Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Hello!  Thank you for all the wishes for a happy anniversary yesterday!  Often we are on our summer vacation and go out to celebrate while at our destination, but this year it fell on our first Monday back when hub hadn’t worked since Wednesday, July 3! We had a quiet night at home with Outback takeout.  We didn’t do gifts because of our renovation and that’s o.k. with me.  

So, I may be too late with these tips for your travel this year and I may not be saying anything Earth shattering, but here goes! 

This year we rented a place that I found on VRBO.com.  This is my most common way to book a place.  I have used VRBO probably 10 times.  I always read the amenities carefully and always read the reviews.  I ask the owner lots of questions and I often request more photos.  I have almost always been totally satisfied.  I prefer to rent from an owner rather than from a company.  When you rent from an owner, the rental has spices, basic cooking items, etc.  When you rent from a company, it is more like a hotel.  I guess it depends on what you plan to do on vacation, but that is something to think about.  I use the filters and I want:  dog friendly, AC, WIFI, cable tv or satellite, washer/dryer, basic cooking supplies to save some money, an outdoor area to enjoy a.m. coffee, and that’s about it.  

Let me backtrack…

Before I leave home I:

-stop the mail.  It’s super easy to go on USPS.com.

-take out all trash and replace bags.  Lesson learned one time when I didn’t do this –  we came home to our house stinking to wake the dead.

-run the dishwasher so I don’t leave dirties in it for a week.

-Clean and straighten the house as best I can.  It feels great to come home to a clean house.  

-I usually don’t cook the night before we leave because I’m packing and it’s just easier to not make a mess before leaving.  

While on vacation:  

-If we have a washer and dryer I run a load a few times.  This past week I came home with all clean clothes except for a small bag.  Now, I’m not saying to spend your whole week washing clothes like you do at home, but it is really nice to come home without a ton of laundry.  

So, this past week we did a rental from a private owner.  I communicated with her several times and she was very responsive and easy to work with.  We went to a little town on Lake Michigan called Sawyer and stayed in a duplex with access to a community beach.  

Here is the living room.  

We like to take our dog and this was a dog friendly rental.  Ernie is well traveled.  He has been to Lake Michigan and Dauphin Island to name a few places. 

The back yard was really nice.  The gazebo had a ceiling fan in it!  The beds were not very comfortable and the décor was outdated.  Note to self to look more closely at photos and ask about mattresses. 

We also had 12 other family members staying in a big house with 6 bedrooms within walking distance so we hung out in that yard and did dinners there.  

Our community beach access.  


Since I had a washer and dryer in the rental, I should’ve brought even less clothing than I did.  I brought 4 pairs of pants, 2 shorts, 1 dress, 1 skirt, 5 tops, and then coverups, 2 suits, and sleep/lounge clothes.  I usually try to stay in the same color scheme.  This time it was black, white, hot pink, orange basically.  

I only brought 4 pairs of shoes – one tennis shoes, one flip flop, and two sandals.

I only brought minimal makeup and jewelry and it was perfect.  I brought 3 earrings and two bracelets.  

The rental provided beach towels so I didn’t bring my own.  This was a great space saver.

I brought 3 books and only needed 2.  With extended family there was always someone around and I just didn’t read as much as normal. 

Any travel or vacation tips I forgot?  


7 thoughts on “Tuesday Tips for Travel

  1. Yes, Airbnb seems to be the thing right now. Their site is cool and easy.
    Thanks for your tips, I think you covered it well. Since I’m away for most of the summer I must really think when I pack! My best tips is that I pack a big duffel bag in my suitcase and use it for shopping finds when we go home. We actually manage to travel with just one suitcase and three carry-ons (I’m the one with the suitcase of course!).
    Enjoy your day!


  2. I have used vrbo also with good results. Unfortunately I waited too long this spring to book a place in southern Cal and it’s the first time I want to take our dog with us and all that was left was exorbitantly priced. Luckily my sis lives near San Diego and needs help dogsitting while she is in London, so we’ll have a small respite from the godawful Arizona heat!
    In addition to everything that you do for leaving the house, I also unplug computers, coffeemaker and anything else that I can think of. The morning we leave, the hubs sets up timers for a few lights in the house while we’re gone.
    If we have a washer/dryer I pack pretty light, on a perfect vacation I’m in a bathing suit most of the time!


    1. I almost waited too long this year! Glad that worked out though! I don’t unplug those things but I should and we forgot our timers this year! Enjoy your trip!


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