I’m so excited to have the opportunity to represent 5 Minutes for Mom in Cozumel, Mexico at the Park Royal. (Yes, being on the 5 Minutes for Mom writing/editorial team has some SERIOUS perks!)
When Janice asked me if I wanted to go, I immediately phoned my hubby, and asked him, “So, how do you feel about going to Mexico? Think you can squeeze it onto the calendar?”
What followed was a rather interesting silence, but once he regained his composure (doesn’t take much for my mellow hubby), and made sure I was serious, he started to get excited and said he was definitely on board.
So began the journey on my end to begin getting everything together. Suddenly though, the gazillion and one things that needed to go on my to-do list astounded me.
Just for starters, if you haven’t gone out of the country in the last 8 years, things have changed….drastically! When we went on a trip outside of the US in 1998, all we needed were our drivers’ licenses, birth certificates and marriage certificate.
Fast forward to 2009 and we now need a passport book to leave the country, a process that typically takes 3 to 4 weeks to receive or 2 to 3 weeks for expedited…I don’t have that luxury.
Then there’s the fact that when we took the trip 10 years ago, we only had one child (though I was 7 months pregnant with our second son), so finding childcare and all that implies wasn’t a problem. Now, we have 6 sons to find care for and oh-my-goodness that has been interesting!
Then, as if all that wasn’t enough, I suddenly realized that I need to come up with medical releases and information for all of my kids and each caregiver during the time we’re gone. Also, as hard as this is to think about, should anything happen to my husband and I while we are gone, we have to have documents in order stating who is to handle all decisions for our children.
If your family, like ours, rarely travels and never leaves the country, there are definitely a lot of things to think about…they absolutely did NOT occur to my husband, and were just offhand thoughts for me.
We are mere days away from leaving for the trip and haven’t even begun packing, yeah, we kind of procrastinate that way. Our childcare is arranged, our passports are now in order and tonight we begin the task of packing 8 people for various adventures.
Here is my checklist for leaving town:
- Research and Book Travel Arrangements
- Prepare Budget and Get Cash/Travelers’ Checks
- Get Passports
- Arrange Childcare
- Prepare a List of Cell Numbers and Emergency Numbers for Childcare Providers
- Prepare Medical Releases and Medical Information for Childcare Providers
- Prepare Guardian Documents and Wills
- Pack Children’s Bags (Janice has a fun tip — include a special note or gift for each child!)
- Pack Our Bags
For a comprehensive packing and trip preparation list, visit http://www.workingparents.com/trvlist.htm
Did I forget anything? What do you make sure you do before traveling?
Make sure you follow me on Twitter (@afroginmysoup) … I’ll be updating the whole time we’re there!