The Unexpected Journey 

Several times on this blog, we will discuss tips and suggestions to help you plan out your next vacation. Usually, you have weeks or even months to plan that perfect vacation, but what about those unexpected trips that come up?

Sometimes, we find out about a trip we need to take at the last minute and those are usually not trips for relaxation. The trips I’m talking about are when we go out of town for a family emergency.

So let’s set the scene here a little bit. Something has come up unexpectantly so you are probably already stressed and/or worried. Add on top of that the need to quickly plan, pack and move a family and it can seem nearly insurmountable.

(With my family of 8, going to the store unexpectantly seems to be insurmountable)

So here are some suggestions that might help you prioritize your tasks to help you get where you need to go.

#1 Breathe

This might seem silly but you really do need to take a moment and just breathe. You being crazy and stressed isn’t going to help anyone else around you and when you are already crunched for time, you’re going to need all the help you can get. Just remembere to take a deep breath.

#2 Make a list

Alright you planners out there, this is where you can shine! Even if you’re not one, a list is the perfect place to start. It can help you prioritize the things you need to do before you leave, remember all the items you need to bring and it can be reassuring in a stressful situation to see things getting done.

Some items to remember should probably include stopping the mail, contacting work and the kids school and finding transportation and logging.

#3 Flights & Hotels

If you have to travel by air or stay in a hotel, book as soon as possible. Some places may offer discounts when you book last minute but you don’t wanted wait too long before making these arrangments.

If you can drive, that might be a cost effective solution and there is always the option of staying with family.

#4 Pack light

Chances are you’ll be leaving in a hurry so it’s a good idea to travel light. Only pack the essentials. Check with family and see if they have items you might need (bassinets, high chairs, car seats, etc.) and plan on doing laundry there.

If you’re flying, try taking just a carry-on so if plans change, you can quickly adjust with it and you won’t lose your luggage.

#5 Don’t forget the comforts

I know, I know. I just finished saying pack light, but chances are you (and your kids) will be stressed during this ordeal. It’s different than what they are used too and kids can sense when their parents (and other adults) are worried or scared. Having a few comforts handy will help everyone get through it together.

#6 Make memories

If you have to drive, plan some stops where you can get out with your loved ones and take a moment together. Even if the event that brings you together is a sad one, you can remember the good times, share the memories and enjoy the moments you do have with each other.

If you’re flying, don’t forget to enjoy the journey. It could be your first time on an airplane (or you kids first time) and air travel can be fun and exciting. I know if it’s a family emergency, you’ll be anxious to get to you destination as soon as possible, but being stressed will not get you there any sooner.

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