Vacation Planning Tips

Summer vacation means a break from the daily grind, but for moms vacation planning can be stressful. Packing lists, itineraries, reservations, and kid considerations send our brains into overload. Simple strategies can make summer vacation planning go more smoothly, which means everyone — even mom — can relax on vacation!

Tips for Planning a Vacation1. Create an email organizer for travel planning. Make a new file for all trip related email and label it “<Destination>, 2013.” When making hotel, restaurant, attraction ticket inquiries, move all emails to the vacation file. As you make decisions, delete emails for those things you won’t use and keep all emails that include reservation confirmation numbers, paid receipts, directions and other necessary information. Before travel, either print the emails or save the documents to your smartphone for easy access during travel.

2. Create a vacation bucket list. For some reason, moms take on the burden of thinking for the whole family. Vacation planning is no different.

“We need to make sure we visit the horse farm for Ellie.” “Oh, Jake would love the aeronautics museum.” Sound familiar?

Instead of doing all the planning, select three or four possible activities for each day of vacation and then ask family members to choose their top three. It’s completely okay to eliminate all activities that didn’t make anyone’s list! If you don’t want to see it and it doesn’t interest them, let it go. If we don’t over-schedule vacation, maybe we’ll actually come home rested and refreshed! For more information on how to create a vacation bucket list.

3. Pack less. For some reason, we think our kids will not survive vacation without their ten favorite toys, two blankies, five stuffed animals and three outfits per day. Guess what! They can and they will. Pack the essentials, like blankie. Pack a few car or airplane friendly toys. Pack one outfit per day, plus an extra for every two days (unless you have access to laundry). Then stop! Kids have your attention on vacation. They will be busy doing things, whether digging in the sand or exploring museums. They don’t need all the “stuff” you rely on to get through the day at home. They don’t! Besides, the less you pack, the less you have to keep track of and the less you risk losing along the way. The less you pack, the less crowded the car. The less you pack, the less checked luggage to pay for. Get the idea? Overpacking is a vacation nightmare. To pack better and enjoy vacation more (really!), use this packing checklist.

Great family vacations begin long before the trip. Proper planning to simplify the planning process, itinerary and even packing means everyone can enjoy vacation. Even mom! Isn’t that what vacation should be?