Happy Thursday from Nantucket 🙂 .
While you’re reading this, I’m probably eating something with lobster in it.
Honestly, it doesn’t even matter what time of day you’re reading this. There is lobster in my eggs. In my Bloody Mary. In my sandwich. In my ice cream. I mean, probably not my ice cream…but you never know.
While I’m here traveling, I thought it would be the perfect time to share with you the ways I prep for a trip so that when I come home, I feel less frazzled/crazy/disorganized/frustrated with myself. I promise you that I’m not going to keep posting all of my tips and tricks but when you sent in your comments and DMs about which topics you wanted me to chat about, there were so many for summer annnnnd since summer is halfway over, I need to squeeze in a few.
If you’ve missed the other posts, so far, we have:
And today, I’m sharing my 18 Keys to Prepping for a Trip!
In Vermont with my favorite human 🙂 .
Now, this list is not exclusively for summer because I do these things year around, but since so many of us are traveling right now, I thought it was the perfect time to share. These are my basic tips for prepping for a trip prior to leaving whether I take my kids or not. In the future, I need to do an entire post on leaving kids at home while traveling because that’s a different animal. For the most part though, I do things the same, but there are obviously a few more tweaks that need to be made if the kiddos are staying at home with the grandparents. This prep routine is all about returning home from my vacation (with a suitcase full of dirty laundry) happy, tired and needing to work the next day, so how can I do a few things in advance in order to make that return back into the real world (maybe even with jet lag!) easier.
In Hawaii with my other favorite humans 😉 .
In no particular order, here are my 18 Keys to Prepping for a Trip:
1: Come home to no laundry. Before we leave for a trip, I always get all of the laundry done at our house. Every laundry basket is emptied and so are the washer and dryer. It takes some work but I always feel so good leaving the house with zero laundry. This way, when we return home, I can just wash what we took on the trip and not have that to wash plus other clothes from the prior week.
2: Empty the dishwasher. The morning we leave for our trip, no matter how early I have to get up, I always empty the dishwasher so that it’s empty when we return home. We also leave them cracked a bit so that the moisture evaporates, and it doesn’t smell terrible when we arrive back to our house. #learnedthatthehardway
3: Get your pets squared away. There are a variety of ways our pets get love and attention while we’re gone (they stay with someone else, someone stays at our house with them, we’ll board them together, etc). We always make sure they have enough food for their “vacation” while we’re gone and then enough stocked up at our house for their return. We clearly set out their favorite things (leashes, bowls, toys, etc) so that they have them when we’re not here, and I always try to make them a grooming appointment for the week before we leave so that they’re all nice and clean for their “vacation” too 😉 . We have used the app Rover for YEARS to find amazing people to watch our dogs when we travel…at our house, at their house…you can do it either way. I always make sure we have them clean, with a new bag of food and ready for fun a few days leading up to our trip.
4: Make your grocery list before you go. I always make my meal plan and grocery list for the week I return back home before I leave for my trip. Not only that, but I always order my groceries online for grocery pickup either before I go or while I’m on my trip so that I can quickly pull up, get our groceries and bring them home the night we return home. I love starting off the week with my meals already planned and my fridge and pantry stocked. It’s one less thing I have to think about or worry with while I’m gone. Speaking of which…
5: Empty the fridge. Before we leave, we empty out the fridge and toss anything that’s going to spoil before we return, so that we come home to a clean fridge for our new groceries.
6: Keep travel toiletries together. I’ve shared this before, but I keep all of my travel toiletries together and in this bag…
…HERE year around. This makes it so super simple to grab everything I need for brushing my teeth, taking care of my skin, bathing, etc when I travel. After each trip when I take it out of my suitcase, I’ll replace anything that has run out (toothpaste, a new razor, etc) and then pack it up again ready to go. I always buy THIS SET of travel sized items of my favorite skincare and they can easily last me almost 3 weeks. I don’t have to scramble to think of/locate what I need at the last minute because it’s always packed up and ready to go.
6: Use packing cubes and keep them together. We swear by packing cubes over here. Even if I’m only traveling for one night, I’ll pull out a cube for my overnight bag. We always keep them packed inside each other and next to our travel bags for easy access and organization.
7: Make sure medications are ordered/picked up. About a week before we leave, I always make sure we have enough or anyone’s medications for the trip and/or I call the pharmacy and get a refill.
8: Go online and hold your mail. It’s super easy to set up an account with the USPS and, for free, get your mail held starting at a specific date and then delivered to you all at once on a specific date. It’s no fun coming home to your mailbox busting with your mail all shoved in there and piled up.
9: Ask someone to pick up your packages. I feel like our front door is a daily stop for both UPS and FedEx, so we always ask someone to please check it for packages and pick them up for us. This eliminates things being stolen (obviously) but items that are heat or cold sensitive won’t get damaged from prolonged exposure on your porch. Who wants to come home to melted makeup? #notme #againlearnedthehardway
10: Figure out your plants. Agh! We hate coming home and finding all of our beautiful plants didn’t make it because we were gone and they weren’t properly watered. There are several ways to get them watered, one is that we move pots around so that the sprinkler system for the grass naturally hits and reaches the pots (it might look odd seeing them in weird locations in the yard, but it insures they’re getting watered) or we ask someone (kids are great at doing this!) to come over and water while we’re out of town. Of course, if someone is staying at your house and caring for your pets, it’s always an easy thing to ask them to please do too. I think the hardest part is just remembering to ask someone so that it doesn’t dawn on you after you return home and they’re dead.
11: Charge your Kindle and add new books. Before I leave the house, I always make sure my Kindle is charged and several new books are downloaded.
12: Pull out a packing list. Oh yes. On my Google drive, I have a folder titled Packing Lists and then inside, I have a list for every single destination. Going somewhere new? I create a new list and save it in that folder for future use. These specific packing lists save me SO MUCH TIME! Does it make me sound too Type-A and like a control freak? Yes. Do you wish you had all of my organized lists the night before your next trip? Probably 😉 .
13: Wash your sheets before you go. Awwww! There is nothing like coming home from a long trip and having clean sheets on your bed.
14: Take photos of your calendar. I still live and die by my paper calendars and planner, so I snap photos of them before I leave. Sound super old school? It is. Does it save me time and time again? Yup.
15: Take your trash out. As you’re walking out the door, take that trash outside so your house doesn’t reek on your return.
16: Fill your car with gas. After a long trip home from a vacation, maybe some jet lag and a lengthy to do list the next day, the last thing you want to do is hop in your car and see that you now have to stop and get gas too (on top of everything else!).
17: Put away pool toys and floats before you leave. We’ve come home many times to find our big floats have blown away and/or gotten damaged from being left unattended while we were gone. We pull them on the patio now if we’re leaving.
18: Go ahead and buy those water sensors. I’ve told you about these sensors before but they’re amazing and can literally save your house. Add them to every spot in your home where there is water (by toilets, sinks, the fridge, washing machine, dish washer, etc) to get an immediate notification should water ever be leaking…because the very last thing we want is for you to come home to water damage.
In London with my love.
So, those are my tips! As always, I would love to hear yours too!!! Honestly, one cannot simplify this process enough, so please share in the comment section what you do to make your life easier before heading out of town. I would really, really love to know!
Now, don’t forget this…
…my giveaway ends tonight and the winner will be announced tomorrow morning, so make sure you go to THIS POST FROM YESTERDAY for the full details and to enter to win!
I’m off now to enjoy my time in Nantucket! I will see you back here tomorrow with a brand new post! Have the best Thursday! xx