Pre-vacation Prep: My Checklist Before I Check Out

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I’m packing my bags, ya’ll. Hitting the road. If I’m being honest packing has been on my brain for months now. Honestly, since we first decided to go on vacation to Europe last summer. What will I take? Which tops? Capris? Should I take a dress? Or two? What if it’s raining? Layers in case it’s chilly in the A.M.? So many questions! So many sights to see and so little room for all the outfits! 🙂

I love fashion and comfort; I want my cake and to eat it too. You better believe I plan to have more than 100 photoshoots across the pond, so I have to pack wisely and execute it well.

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That’s not the only thing I have to do. I have a process when it comes to prepping to head out on vacation and it’s been something that has taken me years to master and get a grip on. Taking care of these things helps me be able to focus on the important (OK, not really, but way more fun!) things like which cardigans and shoes will fit best in my checked bag.

The house must be clean.

I’m talkin’ nearly spring clean fanatic clean. The weekend before we leave for any trip you can find me elbows deep in dust (OK, not that much, I do clean regularly, there shouldn’t be THAT much dirt in my house…) But I’m cleaning out closets, my husband is deep cleaning the kitchen and the house is sparkling. I find a clean home clears my mind. I am able to focus on preparing for our vacation mentally and I know when I get back from our trip, there’s no chores calling me to come home soon.

So fresh and so clean linens

This one, I suppose could be a part of cleaning in general. But even if I can’t get all my to-dos done, I NEVER skip this one. My husband and I are big on starting our mornings by making our bed. There’s something so warm and inviting about coming home to a well made bed each and every day.

You know what’s better? Coming home from a week or weekend away camping or sleeping in a hotel bed that is NOT yours to find your made bed, sitting pretty, freshly laundered and waiting to give you a great, big, comfy welcome home hug. It’s what dreams are made of.

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Give our leftover money a name

Every time we go on a trip, we have a clearly defined budget. But there’s more to it than that… before we head out on our next adventure we always talk about where any money we might have leftover after the trip is going to go. The next debt? Is there something we both really want, but haven’t made a priority? We have fun trying to out budget ourselves. So say we plan to take $1000 for our trip for lunch, souvenirs whatever it may be. Throughout the trip you will most certainly hear both of us say things like, “This is really cool and I like it and I do want it, but I’d rather pay off the next student loan earlier.” Or, I bet we can’t spend less than $50 this entire day of the trip!” Followed by a “You’re on!” We are competitive, that’s no question and we are even more so with ourselves. (Don’t worry, we have fun and know how to enjoy vacation time.)

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Make a list, check it twice

I’m a lister. I’m a check it off, call it done, kinda gal. At the beginning of this week I made a list of all the things I wanted to get done, both at work and at home. Was there an email I hadn’t gotten around to at the office, but knew I just needed to do it? On the list. Was the guest bathroom in need of some TLC, but I’ve been putting it off? Listed.

I find these little things add up to stress and I like to come home from vacation refeshed, with a clean slate. The last thing I want is to come home from a vacation to small chores or tasks that I could have done in 10 minutes but simply lacked the willpower to do. I put all those silly, little things in the back of my head that I’ve been putting off out of their misery. I find peace in decluttering my mind and to-do list and I’m able to enjoy my time off even more so.

Get pumped

We work hard, y’all. My husband amazes me. He is always up to something, always hustling, planning and dreaming. That being said, when it’s time for fun, we go big. We don’t go on vacation to skimp. We don’t put our money into a trip just to go through the motions. We get hype. We watch videos of people at the places we are going, we make lists of each of our top five things to do at wherever we are going and we COUNT DOWN. We squill, we listen to songs about being on vacation and we grab each other’s hands during dinner and scream, “This time next week we will BE IN PARIS!”

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We are both big kids at heart, but when it comes to traveling and finances we have to put our big kid pants on. You can have it both ways, I assure you. While I’m making my bed and cleaning my house like a responsible adult, I’m also listening to the Moulin Rouge soundtrack belting out my best X-Tina.

Do you have pre-vacation rituals or tips to maximize your packing? Share in the comments!

Tootles!

P.S. Follow along on my European adventure by following me on Instagram! @rosecoloredrebellion.