Today the kiddos come back home after being gone a week with their dad. This week wasn't planned on the summer calendar but due to some other reasons - their dad chose to have them this week instead of one of the planned weeks in August. But it worked out fine.
And I have missed them! I can't wait for them to get home tonight. Hopefully they will feel like talking all about their week while they were gone and then I will wait to see if they notice the changes around the house with furniture that was moved. Couple things I moved were the family computer and computer desk - they are no longer in my room, but are now in the dining room. This was a good change. One I know they will also appreciate; especially when Jas wants to show his friends a new game that only works on this newer computer - because he won't have to parade them through my room, (with all my personal stuff that is, at times, laying around in there). So yes, it is a nice change, for lots of reasons.
We are planning our vacation the week of July 6. Excitedly I have been getting a few things lately, preparing for the trip. We also need to make lists of what we want to bring and then - scale it down; because we will be limited on space with six of us going. Planning it and packing for it is part of the fun of vacation, don't you think?
We are headed back down to Tennessee. The kids love Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg... and we always have a great time. Mr. M. and his boys have never been, so we will enjoy showing them around our fav spots in the area.
My personal checklist:
- Dogs: I have a friend to take care of the dogs while we are away. (check)
- Transportation: I just had the autoshop check out the Infinity from top to bottom yesterday to write her off as ready for the trip. (check)
- Accommodations: Reservations are made at a wonderful resort with an indoor water park onsite. (check)
- Luggage: Bought a fabric style luggage hatch to put on top of the rack on the vehicle. Hoping that will hold plenty and be secure with the straps that come with it. (check)
- Bills: These are setup with online banking to automatically be paid (if due) while we are away. (check)
- Emergencies: Plan to take our emergency first aid kit we made for our hiking trips and it's stocked with plenty of over-the-counter children's formula meds and adult meds as well as "off" spray and sunscreen. (check) Plan to give our resort's phone number to family so they can reach us if necessary. (Still to do!)
- Down Time Activities: Games have been collected from friends, (THANKS SARAH) for any down time inside the condo. (We also bought a new 1000 piece puzzle.) (check)
- Toys: Water toys are awaiting to be packed for the kiddos to use at the water park. (check)
- Bathing Suits: Several weeks ago I purchased Jas new swim trunks and my new swim suit. (Kass will need a new one pretty quick, since she only has one that still fits.) (Still to do!)
- Budget the Trip: Mr. M. and I are planning to sit down one evening next week and work out a budget for all we want to do, so we can stick to it when we get there. Also we will map out everything we want to do in Gatlinburg, since you park and walk This way we can have a gameplan of what we want to see and where they are located - so we don't miss anything and know the best order to do them. (Still to do! Make a note of this one, Mr. M.)
- Pack: Plans now are for me to pack on Friday, July 3, because I am off from work and so I can get everything together and then purge the unnecessary stuff at the same time. (Still to do!)
What's your plan for the summer?
Any vacation time in the mix?
Has this year been different because of economic conditions?
I always try to budget vacations, even when things aren't so tight... but this year we will plan down to the very penny of what we know we can afford so we can strictly stick to it while we are gone.
Any tips you can offer for saving money while vacationing?
One thing we plan to do because we will have a kitchen and living area in the condo is we will prepare some meals and have stuff to make quick lunches where we are staying. This will save us plenty because having six people dining out can add up quickly. (Oh and don't get the wrong idea by us all staying in a condo. Mr. M. and his boys will have a room of their own and I will also have a room just for me and the kids that are both separated from the living and kitchen area.... so... yeah.... no worries.... trust me.) Splitting the cost of the condo also helped with our expenses.
Any items I missed on the checklist, that you try to do before leaving town?
Leave a comment or two below with your tips and thoughts.
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