We prepare and prepare for a trip. Then, there is always something at the last minute that we forget to do (I hope that isn't just me). About a year ago, I made a list of things to do the night before so I wouldn't be scrambling the morning of. This made the morning less stressful and helped ensure I didn't forget anything. Yes, there may have still been small things I forgot, but for the most part, I had it covered. I now want to share ways that you can have the same list going on.
This will help with car trips, day trips, plane trips, sending kids to camp, and even over the hill and through the woods. This is not a ready-made list. This is a guide for you to make your own list. I think this will help.
1. Make a morning of list. This may seem odd, but list everything that needs to be done that morning (I even include dressing kids, breakfast, drinks from fridge, phone from charger, makeup, and jewelry). Not only does this help make sure you don't forget anything, but listing things you do every day keeps you from getting wrapped up in prepping and forgetting simple things. Plus, it always helps to be able to mark those simple things off- you feel more accomplished.
2. Charge Charge Charge. I put everything on the charger the night before to make sure we have a full charge, including backup batteries, extra AA rechargeables, battery packs, kids electronics, adult electronics and any equipment I may take. If it can be charged, it is plugged in the night before.
3. Update devices. There is nothing worse than listening to your 4-year-old whine about not having the next level of his bible story app or needing to update Minecraft. The solution? I go through his apps the night before and update any apps that need it. While I'm doing this, I go ahead and sync my kindle, update my apps, and update/ switch settings on the LeapPad and LeapBand.
4. New Content. My kids each get a new app for a trip. I download it the night before so they are surprised when they get their tablet or LeapPad the next morning. This works miracles for them, actually. I also switch up the movies on their devices (That I convert to mp4). I also remind my hubby to update his games and download something that does not need wifi. While I'm at it, I download me some new music.
5. What To Pack In The Morning. This list is always kind of long, but I have recently made it a little shorter by purchasing backup USB chargers for each person to put in their electronics cases. I still have to add things like pillow pets, blankets, lovies, electronics from chargers, and all those other things that will be needed until morning. Otherwise, I will forget something critical like Tbomb's pillow pet, which he cannot sleep without, or Kodabug's blanket, which is at times the only thing that will soothe her.
6. Household chores. The night before, we make sure the house is spotless, the laundry is done, and the plants are watered. This makes sure that we can come home to a clean house, start on vacation laundry, and there isn't as much for the doggy sitter to do. It makes a huge difference coming home to a super clean house.
7. Check In With Family. The night before, I go ahead and call close family members to make sure they don't need anything, have my correct phone number (it is surprising how many people still have my number from college), and know where we are going and for how long. This isn't common knowledge, so only the closest of family members get this info- in case they need us or another emergency happens.
8. Check the Car. Check the oil, tire pressure, clean out anything that is not needed, check first aid, emergency supplies, and even vacuum and wash the car. Believe me, you will be glad you did this. You can go ahead and pack some things. While you are at it, check the car seats to make sure all is well.
9. Double check directions and itinerary. I have too often ended up with bad directions, even printed off the internet. One thing I always do is double check the directions I printed with another site, an app, and if I know someone that knows the area, I'll check with them- I hate getting lost. Also, make sure you have a good map of the region/ country. There is still nothing that can replace a map.
10. Rest. This may seem like a lot, but it really isn't if you plan for it. In fact, some of these things can be done a couple days before and they can be spread out throughout the day. So, watch some TV with your love, set the alarm, and sleep soundly knowing that your morning is going to be less stressful and you won't forget anything!
I would love to hear what you would add to this list!