Family Vacation Countdown – Guest Article

Written by  Cathy Bates
You’ve worked hard and earned some much needed time away!  How do you make your getaway come together without leaving in a panic and feeling like you forgot something?  Count down to your vacation with early preparation and cut down on the last minute stress.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

One week before:
•    List all you need to do in preparation for and thinks to take on the vacation.
•    Confirm all travel reservations – air, auto, hotel, train, dining, and activities.
•    Arrange for pet sitting, plant care, etc.
•    Halt delivery of your newspaper and mail.
•    Purchase any clothing or supplies you will need for your trip.
•    Create a box to put things in you want to take – like cameras and maps.  As you think of them, just put them in the box.
•    Let people at work know that you are going to be on vacation the following week(s), so that they can plan accordingly and you will have fewer interruptions while you are away.

Three to five days prior:
•    Catch up on all of your work so that you can relax and enjoy your vacation without thinking about work.
•    Get traveler’s cheques from the bank.
•    Pay all bills due before you return.

Two days before:
•    Check the weather so that you will know how to pack.
•    Give the house a good cleaning and change your sheets.
•    Wash all dirty clothes.

One day prior:
•    Firm up any last minute details.
•    If you are flying, check-in online and print boarding passes.
•    Pack your suitcases, car, etc.

The day of:
•    Adjust your air conditioning and water heater so that you conserve energy while you are gone.
•    Unplug appliances, computers, and electronics that can draw power when they are not in use.
•    Shut off the water main (after everyone has gone to the bathroom).
•    Set a few lights on a timer for security.
•    Take out the trash.
•    Do a quick pick up so that your home will be a welcome haven when you return.

Have a great vacation!

Cathy Bates is owner of Practical Solutions Professional Organizing and a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). To contact her go to www.psorganizing.com or call  909- 810- 3719 .

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