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.


Laane said...

Great tips!

Especially the spare bags. I always keep some bags in the travelbags, so whoever goes away doesn't forget bags to put the dirty laundry in.

You can find my tip at:

Laane on the World

Have a great week and an amazing spring!!!

Stephanie said...

I couldn't agree more with #7! There is nothing worse than coming home and having to deal with the post vacation stuff and a messy house!

Great tips!

Kokopelli said...

There have been times when at the end of a long day, the last thing I wanted to deal with was a restuarant. So now, I pack an MRE and bottle of water just in case.

Kokopelli said...

You seem to be good friends with Mandy, and since she's gonna be gone this weekend, it seems a friend would stop by her house and rearrange her kitchen drawers and cabinets for her. (hence the name "kokopelli_mischief) *grin*

Maple Valley Moments said...

Brilliant! We travel from Seattle to the NC coast almost every summer. We vacation with my husband's family, but I'm always so cranky because I don't plan well. Thanks for the list idea. It is such a simple concept but I honestly hadn't thought of it. And the laundry sorting, so smart! Thank you, thank you.

Alfred said...

Thanks... your tips will help me to enjoy my vacations & vacation trip more than ever before.