August 17, 2012

Vacation Organization ~ Part 4 ~ Update

Vacation Travel Binder {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}
We’re back from vacation and I thought I’d update how all the planning and organization worked out.
All the meal planning was well worth it.  I’m happy to say that we only ate out on the days we drove there and home because we didn’t have a choice without a kitchen to cook in and we were driving until late the first day. Once we were there we only ate out for 3 meals (one of which we really didn’t need to but I wanted to try the restaurant).
Meals out:
  • Day 1 – driving – lunch
  • Day 1 – driving – dinner
  • Day 2 – driving lunch (breakfast was included at our hotel)
  • During the week – lunch and 2 dinners
  • Day 9 – driving – lunch
  • Day 9 – driving – dinner
  • Day 10 – driving – lunch (breakfast was included at our hotel)
That means that out of 10 days (30 meals) we only ate 9 meals out.
It made for a much more relaxed vacation. We didn’t have to rush to get ready to go out to eat somewhere and we had a lot more free time. We also spent more time relaxing in the room so the kids could have some downtime. Not to mention the money we saved. I’m hoping to eventually add some crock pot meals to my selection.  The only problem I can think of was that I over cooked.  We did have extra freezer meals.  However, not such a big deal as it was easy to pack to bring home and now we have several meals to use up so I don’t have to cook.

Packing each of my kids outfits in the ziploc bags was one of the best things I ever did.  My son was up and dressed before anyone else most days since he was able to just grab a bag and change out of his pj’s.  It kept him from mixing up all the clothes and having one big mess in the drawer.  It worked great for my daughter since we matched everything, including hair stuff.  It kept her from packing tons of extra things she didn’t need. . . . she’s a “girly” girl.
Packing Kids Clothes for Travel {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}     Packing Kids Luggage for Travel {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}
The time line I hung in the car to track the cities we passed will need to be done differently next year.  I hung it from left to right, across the car, behind the front seats.  It made it tough to get to the back seats to help my kids with things or get in the cooler.  Not sure where else to hang it though.  I’m going to have to get creative!  It did keep them from bugging me about how far we’d gone or when we would get there.  They were able to see how many cities we passed and how many we had left to go. 
road trip timeline and other printables
As we took each city down I gave them a little wrapped treat to open.  The backseat organizers were great for storing all their new treasures. 
Car Seat Organizer {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}
They also had fun choosing brochures and pamphlets at the tourist information centers and storing them in their mini binders.
Their toy baskets and bags worked great.  They could reach most everything in the car and it was easy to carry them into the room. It also kept the mess in the condo contained as we cleaned everything up each evening and put it back in each basket.  

I did come across some things I needed to add to my vacation binder packing list so I jotted them down as I thought of them and then it will be simple to update and print new lists.
Vacation Travel Binder {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}
All in all I think things went great.  It was definitely one of our more organized vacations.  Unpacking at each hotel was a breeze and even unpacking at home was definitely easier than usual. 
Can’t wait for next summer . . . .

Part 1 - Meal Planning
Part 2 - Packing
Part 3 - Entertaining the Kids

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