Who doesn’t love to travel for the holidays? Well, until I was grown, I never travelled. My entire family was within 20-30 minutes of each other and getting together was a cinch. I always saw my cousins every Christmas Eve night and I woke up in my own bed every Christmas morning. These days, it’s different….
It will likely be different for our future children, too. With Eric’s family in Idaho and Colorado (he grew up in California) and my family in North Carolina, we are always on the road for holidays. Because of this, one area of contention that often arises is leaving on time.
When we were first married, it seemed like no matter what time we said we were going to get on the road, we always left late. There was always a last minute errand that needed to be run, a bill that we needed to pay, or e-mails that needed to be answered. Now that we’ve been married a while… there is still a last minute errand, still a bill that needs to be paid, and still e-mails to be answered. We’ve come close, but I don’t know if we’ve ever left on time.
This has been the source of some mild contention in our marriage. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not known for my punctuality. Actually, I’m unfortunately known for the opposite. But, when it comes to leaving on vacation to see family, I get so antsy that I want to throw everything in the car and be on our way.
Before marriage, I would pack the car in a flash and zoom off without a care. Nowadays, it’s not quite that simple. Travelling with more than just yourself will always be a smidge (or a ton) more complicated. It took me a while to realize that I can’t make Eric do anything. I can’t make him hurry up in the shower. I can’t make him pack the day before the trip. I can’t make him ignore his e-mails (especially since they are work related). I can encourage him to do these things earlier, but there is a fine line between encouragement and nagging. ~smile~
Will these issues ever go away? Chances are, we will continually struggle to leave on time for a trip. When kids come along, I would imagine leaving on time will be even more difficult. However, you do learn little things along the way that make planning for and taking a trip a little less stressful.
Each time I plan to go away, I make a list of the things I need to pack. This helps me feel a little more organized when packing. I am notorious for forgetting things if I don’t have a list. When I go to the grocery store without a list, we eat a different version of the same meal all week (consisting of rice or pasta, vegetables, and chicken). In much the same way, when I go on a trip without a packing list, I can bank on forgetting something… often something important.
Up until this past weekend, I rewrote the list each time. As embarrassed as I am to admit it, it never occurred to me to save it as a Word document until Eric mentioned it. He told me to take my last list from Thanksgiving and put it into Word. So I did!!! And I love it!!! I made one for an upcoming trip out of state and another one for my Christmas trip.
So, my recommendation to you is to type up a packing list for travelling so you have a starting point for not forgetting important items when you travel away from home. Each time I need to start packing now, I can pull up the list and modify it as needed. For example, my Christmas packing list will include gifts; whereas, my Summer packing list will include bathing suit and flip flops.
To some of you, this is a complete no brainer. To others, it’s a completely novel idea. I am not an organized person by nature, but I function much better and with much less stress when I have some form of organization going on for me. This is just one small step I take to make travelling a bit less hectic.
We hope you have safe and stress-free travels this Christmas season. Remember, don’t drive if you are sleepy. Even if you get there a day later, rest! Don’t let the small things get to you (a.k.a. your travelling companions keeping you from leaving on time) and make lots of memories!
What are some ways you make travelling less stressful?