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Vacation Checklist

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Are you planning a vacation with your family in the near future? From a mothering standpoint, I know how much sheer work traveling with a family can be. Here is a vacation checklist you can use to make your family time away go much more smoothly.

1. First...a few questions for you.

Where are you going for your vacation? What is the expected climate? What to pack for vacation checklist?
The answer to these questions will help you determine types and amounts of clothing that you will need for your vacation.



Dates of your travel___________________________________________________

What will you be doing on your vacation?
The real need is a what-to-pack-for-vacation checklist, isn't it?

Will your family need
__formal clothing?
__Casual clothing?
__Swim suits?

==> For example, a camping trip requires much different packing than a vacation in a hotel. (If your family is going camping, feel free to use our camping checklist.)

Who's going on your vacation?

Ages of children_________________________________
__Anyone going with disabilities or special needs?
List special needs here


What's the budget for your vacation?
__________Total amount set aside.
__________Monthly needed to be saved.



Campare your travel options from a cost perspective:
___________Cost to drive    ________________Cost to fly      _______________Cost for alternative travel
___________Rental car         ________________Meals            _______________Souvenirs
___________Hotels              ________________Tips               _______________Passports
___________Destination fun (tickets, excursions, etc.)                 _______________Misc.




==> It's often a good idea to add a margin of 15-25% to your travel budget for unexpected expenses.

2. Using the answers to these questions you can begin to plan your vacation. Print this vacation packing checklist and check off the items as you get ready for your vacation. When you're ready, use my vacation packing checklist to get everyone packed as stress-free as possible.

As much as you can in advance, look into
  • brochures, websites, etc.
==> find out...
__ hours of operation.
__ prices.
__ appropriateness of activities for your traveling companions.

  • If appropriate
__ purchase advance tickets or reservations for travel, accommodations (hotels/rental cars), shows and activities.
__ Check into anticipated weather.
__ Will you be staying with friends or family?
Collect directions to their homes and necessary phone numbers.

__ Prioritize possible activities into must do/must see vs. if you have the time.
__ Make a written itinerary of your trip.
You certainly don't have to follow your itinerary to the letter, but it will make an invaluable guide. Use it as an on-the-spot vacation checklist after you've left your home!

  • Referring to your written itinerary as you plan your vacation, you'll be able to
__ determine if you can do everything you have planned.
__ develop a vacation plan B, which is especially helpful if you're traveling with small children.
__ stay flexible. A very important sanity-tool in your vacation travel checklist!


The following may be the most important item on your vacation checklist!!

Take the time to decide the point of your trip. Is it to have

__ a great time with your family?
__ Or to do certain activities?

__ Relaxation
__ or stimulation?

Clarifying this one point in advance has been known to make or break a vacation. Have a talk with your family and figure it out in advance.

Along the same lines...think ahead...what will make the best memories for your family? Write these down now.


Vacation checklist extras.

You might want to consider the following as you plan your vacation.
__ Will you need babysitting services on your trip?
__ What happens if someone gets hurt or sick?
__ What necessary medications must you put on your vacation checklist?

==> A ten-hour road trip requires different planning than two multi-hour plane trips with a four-hour stopover in-between flights.

==> Ask yourself what is the worst thing that could happen on your trip...then make as many provisions as you reasonably can to protect against it.

Vacation checklist for packing.

__ Pack light but pack thoroughly. Here is our vacation packing checklist page.
__ Would it be easier to purchase some items once you get to your destination?
__ Some things you pack you won't even use...can you identify them in advance of your vacation?

Vital stuff to put on your vacation checklist.

__ moist towelettes
__ money
__ travel games
__ passports
__ medicines
__ good shoes
__ sunglasses

Add your own items.

Vacation travel checklist hot tips to help you stay de-stressed the week before your vacation.

__ Pack as much as you can ahead of time and cut down on last minute packing.
__ When you think of an item you want to take but can't pack until the last minute, write it down and place the note in the appropriate suitcase. Then make just ONE note to yourself that instructs you to check all luggage for notes before leaving on vacation.

Vacation checklist reminders.

__ Consider the weather (again!).
__ Don't wear yourself out before you go on vacation.
__ Try not to over-schedule your travels. When you are using a packing checklist for vacation you can also use the list to plan rest time in, too.
__ Plan something nice for each member of the family going on the travels.
__ Keep small kids in mind...they tire easily. And so will you. A stack of preprinted travel games can be everyone's best friend.
__ Check luggage for wear and tear.
__ Consider security precautions whether traveling by car or by plane.
__ Do you need to arrange ahead of time for items such as passports? (The current US passport wait is long. If you wait too long before you order you'll need to pay extra to expedite those passports. I had to do this and it cost me a bundle to get my passports in time, so check ahead carefully.)

One more thing...remember to enjoy your vacation thoroughly so you can return to your homelife refreshed and rejuvenated!

Great comments on this vacation checklist from other visitors.

"Thanks for the great info. I forgot about towelettes and medicines and fun, so thanks for the reminders. Do you know how can I go about getting a list of hotels on my route from Cali to Florida.."

"I used this list when traveling to rome and it really helped me. I created a list prior, but had actually forgotten things I really wanted to bring. So thank you!"

"I'm so glad I found your website! It is just full of good information that we will be able to use as we prepare to take a road trip to Arizona soon. Thanks and God bless!"

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