Our family has been crazy for travel for more than a decade but it took me years to realize that three days before every family vacation, I jumped on the hamster wheel of frantic. I finally stopped flipping out (though I reserve the right to lose it) when I accepted this fact: packing for a family vacation takes two weeks, minimum.
When you’re a mom, vacation planning isn’t an instead of activity, it’s an in addition to activity: in addition to cooking, cleaning, school, sports, grocery shopping, cleaning, errands, paying bills, baths, bedtime, cleaning, cooking, cleaning, cleaning, oh the cleaning. You have to squeeze in vacation planning—and packing for that great family vacation you planned.
Once your vacation dates are set and the hotel reservations are confirmed, you can get back to the business of everyday life—and start your vacation countdown! The date your vacation starts is definitely something to look forward to: days on end not doing dishes and having someone else make your bed and clean your bathroom while you’re out having fun?! “Looking forward to it” does not begin to describe the joy that only a mom understands.
If you stay organized and start packing, cleaning, and vacation errands early, you won’t stress yourself—and your family—out while you’re scrambling to get all the last minute stuff done two days before you leave. Nobody wants to spend the first two days of vacation recovering from packing.
Avoid pre-trip drama with a vacation packing checklist that starts two weeks before your vacation!
If you wait until the day before vacation to start packing, you’ll discover:
- Your daughter refolded her dirty clothes and put them away, and put her clean clothes in the hamper…then dropped her wet towel on top of them.
- Your son grew 4 inches overnight and all his pants make him look like Michael Jackson.
- You can’t find four pairs of socks that match in a drawer stuffed with three dozen socks.
- You have nothing to wear.
Here’s my list of 45 things moms have to do before vacation! I’ve organized it to fit all the pre-vacation tasks I have to get done before we go—and leave time to do day-to-day Mom jobs!—in a manageable two week schedule.