Preparing for Vacation – Getting Organized

Dear Friends,
Last week I was on vacation with my family. For most of us the least fun parts of vacation are getting ready and returning home. I will divide my topics up and talk about getting ready for vacation today, and tomorrow, I will talk about getting back home.
With a large family, I had to develop a packing list that I could use from year to year. I set up an Excel spreadsheet several years ago, and I pull it up each year to use as a reference tool. I have several columns. (I should switch this to a Google document that I can share with my family rather than printing it out.)
  • Groceries and Sundries to buy when we arrive.
  • Kitchen stuff and linens that I will take.
  • Household items my mom will bring.
  • My mom’s general packing list.
  • My general packing list.
  • A packing list for the boys.
I also make a loose menu plan. We rent a house for the week, so we have a full kitchen. I write down ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in pencil. Once we get there, I can change stuff around. But this helps me reign in the grocery budget. We eat out on the way there and on the way back. Sometimes, we eat out while on vacation. Mostly, we take turns cooking simple meals.
Last week, here is what the plan looked like.
Breakfast – choices of bacon, eggs, grits, sausage, biscuits and gravy, Pop Tarts, cereal.
Lunch – sandwiches or leftovers or freezer options – pizza, taquitos, pizza pockets
Dinner – paella, chicken, steak and gravy, Low Country Boil, fish
Some years, we have taken the slow cooker with us and made beef roast, turkey, or pork roast. We had had tacos, lasagna, and hot dog night. We like to keep it simple and enjoy our vacation.
The week before we left, I put down one thing to accomplish each day to help me prepare for the trip. This included getting the kitchen stuff and food together, linens, packing clothes for me, bathroom items, overseeing the boys packing their clothes, getting beach stuff together, paying bills, stopping the mail delivery, having someone check on the house and pets, etc.

I kept my list in simple steps. Some days I did two things. It was not stressful for me the day before we left. I had everything ready at the launch pad when it was time to pack. The only last minute packing was the cooler and a few of my bathroom items.

The boys and I travel a lot to homeschool conventions in the spring, and they are really good at following a packing list. I still check their bags, but they are responsible for packing their stuff. I have talked to many of you who still pack for your children. If they are 8 years old or older, give them a list, and let them pack. Check it when they are done. The first few times, they will miss items, but if you keep giving them a list, they will get better at it.
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter and shine your bathroom counter tops. Your extra room is to spend 15 minutes decluttering in the garage.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash sheets.
My menu plan for Monday is hamburgers.
Have a great day!
Siggie - Tami Fox

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About Tami

Tami Fox is a homeschool mom of 6, who in age from 26 to 11. She and her husband have homeschooled for 17 years and have graduated three of their children from their homeschool. They are currently homeschooling 3 boys who are in grades 11, 9, and 6. They use hands-on learning and unit studies to ignite the fire of learning in their children. Tami is a homeschool author and conference speaker. You can contact her by email at Buy her book, Giving Your Children Wings at


Preparing for Vacation – Getting Organized — 2 Comments

  1. Love the idea of doing one task per day to get ready for vacation…I was dreading the long list of tasks I planned to do the Saturday before we left…now that weekend will be peaceful! Thank you.

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