Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Packing for a Trip

 photo from athriftymom.com - I like this!

Ahh, there is nothing quite like going on a family trip.  Kids are excited,  Husband relieved for a few days off of work.  Everyone is in such high spirits that no one seems to notice that little Mama over there, running around like a crazy person.

Don't get me wrong, I love a family vacation, but there is absolutely nothing fun or relaxing about the week proceeding a large-ish family driving off in a mini van.

Luckily, I've been at this for more than a few years, and I have a system (much similar to my "Preparing for Company" system).

Here we go:

Beginning of the week:

Pull out your suitcases/bags.  Make an appointment for a donation with a local charity.

Do all the laundry in the house.  As you do laundry, again do a sort-through and put things in 3 piles: pack, put away, and donate (yes I use any and all excuses to get rid of things we do not need!).  Put the "pack" laundry in the suitcases.  Put everything else where it belongs.

Do inventory - do you have everything you need?  Does your 4 year old need new tights?  7 year old some new socks?  Put them on your shopping list and make sure to pick them up this week, along with any special snacks your family will enjoy while rolling along.

Mid Week:

Clean out the car.  This is a great job to have kids help you with.  Wash the car seat covers.  Vacuum out the car.  Put your now - ready suitcases in the back of the van.  Feel successful that you are "packed" a few days early.

Get together an activity bag for the kids.  Books, coloring books, crayons, etc.  Get out a few "books on tape" from the library, or even a dvd if you have a player or laptop computer.

End of week:

Clean up your house.  Clean your bathrooms, your kitchen, clean out your fridge.  Mop your floors.  No one wants to come home to a mess, especially if you are traveling around the holidays.  Have your kids clean their rooms.  When you come home, you want to sigh "its good to be home!" and not "ugh!  What a nightmare!"  Have your husband get the car ready - gas and oil change.

On the morning of departure:

Get kids up, breakfasted and dressed.  Potty, then in the car.  Gather up toothbrushes and other toiletries and pack them in the car.

Drive off and finally relax!

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