! Its a win win!
Just by following these simple tips it will change the dynamics of your trip! Trust me, I know! Leaving relaxed, organized and happy is the way to start a vacation! If you would like a copy of my to do list feel free to leave a comment and I'll be happy to email it to you. I would love to hear how you plan to leave for vacation!