It’s a big week here at the HQ because I’m getting ready to leave for Atlanta this weekend. Hooray! I’m going to the Food Blog Forum’s conference where I will learn lots of stuff and share all the goodness with you! This picture to the left is actually from last year’s big trip to San Francisco where I attended another foodie event.
I’m just trying to expand my knowledge y’all!
If you are anything like me, then planning for a trip starts way before you actually leave for the trip. The past few weeks, that is all that has been on my mind and I have been taking care of things both blogwise and on the home-front in order to be prepared for the trip.
I am an organizational fiend and I love having everything done and taken care of. It helps keep the stress levels down to a minimum and helps ensure that the trip runs as smoothly as possible. Both for me and my two boys that I’m leaving behind for a few days.
These are tips and tricks that work for me and help keep me on the right track!
Make a To-Do List and Make Multiple Ones:
I am a HUGE list maker. I need to have tasks right in front of me so that I know what I’m doing and what needs done. Without lists I’m sort of left flailing about and hoping for the best. Making to-do lists and having multiple ones keeps me on track. For example, for this trip I have the following lists:
Things to Take To Atlanta: which is broken up into different categories such as, Personal (can’t forget clean undies!), Technical (don’t forget those power-cords), and Miscellaneous (paperwork, pens, etc.).
Blog Things To-Do: Getting things lined up here so that my dearest readers have something to be entertained with while I am off enriching my mind.
House Stuff: Which includes things related to getting the house organized and getting Scott organized. I love him but sometimes he needs a little direction.
You might think that keeping track of multiple to-do lists seems like even more work but I’m here to tell you that it keeps things neat and tidy. Otherwise you might have “back up batteries” written down randomly somewhere and you have no idea why so you pass over it. Then you get to your destination and your camera dies. Oh right, those would be handy about now.
By breaking things up into multiple lists and then multiple categories, it’s easier to keep track of what you will need and exactly for what purpose. You can check things off as you go along and have peace of mind that you won’t forget anything.
Google can come in really handy at this point. You can create a Google Calendar that is specific to your trip and planning for that. You can share it with a spouse, friend, or significant other so that they are updated on the schedule too if they are responsible for perhaps taking you to and picking you up from the airport. You can even share a Google Calendar with multiple people which can be convenient if perhaps you are planning a family trip and need several people to be on the same page at the same time.
Inside of that you can create to-do lists via Google Tasks (here’s more info on that). This can either appear as a list on the side of the calendar or you can give each task a due date and incorporate it right into the calendar itself. If you do that, and your calendar is synced up with your smartphone (If you don’t have a smartphone, you need one. That is another post for another time.), you will get notifications sent to your phone to remind you of events.
Google Calendar helps me keep track of things that I have going on and since I can put it into “month” view, I can see the whole month at one time. I also like having a desk calendar that I can access as well but with Google, I have the opportunity to check it from any computer and from my phone along with sharing the information with Scott. This is extremely helpful in keeping us on task!
Plan Out Your Week:
The week leading up to the trip can be really stressful if you don’t have a set plan of action. This goes along with the above tip of creating lists. If you have a set list of things that need to get done each day, it will make the week leading up to the trip a lot less stressful. Try and get everything major that needs accomplished done at least two days prior to leaving.
This will give you at least two days of tying up loose ends or things that you might have forgotten about along with being able to spend time with loved ones before leaving. No one wants to be rush rushing around last minute. It’s better on everyone involved to be as relaxed as possible.
Even if you don’t normally create a meal plan for each week, having one in place for the week leading up to your trip will save you a ton of headache and keep you from eating junk. If you can prep things ahead so that you only have to assemble or heat something up, you will appreciate that extra time a lot!
With your mind going a mile a minute dealing with other things, the last thing you want is to worry about what you are doing for dinner. If you meal plan, then when it’s time to start supper, you know exactly what is going on. You’ll know when you should get started assembling it and you will be able to have a better picture of how the rest of the day is going to play out. Plus taking a break for a great homecooked meal will feel a lot more satisfying then ordering out or heating up some sodium-laden microwave meal.
Make meals that are easy and nutritious!
- Red Onion
- Pepperjack cheese
Topped with some hot sauce and served along side baked sweet potato fries.
A meal that is filling and easy to get on the table!
Have your friends or your significant other help you when possible. Scott is really great at getting flight info, plotting out the course in airports, and putting all of that into my phone for easy access while I’m traveling. Because he’s awesome at that and I am not (I have no patience for that to be honest), I let him handle all that stuff. He makes sure I have all the information I need including printing out copies of airport maps.
He puts everything into my smartphone for me and will even text me if something has changed.
Rocky is awesome at letting me know when it’s time to eat and when it’s time for head scratches and belly rubs. I let him handle that schedule which helps him feel like a big boy and like he’s contributing in a small way.
Bring Along Your Own Snacks:
When traveling, especially if you are attending some kind of event where they are providing a “meal” for you, it’s always a good idea to have backups. Backup snacks can save you from hitting a vending machine, grabbing something of unknown quality(and sketch ingredients), or from possibly eating off your own arm. No one wants airplane food and no one wants to spend $75 on an airplane “salad”. Airports are getting better at offering healthier options but it’s an added expense that isn’t really necessary.
Having backup snacks in case you are stuck at the airport or at an event where everything served is battered and fried, will keep you from starving and from having to make bad choices. I typically do not eat a lot of snack-type bars but I do have them on hand for emergencies and take them with me as backup snacks.
Two companies that I really like are Clif and Odwalla. Both of them make tasty bars that are filling and satisfying without crazy and questionable ingredients. They are easily portable and can be found in most grocery stores. Even Target carries Clif bars!
In a pinch, instant oatmeal is also easily portable and hot water can be found at most places. Even events will usually have hot water accessible if people want to make tea, you can snag that for some oats!
Now I will not guarantee that things won’t be stressful but I can say that this will help keep the stress levels down to a manageable level and will help keep you from popping your cork over something small. Plan ahead and be prepared, two things that will get you through any trip no matter how far or how long you’ll be away!
Happy Trails gang!