Planning for vacation can be fun and extremely time consuming. If you are anything like me, I am always terrified of forgetting something or not taking care of vital tasks. It makes vacation a bit stressful, if you don’t have a good plan in place to be ready to go. Today I am sharing how to get ready for vacation with these simple tips so you can just enjoy it when the time comes.
The thing I like best about this plan is that it spreads important key tasks out over a time period rather than trying to cram it all in one week. Let’s discuss how to get ready for vacation so that you can spend more time enjoying your vacation.
Start To Get Ready For Vacation 2 Months Ahead Of Time
What?!?! I am supposed to start preparing two months ahead of time? Well, yes, yes you should and here is why. Some of the items I am sharing here may be time-consuming, so the earlier you begin the better. Trust when I say you will be glad you did.
Arrange For Pet Care
Start planning to see if you need to schedule a vet visit or order pet medications or refills. This is a great idea if it takes a long time to get sorted out. You should also arrange for pet boarding or in-home pet sitters. If you will be traveling with your pet, take some practice runs so you know how they will be.
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Start A Vacation Shopping List
While this sounds like it is self-explanatory, this is one step that you shouldn’t forget. There is nothing scarier than finding out the night before you leave that you have forgotten something important.
Look Into Doing Your Car Maintenance
This is a critical step on your vacation preparation list, especially if you are driving. It doesn’t take long, and it could save you time and money in the long run. Make sure you have your oil changed, your hoses checked, tires rotated, and have them take a look at your wiper blades.
Our car dealership sends frequent coupons for these items, so I can save more money when it is time to do this step.
Two Weeks Before You Head Out On Vacation
To me, this is the time during vacation preparation that goes SOOOOOO slow, but it will go quickly if you aren’t prepared. Here are tips for things you should be doing two weeks out from your vacation.
Confirm The Details For Your Pets
Remember 2 months ago? This is a good time to confirm to your petcare plans in case you need to make alternative arrangements. Take the time to check pet supplies and food, and then purchase those items so you have them ready to go. Some pet boarding places allow you to bring toys and blankets from home, so it is a good time to grab a new toy and give that favorite blanket a good washing.
Generally, our neighbor will watch our cats while we are away, but if she can’t then we look into other arrangements. I always make sure I have plenty of supplies for them so my neighbor doesn’t have to worry.
Considering Stopping Mail & Newspapers When You Get Ready For Vacation
Take the time now to stop mail and newspapers until you get home. Or arrange to have a neighbor or family member bring them in.
Side note to this tip: stopping them may alert thieves to your being away, so you need to weigh the pros and cons of this step. Discuss this with all members of your family so you all can be vacation ready.
If you choose to continue to have your mail and paper come to the house, and you have someone bringing them in for you, put a basket in a convenient location to make it easier for them. You will have everything in one place for when you are ready to look at it after your vacation.
Consider Getting Timers For Your Lights
We have a whole house lighting system that we can set up to go on and off at certain times. And, the best part is, if we forget to turn the scenes on before we leave, we can do it right from our smartphones. I absolutely love that, and it really does make it look natural because of the different times that are possible.
Make A Car Emergency Kit When You Get Ready For Vacation
If you are diligent with your car care, most of these items should already be in your car. Be sure to check and replenish any perishable items(like water bottles and granola bars). You should also take into consideration what time of the year you are traveling to figure out if you need to add items or take some out. If you are unsure how to create a car emergency kit, check out this great blog post.
What To Get Done One Week Before Your Vacation
In this step, we are going to be concentrating on mostly exterior preparations and doing what we can to make sure that your house can be vacation ready too!
Inspect Your Heating & Cooling Equipment
Take the time to inspect your outside unit and any associated tubes & wiring. If anything looks out of place, make an immediate appointment to have it looked at and repaired. Take the time to change your air filter, as well.
Cut Grass And Pull Weeds
Admittedly, this is my least favorite task to do to get ready for vacation, but it is one that has to be done. If you don’t want to do it yourself, see if you can pay a neighbor or high school student to do it. You could also arrange for them to do it while you are gone.
Inspect Door And Window Locks
Make sure everything is working correctly. If you have an alarm system, test it to make sure it is working properly. You don’t want to have to worry about it while you are on vacation. Feel good that you are getting to see that you can be vacation ready without totally stressing out.
2 To 3 Days Before You Head Out On Vacation
Okay, now you are in the home stretch, and it is time for the final push to get ready for vacation. Are you ready? Ok, here are the next steps.
Time To Get All Your Laundry Together
Gather all your clothing you plan on taking and get it wash, dried, and folded. Put away what you are NOT planning on taking. Having less clutter to come home to is key to enjoying vacation!
I found that if I pack my clothes by complete outfits, I tend to forget less stuff. And using packing cubes makes it even easier to have everything you need! And also, less is more when it comes to packing for vacation, so I have gotten it down to be able to have one suitcase for my husband and myself for our Wildwood vacation.
Get Your Swimming Essentials Together
Check to make sure that your sunblock isn’t expired, or that you have enough bottles available. The last thing you want to do is ruin your vacation with a bad case of sunburn. I also suggest bringing after sun care lotion and a good cooling gel in case you do get sunburned.
Don’t forget a quality beach bag, a hat, a good pair of sunglasses, and SPF lip balm as well. Have 2 or 3 suits per person if you plan on doing a lot of swimming so they have time to dry. If you don’t, make sure you take some liquid detergent that you can hand wash your suit in your room.
Other things to have are some high-quality beach towels, a bluetooth speaker, and a waterproof camera to record your water memories!
Gather Necessary Items For Your Electronics
This is one of my most important things, because I don’t want to be caught with a dead cell phone and no way to get ahold of me. As we no long have a landline or answering machine, my cell phone is my link to being contacted. Making sure you have the proper cords AND they are in good working condition is very important. I keep mine all together with a cord keeper.
I also make sure that I have my charging cables for my Nook and my camera, as well as a spare charging block.
I also make sure the rest of the family has any necessary charging cords for their phones, music players, and video games. And I have been known to ask several times if they packed them.
I also recommend getting a high-capacity charging block to keep with you at all times. When we are on the Boardwalk for hours at a time, it has come in handy for recharging my phone after I wore it down taking photos and video!
Check Your Travel First Aid Kit
I always take a small first aid kit that has Tylenol, Benadryl, triple antibiotic ointment, and other necessary items. Having it at your fingertips will set your mind at ease. I usually pack any prescription medications in our first aid kit as well, but not until the night before.
Need some ideas to make your own? Check out these for some ideas:
Get The Financial Ends Squared Away
Check for and pay any bills. Transfer or deposit money as needed. Run the bills to the post office to ensure that they make the cut off for a postmark, if needed. That way you won’t waste time worrying about it when you are supposed to be enjoying your vacation.
Do A Final Shopping Trip For Items
Again, check that pet food is plentiful and other pet related items are available. If someone is house sitting for you, make sure you have needed paper products and food available for your house sitter.
Grab last minute items you may need, like personal care items, snacks for your trip, and other items. Gather all of these things together and store them in reusable tote bags so they are ready to go.
Cross Off All The Items On Your To-Do List
If you have been keeping up with the earlier steps, this list should be almost completed already. If it isn’t, take the time now. Set a timer, ask for help, and just get it done. You want to be able to enjoy your vacation, and the more prepared you are, the more you will be able to do just that.
Clean Your Bathrooms, Change Your Sheets, And Get Your Kitchen In Order
I know it doesn’t sound like fun, but when you come home from vacation with a non-stinky bathroom, you will be glad you did this. And having fresh sheets and clean kitchen counters will have you less-stressed when you come home.
What To Do The Night Before To Get Ready For Vacation
Almost there, all your hard work and attention is about to pay off. Here are a few things you should do the night before you leave for vacation. They aren’t time consuming and will make a big difference.
Finish Packing Those Suitcases!
Probably my favorite activity. I am notorious for packing under pressure, but I have found that if I do it a few days ahead of time, and just add the last-minute things, it can be a night before task that takes 10 minutes, tops.
Do A Quick Mini-Clean
Run a quick wash cycle with your dishwasher. Let it dry overnight, add a small amount of white vinegar to the bottom before closing the door to keep if fresh. Take the time to do a quick vacuum & dust. This step should take you less than 15 minutes.
Also take a few minutes to pick up things and put them away. Coming home to a clean house will make leaving vacation a little less painful.
Finally, Set Your Alarm
As soon as you can, set your alarm for the next day. Then check it before bed just to make sure it is working. Waking up late on departure day is stress that you don’t need.
And there you have it, a quick and easy guide to help you to get ready for vacation. Taking time to follow these steps will let you enjoy your vacation knowing that you have taken care of everything back home.