WFMW: Vacation Prep Tips
Vacation should be relaxing and fun. Below are some tips that I hope will take out some of the stress of preparing for vacation.
TIP #1- Start early
We're going on vacation in June and I start my preparations for it now. We share a cottage with Mike's parents and another couple. We have to bring all of our soaps, toiletries, food and such, so we get together early and divide up the list.
Getting started this early allows me to add one item to my grocery list each week. I don't even notice the extra cost for one item anyway. It prevents me having to do a major shopping trip right before we go and it allows me to wait until the item comes on sale.
TIP #2- Make a list
Even if you don't go to the same place each vacation, the list can be modified each time if need be. I use an attendance-type grid and list the items down the left side. Each smaller column becomes a year and I check off each spot as the item is packed. Use it on the way back to make sure you've packed everything you brought. These lists come in handy when we just go for a weekend as well.
One page of this list is also for things like, stopping the paper, paying bills, unplugging the coffee pot, hang up the cordless phone, arm alarm system and anything else you don't want to forget before you leave. I double check it before we drive away.
TIP #3- Roll clothes together
As I pack, I put whole outfits together- Top, bottom, undies and socks. Lay it all flat on top of each other and roll it up tight. It will fit better into your bag or suitcase (I promise) and you can just pull out a new outfit each night for the next day. It is a time and sanity saver.
TIP #4- Pack an overnight bag and put that bag in LAST
Sounds silly, but if you make an overnight stop on the way to your destination as we do, it makes perfect sense. I pack one change of clothes for each of us, our toothbrushes, toothpaste and other necessities and put it in last for easy access.
TIP #5- Take extra bags and laundry bags
I always pack a couple of empty tote bags or duffel bags. These come in handy if you buy any souvenirs or if you lose or damage one of your other bags. I take two laundry bags. One I hang in the kids' room and one goes in our room. The day before we leave, I dump the dirty clothes out and sort them into the bags- one has lights and the other has darks. As soon as I get home, I throw in a load and don't stop until they are all washed.
TIP #6- Call ahead and find out prices in the area
My in-laws went to a different island in NC last year than they usually go to and found that everything was two to three times MORE than the place they usually go to. They would have packed more food had they known.
Even though we go to the same place each year, we call ahead to find out the gas prices at least. It helps us to know how much spending money to bring and prevents any unpleasant surprises.
TIP #7- Clean before you go
I know I'm going to get some flack for this one. Who wants to clean when you're getting ready for vacation? My response is, "Who wants to come home to a big mess?" You don't have to go hog wild, just get the basic clutter off the floors, run the dishwasher, make the beds and get rid of the junk sitting on the counter. If you have someone house-sitting, maybe you can enlist them to dust and run the vacuum for you :::wink:::.
I hope my tips are helpful to you. Please feel free to add any you can think of in the comments section.
WFMW is hosted by Rocks in My Dryer.