When I think about trip preparation a few words come to mind: fun, exciting, and enjoyable. I LOVE to plan. And I’m excellent at making lists. I even enjoy organizing.
But, I can be bad at doing some of the preparation details that I find less exciting. Like stopping our mail (so simple, and yet I always avoid it!) and getting our house in order. So, often instead of being fun, exciting and enjoyable- trip prep quickly turns miserable and exhausting.
Partly to hold myself accountable before our big trip, but mostly to share some good practices of travel planning- I am doing a series of Travel Checklists. If you missed the first two, go back and read them here: 8 Weeks Before Travel and 4 Weeks Before Travel.
Somehow we’ve already come to the 1 week mark before our trip. I definitely consider this crunch time! While this list contains some of my least favorite tasks to complete- I’m always so glad when I can check them off and not worry about it as my trip gets closer.
Travel Checklist: Things To Do 1 Week Before You Travel
- Laundry: Yep. Unless your house is wildly different than mine- the laundry basket has no concern for your upcoming trip plans! 1 week before a trip I like to start setting aside clean laundry that I plan to pack. There is nothing worse than discovering a dirty item that you planned to pack. This is also a good time to send any items to the cleaners.
- Refrigerator Clean-Out: One week before a trip I like to begin thinking about the contents of our refrigerator. We make every effort to use what we have (especially if it will expire soon) and not make any big grocery trips. If we are going on an extended trip, I also like to use as many contents of our freezer as possible. (Read my Penny Tip for more explanation on this!)
- Trip Food: Similarly, I like to start planning our trip food. We always travel with a basket of snacks. 1 week before your trip is a great time to shop for and pack your nonperishable food items.
- Elderberry Syrup: I am a HUGE fan of elderberry syrup (read ALL about my obsession) and take it regularly before a vacation. Also worth noting, about a week out from a vacation we try to limit our germ exposure (to the best of our ability!) and we strive for good nights of sleep. Nothing ruins a vacation more than someone getting sick. Trust me.
- Neighbors: Remind your neighbors that you’ll be traveling. Ask them to take your garbage and recycle cans to the curb. Give your pet sitter a key or the garage code. If there are plants that need watering, leave specific instructs and a watering can handy. Also, double check your pet supplies (food) and purchase more, if needed.
- Haircuts: If anyone in the family needs a haircut before you travel, now is a great time to check that off the list.
- Medicine Bag: Go ahead and pack your medicine bag. Read more about that, here.
- Last List: One week before you travel, begin a “last minute list” that you put in a central location. Inevitably someone will discover their toothpaste is running low, or you will remember you need a hostess gift. Add things to the list as you think of them to avoid making 10 last minute trips to the store. I typically shop for these items on the day before we travel.
- Carry-Ons: This is a great time to pack your children’s carry-on bags (we use backpacks for car or plane travel these days.) I find that setting the items aside for a week makes it more exciting when they find it during travel. It’s also an important to-do that you can complete well in advance of last minute!
- Clean: This is absolutely my least favorite part of travel…but it’s necessary. A week before we travel I like to do a deep clean of my car and house. Although I’ll still need to do some daily cleaning leading up to the trip, it’s good to get the bulk of the work completed. I also have to say that our recent purchase of a iRobot Roomba vacuum has made a HUGE difference. I love being able to run it every day leading up to a trip and even occasionally while we are gone. GAME CHANGER!