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Greetings from Europe, where I'm spending a family vacation!

Most of us go on vacation at least once a year, but I have a very difference experience from most, in that I leave with complete peace of mind, knowing that everything that needed to be taken care of had been, while many stress out about everything before and while on vacation.  

I developed my travel planning techniques when I had to travel alone with my then-toddler, and anything that was missing, or badly prepared, had dire consequences in terms of his mood and my resulting stress and happiness... Today those techniques allow me to plan any trip, even on short notice, and still make sure that everything goes smoothly from beginning to end, and that everything that needs taken care of while I'm away is.  

Here is *how I make it happen: *

Immediately after deciding on taking a trip, I:

•Start a list of the things I need to get done before leaving. Every time I think of something, I put it right there, and check my list daily for things I can do that day. This list can have items as varied as "take dried fruit on plane" and "verify that Ann checks my email while I'm away."

•Look at everything I have planned for my vacation time in my planner and production schedule for that week, decide what I will do while away, if anything, what I need to do before leaving, and what I can push back to after my return. I re-organize my work plan accordingly for the weeks before my trip.  

•Plan a day to get all my last-minute things done, such as packing and stocking the house for my hubby (not that he can't shop for himself, but I thought it would be nice, since he's staying home alone and having none of the fun my son and I are having.)

About a week before leaving, I  

•Start a *list of all the things I need to take with me*. Yes, you can pack at the last minute, but making a list allows to minimize what you take with you, while making sure that all possibilities are covered and you don't forget anything. Among other things, it allows to plan my wardrobe so that it's as versatile as possible, using as few items as possible (I ended up being able to take a single suitcase for both my son and me this time, and we're set no matter where I end up going).  

•Start putting away everything I know I'll take and don't need before my trip.  

As a result, when I left last Saturday, everything was ready, packed, everything that needed to be done had been done peacefully and without stress, and this was in spite of my beloved cat passing away two days before our departure.  

Have fun preparing your own vacations!

Yours in Daily Mastery,


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