The Quick and Easy 5 Step Summer Day Trip Getaway Guide
We know your family is perfect and every family outing is smooth as can be. We swear we’re not jealous one single bit to know that you never arrive at your day trip destination only to find someone forgot their swim goggles, no one packed the juice boxes and the season pool pass is probably still on the kitchen counter.
But for the rest of us, this scene has an all too familiar ring and this summer, we declare we’re going to put a stop to family outing chaos once and for all. Are you with us?
When a family experience is filled with stress and we clearly needed to be more organized, we get frustrated and in turn, the kids sense our frustration, get stressed and act up. It’s a cycle that never ends well.
Ironically most of us are quite organized in our everyday lives. We maintain day planners, kitchen calendars and keep our lives synced with schedules, weather alerts, and text communications via our iPhone apps. Yet, however organized we are with schedules, we somehow lean toward disorder when it comes to the “pack and leave” routine. It’s no one’s fault but our own. We’re owning up to it and putting our bold and daring plan in place.
We’re approaching the family outing just the way we would a handle a big event or a business goal. So take out your planners or online calendars and let’s create a family getaway plan.
Here’s the blueprint:
- Visualize the trip: What will we be doing? What extra supplies will be needed to do that?
- Make a needs check list: Food, drinks, flip-flops, goggles, sneakers, sun screen?
- Communicate: Tell the entire family the date, time and destination. Enjoy the anticipation. Put it on the family calendar and remind everyone each day. Help them think about what will make this outing fun for each member of the family.
- Delegate responsibilities: Give each family member one thing on the needs list that they’ll be responsible for gathering on the day of the outing. (Yes, even the littlest among us can handle some tasks.) Dad might be responsible for checking the weather and gassing up the car. Children can each put together a pile of their swimsuit, goggles, flip-flops and an extra t-shirt. Mom can use the check list to tick things off during the pack and go process.
- Establish organization: Find a location, a box, a spot in the garage or whatever is needed where items that you’ll need for the outing can be gathered ahead of time. Can the beach towels be put in the box early? Is the cooler sitting next to the box ready for last minute ice?
A family is a team and everyone will enjoy the outing more knowing they helped plan a smooth getaway.
So that’s our bold new plan. We’re creating a family team to visualize, plan and execute our family outings. And, just to be sure that last minute getaway opportunities are possible, we’re creating a day trip spot in our garage. It’s just one box and a couple of hooks on the wall, but it serves the purpose of “a place for everything and everything in it’s place.”
We’re hopeful. How about you? Do you have a plan in place for these upcoming day trip and summer family outings? Let’s share our ideas with one another. If your brilliant tip saves just one Mom from a summer meltdown, isn’t that worth leaving a comment below? Thank you!
Editor’s note: This post was written by Cindy Ratzlaff.