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Make the Most of Your Time

Make the Most of Your Time

Have you ever had the experience of rushing around in a panic before a trip? This is probably something we have all experienced. It is very easy to prevent the frantic and stressful trip preparations -- all it takes is a bit of organization and scheduling. Ultimately, if you start your trip prepared, you will have more fun during your trip and the return home will be far less hectic.

1. Start by making a list. Determine everything you need to bring, including all of the food, clothing, and supplies you will need during your trip. Also include everything you want to get done before you leave. Making a list will help you stay organized and focused as you prepare for your trip. As you get things collected and complete tasks, you can check them off. A list will also ensure that you don't forget anything that is extremely important.

2. Pack earlier rather than later. The most stressful part of getting ready for a trip is packing, and it get exponentially worse as you become more limited on time. If you pack ahead of time you have more time to make sure you have what you want, and if you don't have it you have time to get it. Most of us pack at the last moment, but in those rare instances that we pack earlier, it is like a huge weight being lifted off our shoulders. This is a wonderful feeling, and will help make your entire trip more fun.

3. Clean up the house before you go. Nothing is as nice as coming home to a nice clean house. You will more thoroughly enjoy the bulk of your time away from home if you don't have the thought of coming home to a dirty house in the back of your mind. Leaving a clean home means making sure that all of the dishes are clean before you go, the laundry is clean, and anything that might spoil (in the refrigerator or on the counters) has been disposed of. 

Coming home to a clean house is like an extension of your vacation; you don't have to get right back into the daily grind of cleaning. Another great thing to do before you leave is to put clean sheets on the bed. Nothing is as nice as coming home to clean sheets on the bed.

4. Pack the car up the night before. Once you have everything ready to go, bring it all together in one place to double check that you really do have everything you need. Then you can load everything into the car the night before you leave. This will leave more time to get going the following morning as well as more time to make sure everything is loaded as efficiently as possible. You will be able to make sure that the things you will want during the travel time are accessible rather than buried, which will significantly reduce travel stress.

5. Leave earlier than you need to. If you are going on a road trip, hit the road early. You will have more time to enjoy the scenery along the way.  If you leave early, you may even be able to stop at points of interest along the way, stop for lunch or coffee breaks, or do some exploring.

6. Make sure the tank is full before you leave. The worst feeling when you go on a road trip is finding out that you have less fuel than you thought and you don't know when you will come upon another gas station. If you have a time limit or if you have to catch a ferry, it may be prudent to make sure your gas tank is full the night before you leave. If the tank is full, you won't have to worry about having an empty tank in the middle of nowhere.

Preparedness is the best way to make sure your travel preparations are as free of stress as possible. Try these simple techniques and you may find that you even enjoy getting ready for your trip, rather than running around in a fog of worry.

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