Last weekend, before my family was about to go to the treehouse for a night, I was running around like a crazy lady. The rest of my family was engaged with watching a movie and/or talking on the phone and having a leisurely time before we left.
I, on the other hand, was trying to pack for everyone and gather all the necessary stuff we needed before we left. We wanted to leave at a specific time so that we could maximize all possible hours during our one-night stay. I was the only one rushing around!
I did ask my kids to go upstairs and bring down a few specific things, like swimsuits and pjs. They ignored me until I hounded them, and then grumbled that they were missing their shows.
But then I started getting mad. That was not the first time that scenario has happened. I’m pretty much a one-woman show when it comes to packing and trip preparation.
Rushing around right before a vacation stresses me out. And, that’s not a fun way to start a trip. So last weekend, I vowed to change the packing dynamic in our household.
The Packing and Trip Preparation Tradition
In defense of my family, they usually aren’t home when we need to pack for a trip. My husband travels for work, and my kids are at school. So, much of the packing and trip preparation just naturally falls to me, the stay-at-home/work-at-home mom.
When my kids were younger, it would take more time to pack if I asked for their help. “Go gather some things you need for the trip” translated to “Go fill a suitcase full of stuffed animals” to my kids.
Over the years, they just became accustomed to me getting everything ready. All they have to do for a vacation is show up. Must be nice!
Ways to Involve my Family with Packing and Trip Preparation
I’m very serious about wanting to enlist the help of my husband and kids in the future. Here is how I plan to start:
Create Packing Lists Together: As a family, we should discuss the ins and outs of where we are going and what type of clothing we will need, as well as any other equipment.
Plan Ahead for Laundry: In order for packing to be successful, we have to have clean laundry to pack. We can decide together on a laundry schedule that involves everyone.
Clear the Calendar: Ahead of our trip down under in a few weeks, I plan to make everyone clear their calendars a few days before leaving. That way, they won’t be busy with other things and leave all the packing to me.
Set Expectations: I plan to tell my kids that I will need their help on specific days and with specific tasks so that they are not surprised. I’m sure they will grumble, but at least they will know ahead of time.
If you involve your entire family in the packing and trip preparation process, I’d love to hear your ideas! This is definitely a part of travel where my family could use some improvement.
As you read this today, I am probably once again running around like a crazy chicken with last-minute trip packing. My husband is out-of-town, and my kids are at their last day of school.
We are leaving tomorrow for a 5-night cruise to Bermuda followed by a few days in New York City. After I return, I plan to write about how Royal Caribbean compares to Disney Cruise Line, what we did in Bermuda and a review of TRYP by Wyndham Times Square South.
I’ve scheduled a few posts next week during my absence. Have a great week!
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.