Prepping for a Family vacation is a HUGE deal. It’s not all bathing suits and sundresses. Oh no. There is SO MUCH prep required, and usually I get very little sleep the night before we leave. I obsess over every little detail. I’m not usually an obsess-er, but being away from home makes me feel a little insecure. There are a kajillion “what if” scenarios that play out in my mind. And there are only so many things that we can put into the category of “We’ll just buy it when we get there…” That kind of attitude is expensive, and I hate to buy things that I already have in abundance at home! Such as…
- Children’s fever reducer, band-aids, sunscreen, anti-itch lotion (for bug bites), etc etc etc. You know how kids’ fevers tend to show up out of nowhere, and I don’t want to be 30,000 feet in the air without my Children’s Motrin!
- Sweaters/light jackets. Yes, it’s the middle of summer, but you just never know when it might feel cold inside a restaurant, or there could be a sudden crazy cool front!
- Activities for the kids: I visited my local dollar store 3 times over the last week and we are WELL stocked with things to do on the plane, and while we’re at our destination. WELL stocked.
- Same goes for snacks. My kids are highly unlikely to eat whatever meal the plane provides, so we better be prepared. And we’re leaving really early in the morning, so we need breakfast stuff. And we have the long wait for the rental car, and then the drive to our destination…we need LOTS of snacks.
- Change of clothes for each kid. Someone could vomit at any time. It could happen.
- Digital entertainment. Duh. (How did our parents ever take us places without an Apple product?) I downloaded books from the library to avoid adding weight to our bags, and naturally we filled our iphone/ipad storage to the brim with kids’ programming (because God forbid they should have one second where they are not entertained, right? It’ll be anarchy)!
- Night lights and loveys. Those special things that will make it easier to sleep away from home…
There are so many more things like this… “Just in case” kind of things that I need to pack. I want my kids to feel secure while we’re away and I want to have everything I need to be there for them, just as I would at home.
So the next thing is, as you know, to lie in bed the night before playing the travel day out in your head. Preparing to leave, locking up the house, checking bags, security, etc etc and it’s very hard to wind down and sleep well. Anticipation.
We have to leave very early for this trip, so I actually put the kids to bed in their travel clothes. They are totally ready to go. We’ll literally wake them up, put them in the car and we’ll be off. I have no expectations that they will sleep on the plane, because that just never happens. It’s all too fun and exciting.
What do you obsess over when you’re preparing the family for a trip? How many lists do you make? (I make dozens!)
Happy Summer Vacation to you!