Oh gosh I hope you are guys are enjoying this series. Each day we are tackling a new task and hopefully by the end of the 14 days we will be ready to sit back and enjoy our holiday season. (As opposed to running around, stressed out, cranky and overwhelmed.) I am hopeful that we all can maximize this magical time to enjoy our family and friends by getting a jump on all the planning.
So far we have organized our calendar, started our holiday budget, made a plan to tackle the holiday cards (and get the best deal possible!) and today we are going to…
Organize the Holiday Travel
If you have no travel plans at all this holiday season you get to take the day off! If you plan to travel via car or plane before the end of the year- well let’s get that all sorted out so we are ready.
This is all going to be common sense stuff. Typically 6 weeks out and on a Tuesday is the best time to look for deals on airplane tickets. This time of year deals are hard to come by so it is what it is. Even if you aren’t travelling until Christmas you still want to start thinking about it now- researching plane ticket prices, rental cars, hotels etc…
Before you book, be sure to double check the calendar we made on Day 1. If there are any overlapping activities you will need to cancel, reschedule etc…
If you plan to drive your own car you probably want to be sure you are all up to date on service needs- if you have any work that needs to be done or oil changes etc… get those up on the calendar now so you make sure to take care of it before you go.
This is a great time to determine if you need to do any shopping for clothing etc… for your trip, do you have sufficient luggage etc.. etc…
I like to dig out my travel bag and make sure I have the products I need- razors, travel size toiletries etc… Anything I need to pick up goes on the regular shopping list so I have it when I do need it.
I like to research the hotel a bit and see if they have microwaves/ fridges/ coffeemakers and then I plan to pack snacks accordingly. I have small children so I tend to pack a lot of snacks and granola bars and such for their breakfast.
When I tackle family trips, I tend to get a list started with the big events I need to pack for. Any parties, special events etc… and I start there. So a trip for us might be 3 days in Seattle, pack 1 outfit for wedding reception, 1 outfit for Christmas Dinner, ski clothes or whatever it is.
I make sure to cover all the most important stuff first and then I can fill in regular outfits for each day. We are a carry-on family so packing efficiently is super important. This is a nice time to tick off in your head that you have everything- for my girls I want to make sure we have the dress shoes, tights, dresses, hair accessories, sweaters etc… Also if they haven’t worn these items in awhile be sure everything fits. Nothing like going to a wedding or special event and having the kids in pants that rest about 2 inches above the ankle
This is a great time to Google for projected temperatures in the cities you will be visiting- last year we flew from California where it was fairly mild to Seattle for Christmas. We went on a special overnight stay to a gorgeous little town and it was so much colder than I expected! We were literally freezing and miserable and really didn’t enjoy the magical place at all because I hadn’t packed appropriately. Lesson learned!
This is also the time to double check your airline’s policy on luggage. Our family prefers to carry on and pack very light and then we can spend the money saved on possibly upgrading our seats on the flight. If you do need to check bags, be sure to research the price per bag as it can be a small fortune.
And lastly if you do have little ones, you might consider making a list of things to pack for entertainment. DVD Players, Kindles, books, coloring books, race cars— anything you can think of to keep them happy and then anything you might want to buy needs to go on the shopping list.
If you do have all your travel booked already you might consider printing out your itinerary and conformation for the car, hotel, airline etc… now and get it all set with the luggage. I know lots of people prefer to go paper free but I like hard copies of everything myself. There is nothing worse than standing in a rental car line at 11pm in a strange city with exhausted kids trying to dig through email to find your confirmation (or worse praying your phone will just hurry up and charge.)
Oh and I like to put a reminder in my phone or a note on the calendar to check in for our flight at the correct time. Flying can be so awful these days, best to try and get the best seats you possibly can the second it opens up.
And I think that wraps up planning for travel today!
1. Start searching for deals on your travel needs- cars, hotels, flights.
2. For car travel- confirm all service needs are up to date or schedule any maintenance that needs to be done.
3. Create a packing list and identify items that need to be purchased for the trip.
4. Print all your documents and set a reminder to check in 24 hours early for your flight.
And that is it for today! I thought we could take Halloween off to enjoy our little ones and any fun activities you have planned, but meet me back here on Saturday for Day 5 of the series.
And if you want to follow along, you can continue to check in here daily or you can follow my 14 Days to a Happier Holiday pinboard or you can sign up for the daily email newsletter- enter your email at the top right corner- (goes out at 1pm PST daily).