Vacation Lists

It’s that time of year again, when I am planning my annual vacation. It’s pretty much one big family reunion, so there are many of us and many meals to plan. Because we share a house with extended family, we all decide what we’ll bring (as far as food) and what meals we’ll be preparing. Lists help us avoid bringing the same items and not enough of something else. In my planner, under my Projects tab, I have one master vacation list, two sheets of Filofax peach (“salmon”) note paper. But within this list, I have several other lists, as well as notations to see other lists.

To Buy: This is a small list of things we need to buy for our trip (fan, sun block, bug spray, flip flops, jeans). You can see that some of these items are specific to my needs, and some are for general family use. So far, everything has been crossed off the list, with the exception of food, since that will need to be bought the day before we leave.

To Do: This is a list of things that need to be done before we leave whether it’s right before we leave or a few days/weeks before. It includes items such as email my sister-in-law regarding cat-sitting, a list of books to bring (“see book list”), refill prescription, places and attractions to visit while vacationing.

To Pack: This is a list of items that I want to bring with me that don’t necessarily get packed for every trip we take. It includes a small knitting project, books, electronic chargers (there’s a different one for every gadget under the sun), camera, yoga paws (rather than a mat that is cumbersome to pack), my journal, beach towel, card games, medication, beach chairs, and exercise lists (which I will move from my Happiness Binder to Malden for the week—they will be kept behind my Notes tab).

Meals: This is just a random jot of who is bringing what food and what meals are being prepared. This way, we don’t have 10 spiral hams and no hamburgers.

Things To Do: While the general idea of our vacation is to sit and relax at the lake every day, we sometimes want to get out and do something. Mainly, these day trips will be done if it rains or we just need a change of scenery. So this is a list of things we can do. So far I have noted a knitting store I’d like to stop at, a drive I want to take, a city to visit, and a friend to see. I don’t know if all of these things will be done, but it’s helpful to have it written down so that we don’t waste precious vacation time researching what to do.

Supplies: This is a list of random items that we need to bring, mainly for eating and meal preparation—plastic utensils, napkins, dinner plates, hot and cold cups, a small gas grill, etc. Really, we don’t need any of these things because most of them are supplied at the house where we stay, but paper plates and plastic utensils mean that we don’t spend vacation time washing dishes and the like.

Booklist: This is a list of books I might want to bring with me. Generally, what I do is look at my main book list (over 300 titles—I plan on doing a post on this soon) and see what I’ve been wanting to read but have yet to get to. I make a list that fills up one side of the Filofax note paper, put stars (*) next to the books I really want to read, and the day before my vacation, I check the library catalog to see what’s in and can be checked out. This is by far my favorite item on my vacation list. Here are my selected options for this year (in no particular order):

Simply from Scratch – Alicia Bessette*

Department of Lost and Found – Allison Winn Scotch

The Way Life Should Be – Christina Baker Kline

Love or Something Like It – Deirdre Shaw

Miss You Most of All – Elizabeth Bass*

Heart On My Sleeve – Ellen Wittlinger

Jemima J – Jane Green*

Island of Lost Girls – Jennifer McMahon*

Keeping You a Secret – Julie Anne Peters*

North of Beautiful – Justine Chen Headley*

Atlas of Love – Laurie Frankel*

Banishing Verona – Margot Livesy

We Are All Fine Here – Mary Guterson*

Single Wife – Nina Solomon

College Girl – Patricia Weitz

Tales from the Yoga Studio – Rain Mitchell

Long Drive Home – Will Allison

Balancing Acts – Zoe Fishman

Honey, Baby, Sweetheart – Deb Caletti

26a – Diana Evans*

The Farm She Was – Ann Mohin*

Story of Beautiful Girl – Rachel Simon*

Witch’s Daughter – Paula Brackston*

Why I Love Singelhood – Elisa Lorello and Sarah Girrell*

From this list, I will probably choose 3 or 4 titles to bring with me. As I said, it mainly depends on availability at the time I want to check them out. But my question for you, readers, is have you read any of these titles?

I hope to do a “What’s In My Bag” post about what books were chosen and the bag I’ll be bringing and items in that bag. Stay tuned…


  1. From Caribbean Princess (sorry, I deleted your comment by accident):

    oooh another what's in my bag post coming up soon! I LOVE those :-)
    Anyways I enjoyed reading your lists as for me one of the best parts of going on vacation is the planning that goes on beforehand. I will soon be booking our holiday trip. I can't wait!

  2. Listmakers will rule the world someday. Seriously. As for myself, I still over-pack craft projects, books, and crossword books whenever I get away to somewhere quiet. As if downtime is a bad thing...:)

    I hope you have a lovely family reunion/vacation. Thank you for sharing your reading list. I feel like I should compensate you for your professional expertise. I have some smelly good stickers and neat paper clip/paper tabs I could send? Or pretty Post It bright plastic tabs? ;) No one wants a paper edited in trade...hee hee.

    Bag post?! Yippee! I look forward to that sometime well after your lovely trip. Take care.

  3. Yes, we will!
    Down time is great. I consider doing crafts, reading, or crosswords down time, as they are all things I like to do but don't get a lot of time to devote to them. Plus, it's a way to unplug, so they're all good.
    I would love compensation for book suggestions. ;) Only joking. I love sharing and discussing books, so I'm more than happy to do it.
    And I am planning a bag post before I go, if I can manage it. Otherwise, look for it upon my return.


Post a Comment