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Here are my top tips when it comes to organizing your travel:
1 – Organizing and Planning Ahead
Make sure to have all of your documents lined up including passports, airline tickets, tickets for any activities you purchase, hotel reservations etc. You can also opt to go paperless. Just be sure that you have all the documents accessible on your phone. I highly suggest using google drive to hold all of your travel documents.
You also want to be sure to check the weather for the destination you will be going to. This will allow you to pack only what you need and a couple just in case items instead of taking your whole closet with you. If there is a possibility for rain be sure to take umbrellas and rain gear. If there is no rain – don’t pack that stuff because it will take up precious suitcase space. You will also want to keep in mind how long your trip will be and if you will have access to a washer and dryer or not.
2 – Creating a trip binder or folder (Physical or Digital)
I touched on this a bit in the plan ahead tip. But you will want to create a folder to hold all of your travel and trip information. .Some of the things you will want to put in here are plane tickets, packing lists, checklists, trip information, paid receipts, hotel reservations, car rentals etc. Basically anything that has to do with your trip so you can reference it if needed. This can be a physical folder or a digital folder on google drive. Create this folder far in advance from your trip so you can start sending anything important here and do not have to scramble to find things last minute.
3- Organizing a Master Packing List
Create a master packing list on an excel sheet and create different tabs for different types of trips (Master packing list, Cruise packing list, Weekend trip, Camping packing list, overseas packing list etc.)
When creating this packing list keep in mind each member of the family and the different things they may need. This will also change over time. For example when you have infants, babies and toddlers you need way more items than when they are 5 and older.
Creating this master packing list one time will save you the time and headache of creating a new list each time you go on a trip. You can always add things to this list or take away things that you do not end up using.
4 – Packing your suitcases
Be sure to pack smart. Some trips that you go on you will have very little precious suitcase space. Especially if you are traveling via plane and don’t want to pay all those pesky baggage fees. When packing pack tops that are neutral and can be worn with many different pairs of pants, pack tops that can also layered, make sure things can be multi-use. You want to pack the least amount possible but also have lots of options. Also pack smart with your shoes. Wear shoes that will take up the most space in the suitcase and pack shoes that are smaller. Pack shoes that are multi-purpose too. The bottom line is pack smart and take the least amount possible. Think about things that are must-haves. Like if you lost your bag and did not get it back the whole trip what are the things you MUST have. Put those in your carry on bag.
5- To Do List
This is another time where you want to make a master list. Things that you have to do before all trips that you take. People you have to communicate with, stopping your mail, calling your bank or credit card to alert them of where you will be, getting insurance information that you may need on the trip and other things like that. If you make a master list sheet in your packing list of these things that you have to do it will take away the stress of trying to remember that list each time you go somewhere.
6-Create Trip Itinerary
Creating an itinerary is a great way to organize your time for a trip. This is an outline of what you will be doing, where you will be, pertinent information about the activities you will be doing and more.
I love google trips and Our Itinerary. Our Itinerary allows you to put all the things you are doing into one place, plan out each day, attach reservation information, create checklists and more. It then allows you to print off the trip itinerary. When you say itinerary to some people for a vacation they are like “WHAT THE WHAT?!” but I will say that an itinerary can save you from missing out on important and exciting family time if you find yourself at an activity that isn’t open and not having a backup plan or place to go to! (This may have happened to me lots of times before I started planning)
7- Prepare the night before
The last tip I have for organized travel is preparing the night before. Make sure you charge all of your electronics so they are ready to go the morning of travel. Put all of your luggage by the door and put all last minute items on surfaces instead of being inside of cabinets, drawers etc. This way you will see the last minutes items and not forget them.
The next morning or before leaving do a quick sweep of the house and think about the items that you use daily. If you forgot any of those grab them now! Turn off all lights, set your thermostat, make sure all the doors are locked and safe travels!
Organized travel will help take away stress. “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” – Organizing and planning will save you time, money and stress to be organized when traveling and make it much more enjoyable!
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