Maybe it’s because I married into a family of teachers, but it seems like summer is a popular time for vacations. Next week we are heading way up north (practically Canada ?) with my parents and are renting a cabin for a week. In just over a year, this will be our 3rd week-long vacation and in this time I’ve learned a few things about vacation planning to make life easier that I thought I’d share with you.
I once heard that planning a vacation is half the fun as going on it and I would totally agree! Typically, I start planning things wayyy far in advance but really the brunt of it needs to happen the week before. I also have heard most people feel they need a vacation after coming back from one. This is my list on how to cope better with that feeling!
On Sunday I sat down and meal planned with a little more vigor than normal. I wanted to make sure I made the right amount of meals and that all leftovers would be consumed before we leave. This way the day or two you are busy packing, you don’t have to worry about cooking (since you have leftovers) and you won’t have to throw anything out. Speaking of…
Clean out your fridge! Our trash pickup is every other week and it just so happens to fall the day before we leave. I am going through it making sure nothing was forgotten and could get pretty rotten while we are gone.
Place anything that could go bad in the freezer. Bread is the number one staple that comes to mind.
Lastly, think about what your week will be like when you get back. Will you have time to cook? Or, more importantly, will you want to cook when you get back? In March we were gone every single weekend. It was easy for us to stop at our local food co-op on our way home and grab an already cooked rotisserie chicken and some lettuce. It was great because we had enough to last a few meals before we got groceries and it’s actually much more affordable (not to mention healthier) than fast food.
Most people probably hit the ATM before they leave, which is great. But have you thought about bills that may come due while you are gone? I have issues with letting up control so I don’t like to go the auto-pay route. I have a list of our regularly monthly bills and their due dates so I don’t have to worry about missing the email statement. We have some that need to be paid while we are gone or right when we get back so I will be paying those tonight and checking them off my list!
If you’re like us, you like your house clean but some weeks you have better things to do (like nothing ?). Whenever we decide to tackle that clutter, I always walk in the door the next day after work and feel a sense of calm I didn’t know I was missing. It’s glorious! Why should vacation be any different?
I don’t know what your cleaning life is like, but when we clean it typically falls on a weekend or the earliest is Thursday or Friday. That’s all fine and dandy most of the time. Except when you are leaving Friday and will be gone for 11 days. Some prep work must be done! Sure, it takes more planning but you already are saving time with reheating leftovers, right? And the feeling of coming home to a clean house is amazing! I’m not saying you need to clean like the Queen is coming (I will vacuum our hard floors but I am NOT steam mopping), but just take time to pick up a little clutter here and there.
You come home to a clean house, might as well come home to clean linens! A day or two before, wash your sheets. Bonus points if you can put fresh ones on before you leave! Also do the same for towels – bath towels, hand towels, kitchen towels, etc, etc. There’s always laundry from vacation so why not get all the other stuff out of the way beforehand?
Another note on laundry, a week before you go start thinking about what everyone needs to pack. Set a certain day as the last day for anything to be washed that will get packed. Today was that day for us. This means if Landon wants a certain pair of cargo shorts packed, he should not wear them tomorrow. ?
Other little tips:
- Roll your clothes – it seriously takes up less space. Packing cubes help even more!
- Unplug electronics. TVs, toasters, coffee makers…
- Speaking of coffee makers, throw out the grounds and give the carafe a wash.
- Turn your air up so it runs less often to save energy.
- Turn your ice maker off and if you have a dispenser in your refrigerator door, lock it.
- Close blinds/curtains in rooms that face south – it will help keep the house cooler so the air runs even less.
- Ask a neighbor to collect your mail so it doesn’t build up.
- Lastly, relax! It’s suppose to be vacation after all! ?