Wow! Can you believe it? Thanksgiving is less than three weeks away! And for more than 40 million of us, the Thanksgiving break will include traveling more than 50 miles to be with family and friends on Thanksgiving Day. That’s a lot of packing to do!
Is the thought of packing for that next trip an onerous one? Don’t let it be! With a bit of planning and preparation a few weeks before departure, you can head out that door confident you’ve packed everything you need.
Favorite Holiday Travel Tips
To help get you started on the path of a less stressful departure, here are eight tips to reduce last minute trip packing stress, have you better prepared to hit the road and less likely to leave things behind.
Tip #1 – Create a Packing Corner
Find a dedicated space where you can begin placing items for the trip. When you locate or purchase something specific for the trip, put it here and help avoid repeat purchases or forgotten items. When it’s time to pack, you will already have many items in one location
Tip #2 – Create a Daily Plan
A Daily Plan provides a road map for your travels, a clearer picture of clothing and other travel essentials you will need to pack. It doesn’t take long, and will be time well invested.
- Day and Dates of Travel
- Daily Location
- Daily Activities
- Daily Weather Forecasts
Weather tip – revise weather forecasts the week of departure. If needed, adjust packing lists to accommodate weather changes.
Tip #3 – Create a Packing List
Don’t leave stuff behind! A packing list can ensure you don’t forget key travel essentials. It’s also a great tool to prevent over-packing. You can create your own, print one off the internet, or download an app, because yes, there’s an app for that!
Prefer to use an app? Here are travel packing apps worth spending money for:
- Packing (+To Do) for $0.99 and it’s big brother, Packing Pro for $2.99, by QuinScape
- Pack & Go Pack List for $0.99
- Essential Travel Checklist for $1.99
- Visual Travel Checklist for $1.99
No matter how you pack, lists are essential tools to trip preparation.
Tip #4 – In-Transit Activities Can Save the Day!
Making an entertainment plan now will better prepare you for that long travel day ahead, and prevent last minute scrambling for something to do during a long drive or flight.
Plan at least two to three surprises for everyone. Longer trips might need more surprises. A surprise can be anything from special treats to eat, to books, new travel-sized board, dice or DS games. Perhaps it’s that long awaited new movie, or new game apps.
Tip #5 – Review, Refill Prescription Medications
Check prescription refill dates now and make sure you have enough medication for the entire trip. You don’t want to be mid-trip and realize a prescription medication is empty.
Tip #6 – Be Camera Ready
Nothing’s worse than finally getting the kids perfectly coiffed and positioned, queuing up your camera, only to get the dreaded “memory card is full” notice. Ugh – missed photo op! A quick “maintenance checkup” now can prevent a missed photo down the road.
Bonus tip! Buy an extra memory card and tape it to the inside of your camera bag. Better still – start the trip with a brand new memory card.
Multiple electronic devices traveling with you? Now’s the time to identify which electronics you will take on the trip, and which chargers to bring. Check if one charger can be used with more than one device to reduce the number of chargers to pack.
Staying in a hotel? Spare outlets in hotels can be in short supply. Bring a multi-plug adapter to charge more than one device at at a time.
Tip #8 – Don’t forget Fluffy and Fido!
Traveling with pets? Now is the time to determine how they will “fit” into your vehicle, or what your airline pet transportation requirements are. Make sure pet carriers fit into your car or meet airline requirements.
Leaving pets at home? Call now to confirm your pet sitter has your pets on the schedule. Whether your critters will be spending the holiday at home or in a kennel, preparing ahead will make for an easier departure day.
Don’t let trip preparation overwhelm you. Take each tip one day at a time and before you know it, you will be organized and ready to go.
How do you prepare for your trips? Do you begin two to three weeks before the trip, or do you wait until the last minute? Do you have a trip preparation tip to share? Let us know in the Comments section below.