Monday, May 10, 2010

Pre-vacation prep

Oh my gosh!  It is ONLY 38 days until our vacation!  *note of sarcasm*

I am a planner....a list person.....a schedule husband loves me anyway.  He is a fly by the seat of his pants guy.  I have no idea how we have been married 12 yrs.....

Anyway, I believe in starting early in thinking about what we need to pack, buy, etc.  Now, it has taken me many years to get to the point that I realize that, with the exception of Bossy Boy's feeding pump and supplies, ANYTHING else we can get at Grandma's house if we forget it.  But if you start early, and think about it when you aren't stressed, hopefully you won't forget anything.

One item to remember for vacation, that can really add up to major $$, if you forget it, is medication.  In our house, this is 2 prescription medication for Bossy, plus his epi-pen (due to food allergies), plus 2 medications for myself..  Additionally, we travel with Benedryl, Motrin, and Tylenol.  Let's pretend that I forgot all of replace all of it would run us about $150.  That is alot of moola...especially when we have it all.  So, taking a moment to put it on the master checklist for vacation can save headache later.

We travel by car.  It is roughly 14 hrs to get to Grammy and Grandpa's house.  Gotta eat.  Now, in the past we would spend a fortune on food (usually fast food that was overpriced, and not very good.).  Not this year.  We are packing sandwiches, fruit, granola bars....Easy to eat, healthy, and budget friendly.

Our the past, we have boarded them.  We didn't really know anyone who could take care of them.  I tried a pet sitter....and the cost was the same as boarding them.  Plus, our vacation was in August, so unless I wanted to run the window a/c all the time....leaving them home wasn't a good option.  Now, I have a neighbor who will look in on the bebes.  She will turn the a/c on if needed in the morning, and shut it off.  And obviously feed the kitties!  Two years ago, we took a 12 day trip (13 if you count by the boarding days) and it ran us almost $1000!!!!  Now, for about $75 for 10 days, my bebes will be fed, watered, and cool in their own home.

There will be more to come on this subject, but for now, I am updating our master packing list to include the groceries we will need.  Also noting to myself that I need to write out the instructions for taking care of the cats, and a reminder on the calendar to get more cat food. stress.  Less money.  It is all good!  Anyone have other pre-vacation tips they would like to share?


  1. Hey There,

    I'm not sure where you're going, but bring sunscreen! Good work on cutting down on the food and pet sitting budgets. It's funny, because junk, fast food used to be a lot cheaper than the healthy foods. Now, that is completely opposite, but people still think that's the case because it has been like that for so many years.

    Anytime my wife and I stop by a fast food place I'm always surprised at how expensive it seems to be! And it's always more expensive than the last trip! Did you know a 20 oz bottle of soda is $1.50 around us?! That's just silly! I'll take my own bottle of water which cost $0.00004 to fill! :D

    Wealth Artisan Team Member

  2. Great idea to pack your foods. My kids actually prefer the cooler food over fast food now. Its like a picnic-in-the-car. Plus, it helps me because they help prepare it and they can also shop to pick out what fruits and such we bring. (The latest thing my kids love are kiwis. They cut off the top and eat it with a spoon.)

    Try not to stress about the trip. As you said, almost anything can be purchased if need be. My one irreplaceable traveling object is my pillow. I am miserable without it.

    I know you aren't leaving for awhile, but have a great trip!

  3. I am a total planner too, so I totally get you! I wanted to let you know that my mom is a live-in pet sitter and is SUPER cheap when compared to boarding. She lives in your home while you are gone, taking care of everything. If you want more info, you can visit her website -

  4. "I am a planner....a list person.....a schedule husband loves me anyway. He is a fly by the seat of his pants guy."

    Sounds like us! I get the value of planning though; it really sucks when you realize that you've forgot something important, and being prepared beforehand does help reduce on expenses and helps prepare you for unforeseen contingencies.

  5. @Timothy - yes, sunscreen is on the permanent list, but thanks for caring about our skin's health.

    @EverydayTips - I made a 7 hr drive with the kids by myself last year, and brought our own food, so I wouldn't have to deal with more than a potty stop. And it worked great! Good idea about having the kids help with the food planning...thus insuring they will eat it.

    @Heather - too bad your mom isn't closer! What a fantastic service!!!

    @Kevin - We have been lucky and haven't forgotten anything major, but I am sure it is because I take the time to think about it first. For example....Bossy Boy has gotten sick on at least 2 of our last four trips!!

  6. Have fun on your trip! Wow, you are a planner. I usually start my list just a few days before. We, too, drive about 14 hours from where we live now to my parents' house. We stay at a friend's on the way, though, so that helps with the sanity plus it's a free overnight -- and I get to see my friend!

    Our last trip we ate only ONE fast food meal, otherwise we had sandwiches and hearty snacks. We also stopped for cold drinks once (AC was out in the van) (ugh). I find that the kids just want to get out of the car for a break and play, and they're excited about the special snacks that I bring along as much or more as they w/b about fast food.

    Don't forget the chargers! For the phone and camera, portable DVD player, gameboys, etc.