2 little vacation organizing tips that bring BIG results

photo courtesy of B@ni

With summer approaching, I’m sharing two of my favorite organizing tips for travel. They’ve made such a nice impact on my – before, during AND after trip enjoyment levels!

#1:  PREPARE! Begin using a travel checklist a week or so prior to the trip. {I’ll included the one I use at the bottom of this post.} I keep it handy so when something pops into my head I jot it down IN THAT ONE PLACE.  It not only reminds me what to pack – it has a place to jot down to-do’s that need to be done before leaving.

{As said before… take all those “need to dos” in your head and put in a reliable place. Our minds are smart. Even if we write it down somewhere, they know when things won’t be remembered and they’ll keep on trying to hold onto it… along with all the other mind clutter that’s begging to be moved to a safe place!}

BENEFIT:  When I use use my checklist consistently a few days leading up to departing – and cross things off as I do or pack them – that anxious feeling I used to get prior heading out of town is is minimized. And, while away, I’m much better prepared {= happier + more relaxed + more enjoyable to be around} since I … {key word} PREPARED!

Another big plus, When I note everything that needs to be done prior to leaving {both home- and work- related to-do’s}, when I return, those things that I quite possibly would have overlooked had I not noted + done them aren’t waiting to “welcoming” me when I return.

EXTRA CREDIT: I now try to have everything packed the day before leaving. My mom leisurely starts packing several days prior to going somewhere and this habit is finally starting to rub off on me. It makes SUCH a difference. When I do it.

#2:  Make a home for everything. This wide-spread organizing strategy is just as important when making a home away from home – whether that home will be a hotel room, beach house or tent. {I’m assuming that’s the case for the latter since that’s not one I’ve done – nor am likely to do. Never say never, I guess.}  Designated places are especially important when traveling with kids.

Establish a place for:

  • shoes
  • sunscreen
  • dirty clothes {TIP: use a laundry basket to pack loose items so you’ll have it to use for laundry while away}
  • snacks / beverages / etc. {make easy for kids to get stuff they are allowed to have in between meals}
  • toys {and keep those put away when finished rules no matter where you are}
  • workout clothes
  • beach towels
  • cosmetic / beauty bag {optimize compartments within!}
  • cell phone / chargers
  • KEYS!!!
  • purse / wallet
  • And while in-transit: car & flight:  have specific places for specific things – and keep what you’ll need easy to get to and put back

TIP:  Unpack and set up as soon as you can.  When I don’t to shortly after arriving, I tend to live out of a suitcase, tossing and turning stuff here and there to find what I need which quickly turns into a big mess – no matter how careful I try to be. Same with the kids – and they don’t even try to be careful so theirs gets super messy super quickly.


If possible, leave a clean, orderly home to come home to. This does not always happen with us but it’s something I’m working on. In fact, I strive to keep a home that is well-maintained on an on-going basis vs. having it “company-ready” when that big occasion comes and then having it return to shambles only to be whipped back into shape when it’s time for another occasion. Why should your guests be the only ones to enjoy your nice clean home?

Before wrapping up {and packing up – Memorial weekend is almost here!!!}, here are two travel checklists I created and use:

Travel Checklist

Travel Checklist for Kids

Feel free to download and print anytime you are planning a getaway. {If you are having trouble downloading, just send me an email request for them angela@AngelaHarrisDesign.com and I’ll send them to you via email.} And for a few tips on making your trip really fabulous, check out my last post: Vacations: how to make really worth remembering.}

Happy travels…and happy returns to each of you!


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