5 things to think about in advance of a family vacation

We have a family vacation coming up in August. (We’re headed down to Universal in Florida – SQUEE!!) Even though we’re a little less than a month out, I’m already trying to think ahead and figure out what needs to happen BEFORE our trip.

Here’s my list of things to think about BEFORE you’re walking out the door:

Things to do in advance of a family vacation

1. Transportation

Driving? Will you fill up with gas ahead of time or do you like to just stop wherever you are when you get to empty? Which car are you taking? Is is clean or do you need to vacuum out six months of cracker crumbs before you go?

Flying? How are you getting to the airport? Do you have a neighbor who can drop you off? Will you UBER or call a cab? Or will you do what we do and use Fast Park?

We are HUGE fans of Fast Park. It’s convenient, inexpensive AND they take care of us with water, newspapers and even a Fun Time FastPak  (a cute bag for kids complete with coloring book, Goldfish crackers and WikkiStixfor entertainment.) Bonus – the drives are all really nice and friendly, which gets your trip off to a great start.

FastPark's FastPak


2. Packing List

I’m a planner so I usually start my packing list weeks in advance. But even if you don’t work that way, making a quick list of those MUST HAVE items  makes packing your suitcase so much easier. For example, I always seem to forget our noise machine and that is a MUST when we are all sleeping in the same hotel room. But if it’s top on my list? It’s the first thing to go in the suitcase.

Another reason to make a list is so you don’t forget the things you have to throw in at the last minute – tooth brushes, medications etc. If you are using them the morning that you leave, you may forget to toss them in your bag. Ask me how I know.

READ: What to pack for Universal Florida

3. Pets/Plants/Mail

Do you need to board your animals? Will a neighbor get your mail? Who’s going to water your plants? All these things need to be taken into consideration well before the night before you leave (not that that EVER happens, right?)

4. Agenda or Wing It

Every family is different. Depending on our trip, I either have NO set plans or we have a very detailed itinerary. But it’s decided before we go. That way I’m in the right mindset and I can prepare my family for what’s to come.

5. Snacks

It doesn’t matter your mode of transportation, you’re going to need snacks…and likely lots of them. I swear the second we hit a major highway on a road trip, my kids are immediately STARVING. I like things that can go in ziploc or reusable snack bags. Water bottles are must in my book, but if you’re flying, make sure they are completely empty and dry before going through security. You can fill them up on the other side.


Thinking about and planning for all these things WELL in advance of our vacation makes for a much calmer travel day. No one wants to start a travel day super stressed…there are enough other things that can happen to do that. Travel prep shouldn’t be one of them.


What are your tips for prepping for a vacation? Am I forgetting anything?

I received a free week of FastPark in exchange for a mention in this post. No other compensation was received for this post.  All opinions are my own.

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