Monday, April 28, 2008

We're going on a trip

Where have I been??? In general, traveling around this wonderful state. How did I get blessed to experience so much of Spring Break so late in life?

I was having a conversation with someone recently regarding summer travel plans. She was lamenting that her husband wouldn’t decide on a vacation locale. He wants to go someplace new, but they don’t have passports and he isn’t motivated enough to even apply.

Now is the time of year to seal the deal. We talked a few weeks ago about the “who, what, when, where, and how” of going on vacation. This is the time to put it into action. Call the travel agent. Make the reservations. Book the flight, the cruise, the rental RV. Get it done now.

And moving right along to packing… Yes there will be a list involved. We know I love my lists. That comes later. (Stay tuned!) While packing for a weekend away for my family, it helps me to lay things out in outfits. I try to keep things mix and match and neutral. I do not lose sight of our destination plans. We do not need formal wear to visit a theme park, for example. We do need swim wear no matter what. Ah the joys of the Florida vacay! I also keep in mind that with a little one we will need some extra “just in case” outfits. I have also come to realize that in all of the fun in the sun (and water and –dare I say?- sweat) that one outfit a day is not sufficient for any of us. And lastly, I realize that we are not likely to wear any one garment more than once. This does not make for light packing, but it does make for a prepared family. Onward!

I am familiar with the places we stay. When I am unfamiliar I call ahead to find out about amenities. Is there a hair dryer and a coffee pot available in the room? How about a fridge/freezer and a microwave? Does the cabin have its own linens or do we need to pack? (Yep I’ve been on the “What do you mean we were supposed to bring our own sheets and towels?” vacation. It was not pretty.) Does “crib availability” mean that they have actual portable-cribs available? Or will they be bringing up a 12 year old death trap pack and play? These are all pertinent things to find out BEFORE packing.

More calls to make… Call the attractions and make sure they are open when you are planning to be there. It would be a shame to plan to go to a certain museum on Monday only to find out that they are only open Wednesday through Saturday. Finding their website is an ok alternative, BUT if it is not current or does not list special events then the phone call may be worth it. This will help you build a specific itinerary.

It will probably take you more than 15 minutes, so go make your calls. We'll save the packing list for next time.

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