O The Planning

Gone are the days where we would throw our things into a suitcase and run off for the weekend. Long gone! Now it takes a full three days to pack and prepare for a trip.  That figure doesn’t even include the amount of time spent planning for the trip and setting everything up.

While I had a few moments (ha) I thought I would just give you a little run down on what is required to just get 8 people packed for a 5 day adventure. Since our children are staying here, with various family members, there’s a lot of details that have to be gone over to ensure they are cared for and have everything they need while we are away.

Before I get too far into the details, I would like to take a second to recommend a system like Mom Agenda (special deal alert: Take $10 off all orders of $75+ at when using the Code: MOM10OFF75 Offer Expires 4/30/11) or something like that to keep all this information handy on an everyday basis so that you aren’t scrambling to put it all together when a trip or something like this comes up and it’s all needed.

Information and Details for the Kids

There’s so much more to getting away for a trip than simply packing up a few things and going on our merry way. Anytime children are left in the care of others there is quite a lot of detailed information that must be left with each person. I do try to combine as many children into one “form” as I can to help simplify things, but it’s still a lot of information.

Medical Release

This is an absolute necessity in the event that there is an injury or anything that requires medical attention when we’re away. We will not be close enough to simply run home if anything happens so we need to know that this is covered before we leave. Here’s what I like to leave with each caregiver while we’re gone:

  • Medical Treatment Release/Permission Form
  • All pertinent medical information about each child (birthdate, allergies: esp. to medicines, medications taken, etc)
  • Insurance Information (including the insurance card or a copy of it)
  • Phone list of all doctors and clinics (this includes orthodontist, dentist, pediatrician, walk in clinic and preferred hospital)


With different kiddos going different places and the fact that we’ll be gone during the middle of a school week, I prepared all the necessary school information on a schedule. This includes times to pick up and drop off each day as well as any possible extra-curricular activities (such as CJ’s first Driver’s Ed class). When they were smaller this would have included detailed napping/eating schedules, but that’s completely uneccesary with the ages they are right now.

Phone List

Another absolute necessity! Each parent must know who has which children when and how to communicate amongst themselves. I guess in our case when they say it takes a village, that may very well be true…

Note to School/Teachers

This (of course) is totally not necessary for homeschooling families, but for us it’s a must for our elementary attending kiddos. Each child will need to take a copy to their teacher (I am actually thinking I will send it in email form to them this time plus one hard copy for the school) to let them know who to be in contact with if necessary as well as who will be picking them up from school each day.

The crazy thing is, that’s just the paperwork I had to prepare in order for us to go away for the week. WOW!  We already have a letter of guardianship in place from a trip out of the country a few years ago, but if we didn’t that is always something that should be on hand for your family’s peace of mind.

So now, it’s time to go pack… O JOY!!!