I am ankle deep in the trip preparation process. As a mom, I definitely am expected to bear the brunt of packing for 4 bodies, not including preparing our dogs for a week-long doggie hotel stay.
In order to not lose it in the next two weeks, I have started organizing my packing using spreadsheets and budgeting. First, I have a budget for items that I need to purchase for the trip. That is my pre-trip spending. I have been tracking our budget for our trip, planning out what the hard expenses are (plane travel, condo, rental car) and setting a budget for vacation variable expenses. This gives us a rough idea of what we will be spending for our week-long trip. I also have a budget for pre-trip purchases – clothing and travel gear we need to mobilize the family and get to our destination. I needed spill-proof medicine bottles for my son, as well as a cold pack to keep the medicine cold until we get to our condo.
I also needed to figure out the clothing situation. I can spend tons of money just getting clothing for our trip, but it really isn’t necessary. It is better (and easier on your wallet) to figure out what you need for each day, then see what is in the closet, then find the holes in your wardrobes. This is where my handy-dandy Travel Planner comes in.
I set aside a space for each family member, and made sure that there was a column for each day. Then I decided roughly what each person needed for each day, and then came up with a number of items each week. Knowing that my son goes through roughly two outfits a day, I figured he needed at least 10 shirts and pants. We have laundry in the condo, but I like to be over-prepared, since he might have a blowout or get his lunch all over him, so 12-13 outfits would be better to have on hand. Since he has 7 outfits (not including onesies) I need to get him at least 5 more. This information I put on my shopping list that I have in my purse, so I can start accumulating the necessary clothing. I can now look for sales or discounts (last weekend was killer for clothing – I purchased 3 shorts for my husband, 4 shirts for him, a shirt for my daughter and some hairbands for $100) and know that I am only buying what I need, not just blindly spending money.
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