Vacation Planning: Get Organized For Travel

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aplaneSummertime is here and with it comes the season of traveling. More people travel and take vacations during the summer, and with these trips comes the stress and headaches of planning, remembering, and packing. If you are taking the trip as a family it can be even more complicated.

Taking the time to get your planning and organizing done ahead of time can really help reduce your stress leading up to and including your time on vacation. Additionally, it will help reduce the amount of clutter that you end up cramming into your bags, cars, and hotel rooms.

There are of course long lists of things that you might want to consider prior to going on a vacation, but a lot of these are particular to your situation at the time. There are some important areas that are generally useful to look at for any given situation:

– Do you need someone to take care of your pets?
– Do you need to get your mail held?
– Have you made all of your reservations?
– Have you set an “out of office” reply for work emails or calls?
– Are there any meal plans or shopping to do ahead of time?
– Can you save some money and time by bringing food?
– Will planning your packing list ahead of time help keep you from tossing in everything at the last minute?

Make your lists

As you begin the thought process to go on vacation start making your lists as well.

Of course, everyone will have different needs. I suggest making several smaller lists to cover the major planning areas. A pre-vacation list to get packing odds and ends sorted out, a vacation list for things to do and places to see, and a list for things to do when you get back home to make the transition easier. Planning this out ahead of time will make your life much easier by letting you relax. Knowing that you have taken care of it all ahead of time and do not need to bother with remembering all the little details can be a huge relief!

Packing Begins

When you start to gather items for a vacation you should put the odds and ends like travel sized toiletries, travel guides, passports, and other like items into a central area. This way you know you have them ready to go and can continue with your planning and packing.

Cut The Clutter

Once you have laid out what you need to bring with you (clothes included!), take the time to go through your things and really make sure you need to bring all of it. You certainly don’t want to be caught on vacation without something you meant to bring, but going through your items to be packed and getting rid of duplicates or things that might not be used can lighten the load and make the actual traveling less of a hassle.

Pack Some Snacks

Make sure to pack snacks – no matter where you stop they will be more expensive compared to packing them yourself. This can really add up if you are traveling as a family. Packing some snacks ahead of time, or going to a grocery store once at your destination to stock up on lower cost food items can keep everyone from getting too hungry and save you a lot of money.

Don’t bring clutter home

Remember that you are in charge of what goes into your home. You have the final say about what comes through the door. If you find yourself wanting to buy souvenirs while on vacation just remember to ask yourself if you plan on putting it out on display in your home and keeping it out. If the answer is not a resounding “YES!” then you probably don’t need it. Enjoy the vacation and the memories; try not to bring back too many actual items with you that will add clutter to your home.

Last, But Not Least – Enjoy your vacation!

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