Once again I’m scrambling to create a packing list, prepare food, and plan for the long car ride for our vacation. I decided to reflect on everything and create some ways help me be better organized.The first thing I did was create a Vacation binder. I made a packing list, a food list, a kitchen list (I’ll explain more later), a list for places to visit along the way, and a list for places to visit at our actual destination.
- The packing list is pretty self explanatory. It’s a checklist with a section for me, one for each kid, one for electronics, and one for miscellaneous. (I figure my husband can pack himself)
- The food list is a check list with a section for meals to make, meals to bring, snacks to make, snacks to bring, and miscellaneous. Since we usually try to get a room with at least a kitchenette if not a full kitchen I need to be prepared with plenty of food so we can limit eating out.
- The kitchen list is various kitchen items we may need such as a steamer, a slow cooker, pots, pans, utensils, etc. A lot of this isn’t always necessary as the kitchen usually comes stocked but it’s a good reference in case I need it.
- For the last two lists I have to google the route we’re taking and look for fun things we may want to see or do along the way (like Superman in Metropolis, IL) or once we get to our destination. It’s handy to have the website, costs, and phone numbers ready to go.
- In the back of the binder I’ve also included each recipe that I like to make ahead of time and bring. That way I don’t have to search through all my recipes to find the ones that freeze and travel well. Some examples of recipes I use are creamy chicken taquitos, cheesy burritos, pizza rolls, pretzel bites, and peppery chicken pita wraps. I also bake chocolate chip cookies ahead of time and freeze them in quart size bags. I usually start cooking a couple weeks ahead of time and try to make 1-2 recipes a day to freeze.
As this is a work in progress since this is the first vacation I’ve used the binder for I’ve had to modify and edit my lists. Once I was happy I printed them out and put them in sheet protectors so that I could use a wet erase marker. This way the lists can be used over and over.
How do you plan meals on vacation?
Part 2 - Packing
Part 3 - Entertaining the kids
Part 4 - Update