I’m a planner. I plan things in advance and sometimes I get made fun of for it, but at least I’m prepared. It’s the same with vacations and road trips. I like being prepared in advance because being a mom, life can be busy and you can be forgetful. There are several things that I like to do to make my family prepared in advance.
The very first thing I do as our vacation approaches is make checklists. With emphasis on the plural. I have packing checklists, shopping checklists and car checklists. It’s called being organized. The packing checklist is obviously everything I need to pack (clothes, toiletries, food, toys, map ect). I’ve found that if I don’t have a packing checklist, I tend to forget things. So I make a packing checklist and constantly add to it when I remember something else. The shopping checklist is everything I don’t currently have but will need for the trip. Mainly food. Snacks and drinks to keep everyone happy. Then there’s the car checklist. There’s two parts to the car checklist and that’s 1) car safety/readiness. Oil changed, gas tank full, safety checks and 2)everything that I need in the car and location (clothes in the back, toys/food up front and road trip cds. I cover every base.
MAP OUT THE TRIP
Whether you are driving straight to your ultimate destination or you are bouncing from town to town, you need to map it out. Figure out what direction you are going to take, where any stops are you could make for gas/food/leg stretches. If you have toll ways you are going to want extra cash/coins or an IPASS. You are also going to want to know how long it will take you so you can plan your departure time accurately.
You are going to want to go schedule time close to your departure day to make sure you go shopping to get all the last minute items. Food, drinks, toys, any essential item to the trip you don’t have.
You are also going to want to schedule time to clean your house. You are going to have laundry to do and things to put away when you get home and coming home to a clean house is better than a messy house. You will have less to do and more time to land. During this cleaning time, you are also going to want to do some laundry. You will want clean clothes for the trip and less laundry to do when you get back.
The obvious one, pack. Pack your clothes, pack your toys, pack your food and of course the car. When packing the car, I HIGHLY recommend some sort of organization. If you are taking strollers or pack n’ plays you will want to make sure you get them in first. All the bags containing items you may need when you stop, keep those close and visible so you don’t have search.
DON’T STRESS/HAVE FUN
I hope this post has helped some of you prepare for your next family adventure better. I find having checklists and a plan make things a lot less stressful and allows you to enjoy your vacation more.