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Kid Free Vacation Checklists

May 21st, 2014 | 1 comment
how to prepare grandparents to take care of your kids when you go on vacation

how to prepare someone to take care of your kids when you go on vacation

A wise mom friend once said to me:

“A trip with the kids is called a trip. A trip without the kids is called a vacation.”

As I write this it’s 6 days, 10 hours and 41 minutes until we go on our first vacation without our kids. If you are counting, that is over 4 years that my husband and I have not been alone without someone screaming, crying, hungry or simply demanding our attention. That’s over 4 years since we could be spontaneous, wickedly adventurous or just stay on a lounge chair for hours without guilt or stress. Hallelujah! We can’t wait to be free and be silly and do what every the heck we want. But as I was advised this week with a wink, “you better come back kid-free too”.

The weeks have passed and it’s getting closer the planning-to-go-on-vacation phase of vacation has started. The intense part. We are blessed to have my parents come stay at our house but I’m realizing there is so much that I need to tell them before we leave. We want the kids to have their life go as normally as possible while we are gone so it’s important to get my parents up to speed on how we roll, what we eat and when stuff happens.

So here is the checklist to get you ready to have someone watch your kids at your house before a kid-free vacation:

Kids Schedules:

  • Morning routine
  • Nighttime routine, favorite blanket or stuffed animal, binky
  • Write out a typical day by hour
  • Kids chores
  • Nap times, bed times

Food:

  • Typical breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks
  • What food is in the fridge and freezer
  • Foods to avoid (i.e. sugary drinks)

Allergies:

  • “Absolute no” foods due to allergies and where the epi pen is located
  • Foods to avoid due to sensitivities (i.e. dairy)

Medications:

  • When to give them
  • Where are they located (include dosing cup or syringe)

Daycare or School:

  • Arrival, departure times
  • Address and directions
  • Carpool or bus instructions
  • Teacher’s name and classmate name

After school activities:

  • When and who takes the child there

Emergency contacts:

  • Names and number
  • Neighbor names and number
  • Post these in an easily accessible area like kitchen cabinet

Toys and activities:

  • Inside activities: Sensory play games, art, crafts,
  • Favorite books
  • Outside activities: bubble, chalk, finger paints, sports
  • Directions to local park
  • What local kid-friendly activities are happening

How to work the tv/dvd/cable:

  • Instructions on which remote works which device
  • Favorite movies or shows
  • What is the limit of time spent watching tv?

Taking care of pets

  • Where is the food, how much and how often and who will feed pets
  • Emergency vet number and address
  • How much or little do the kids interact with the pet

House maintenance:

  • Gardener, House cleaner, Pool guy or other with names and numbers
  • What days do they arrive?
  • Any special requirements when they arrive? Payment?

Safety:

  • In case of emergency, where is the meet-up location away from the house
  • Home security system code
  • Prescription medications and home cleaners are locked away
  • Kids health insurance cards are accessible
  • Location of urgent care and hospital
  • Install car seats/boosters into their car

Before you go: Contact the following people to let them know someone else will be in your home

  • Neighbors
  • Landlord
  • House maintenance people
  • Emergency contacts

Contact the following people that someone else will watch your kids

  • Schools, daycares,
  • Kids activities/sports
  • Post office: to stop mail (if extended period)
  • Bank: letting them know you are traveling and your activity will not be fraudulent
  • Consider making a crock pot meal for the people staying at your house
  • Consider making a thank you card or buying a gift
  • Clear your phone so you have storage for pics, but leave some kid pics, you will start to miss them
  • Load your digital devices with books, movies and pictures
  • Make checklists for the people staying at your house
  • Gather important health and safety records
  • Grocery shop for kids food (and care taker if you know what they like)

Who knew going on vacation could be so much work!? But friend, it’s all worth it. So jam on those amazing organizational skills and then sigh a big sigh of relief as soon as that front door closes behind you on day 1 of your vacation. You work so hard to keep your career, home and personal life flowing. Going on a kid-free vacation while not feeling guilty or rushed is the greatest gift you could give yourself and your marriage. Enjoy it sister and let me know in the comments below what you recommend other moms know before going on a kid-free vacation!

As a Working Mom Support Coach I offer virtual and in-person emotional and practical guidance organizing the back-to-work transition.

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