Guest post by Kay at KayTravelsLife.com
When you decided to take to the road with your family, you imagined smiling faces and photo ops at roadside nature parks. Only after making reservations did you become overwhelmed with preparing your family for even a short trip!
When I worked outside of my home full-time and commuted three hours each day, every minute was precious! I had to develop a system for careful time management before a trip. By planning your time, you can:
- Get more than two hours of sleep the night before you leave.
- Avoid the cost and time spent on last-minute trips to the store.
- Save money on your travels by foreseeing and bringing everything you’ll need instead of buying it on the road.
- Be relaxed and rested instead of rushed and exhausted!
A week or two before your trip, set aside an hour when the kids are asleep and your husband is occupied but available for consultation. Make four lists:
1.What to Bring
Get detailed. Think of everything you will need, down to socks and baby’s bottle. Don’t leave an item off because you think it is obvious. I have been known to forget my shoes or forget to pack diapers in the diaper bag.
2. What to Borrow or Buy
List items you’ll need to purchase for your trip and where you’ll need to get them. Also, brainstorm whether you know someone you can borrow it from instead or purchasing it.
3. Grocery List/Menu Plan
This list is mainly for campers, but making your own breakfasts in a hotel room or lunches at rest stops will save you money. If you’re camping, a thorough list will save you time at the grocery store and help avoid a trip to the nearest town for peanut butter. Don’t forget snacks!
4. Most importantly, list out each day preceding your trip and assign one or two tasks for each.
Map out which day you will do the laundry, for example, which lunch hour you’ll do the grocery shopping, which evening you’ll take the dog to the boarder, run to a friend’s to borrow a cooler and when you’ll pack the clothes.
Include time the night before you leave to pack the car. Preparations will be less intimidating if you only have one or two things to do each evening, and you’ll avoid the last-minute rush and frustration of beginning your trip stressed. Since I have only one free hour a night, this list is crucial.
Save those lists!
When you return, revise the lists from your experience, note the occasion and duration (“Christmas at Granny’s, three days two nights”) and file them away. Next time you want to get out of town, you’ll be way ahead of the game!
Kay travels Texas and beyond with her husband and toddling son, whose first road trip included camping in the wilderness of the Big Bend area when he was just seven months old. Visit Kay at KayTravelsLife.com.
photo by chris runoff