Creating a Travel Folder for Family Vacations

We are the type of family who doesn't really stay in one place when we travel.  Although I love the idea of going one place and relaxing, it never seems to happen.  After our trip to Europe last year I told my hubby that on our next vacation we were going to a beach and sitting on our bottoms the whole time.  So what did I do?  I planned a trip to Vegas, the Grand Canyon and Sedona. . . . . in 5 days.  Not exactly my "sit on your bottom and do nothing" vacation.  Maybe I'm just not truly capable of that type of vacation.  Or maybe it's FOMO-OAA (Fear of Missing Out On An Adventure).

I used to always be the type of person that researched everything before we went to any destination. I knew every activity that could happen within a certain radius of our destination. That tendency has relaxed somewhat, especially if we are vacationing with other people.  For example, when we went to Europe, there were just too many of us for all of us to come up with our own plans.  Everyone else already had ideas of what they wanted to do ~~ and they were all WAY too adventurous for me. Believe me, there was no FOMO there!  I have no regrets that I didn't do the Via Ferrata in Switzerland or the "water park" in France.  When I saw my friends jump off those first few rocks into the water, I was pretty glad I was sitting on the sidelines drinking a beer.

At any rate, when it's just my hubby, my kids and me traveling, the planning comes down to me.  I asked for input as to what they wanted to do, but I was the one that had to make the reservations.

I know that a lot of people might keep track of things electronically nowadays, but I still like to have paper copies in front of me, just in case.  Let's just say that it's not always easy or quick to get things to come up on cell phones in some areas.

I searched through all of our school supplies to find a folder and hit the jackpot when I found a report folder that had plastic sleeves.  I had just enough room for all of our travel reservations.

We had some debate as to whether we should organize stuff by chronological time or by category.  For example, all hotels together, all rental car info together, all maps together, etc.  We ended up doing things chronologically.

 I didn't have the first set of plane tickets in the folder.  I had those in my personal bag that I was carrying on the plane.

So, our order went:

  • Hotel in Vegas, which had our info to contact the hotel shuttle to pick us up from the airport.
  • Printed confirmation for our Vow Renewal service.
  • Car Rental info for car in Las Vegas (we didn't get a car until we were driving to the Grand Canyon).
  • Printed directions from Vegas to the Grand Canyon.
  • Hotel confirmation information for the hotel in the Grand Canyon.
  • Our printed page for Every Kid in a Park (4th grade pass)  to be able to get into the Grand Canyon.
  • Printed directions from the hotel in the Grand Canyon to the hotel in Sedona.
  • Hotel information for the hotel in Sedona.
  • Pink Jeep tour confirmation information for tour in Sedona.
  • Directions from hotel in Sedona back to the rental car place in Las Vegas.
  • Flight information from Las Vegas to Florida.
  • Hubby's flight information from Florida back to Ohio.

I also stuck most of our receipts from things that we bought on the trip into one of the sleeves. 

I've used folders before and it makes traveling, especially with kids, so much easier.  

Other ideas for items to put into the folder are lists of other activities or restaurants in the areas that you are going.  If you're traveling outside the U.S., you might want to have the address of the closest U.S. embassy in the areas that you are going.  

I'm sure there are lots of other things that you can put into the folder.  

What other kinds of things would you put in a travel folder? 

 I just used it to keep us organized while we were moving between cities.

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