Time for our new A to Z Travel Packing Tips series! Today Karla is going to share with us tips for Building Lists and Plans before you travel.
Karla Lemmon is a full time mom and wife who has traveled around the world. She’s the founder of Little Peanut on the Go, a new mobile app for parents to create packing lists and to-do lists, build care schedules to share with caregivers, and connect with their children with updates and photos while they’re away.
Some people can’t make it through the day without a list, while others have never made a list in their lives. However you feel about lists, they can be a lifesaver when preparing for a trip! You don’t want to be without your toddler’s favorite bedtime book or receiving an emergency call about your house while you’re away.
While list making may seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be. Try taking some quiet time to think through your children’s day as you walk around your house. What will you need from each room for each time of day? Create your packing list as you go through the house. Then review the days of the trip and add items that might be needed for special activities or events. You can use this same process to create your own packing list.
Next create a list of things to do before your trip, such as stopping the mail and arranging transportation and pet care. There are so many little things that should be done, especially if you’re leaving home for several days. Two important tasks are putting lights on timers and arranging lawn care or snow service to give your home a lived-in look. Something that many people forget to do is to turn off the water – you don’t want to return home to a burst pipe in the middle of winter – yes, it happened to me!
Start your lists well ahead of your trip so you won’t be throwing stuff into your suitcase at the last minute, which is a sure way to forget that precious stuffed animal or fuzzy blankie. Starting early also gives you a chance to make a more complete list as you will likely do or see something over the course of a few days that triggers you to add something to your list.
If you’re taking a trip without your children, an essential list to make is their care plan. You know their daily schedule inside and out, but their caregiver doesn’t. What is the bottle schedule? What are the important bedtime rituals? Where are swimming lessons? All of these instructions plus emergency information such as doctors, urgent care locations, and allergies need to be included. You will feel comfortable leaving your children and have peace of mind knowing they are receiving excellent care while you’re away.
It takes some time to make these lists the first time, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Plus, once you have them they’re easy to re-use and refine after each trip by adding or removing items for next time.
One last tip – don’t ever stop traveling after you have children! It takes a bit more organization, but you will be glad you continued to travel and your children will be thankful, too!
Thanks, Karla, for the great travel packing tips! Be sure to visit Little Peanut on the Go to learn more about the app that can help you prepare for trips with or without your children! For more information about Little Peanut on the Go, find them online at Facebook, Twitter, the App Store, and Google Play.