Panic Free Vacation Planning-Organizing Tips

Vacation planning & organizing made easy!

You’d think that vacation planning would come easily for an Organizer. Packing the day before a week-long family camping trip is not my usual style. Typically, I have checklists for equipment, clothing and meals drafted well in advance. I mean, I was packed for a Caribbean vacation TWO MONTHS ahead of time. Usually, I would have pre-arranged for a house/pet/plant sitter and left them detailed instructions. I like to have a rough schedule of events after researching the location and surrounding attractions. Not this time. My cup overfloweth.

Vacation, all I ever wanted?

Aside from a busy family life, including sports three times a week, I have taken on another project. It’s short term but necessitates responsiveness. I had a column due. Additionally, I was managing a kiddo with heat exhaustion. Toss in a couple of clients requiring emergency assistance and add on a birthday party sleepover for good measure.

Sometimes, even an Organizer needs help organizing. I was waving the white flag of surrender. My husband did manage to squeeze in a Costco run so I wasn’t in full panic mode. Some good friends saw that I was going under and came in clutch, in a BIG way! An email arrived with a menu for a week of camping meals AND an offer of a personal packer was extended. I have awesome friends.

I get by with a little help from my friends. Is anyone else appreciating these song references?

Help! I need somebody!

That’s right, my friend volunteered his time to come and help us get situated before our trip! Now this fella and his family are seasoned campers. For their honeymoon, he and his wife spent three weeks backwoods camping. Think dehydrated food, bear barrels and portaging-that level. Needless to say he arrived with a detailed checklist of his own. Be still my heart. This tried and true “car camping” list encompasses: Equipment, Cooking Supplies, Food, Clothing, Toiletries and Miscellaneous items like sunscreen and bug spray. Get this, the list even has blank checkbox spaces to add additional things. Swoon.

In short order he had the kids packed and camping gear in neat piles. He even checked the tent to make sure the poles were there because, no matter how organized you are or, how many checklists you use, sometimes things get overlooked. A quick text to my lovely neighbours and I secured someone to watch the house and feed the cat. Honestly, without the kind offers of assistance, our camping trip wouldn’t have gone as smoothly. Have I mentioned that I have awesome friends?

Tent poles-check! Lists are a great way to organize for vacations.

Vacation, time to get away!

Traveling should be a fun and relaxing time to make memories with friends and family, right?  Planning for a summer vacation can feel overwhelming with a seemingly never ending to do list.  Vacations require planning and organizing but it doesn’t have to feel like a chore!  There are stress-free strategies that you can use to help ensure a fun-filled, and restful time away. Here are a few suggestions to follow to have the much-deserved break you need.

Plan in Advance

  • Take notes.  I know this may sound obvious but getting everything you are thinking about written down or recorded in some way, like in an app such as Evernote, will allow you to see all of the things that you’d like to accomplish on your vacation. This will give you an idea of how long you’ll be away and the types of things that you will need to pack.  You’ll gain a better sense of arrangements needed to make for lodging, pet sitting or house care while you are away.
  • Brainstorm ideas. Where do you want to go and what do you want to do?  Is this a solo or family event, how many people are traveling and where will you stay?  Don’t dive too deeply into a strict schedule at this point but, it helps to know what you would like to do so you can be sure you’ll have the time.  Also, due to Covid, there may be pre-booking processes to consider.
  • Research your destination.  Ask friends and family for suggestions.  Hit up travel websites to check out locations, places to stay, dining options, activities and attractions.  A few hours of online surfing and planning are worth your effort and time.

Prepare Paperwork

  • Depending on where you are vacationing, you may need different documents and paperwork.  For example, my family is planning a camping trip to PEI this summer.  We had to apply for a pass that required proof of our Covid vaccinations and legal identification.  A little research on the front end of your vacation will save you the headache of forgotten and necessary documents.
  • Be sure to check your passport.  Is it up to date?
  • If traveling with minor children, they need written permission from their parents or guardians if you are not the parent or if there are custody arrangements.
  • Once you have gathered all important information and travel documents you need, put all the paperwork together in an envelope or folder.  Save email confirmations of reservations too.  I recommend making a copy of everything and leaving it with someone you trust.
Make copies of important documents and leave with a trusted source before taking a trip.

Get Packing

  • Since you’ve already researched your vacation destination, you likely have an idea about what to expect weather-wise.  Pack for the conditions.  Will you need light clothes or layers because it cools down at night?  Just because it’s summertime it doesn’t guarantee that the sun will be shining.  Are you prepared for inclement weather too?
  • Make a list of the basics that you use on a daily basis including equipment, toiletries and personal comfort items.  
  • Meal plan before grocery shopping.
  • Consider the commute.  How are you arriving at your destination?  Is it a long car or plane ride?  If so, pack snacks.  If traveling with kids, bring along activities for entertainment like books or travel games.  Don’t forget charge cords and adapters for electronic devices!
I even remembered to pack my vitamins!

Stress-free Rest & Relaxation

I hope that by using these travel preparation steps, you will be on your way to enjoying a well-planned and FUN vacation. If you are looking for help of your own getting organized, reach out to A Sorted Affair. We’ll sort it out together!

Yours in All Things Sorted,


I had a great time on our family vacation. No, really! The first morning was a little rough.

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