Vacation Prep (when driving)

One of my very favorite things is vacation! I especially love planning and prepping for vacation. I know it can be overwhelming as the mom to plan and pack all of the things, but if you start far enough ahead, it can be enjoyable and stress free. It can be easy to fall into the mind trap of “of course it all falls on me” and “if I don’t do it, then no one will” – but let’s re-frame that thought. As a homemaker, it is our job to operate the home and that includes when we travel to a different location. The beauty in it is that we also get to be the ones to decide how much peace and ease we want to bring along with us. We get to choose the priorities and ensure we build those into the trip.

Even as the mom, I want to relax on vacation. I don’t want to simply parent in a different location with the same daily frustrations. So how can I create opportunities to relax on vacation, and in this case, on a vacation where we’re driving to the location?

The biggest answer for me is bringing already prepped food with us. Freezer meals that I can make a week or so ahead, pack, and pull out when we need them. I don’t know about you, but some of my favorite meals are the ones that my past self cooked for me. I pick family favorites that everyone will be excited to eat (including my toddlers) that are also well rounded to balance out their emotions after afternoons filled with ice cream shops and special vacation treats. This means that we now have wonderful home cooked meals on vacation and I don’t have to even cook while we’re there nor do the dishes. Win/win.

1 week prior to departure, to do list started

I usually spend some time about a week ahead of our departure writing out the basics of what I need to cook and what random items I need to gather to get us ready – especially the ones I can do well in advance. This is a beach trip, so I can easily restock our pool/beach bag ahead of time since I won’t need it between now and then. I choose what foods we’ll bring and then start deciding which day I’ll make which recipe to allow me to just do about one task a day to get us ready. This limits overwhelm, helps me prep, and leaves vacation open for enjoyment.

As we get closer to the day of departure I will make more specific lists that include things like the condiments we need, ziplock bags, clothing, power cords, and items for the kids, but this is how I start. It limits overwhelm and allows me to prep in small pockets of time as my toddlers allow.

It’s possible that you’d rather cook during vacations or maybe you’d rather plan to just eat out and that’s fine too. This is what works for us, and works for me to make sure that I too can relax and enjoy a break on vacation even though I’m the mom and have the most responsibilities that come along with us wherever we go. For your next vacation I encourage you to step back and think of an area or two where you’d like to create more calm and then find a way to ensure that happens so that you also get to just sit back and enjoy the fun.

Until next time,

  1. Lauren Cecora says:

    I pre prepped meals like this when we vacationed in Switzerland a few years ago and it was so amazing because after long days of hiking I could just heat everything up and it was done! I love prepping for rest of vacations and you’ve given me some ideas on how to expand that for our next trip!

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