Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Pre-Travel To Do List

We're currently sitting at the airport with a 3 hour delay, after a mad dash to get allll the things done this morning.  Including stops at USPS & UPS -- downside of living in a small town town where the post office closes at 4:30!  No better time to share my vacation prep list with you...

Anyone that knows me, knows I am very particular about my house when I leave town.  I blame this on my mama -- I have vivid memories of leaving for a vacation.  My dad spent the hour before we left packing the truck with more precision than a surgeon preforming his first solo surgery and my mom pushing all of us girls outside so she could do the 'final sweep' which included finishing the last load of laundry, emptying all trashes, and mopping herself out of the house.  

So, when you read this list, know that I come by it honestly. 
My pre-travel to-do list...


Ask someone to pick up your packages, water your plants, & take your trash out. 
UPS and FedEx are at our house almost every day, so we always ask someone to please check it for packages and pick them up for us.  We usually have our house sitter do this, but if it's just a weekend trip, I'll ask the neighbor kids to do this for us.  It's an easy task, but a great way to teach responsibility and financially support the younger kids.

Go online and hold your mail. 
It’s super easy {& free!} to set up an account with the USPS.  This will allow you to hold your mail starting at a specific date and then delivered to you all at once on a specific date. 

Meet with your pet/house sitter. 
We have a friend {or my parents} that handles all this for us.  Give them all the instructions.  Make sure everything is in one spot for easy access.  We like to bathe Lola before be leave so she isn't stinky for anyone else! :) 

Order {& pick up!} any medications or travel items.  
I always make sure we have enough of everyone's medications for the trip {plus a few extra days just in case} and call the pharmacy and get a refill if needed.

Start emptying the fridge.  I make it a point to make meals to use up whatever we have that won't make it until we return.

Schedule your housecleaner.  
If you have the privilege of a Peggy Sue in your life {our beloved 'cleaning lady'}, schedule it for sometime you're gone so you can come home to a perfectly clean house. I ask for extras while we're gone as well {everyone's sheets, all rugs, etc.} There is nothing like coming home from a long trip and having clean sheets on your bed.


Charge your devices and add new books/games/movies. 
Before I leave the house, I always make sure my Kindle is charged and several new books are downloaded.  The kids are responsible for their devices. 

Do all laundry. 
Before we leave for a trip, I do all of the laundry.  Washed, dried, & put away.  It's a mad dash that goes until the minute we walk out the door, but I promise you, it's worth it!

Fill your car with gas.  
After a long trip home from a vacation, maybe some jet lag and a lengthy to do list the next day, the last thing you want to do is hop in your car and see that you now have to stop and get gas too (on top of everything else!)

Put everything away .  
Both the obvious stuff {like things lying around the common spaces} but also the yard, garage, etc.  Nobody wants to come home to bikes laying in the driveway or basketballs in the yard.

Schedule automatic timers.  
Lamps, outdoor lights, etc.  Do this so people don't realized you aren't home.


Empty the dishwasher. 
This is self explanatory & a perfect task for your children to do while you pack the car. Don't forget to leave the dishwasher cracked a bit so that the moisture evaporates, and it doesn’t stink {same thing with your washing machine}

Empty the fridge.  
I freeze anything that could be eaten later {individual pieces of lasagna, cooked meat, etc.} and toss everything that will spoil or stink up the kitchen/fridge when we're gone.  Don't forget pantry items like potatoes, bread, etc.

Shut off the thermostats.  
Or at least turn them up/down so they don't run constantly while you're away.  No sense in heating/cooling an empty house!

Take out all trash.  
As I walk out the door, I empty all trash cans and put them in the bin outside.  That way it's all collected in one spot and easier for our house sitter.

Take photos of your fridge/pantry.  
By the time we come home, I can never remember what we have left for food.  I look at the photo on my phone to help
 me make a grocery list/meal plan on the way home.

What else should I be doing before I leave town?
I would love any ideas I missed!

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