Planning a family vacation is a big job. There are so many things to think about- hotel, transportation, activities, budget… But planning a vacation can be so much fun! What’s not fun, is coming home to chaos. Here are a few things to think about when preparing to leave for your vacation, that might make things easier on your return.
- Make a packing list. First and foremost, this will help you, your spouse and all of your dear littles pack. If you have children who are old enough to pack themselves, making them a list will ensure that they don’t forget an essential like undies or toothbrush. If your kids are still too young to pack, this list will help you to remember everything they will need so you don’t forget an essential like diapers. Also- each member of the family should have their own bag, with one family bag of bathroom and toiletry items (or maybe one toiletry bag for the kids and one for the parents.)
- Take your packing list with you! That way you can double check that you are bring everything back home.
- Clean the house. I know this is probably the last thing on your mind while getting ready for a vacation, but trust me- it will make coming home so much more pleasant! Clean the kitchen really well. Being away for a few days makes it too easy for pests to move it, especially of the kitchen is not sparkling clean. This includes taking out the trash and cleaning out the fridge. Clean the bathrooms. Everyone feels grimy after a long trip, and a nice soak in a clean tub should make everyone feel better. Make sure the beds are made before you leave. You will be tired, and a nicely made bed will be oh-so-inviting!
- Did I mention cleaning out the fridge? One vacation I took with my family, I forgot to clear out the leftovers. I’m not sure what the offending food was, but our refrigerator smelled awful for weeks after we returned! Be sure to get rid of anything that might go bad during the time you are away, but stock up on a few snack-like items that will keep well. Maybe buy a favorite fruit juice, dried fruit, hard cheese (if you will be gone only a week or so) and some crackers so that there is something for you and the kiddos to snack on the night you return.
Following these tips will make your homecoming feel more like an extension of the vacation, rather than a stressful transition back to reality.