A family vacation is something to really look forward to. It’s a chance to spend time with your partner and kids, to get away from work, to forget about ‘real life’ for a week or two, and to relax and have fun. Yet getting ready for that vacation is not always particularly relaxing, and can be extremely stressful. That’s why it pays to be as organized as possible in advance; you will get everything done in plenty of time and feel better for it. Here are some of the ways you can do it.

Get Your Home Ready
You’re going to be leaving your home standing empty for the duration of your vacation, so you need to put some safety measures in place to ensure that it is secure and ready for you when you get back. There are a number of things you can do, and they all need to be organized at least a week and sometimes more in advance. They include:
·         Diverting the mail or arranging for it to be held at the post office
·         Call the security company to let them know you’ll be away from home
·         Work out what temperature to leave your heating on. In the summer this isn’t such an issue, but in colder months you shouldn’t turn it off completely as your pipes can freeze – around 58 degrees is about right
·         Tell your neighbors you’ll be out of town
·         Unplug everything that doesn’t need to be plugged in

Leaving your packing until the day before you travel – or the morning of travel if you are really running behind – is a recipe for stress. Instead, pack a week in advance. This way you know that you have all the clothes you are going to want to take with you, as well as the toiletries. If you need to purchase more, you’ve got time to do so. Everything will be clean and packed away neatly.

This also gives you time to find new luggage if you pull your old bags out of storage and realize they are just not up to the job, or you don’t have enough for the whole family. Packing cubes from Zoomlite are a great idea as they take up little space and can help you to keep everything organized. You can use them as bags or keep them within the larger pieces of luggage depending on your plans.

For The Journey
How long is the journey going to take to get you to your vacation destination? Will you and your traveling companions need snacks or activities to keep you occupied on the way? This is something else that can be organized well in advance, and can even become part of the buildup to going on vacation.

Buying a few small things such as coloring books and puzzles or small toys as rewards for good behavior, and saving them up for the journey is a great idea and will keep the children in a good frame of mind for what is ahead.

Don’t forget the travel essentials too such as passports, tickets, and spending money. Leaving these behind would be a disaster, so it is important to know where they are and put them with your travel bags so that they don’t get forgotten.