Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Thursday! This week we’re talking vacation prep: What are the top ten things we do to get ready for vacation?
- The first thing we do to prep for vacation is figure out where we’re going.
It’s kind of funny, actually. I hardly ever vacationed when I was a child. Andy and I only took a few vacations together as a couple before G was born. But we have taken a lot of trips together as a family, and definitely quite a few in the past year-and-a-half. I don’t think that most people have kids and then start traveling all over the place, but we’re not most people, and so here we are.
In the US, we would have to decide if we wanted to drive or fly, how long could we be gone, could we both get the time off, etc.
Here, we only have Andy’s work and G’s school schedules to contend with, so it’s much easier in that regard (plus Andy has way more vacation time available to him). Driving is out, since we don’t have a car, but do we want to fly or take a train? Is this a proper holiday or just a long weekend?
For G’s Herbstferien (fall break), we’re taking a long weekend to Milan via train. (Which wasn’t even one of the options or write-in suggestions on my Google poll. Sorry, participants!)
- Then I have to figure out what to do with Ziggy.
Back in Peoria, we always left her with my in-laws or boarded her at the vet.
In Basel, the in-laws are obviously not an option. We can board her at the vet, and that’s what we did over Christmas 2015, but it’s very expensive. I mean, everything is expensive here, but the cost of boarding Ziggy over Christmas was almost a plane ticket back home. It was a lot.
So we have a rotating roster of dog sitters. Sometimes one isn’t available, or they’ve moved, or they’re sitting another dog at the same time already, or they’re perfect but live an hour away on public transport and you know what? Sometimes I just don’t want to deal with all of that.
Finding someone new always means hauling Ziggy (and possibly G) into town to meet near the main train station (neutral ground) and hoping for the best. We’ve been very lucky so far.
- Clean the apartment.
I hate coming home and having to deal with the place being a mess. Going on a vacation is one of the few things that can make me “excited” to clean.
- Do all the laundry.
Not only do I need clean clothes to pack, but I also want to make sure that when we get home, I don’t need to wash a bunch of other clothes in addition to all the clothes we wore while we were gone. So I just wash everything.
- Make lists.
Tonight I sat down and wrote a packing list of Ziggy’s stuff. This is helpful not only for me, but also for the person watching her. Last time she came home with no toys (oops! – but don’t worry; we got them back the next day); hopefully having an itemized list will prevent a mishap like that from happening again.
I used to have a list for packing for G, when she was a baby, but she outgrew that list. I need to make a new one.
And probably one for myself so that I don’t pack twice as many clothes as I could ever possibly need.
I have to pack for me and also for G, so that’s always fun. We usually share a suitcase (except on really long trips) and somehow her clothes take up fully half of the available space, even though her clothes are way smaller than mine. How does that work?
- Charge the electronics.
Gotta make sure the iPad is charged and that G’s games and movies are ready to go. Same goes for my Kindle and Andy’s iPod.
- Gather all the electronics chargers and accessories.
Depending on where we’re going, we need various different plug adapters. We each need our headphones. We need to make sure to have an audio splitter in case two people are sharing the iPad.
- Wash all the dishes and make sure the garbage has been taken out.
I don’t want to come back to an apartment that looks clean but stinks. I also check the fridge for any possible issues, which was a lesson hard learned. (A cut lime was left in the fridge while we were on a trip last year. The stink started out subtle, but grew unbearable. It permeated everything else in the fridge, even the water filter. Once I found it, I had to triple clean the fridge and used a combination of vinegar, baking soda, and cut potatoes to finally eliminate the smell. Never again.)
- Freak out about what else I may have missed.
I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t cause myself a few hours of unnecessary worry. Because the truth is, even if you forget something, it’s very rarely impossible to replace wherever you’re going or just do without. My logical side knows that but gets drowned out by the anxiety for a bit. And then we move past it.
Probably sleep should be on the list, but I also have a tendency to stay up too late the night before a trip. Like right now, when I’m writing this post on Wednesday night to post on Thursday morning, and I should actually be asleep instead.
When will I learn? Next time, maybe 🙂
Be sure to check out these other awesome Vacation Prep posts!