Vacations should be fun and relaxing, but after planning and packing for them last-minute, you can come to dread them. This week we’ll make sure that vacations we take any time this year are less stressful.
#1 Discuss plans with your spouse
What is your idea of a good vacation, whether you’re planning a trip for the family, just the two of you, or individual trips? Share your ideal and then pray about how these fit with your budget, schedule, and commitments. The earlier you plan, the more likely you can save money and avoid disappointments.
#2 Discuss activities with kids
My husband loves to tell about the time his parents took all six of them on vacation to Colorado, only for them to beg to go home to the lake they loved. Kids’ vacation preferences may surprise you.
As well as discussing vacation destinations you can afford, be sure to ask the kids about the activities they are most interested in. If you’re going somewhere that has a website explaining options, check them out together. Need to do a staycation this year? Here are 50 ideas.
#3 Create packing lists
Packing lists have made vacationing with six children so much more manageable for me. I use a simple Word document with a title for each child and a list underneath that I copied and pasted. I have had to update the list every year to remove things like water wings and diapers and add things like phone chargers, but the main work is done.
The best part of my packing lists (I have different lists for weekend and week-long trips that I store on Dropbox) is the kids use them to pack for themselves. They love doing it, actually! Depending on the age of the child, I will check to see what they’ve packed, but it takes very little of my time.
Here is a neat packing list that updates based on the number of days you’ll be gone. Or choose the items you want to pack from this list of possibilities and only those items will print on your list. Easy-peasy!
#4 Purchase needed supplies
Mentally walk through your whole vacation. See yourself getting into the car and remembering that Sam has motion sickness and will need Bonine (my favorite) before you leave. Do you have any? If not, put it on your list.
A fun way to determine what you need is to ask the kids to help you make a list. As my children get older, I find I need more luggage. Buy anything you need that isn’t perishable now. It’s one less thing you’ll have to worry about when you’re getting ready to go. I also love having separate travel toiletries stored in hanging bags like this one.
Be sure to follow the Organized Homeschool board on Pinterest for packing lists and more organized travel tips.
What tips do you have for getting organized for vacations?
Here is a list of previous challenges.