Vacation season is upon us! Before setting out on your next family adventure, here are a few to-do items that are sure to make the trip even better.
Hopefully, you’ve saved up for this getaway, covering big-ticket items such as transportation, accommodations, activities, and events. Don’t forget to set aside some spare change for the smaller items that tend to pop up when traveling. These can add up quickly. Things like snacks and meals on the go, souvenirs, tips, emergencies, spontaneous extras, parking fees, or costs associated with unexpected weather can all add up to a large sum you’ll be glad you budgeted for to begin with.
As you gather, pack, and prepare, don’t allow your home to become a disaster area. Make cleaning a part of the process, preparing a clean slate for yourself and your family to return to. Leave your kitchen and bathrooms freshly clean, run the vacuum, empty all of the garbage, and think lovingly of your future self and how much he or she will appreciate your efforts.
You want to go on vacation secure in the notion that you’ve left nothing undone, no loop opened, and no responsibility neglected. Put that vacation excitement to good purpose by powering through your to-do lists, getting your inbox to zero, checking in with family, friends, and colleagues, confirming or renegotiating appointments, and clearing your mind.
Your trip may call for specific items to have on hand. Perhaps this is a long road trip and you need the car fully stocked with snacks, beverages, baby wipes, and activities. Perhaps you’ll have a kitchen where you’re staying and you want to have a grocery delivery scheduled for your arrival. Perhaps you need head pillows for the plane. Perhaps you need fanny packs for the amusement park. Whatever those items are, get them ready. What’s more, if there are items you want ready at home when you return (assuming they are not food items that would spoil) ensure they’re on hand and minimize the need to stop at the store on the way home.
Is your personal vehicle playing a role in this vacation? Whether you’re expecting your ride to take you from one coast to the next or simply to the airport, make sure it’s in tip-top shape. It’s always a good idea to stay on top of maintenance and you’ll set your mind at ease knowing your vehicle is up to the task.
Family vacations are some of the greatest joys in life, but they can be exhausting. In the days leading up to your trip, try to get some extra sleep. Go to bed a little bit earlier each day, drink plenty of water, eat well, and generally take good care of yourself. Encourage your family to do the same. This way, you’ll have the energy needed to make all of those magical memories together.
Finally, take it easy on yourself as you juggle all of the details of your family vacation. Items you’ve forgotten can be easily procured and sometimes the trips with very little planning and a lot of spontaneity are the best ones. Let go of ideas of perfection and simply enjoy these precious moments together.