When it comes to getting out of the house, we’ve always got the best intentions. We say we’re going to get up early, we set all of the alarms and we (last minute) get the laundry washed and dried, so everyone has clean clothes to pack and wear.
Still, we were always late – always running behind. To remedy this, we came up with a solution to getting out of the house before a weekend trip or vacation, without losing our minds.
Make a List
Make a list of the things that you usually need when you go out of town. I like to jot down this list a couple of days before we leave, adding on anything specific and extra that we’ll need on that specific trip, to a basic list that I’ve saved in a file on the computer. This way, I can just quickly print the list and note any extras that we’ll need. Starting a couple of days before makes it easier to pack, and means we’re going to leave the house just a little quicker.
Give the Kids a List
This one is admittedly a work in progress. We try to teach the kids skills that they’re going to need in their adult life, early in their life – and packing is one of those skills. When we are going away for the weekend, we make Olivia a list of things that she’s going to have to pack and recite it verbally to Violet, who isn’t able to read yet. The list includes everything that they’re going to need for the weekend. We place the bags in a central area and task the kids with finding everything on their list, and placing it in their bags. As I mentioned, it’s a work in progress. Not packing for the kids means the last time we went out of town, Olivia left without socks.
We arrived in Lake Louise, and she had no socks – she packed them but left the hotel without socks on, to go to an Ice Festival. She didn’t pack her winter boots, we assumed they were in the car or she was wearing them, and instead packed a pair of rubber boots. I went back and forth with this one, on one hand feeling a bit guilty that she was going to have cold feet (thank goodness we found a pair of random socks from the trampoline park in the car) but felt like that at nearly eight years old, there has to be some sense of personal responsibility when you’re dressing for the day. Natural consequences, right?
Skip the Errands | Find the things that you’ve got to do before you go out of town and do them the night before. Stop and get the snacks, grab those last minute things you need before the trip, and gas up the vehicle – the day before. This way, you’re more likely to get out of the house on time in the first place.
Give them Tasks | Give the kids task as you’re leaving the house. Whether they’re carrying their luggage to the car, or they’re downloading a book or movie for the drive, giving them a task helps to keep them out of the way and keep them out of the way. My go-to task is to have them make sure they’ve got everything packed they need for the weekend – and it usually works (unless they pack their entire suitcase with toys and have barely enough clothing to create one outfit). If they do, leave it, they’ll pack better the next time (I know this from experience, Olivia remembered the cold feet this time around).
Clean before you Leave | I don’t know about you, but I cannot leave the house messy when we leave to go away for the weekend or for a vacation – it drives me crazy to think about coming home to a mess. Get the kids to clean and organize their rooms, organize the laundry room and take out the trash, it’s going to make unpacking easier when you arrive home.
What are some of the ways that you make preparing for road trips easier? How do you get out of the house quicker?