Why does it seem like the week before vacation is more hectic?  Work picks up, activities increase, schedules just get out of control.  I always envision the universe cracking up at the chaos that comes with getting ready for vacation.  For us, things get a little intense with making sure we have everything we need to enjoy our vacation, and that all the bases, at home and work, are covered.  Here are a few simple tips to help you get ready for a road trip and calm the chaos.


  • Make a list – do this a couple of weeks out.  I start a list and my husband starts a list.  The weekend before vacation, we compare lists and combine them into one master list of things we need to take and/or do.

  • Make sure your car is in good operational order prior to the week of vacation. Do you need an oil change, tires rotated, air filter changed?  How are your windshield wiper blades?  I ask the questions, but my hubby is in charge of getting this list done.

  • Plan to have simple meals the week before vacation. I typically prep at least 2 or 3 meals for  the week before vacation.  I keep things simple.  Dishes I can put in the oven to cook while I do other things, or I will plan dishes that we can just heat up.  I also like to have a salad night and Thursday nights are for leftovers, so we can leave a relatively empty fridge!

  • Make a list (or at least a mental list) of the clothes that you want to take. Make sure everything is clean and ready to go.  Does anything need to be repaired – missing buttons, hemmed, replaced?  Now is a good time to take care of those things.

  • A couple of days before you leave, do laundry and get the suitcase out. Start putting things in there that you will not need until you reach your destination.

  • Know where you are going and how you are going to get there. Have all reservation information printed out (have a copy on your phone too).  We plan our stops along the way for breakfast and lunch.  If there is something you want too see or do on the way, plan for it.

  • Make a playlist or have a book ready to go. We love using Spotify and Audible for road trips.

  • Allow yourself plenty of time to get there. We like to leave really early so traffic is lighter for a while and we miss some of the traffic issues around larger cities we are traveling through.

  • Most of all, no matter what is going on in your world, you need a vacation. You need time to relax and enjoy being with your family.  Take a lots of deep breaths the week before vacation.  The world and work will survive a week without you!

These are the top things that help us get ready for vacation.  Depending on the type of vacation, the list will vary.  This list works well for our annual family beach trip.  15+ people in a large house can be overwhelming to some but we love it.  We get to spend time with our sons and family.  We play games, do puzzles, shop, eat and go to the beach or pool.  It fills our lives with love and laughter until the next time we are together.


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Photos are mine or courtesy of Unsplash!