It’s vacation time of year! Many people are getting packed up and ready to go someplace for a little rest and relaxation. However, if your family is anything like ours, the actual getting out of the house and on the way part is sometimes easier said than done.
I’m more of a “let’s get this show on the road” kind of person, and my husband is more, um…”methodical” when it comes to getting on the road, and that can make for some interesting preparations. However, over the years, we’ve gradually found a system that helps us meet my need for speed, and his need to check everything twice (or 3 times, or 20…).
These are some of the things we’ve found helpful:
1. Create a re-usable task list (store it in your phone) - A list of tasks that need to be done the night before, and the morning of departure helps keep us on track, and we don’t have to recreate it each year. Be sure to include, “turn off the water to the washer”. Just trust me on that one.
2. Load the things that can be safely kept in the car the night before - While it’s not a great idea to leave everything you own in the car all night, we go ahead and put bulky items such as beach chairs and fishing poles in the car.
3. Do as much food preparation as possible the night before - Decide what needs to go in the cooler and make sure everything fits. I even put all the cooler items on the same shelf in the refrigerator so I can just grab them and go. It may also be helpful to bag up car snacks, and pack the non-refrigerated items so they’re ready to go out the door.
4. Banish the habit of, “We’ll do it on the way out…” - Sometimes we have to push ourselves when it’s late and we’re still packing, but things go much more smoothly when we gas up the car and get cash the day before we leave.
5. Inspect each family member’s version of, “I’m packed.” - Our kids are older, and they can pack their own bags, but it’s very helpful to visualize their handiwork the night before we leave because it seems, “packed” can mean everything from, “I thought about what I want to take”, to, “Here’s my 5 bags, where should I put them?” Looking at what they’re taking has been helpful in avoiding surprises.
Do you have any hints about getting up and out of the house to get on the road to vacation? Do share!