1. Check which credit card is currently offering 5% back on gas. Usually in the summer there is one card offering this.
2. Do all bills and take necessary disk drives or devices to continue doing bills during the trip. This works for me, it may not be suitable for everyone but I find that it's just easier to have everything with me. There is the risk of traveling with confidential information, but there's also risk our house could be robbed.
3. Prepare a backup of sensitive information - like account passwords, living will & testament, etc and hand to trusted family member so it's not sitting in your house in case of an invasion.
1. Oil change/fill tires with air/fix any nail punctures
2. Rain-X on front/back windows and exterior mirrors.
3. Evaluate everyone's comfort and upgrade accordingly. For us it meant adding a fan that clips to the back seat because it takes FOREVER for the van to cool down and we are headed to one of the hottest places on earth - West Texas in July! We also got sun visors that suction cup to the windows for days when the sun is setting directly in your window and it's blinding you or your tiny one.
1. Mow lawn, weed garden, etc
2. Take out all trash and place in pick up bins for your helpful house sitter/cousin/brother to put curbside while your gone.
3. Have heard from another blogger to change sheets so the beds are fresh for your return but if I have to do one more thing I will scream!
4. Clean fridge of all food that will perish during trip.
5. Do all dishes.
6. Do all laundry, for us this was necessary because we didn't have enough clean clothes for all family members to reach 7 full days so clearly some kids need more options in their wardrobes! This part drove me half batty because it's hard to feel progressive about packing when one is up to a full set of jammies but missing 2 shirts and 3 shorts.
Part I Food
-- Dry snacks bag
- Peanut Butter
- Mini Croissants
- Coffee - for making Iced Coffee
- Graham Crackers
- Applesauce Packets
- Filters for making iced coffee
- mini cooler packed with all blocks of cheese in our fridge - TIP mini cooler got really wet because it's insulation absorbed the ice water in cooler so might try just a square container with lid to hold things that I don't want submerged
- cheese sticks - only 1 kid ate them and some days they were thrown onto the floor :((
- cottage cheese - did not get touched
- plain yogurt (because I hate hotel breakfasts)
- 1/2 loaf of pumpkin bread (because I hate hotel breakfasts)
- cream cheese icing for pumpkin bread (because I'm spoiled)
- milk (for my iced coffee so I'm not obsessing over Starbucks on the road)
- Iced coffee in thermos
- container of leftover baked pasta just in case we are hungry at night in a hotel room with a microwave (okay this was overboard)
- bag of apples and oranges - did not get touched
- hummus - picked up mid-trip from Whole Foods, it was wonderful for quick dinners and snacks on naan bread
- chicken on a stick - picked up from Whole foods with the intention of making quick meals but it was really disgusting to pull off the stick in a parking lot with nothing to really wash with but baby wipes
- Go Gurt - very popular, worked well for snacks every day
- Parent suitcase - took 10 minutes, husband and I are just that easy when it comes to travel
- Kid suitcase - divided it into 3 sections with cardboard tabs and stacked the following categories:
- Pajama's 7
- Day Clothes 7
- Socks 7 (forgot to pack shoes and they only wore sandals so this was pointless)
- Underwear 7
- Nighttime & Daytime pull-ups, enough for 3 days but still ran out mid-trip on the one wearing them all day
- Baby suitcase
- 3-4 days of diapers
- night time lamb
- Pajama's 7
- Day Clothes 7
- Pack N Play for Evie - most hotels will have this but we will be staying with friends and family that do not have baby accommodations
- Toddler blow up mattress from our camping gear with noisy mini generator to blow up mattress
- twin size sheet and small blanket
- Embroidery box - this probably needs a post in itself! I've learned that doing embroidery in long car rides is relaxing so I've got a portable box that's fully packed and easy to travel with
- One book - real! Not kindle. Mom gave me a gift card for my birthday so it seemed like a good time to use it.
- One small backpack each with whatever toys they can cram in
- One box of entertainment with books and doodle pads
- One electronic device each (including my Kindle which must rotate so each kid can watch movies). Each device seemed to rotate daily and sometimes multiple times daily.
- Busy driving so don't need anything for road.
- Send dog to Aunty's house where he'll be well loved
- First take cat to the vet the day before trip and find out why she's pulling hair out, get her medicated, then arrange for cousin to stop by frequently to check on her because she will get even more upset if we move her to another house