I use to think traveling was quick, easy and fun. Then, I had children. Now, I admit, my children are mostly all adults so I do not have to worry as much about the needs of the kids when I travel but I got to thinking about how much I use to do when I traveled with kids. There is nothing quick and easy about traveling.
First, I am a planner. I like to get everything set up in advance. Take, for example, my trip with two of the boys to Myrtle Beach last February. I made reservations in October. I did have to change these in January as one of the boys had an issue with going as early as I wanted to arrive. Still, the basics were done well in advance. Nowadays, when making plans, I usually have the school calendar available so that I know I am not leaving town when I should be here for something of importance. This usually works unless I am making plans in one school year for travel that will be happening in the next school year.
Second, when I leave kids home (the youngest is 17, the oldest 26), I tend to be sure that I leave a note with them so the older, adult children can authorize any emergency health care for the youngest one. This is particularly important when I know that their father is also going to be out of the area and therefore unavailable for this purpose. In retrospect, this also means making sure the youngest’s medications are up to date and filled and remembering to leave an insurance card home.
Third, I tend to meal plan for those left home. Easier than leaving cash, I do the shopping in advance and leave a menu for what is to be made while I am away. Since my trips tend to be three to four days, this is not a big deal. Some cash would have to be left with a responsible older child if I were to be traveling for a longer period of time. Bread and milk tend to be gone through quickly. These need to be replenished. I will say the food planning would be easier now that the youngest has a job where he eats at work when he works.
So to get out of the house for a vacation – without even thinking about packing – I can spend several days in preparation.
Do you plan and spend a long time getting ready to take a vacation away from your family?