Vacation dread

Fly Lady column by Marla Cilley

Does the thought of getting ready to go on vacation make you want to go crawl under the covers and hide for the rest of the summer? Vacations are supposed to be fun, not a hassle. We don’t have to dread going on vacation. We always have a good time once we get there. So let’s start now and make it a joyous occasion. We can do this by taking babysteps using the tools that help us most: our timers and Control Journals.

I travel a lot during the year. Michele, my assistant, and I have gotten this down to a science. It is always fun to get away from home for a little while, but there is nothing much better than sleeping in your own bed after several days of travel.

You know that feeling you get walking into a fresh, clean hotel room. I want you to have that same feeling when you return home after your journey. You can do this very easily by not being rushed and little planning.

Let’s first think about the way you want to come home to your castle. Walking in the door and being greeted with a clean home will make it all worth it. Then crawling into a bed that has fresh clean sheets; these things have to be done before you leave.

Sit down with a nice glass of iced tea and your note cards. I keep my Packing Control Journal on 4×6 note cards in a small photo album. These are personalized for me. I have a checklist card for clothes, equipment, my purse and carryon luggage, food, toiletries, speech bullet points, first aid bag and things to do before I leave and when I get home.

Here are the headings for each card.
– Travel Arrangement: tickets, car repair, directions.
– Food: for car, for condo, to buy once you get there.
– Clothes: This is a card for each family member with their specific needs.
– Equipment: Babybed, stroller, computer, sleep machine, cpap, crockpot, (you get the idea).
– Toiletries: main bathroom bag and personalized toiletries for mom and dad.
– Things to do before you leave: Stop mail, board dogs, set thermostat, check freezer door.
– Things to do when you get home: start mail, get dogs, unpack bags immediately, start laundry.
– Clean house checklist. Change sheets, swish and swipe, dishes done, vacuum, hotspots checked.
– First-aid kit; Medications, bandages, sunscreen, bug spray.

Making this list now will help you get ready to leave without you becoming a vacation banshee.

I have even made a Packing Control Journal just for you to download for free.


Have a great vacation whether you travel or stay home. I just want you to enjoy the process and not get stressed out over it. This summer is going to be fun if we will do a little planning now and not put things off to the last minute.

Are you ready to FLY into Fun this summer?


For more help getting rid of your CHAOS, check out Marla Cilley’s website and join her free mentoring group at, listen to her show, or read her books, Sink Reflections, published by Bantam, and her New York Times bestselling book, Body Clutter, published by Fireside. Copyright 2008 Marla Cilley. Used by permission in this publication.

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