The Pleasure of To-Doing The To-Do List

to-do-listFew 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?

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2 responses to “The Pleasure of To-Doing The To-Do List

  1. This post made me laugh and nod with recognition – been there, done that! I’ve also written about how this kind of planning is what makes travel with kids doable for me.

    I usually also create a “last, last-minute list” – the kids’ things that I can’t grab until the morning (like loveys and toothbrushes ). That way as we’re going out the door I can make sure I’ve rounded up those critical items.

  2. Oh – and have a great trip – can’t wait to read about it!

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