Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Schools almost out! (Helpful vacation planning)

Vacation season is upon us.  The beach, mountains, north, south, it doesn't really matter where you go.  It's vacation.  It means breaking free from the everyday :)

When you have kids though, sometimes packing for a vacation makes you feel like you need one all the more.  How is it that one kid equals twelve times more stuff?  And when you have two, well, maybe you need to rent a u hall.

Here are some parent friendly tips to help you reach your desired destination :)

  • Get a list:  I love this one list that I found.  It is all typed out and I just have to delete what I don't want add a few items and volia!  a super handy, all-inclusive packing list.  If you really want to get ahead, just copy and paste it into Microsoft word (or the like), and save your deletions and additions so you won't have to do it again next time.  
  • Along those lines, start packing early.  I used to be able to pack the night before but to save my sanity, I like to start a few days ahead of time now.
  • Pack snacks.  I always cringe when my we end up getting snacks at a gas station.  Twice as expensive for half as much.  If you will be in the car for any length of time, you children will get hungry and thirsty.  Its their natural instinct to want whats not readily available.  Pack the snack;  avoid the whining and save your money.  However,  first use this corny joke when your child says they are hungry:  "Hello, Hungry. I'm Mommy!"  I know, I know, corny and slightly irritating :)  Some of our favorite car snacks include, combos (I don't think I ever eat these out of a car), granola bars, grapes, water and juice boxes. If it is going to be a long hot trip, you could freeze the juice boxes overnight so they will still be cold when you want them.
  • Clean the house.  This one may just be a personal preference, but I love coming home to a clean house:)  In fact, I joke that I like my house cleaner when I'm gone then when I'm living in it.  Something freeing about knowing that you don't have a huge load of laundry waiting for you when you get back.
  • Make sure the pets are taken care of.  I'm don't have a pet now, but when I did we asked a young girl if she was willing to spend the night and take care of our dog while we were out of town.  It worked out really well for us, but their are other options such as dog hotels, or you could just take your pets with you!
  • Check out this site for a checklist of things to do before you leave for vacation.
  • Leave early, if possible.  Time seams to go by faster if you leave before the sun gets up.  Not to mention, the kids stay asleep.  If you can't leave early check out this great site for lots of kid friendly travel games and ideas to keep your little ones occupied.
If your kids are young, you may want to wait until you are really close to the departure date.  Once my son asked me consistently when we were going to start packing and leave for vacation.  Whew!  You can only answer "In a week."  so many times per day.

Any other great vacation planing tips?  Share in the comment section below.

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