Few things are as sweet for this wife, mother and business owner as a completed to-do list. One where every last task is crossed off and the list for tomorrow reads “To Turkey.” I feel more relaxed now than I probably ever will during my vacation.
That’s where I find myself tonight, as we prepare to take off for Istanbul, Turkey in the morning. I’ve never been a last minute person, running around frantically in the final hours before an exam, a big event, or a trip to get everything ready. Instead I run around frantically a day or two before and I wind up with this wonderful window of a few hours just before leaving where everything, yes, everything, is done. Anything that’s not done doesn’t matter at this point. If it was urgent, I did it already. Everything else can wait until I get back and I don’t have to feel guilty about not doing it right now.
I savor this sensation of done-ness in a life typically so planned, so frantic. Is it possible that I plan trips just so I can have those few satisfying hours before of having nothing to do? Perhaps so.
So what do I do? I won’t bore you with the details I took care of to prepare for my absence from my online business. I’ve provided below though my standard checklist of things-to-do-before-leaving, things which apply to just about every traveling family. I hope it helps you create your own quiet moment of done-ness.
Traveling Family’s Pre-Departure Checklist
One week before departure
- Stop mail, newspaper, diaper delivery, garbage/recycling pick-up.
- Notify neighbors of absence.
- Make arrangements for pets including extra food, water, litter, etc.
- Provide instructions to housesitter/ pet sitter.
- Provide emergency phone #s to relatives/ close friends.
- Notify debit/ credit card companies of travel plans, especially when traveling internationally.
- Get sufficient cash from bank, especially important when traveling internationally.
Three days before departure
- Laundry for everyone.
Two days before departure
- Pack. I try to be mostly done with this 24 hours before departure, so I know what I may need to run to the store to pick-up.
Day before departure
- Last minute trip to Target to buy anything I found we’re out of while packing.
- Confirm/ check-in online for flights.
- Print out relevant itineraries, boarding passes, hotel names and phone #s, transportation info, etc.
And now I’ll go cross the last item remaining on my to-do list: “Blog- To-do list.”
What do you make sure to do well in advance to ease your travel stress?