The countdown has begun and if you’re going to have a family vacation this summer, it’s time to start planning. If you follow this checklist, you’ll be ready when vacation time rolls around.

Trip Folder. Create a Trip Folder. Make it colorful and keep it in an easy-to-find location. Put in anything related to the trip so it’s easy to find and you can review pertinent information before you leave.

Organize Web Sites. Create a Favorites folder and save links to web sites related to your trip. Print any confirmation notices, coupons, or maps and put them into your trip folder. Be a “green planner” and resist the urge to print every page of the web site to carry with you.


Collect Suitcases. Make sure the ski gloves and spring break leftovers are cleaned out. Double check identification tags to make sure they’re still attached.

Passports and Documentation. If you are traveling out of the country make sure passports and all pertinent documentation are together and easily accessible for all family members. If you need a special driver’s license, get it now instead of waiting. Make sure all vaccinations are up-to-date.

Plan Must-Dos. Start discussing with your travel companions now what you want to do during your adventures. Make sure the itinerary matches everyone’s expectations and be ready to compromise. Don’t wait until you’re at your destination to debate bus tours versus parasailing. 

Take Advantage of Technology. If you’re traveling with others who live far from you, connect pre-trip using a free conference call service. Or create a private group on one of the social media sites so you can be in touch frequently before you go.