(image courtesy of: by artur84 – Freedigitalphotos.net)
I’m off to Rhode Island early in the morning to attend my niece’s wedding. While I’m very excited to see my family (being 1000 miles apart makes frequent visits difficult), traveling is not a favorite of mine. Add to this the fact that I am NOT an organized person and NOT a list maker, there is a recipe for disaster bubbling just below the surface.
Here are some of the things I’ve learned in the past few years that make traveling much less stressful.
- pack early, pack light
I generally take 1 small carry-on, even if I’m going for a week. Often I can pack everything (including a laptop) in a backpack! Of course, the fact that our family has a very pared down wardrobe helps a great deal here. I make sure the morning before that my laundry is all done, rolled and ready to be packed. (yes, I roll my clothes for the suitcase…this was how I have been able to pack all 10 of us into 1 large suitcase when we travel as a family!) This also gives me time to add items to it I might have forgotten early in the day.
- meal planning
Using a system of meal planning really helps the rest of the family deal with meal preparation when I’m gone. Of course, this was the first time in MONTHS that I didn’t plan a menu on Sunday night. However, I spent just a few minutes planning meals through the day after I return and have all the groceries and recipes with children’s names next to them for who is responsible for which meal.
I love, love, love to leave a clean house in the HOPES that I’ll return to one! When everyone chips in and we all clean one room at a time and all together, generally within 15-20 minutes we have the entire house cleaned, tidied and vacuumed which relieves a lot of pressure from me.
I always try to take some food with me on the trip. You never know if there will be problems or delays and having food reduces stress and the need to spend money (another way to reduce stress). I also take an empty water bottle (or soda bottle) with me. You can’t take liquids through security, but you CAN take empty bottles and fill them at the water fountains on the other side, saving $2-4 for bottled water!
- mental check lists – Check!
I DO have a mental check list of the things I need to accomplish and it really helps encourage me to write an item and then Check when it is finished. I often post these to Facebook and share with those I love about my plans.
- ticket, please
I always get nervous (you know those kind of dreams) that I’ll show up at the airport and be asked for my ticket only to find a blank sheet of paper. So, I check-in online as soon as possible, print out my boarding pass and immediately put it in my purse. Ticket? Check! (phew!!)
How do YOU organize traveling, with or without your family?
Blogs I might be linking to:
Menu Planning Monday, On The Menu Monday, Erin Branscoms, Mommy Mondays, Marital Oneness, The Better Mom, Multitudes on Monday, Hear it On Sunday, Sharing His Bounty, What Joy Is Mine, Playdates at the Well, Making Your Home Sing Mondays, Domestically Divine Tuesdays, Time Warp Wife, Funky Planet Frequent Flier Club, Encourage One Another, Walking Redeemed, A Wise Woman Builds Her House, The Welcoming House, Legacy Leaver Thursday, What’s Up Wednesday, Thought Provoking Thursday, Hearts 4 Home, Thankful Thursday, Thankful Thursdays, Thankful, Thankful Thursday Brown-eyed Bell(e), Big Family Fridays, Faith Filled Fridays, Feasting In Fellowship Friday, Fellowship Friday, Homemaking Link-up Week-end, A Little R&R, Pieces of Amy, Homeschool Mother’s Journal, TGIF Bible Love Notes
I love traveling. I hate flying. The two are not the same thing! I go through similar steps of making sure there if food, cleaning up, packing my stuff, double checking my tickets. I try to pack clothes that I can wear multiple times. If we will be gone for a week, then I pack clothes for 4 days and wash laundry mid-week. This cuts down on our suitcases. In the summer I can pack all 6 of us in 1 large suitcase. Winter takes 2 suitcases because jeans and sweatshirts take up more space.
Hope you enjoy your trip. (And the cool weather we are having here in RI!)
Great thoughts, Stephanie!! Yes, washing clothes is a MUST with a large family on a trip! Oh, your weather was GORGEOUS!! I loved being back in RI – and I only wish it had been longer so I could have gone to the ocean. I miss the sea!! Don’t see it often in the cornfields! 😉