Spring Vacation Planning…Organized

With Spring Break approaching, summer is not far behind which means vacations are looming in the air.  Vacations are a means to unwind from daily stresses and relax.  But without proper planning, you leave stressed, vacation stressed and return home stressed.  What is the point?  Below are several steps to organize yourself before you leave, stay organized while away and return home well rested (and organized).

  1. DO NOT RETURN TO CHAOS.  Pre-plan a few items:
    • Take inventory of the fridge and pantry and draft a grocery list so you can shop quickly upon your return.
    • If you are not driving to your destination, park your CLEAN car in the garage with a full tank of gas.
    • Have all laundry not packed washed, folded and put away.  You will have vacation laundry to tend to when you get home.
    • Sort through your mail piles (we will talk another time why there should never be mail piles) and file all paperwork.  You will have a mound of new mail to attack when you get home.
  2. PURCHASE A PHOTO ALBUM AND TRAVEL JOURNAL. If you do not have technological means to take notes on your trip, jot thoughts into a journal.  Soon after you return home, print pictures from vacation and insert into album.  Use your journal to caption the photos so nothing is forgotten.
  3. NOT SURE WHAT TO PACK?  First, check the weather daily up to the day before you leave so you have a handle on seasonal temps.  Second, create a comprehensive list by person, by day, by activity and detail the outfits needed.  Sounds tedious, but this exercise truly ensures you remember everything from undergarments to earrings.  Don’t forget to list electronic charges per device.
  4. KEEP ALL TRAVEL DOCUMENTS TOGETHER.  Flight info, hotel accommodations, phone numbers, passports etc should be kept together in a large envelope, folder or a ziploc bag.  Designate one person to be in charge of maintaining all documents.  This individual is your “vacation coordinator” and has the responsibility to ensure all important items are secure.
  5. PACK A PILLOWCASE WITH A FABRIC SOFTENER SHEET INSIDE EACH TRAVEL BAG.  This will be used to house dirty clothes on the trip.  The fabric sheet keeps your suitcase smelling fresh and the pillowcase keeps your soiled clothes away from clean ones.  When you return home, laundry is simplified and a few pillowcases will be on the floor vs piles of dirty clothes.  Family members can easily put away clean unworn items without having to sort through clothes.
  6. LOVE SUPER SIZED ZIPLOC BAGS.  These come in very handy to pack clothes neatly and create more space.  You can pack outfits by day or sort clothing by type. Also keeps dirty shoes from soiling clean packed clothes.
  7. POST VACATION PREP. After suitcases are emptied, store with clean pillowcases (for dirty laundry) and a set of full toiletries ready for your next adventure. File all paperwork from trip in a vacation file for future trip reference.


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