“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4: 6 & 7
We all love to vacation, don’t we? Can we also agree that some parts of vacationing can be stressful? Preparing for a vacation is “no joke” and can even lead you to second guess whether all the preparing/planning is worth it. Well, I am here to encourage you and provide a few tips that can make your family’s experience fun and memorable…. without the pre-trip fights and frustrations.
1. Get your laundry done early
Have you ever gone to pack your suitcase and some of the clothes you were planning to pack are still laying in the dirty clothes pile? Say it ain’t so! To avoid this, do not allow yourself to get behind on laundry before vacations. Do a load each day or every other day starting a week before you depart to make sure that everyone has all their clothing options when they are ready to pack.
2. Clean your house
Clean my house? Are you crazy, we won’t even be there? Yes, I agree, however having the knowledge that a clean, uncluttered house awaits your return can be very calming. It can also lead to a much more relaxing and manageable un-packing experience.
3. Create packing lists
If you are traveling with children, it can feel like a lot of extra work especially if you feel the need to pack for them. I find that giving them a packing list works great. They can independently (depending on the age of course) get their bag packed and all I have to do is check it to make sure they are not missing any essential items (like toothbrushes 🙂 ).
4. Prepare a detailed itinerary
Typically this step takes a lot of time and energy, especially if the place you are traveling to is new and unfamiliar. For our family, we have found that the time and energy we spend planning the vacation really pays off while we are enjoying it. Having an itinerary helps us use our time wisely instead of using vacation time to plan our days.
5. Prepare food for travel/vacation
Food is an important part of life. Right?!?! 🙂 Take time to look at each day of your vacation and get a rough idea of what you will eat. We find that even if we choose to grab a bite at a fast food restaurant, we still like to have fresh fruits and veggies on hand to go with it. Having them pre-cut and packed nicely allows you to eat them immediately when they are needed. We like to pack along healthy options but also some fun snacks that we do not normally have around the house.
6. Get activity bag ready for travel
Whether you are traveling with children or not, an activity bag is a great way to help the time in the car pass quickly as well as have fun along the way. Pack your favorite books, cds, audiobooks, and more. We have found some great car games to play with the kids and have even brought along school worksheets for them to complete to keep their brains sharp!
Things may go wrong, prepare yourself for the delays that WILL happen, and pray about your time away. It is a blessing to vacation with family and friends, make it a memorable experience that all will look back on with fondness.