The key for me to have low-stress to stress-free travels is to be organized. Well, this is true in all aspects of my life, but especially when I'm leaving home and being out of my routine. Before every trip we go on, I go through a checklist of sorts to help prepare and organize things for our travels.
A Few Days Before You Leave:
- Make/Check Travel Arrangements: This includes transportation (if you need it), hotels/campsites, making sure you have the right documents (IDs, passports, visas, etc.)
- Activity List: I like to scour the internet for things to do in the area where we will be staying. I then make an Evernote list that has the names of the places, prices, addresses, etc. so I can easily refer to it while we are out and about.
- Figure Out Food: Are you going to be eating out every meal? Does your hotel include breakfast? Are you picnicking every day? Decide when you're going to eat out, when you're going to eat en-route, when you're going to eat in your hotel room, etc. One of the most important things for me to be aware of (especially when I'm out of my normal schedule) is to make sure I'm still on a good eating schedule and that I'm eating relatively "normal" things that my body is used to. If your'e planning on eating out, check out deal websites like Groupon to see if there are any good deals for local restaurants.
- Clean Out Your Fridge: Start eating the things that will go bad before you get back from your trip. Cut up and freeze perishable foods like fruits and veggies. You can even freeze cheese and milk for when you get back!
- Packing List: Write down your packing list and start to gather things you need that you won't need for the next day or two. Go buy any things that you might need like special snacks or travel sized liquids.
- Put Your Mail on Hold: Just head on over to the USPS website and schedule the dates for holding your mail. Remember that the day that you check as your ending date will be the day that they deliver your mail.
- Make a Travel Folder: Start collecting tickets, reservation numbers and other important documents that you need paper copies of and stick them in a folder. Then REMEMBER the folder when you leave :)
- Call Your Bank: If traveling internationally, call your bank and let them know that you will be traveling abroad. This keeps them in the loop and they won't be freezing your cards when they see suspicious activity on the other side of the globe.
The Day Before You Leave:
- Laundry: Depending on the size of your family, you may need to start this a few days before your trip. But do your laundry so 1) you have clean things to pack and 2) so when you come home with dirty laundry, you won't already have overflowing baskets!
- Kitchen: Make sure you've taken care of all of the perishables in the fridge. Make sure all of the dishes are done. Pull any food you are taking with you into one spot in the fridge/on your table (depending on the type of foods you're taking). Make sure the sink is clean and free from any junk that could stink up your house.
- Packing: Pack all of the stuff that you've been piling up near your suitcase. Double check your packing list. Don't forget PJs, underwear and a swimming suit! Make sure to lay out what you will be wearing the next day. In addition to your luggage, make sure that your personal items (purse, backpack, etc.) are packed as well. Don't forget your electronics cords!
- Charge Devices: Before you go to bed, make sure that you have everything you need charged or charging.
- Take Out the Trash: Take it out from every room! It's no bueno to come home from a nice vacation to a stinky smelling house.
- Leave a Note: Write a note and stick it on your suitcase/purse/phone with any last minute things you need to pack before you leave the next day.
The Day You Leave:
- Last Minute Packing: Pack the things you couldn't the night before like phones, tooth brush and tooth paste, food, etc.
- Turn Off and Un-Plug: Turn off all the lights and un-plug any devices and power strips.
- Check Your Heat/AC: Turn down your heat if you're leaving during the cooler months (but make sure it is still warm enough so pipes don't freeze). Turn off your AC if you're traveling in the warmer months.
Labels: Travel Tips