This is a list of things that I have learned to do over the years to make prepping for vacation a little less stressful:
- Confirm all of your reservations. Check your airline and hotel reservations. Most airlines have an option where you can have flight updates sent directly to your cell phone.
- Take care of banking. Make sure you have smaller bills for tips and vending machines.
- If you have pets, make sure that you have sufficient supplies available for their caretaker while you are away.
- Nobody wants to come home from a vacation to a messy house and a mountain of laundry. So, do it before you go!
- Clean out your refrigerator and cupboards. Make sure that nothing will go bad while you are gone. But make sure that you have some things on hand for when you get back, such as milk, bread and breakfast items. It is not fun to come home and need a meal or snack, only to find that there’s nothing in the house! It is also not fun to have to run out at the last minute to get things to pack kids’ lunches for school the next day.
- Put your mail and newspaper on hold until you come home.
- Adjust your thermostat settings. No need to pay for heat or air conditioning that you won’t need while you are away!
- I also like to crack a few windows, especially in the summer, mostly for my pets, but also to keep from having that “stale” air smell when you get home. Just be sure they are windows either on your second floor, or ones that will not be easy for someone to break in to.
- I like to treat myself to a mani-pedi, and a fresh hair do before I go. I also like to use some self-tanner before I go on vacation. It makes you look much healthier, especially in pictures, which you will look at for years to come!
- If your children will be missing school, it is a good idea to alert their teachers a week or two ahead. Most teachers will be happy to give them their assignments before they leave for vacation. I also like to have them keep a journal and take some of their own photos so they can share them at school upon their return. You will also find that there are lots of learning opportunities while you are away. This is especially true at Disney World. I will discuss this in more detail another day.
- I will also call my son’s school attendance office the night before we leave and give them the dates that he will be absent, so they are not calling me every day to see where he is. I will also email his guidance counselor to let her know as well.
- Program some timers for your lights throughout the house so that it looks like someone is home. I also do this for my fish tank light so that they are not in the dark while we are gone.
- If it is winter, and particularly cold while you are away, have your caretaker flush toilets and run faucets. You do not want to come home to frozen pipes!
- Program all of your reservations, confirmation numbers, and all of the phone numbers for airlines, hotels, etc. on your cell phone’s calendar.
I think I covered the basics. If you have some other helpful tips that you’d like to add, feel free!