People often ask for hints and tips on travelling with children and there's usually lots of good ideas given. One thing though that I think is hugely helpful and not often mentioned, is prepping for when you get home... 'huh?' I hear you ask?
Well, AKA FLYlady's CJ for travelling/holiday, you do all your prep for going away - clothes list to pack, food to pack, medicines, tickets/maps etc etc but the 'coming home' bit is left to chance. Prepping for coming home, before you go, is almost a relief when you walk in the door - usually tired, hungry, needing a shower, and with LOTS to unpack/wash/clean from being away.
Imagine then, walking in the door to a tidy (not spotless, I never said spotless LOL) house... a meal waiting in the freezer, or perhaps fresh fruit and bread in a box at the front door... clean towels in the bathroom... clean sheets on the bed (and clean pillowcases for the pillows you took camping), a full set of pyjamas and clothes ready for the kids and clothes for you... a stack of clean nappies including a night nappy... I tell ya, it's BLISS LOL a little forethought yes, and when you're packing and getting ready probably the last thing you want to do but you'll thank yourself later!
I did a page each for one month/one day before we go, packing day, packing list/things to remember, 'walking out the door' (ie turn off computer, batteries off charge etc) and 'when we get back' - ie collect Jemma, reset emails, check bills etc AND the 'for when we get back' - that's where I listed the things to do that would get us a nice 'coming home'. Also, keep the lists for next time, done in pencil (headings in pen if you like) and they're already done and only need minor changes. If you forgot something this time, add it to the list to remember next time.
I know we did this time and last time. Doing a long 4 weeks on the road, coming home at 3am after driving all night and the previous day (taking turns, 2 adults), freezing cold and definately grotty. I had left some money, a house key, and a small list with my cousin (thanks E!) and she picked up f&v and bread for us and it was waiting on the bench/in the fridge when we got home. The most recent was last weekend when we went just for a few nights camping, and Quinn and I came home crook as... it was a relief to walk in the door to almost all those things... especially clean clothes for everyone and fresh towels as we packed up in the rain when we left camp! So that's my 2c... hope it makes your next time away, a joy to come home to...