With the hint of warmth in the air, visions of  jetting off for a faraway adventure dance through my head.

Before we know it SUMMER time is here!

For our family it means an annual family vacation. If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years, this is one area where organization is vital.

This summer we are booking an international trip which is the longest and farthest trip we’ve had in years. This requires travel documentations, complex transportation plans, foreign money exchange and preparing for a drastic climate change as we leave the oppressively hot Las Vegas desert for a wetter climate.

Our travels will take us to the beautiful countries of England (to visit my husband’s family) and a quick jaunt to Scotland.

The flights are booked and now comes the oh-so-fun part of getting ORGANIZED.

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So, my morning project has been to gather all information from our research, passports, birth certificates/social security cards for family members who do not have passports and create a quick “keep all” place, which if you know a One Organized Mama would be a binder!

I created quick sections of areas to store information:

  •  Itinerary: I created a quick Word doc with days and a note section to write in our itinerary. I jotted down airline confirmation numbers, flight numbers, sightseeing ideas with enough space to add more info as our travel dates near.

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  • Pack Lists: A place to jot down items we’ll need during the trip. (Wellies and jumpers, perhaps?)

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  • Budget: If you ever dine with me don’t ask me to calculate the tip in my head. This is a mental block for me. I will get flustered as I reach for my phone and pull up the calculator app. As an avid traveler, I find quickly calculating the cost of a bottle of water so frightening that I awkwardly hand over a colorful, Monopoly-money-like, piece of paper hoping I am not paying $14 for it. So, for this trip I am determined to overcome my “quick-math-in-my-head” fear to know and understand the exchange rates. I will simply start with a budget to include: food, water/drinks/snacks, tours, transportation, tip money and what I will call, “oops-Janel-totally-miscalculated-buying-that-sweater” to give us some wiggle room. I love Dave Ramsey’s envelope system and will implement a version of that for our cash.
  • Travel Docs: Of course it is important to keep all of these documents in one place for easy access and to make sure they are up-to-date before the trip. Did you know most countries require your passport to be valid for six months AFTER the completion of your trip? See http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/FAQs.html

There will be more sections added to my travel binder soon. Once the One Organized Mama team gets ahold of it, don’t be surprised if you see it added to our binder collection with fun and colorful additions.

We love hearing your travel tips on getting and staying organized on vacation.

Cheers!

-Janel