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You are here: Home > Organizing Advice > Travel > A Great Vacation Starts with Getting Organized

A Great Vacation Starts with Getting Organized
Kristin White del Rosso – Pea Organizing Services, Inc.SM

Studies show that 51.2 million Americans are vacation deprived and only take an average of eleven of their average earned 14 vacation days.

With summer around the corner, it probably means a vacation is probably in (or should be) the works for you and your family. Whether it is a weekend getaway or a destination vacation, planning the details ahead of time can make a huge impact on how much you enjoy your next vacation, and a much-needed break from work and life.

So, do not deprive yourself of deserved time off. Get organized now to make it a relaxing vacation by following these simple tips.

  • Create a travel file for your upcoming trip. Put all information such as tickets, maps and contact details in the file as soon as they come in.
  • Plan your wardrobe and make a packing list based on what you will be doing. Check and get an upcoming forecast. Over packing just adds to the stress so really thin out what you need and pack only those items.
  • Pack a carry-on bag that you can keep with you at all times. Include items to keep you and your family occupied during waiting times like card games, an iPod or travel DVD player. Take items you need for the first night (toothbrush, fresh clothes) in case your luggage is lost.
  • Use a travel checklist and keep it in your file. Once you have created the checklist you can use it for all future trips to save time and make sure you remember what you need to pack.
  • Prepare a travel toiletry kit that you keep packed at all times so that you do not have to restock it as you pack for each trip.
  • Help your children pack their own bags and make sure the luggage is small enough that they can carry it. Go through the same questions you ask yourself to make sure you take what you need and do not over pack.
  • If you are driving, make sure you have a current map and directions. Use MapQuest or if you are a member of AAA, ask for the best route to your destination. If you are flying but plan to take a taxi from the airport, make sure you have the direction and address of the hotel for the cab driver. The more information you have the better (and it should all be in your travel file.)
  • If you are traveling with pets, make a trip “check-off” list for your pet just as you would for you and your kids. Keep your pet’s travel supplies organized in one area so for the last-minute camping trip or one-day outing you can just grab what you need and go. Whether it is a pet carrier or a supply of medicines, be sure you are prepared to properly care for your pet during your trip. Have up-to-date ID tags for your pet and a recent photo of your pet in the event he/she gets lost.
  • Identify a neighbor or service ahead of time to watch your house and pets, water plants and bring in mail.
  • For longer trips, put a vacation-hold on your mail and temporarily stop delivery of your newspaper.
  • Be sure to put an outgoing message on your work voicemail and auto-reply signature on your work e-mail indicating how long you will be away from the office and who to contact for urgent matters.
  • Assign a staff person(s) ahead of time to be your back up while you are away from your office.
  • Have fun!

Copyright © 2008 Kristin White del Rosso

Kristin White del Rosso, President of Pea Organizing Services, Inc. is Certified Professional Organizer (CPO®) from the Board of Certification for Professional Organizers. For more information, call 704-344-0210 or visit


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