Guest Guru: Jennifer Tankersley – List of Ways to Get Prepared for Summer Vacation

List of Ways to Get Prepared for Summer Vacation

By Jennifer Tankersley, founder of

After Christmas break, the school year rolls along and everyone seems to find their auto-pilot. The routine becomes, well. . .routine. Then spring begins to wake us up to the concept of the upcoming summer, and the next thing we know, school is over. It all happens so fast and whether or not we feel we are ready.

There are several things that you can begin to do now that will inspire confidence rather than dread at the approach of summer.

1. The first step is to go to your calendar. Whether you use a day planner, a kitchen calendar, an online calendar, or anything else, make sure that you have jotted down everything you know to be happening this summer: birthdays, holidays, events, visitors, etc. For a one-page look at June, July, and August, help yourself to this Summer Planner page.

2. One of the beauties of summer is the less structured potential it offers. However, whether you are a working parent or an at home parent, it is useful to begin constructing a type of routine that can provide consistency to both you and your children. Things still have to be done, even though it is summertime. By portioning out the days of summer, you’ll ensure enough time for the essentials such as chore time and errands, and will be able to work in creative time or reading time. Creating routine allows you to limit interaction between your children and the television and computer.

3. If summer camp is an option for your family, begin to research the possibilities based on age, gender, activities, location, and price. Check your calendar to find out what weeks work best for your family. Start the necessary paperwork to be sure your child has a space.

4. Summer is when many families, particularly with school-aged children, choose to take their vacation. If you have not already made some preliminary decisions (such as dates, destination, budget), then there is no time like the present. Vacations require an enormous amount of preparation and coordination. Sit down for a family meeting and gather as many ideas/details as possible. Create a plan, and put it into action.

5. If you are a working parent with young children then ‘tis the season for making sure they will be cared for this summer. Maybe you have family willing and available to help. Maybe your options include a daycare or a babysitter. Maybe your employer would allow you to work from home in the summer. Narrow down your options and begin to firm up details such as hours per day, days per week, and wages.

Childhood memories are full of the simple things: swimming, backyards, ice cream, friends, and family. Early preparation offers parents the peace of mind to anticipate a fun and memorable summer vacation for the entire family.

Jennifer Tankersley is the founder of, which has hundreds of lists and planning pages organized into categories such as Business Planning, Contact Info, Family Matters, Financial Planning, Holidays & Occasions, Home Management, Meal Planning, Time Management, Student Planning, and Travel Planning, and is available for members to either print or download as often as you need for 1 year. Please visit ListPlanIt for more tips and ideas.