Under the best of circumstances, planning for a family vacation can be challenging. Here are two suggestions to help reduce some of the stress and create a system for packing that will help you with future trips.
Did you ever notice that almost every ride at Disney ends in a gift shop? It’s a great marketing concept, but a nightmare for parents!
How can you avoid your kids getting the “I want this” and “I want that” syndrome?
Try setting a Vacation Allowance.
If you ask younger children to come up with the amount, they often propose less than you would have offered. By giving them what they ask for, it’s difficult for them to complain that it isn’t enough (after all, they set the amount!)
When your child says, “Can I have this?” the answer is simple “Of course you can, honey, that’s what your vacation allowance is for.”
Guide them with their purchases but be sure to let them buy what they want. After all, it’s their money.
Ever feel like you are starting over each time you pack for a vacation?
Creating a packing list in excel is a great tool that can be modified and used for future trips as well.
When putting together your spreadsheet, have a column for each family member as well as little boxes to check off as things get packed.
It is also useful to include a section or indication of what to wear and take on the plane.
When you are planning for a new trip, start with an old packing list where the weather will be similar and modify accordingly.
To involve your kids in the process, hand each of them a packing list a day before getting ready to fill the suitcase. When they are too little to pack for themselves, their responsibility is to lay it all out and you can check it off together as it goes into the suitcase.
The best part of having a packing checklist is that you are far less likely to forget to pack things like a phone charger, sunglasses, and bug spray.
Sharon F. Danzger is a professional organizer and time management coach. She is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD) where she has earned a Certificate of Study in Chronic Disorganization.
Ms. Danzger holds a BS in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MS in Real Estate from New York University. She is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU).