Sleep, Relax, Delegate, Forget: Preparing for Vacation WITH Kids

Any of you mamas out there headed for vacation sometime this summer? Any brave souls traveling with wee ones? (If you’re planning a vacation WITHOUT kids, well, we don’t blame you. Take some of this fabulous advice.) I, however, leave for vacation in a matter of days, kid in tow.

The mile long to-do lists have piled up on my counter top, because going on a trip takes a certain amount of planning and preparation, especially because my kiddo will be accompanying us. On top of packing bags, I am also in charge of coordinating with other relatives, booking a hotel room, and any other details we need to lock down. In the midst of juggling preparations, my little is dancing around me, asking me question after question until I’m blue in the face. 

So, I am blue faced. I am behind. I am kinda freaking out!


Instead of tackling anything (or anybody), I think I will just sit on my butt and sip some iced tea. 

I need a vacation to get ready for vacation!

Heck! One afterwards would not do one lick of harm either!

Since, I can’t imagine a pre- and post- vacay happening outside of a fairy tale storybook, and because I obviously don’t have any smooth tricks for being uber prepared ahead of schedule, I am going to offer you a different kind of advice here.


Sleep, relax, delegate, forget!


We mamas need sleep! We need it all the time! Heaven forbid we ever catch a satisfying wink of it. We toss, we turn, we wake up to pee a million times, we hear every noise, we are pried from our cozy beds before the sun barely shows its face. Sleep! Let the kid’s watch Mickey so you can knock out your to-do list during the day, then hit the sheets early! Face plant right into those suckers! Don’t want to be known as the Cranky Beach Lady by all the people of the internet? Just sleep.



Sit on your booty for 10, or 20, or 45 minutes during nap time. Sip your beverage of choice. Read a book about the place you are visiting or flip through your recent copy of your favorite magazine. YOU KNOW you will not have time to read it while the kids are begging for entertainment in the car or plane. Paint your nails. Stretch. Kick your feet up. Have a glass of wine. Go ahead and breathe into a paper bag if it fits your fancy! 



You’re not flying solo to your destination, so don’t fly solo in your preparations! Ask for help. Ask your significant other to print the plane tickets, walk the dog, dig luggage out of the basement death trap closet, whatever. Instruct your little minions to pack their own underpants, while you secretly disappear to soak in the tub and lip-sync all your fave Taylor Swift songs. 


Forget (and forgive!)

Make a list of the absolute most essential things you’ll need, like your child’s must-have blankie or your credit card, and ease up about the rest! Forget that old swimsuit from your pregnancy days? Whoops! Guess you won’t have to rock that baggy one-piece oil you’re 85 after all. Forget trying to duplicate a hundred ideas from Pinterest. Contrary to popular belief, you actually can have too many craft poms poms in a tiny, confined space, and honestly, who wants to haul the whole dollar bin section at Target through a crowded airport? Keep it simple.

And forgive. Forgive yourself for booking a hotel room for the wrong day (I may or may not have some experience here). Forgive your man for forgetting a toothbrush or shower gel. Forgive your little tyke for not packing a single pair of tightie whiteys and packing a whole backpack of stuffed animals in it’s place. Luckily, these types of mishaps can be smoothed over fairly easily and make hilarious stories later on!


Above all things, just know that it’s okay! You are okay. You are doing great. Preparing for trips can be stressful. Please don’t let it stunt the joy of vacation. It’s okay to mess up. It’s okay to relax. It’s alright to say sorry, forgive, and have a good laugh. It’s okay to be flexible. It’s okay to get the kids involved and excited about the planning! It’s okay to let them watch cartoons, so you can correctly book a hotel. And if you’re blue in the face, it’s perfectly okay to suck down a Mai Tai long before your toes even come close to that sandy beach!


So my friends, sleep, relax, delegate, forget, and have a happy vacation!


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