Saturday, July 17, 2010

Preparing for vacation

I just got back from a family vacation. I couldn’t mention it until we were back because my “information security husband” likes to take every precaution possible. Must be hard for him to have a wife who has no problem telling anyone anything, but I digress…

Here are a few tips that helped to keep our family on track while we spent 6 hours driving to Las Vegas, 4 nights staying in a hotel, and 6 hours driving back.

As hard as it is to get the family packed for a vacation and out of the door on time, I am suggesting a few things to add to the “to do” list before you leave.

Tidy up the house as you are packing, finish all of the laundry, and run the dishwasher, it will make coming home much nicer!

Try to think of your arrival home, not just your destination:

Who will take care of plants, animals, mail, or garbage day?
Are all necessary errands completed?
Have you paid the bills through your return date?
Do you have enough of your prescriptions filled?
What are you going to eat for dinner when you get home?

Answering all of these questions will go a long way to making a smooth transition back to the daily routine.

When preparing for your trip, take into account what everyone would like to accomplish. Knowing ahead of time what we wanted to put on our schedule made it easier to know if we could realistically fit it all in. Hard to imagine, I am sure, but I DO NOT like to cram in a million things on vacation and be constantly on the go, I do that enough on a daily basis. I am more of a get a basic outline and hit the key points kind of person. Thankfully, my family has the same pace while on vacation.

With my girls, I made “bag tags” that were titled and had clips arts that made sense to my children. Because I had my large van, I didn’t have to worry about consolidating, so I was not shocked when the valet took our baggage count and we had 17 bags.
I had a bag for:

Car entertainment
Car snacks
Hotel entertainment
Hotel snacks (which included a toaster and poptarts to save the cost of breakfast)
Electronics (Ipod, Netbook, DVD player, GPS, camera, and chargers)
Swimming Supplies
A bag for each family member
My girls each brought their doll totes

I also brought a case of water bottles – this is Vegas in July, and I didn’t want to pay a fortune for water.

Both of my girls had their own purses that included; tissues, sunglasses, bottle of water, and hand sanitizer.

I know it sounds a bit crazy, but it worked really well for us, and we came home with fewer bags than we left with because we had drank and eaten most of the food we brought (except for those allotted for the return trip).

Other key packing items:

comfort items (blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, and Diet Coke:)
book light
extra kid medicine
insurance cards
plenty of cash in small bills and spread out throughout different bags
camera and battery charger

1 comment:

kirstynn evans said...

And everything BUT the kitchen sink. I must come home to a clean house when we travel. It seems like unpacking alone makes the house a mess, let alone the mail, and the kids tearing everything apart. Great tip, and highly recommended. Also, I never thought of packing a return home bag. Thank you for that. Our first trip with 2 kids is going to be less stressful now.