Pre-Vacation Chores Your Kids Can Help With

If you’re about to embark on a family vacation, you might feel like you have too much to do before you leave. Don’t worry, that’s normal. You simply need to make a checklist of must-do jobs and then get some help from the family. Here’s a guide on some pre-vacation chores even your kids can help with.

Prepare for Your Absence

Image via Flickr user JeepersMedia

You need to do a few routine tasks before leaving. Make sure your home looks like someone is there as a way to discourage theft. You’ll also want to prepare your HVAC system for your absence.

Set it at a neutral temperature, around 80 degrees in the summer or 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, so you’re not paying to cool or warm more than necessary while you’re away. It’s a good idea to have a professional inspect your HVAC unit to make sure it’s in good working order if you’ll be away for a week or more. This will limit the chance of a breakdown occurring while you’re gone and unexpectedly returning to a sauna in the middle of summer.

Make Laundry a Joint Effort

Clothes are a big part of any vacation. You’ll wear a lot of different items, and you’ll have to pack for various weather conditions. You may need jeans for when the weather gets cold, shorts for sunny days, and maybe even a dressy outfit or two for special events. Plus, a lot of vacationers enjoy swimming or water sports, so you’ll need clean bathing suits, too. Clearly, you need help with your packing!

You don’t want your child to take care of all the laundry, of course. That’s a bad sitcom episode waiting to happen. Still, you can get your kids to help. Ask them to collect all their dirty clothes and put them in the laundry hamper. If they don’t already know how, teach them how to separate colored clothes from white garments.

When you’re ready to begin laundry, check each item before putting it in the machine. That way, you work as the supervisor for when your kids accidentally put some white clothes in the wrong hamper. You’ll have all the clean clothes you need for the trip. Plus, your kids will have a better idea of how laundry works.

Teach Kids to Pack on Their Own

Packing is one of the most grueling parts of vacation preparation. You have to pick enough outfits for several days away from home. Then, you have to add extra clothes for the reasons above. You wind up with three or four extra days of clothing, and it takes a while to pack.

As a parent, you have to repeat these steps for your kid unless they help. Take this opportunity to teach your kids how to pack. Tell them to go to their closet and pick out several of their favorite pieces of clothing. Supervise as they choose various outfits, pointing out what they still need to add. Your kids will learn a life lesson while you’ll spend less time packing.

Vacation packing is rarely fun. Just remember that you have help. Kids are never too young to start learning valuable skills that will help them all the way into adulthood. And you’ll really appreciate the extra help!