Traveling Without the Kids? Here’s What You Need to Do Before You Go

Posted May 14, 2019 by Prairie Wife - 3 comments

Tomorrow The Cowboy and I are flying over The Pond and heading to London for 10 days.


I am so so so excited…or at least I will be when we finally get on the plane.

Until then, I am desperately trying to squeeze in all the last minute stuff that comes along with a trip like this.

As a notorious over-packer, this kind of trip is super stressful. There are luggage weight restrictions, the issue of Englands notoriously changeable climate, and the need to have clothes for both touristy stuff and grown-up nights out…and oh yeah room to bring back souvenirs and any other goodies we may buy.

Like a typical male, The Cowboy is trying to decide if he needs to bring more than two pairs of jeans.

Getting things ready at home for my MIL to come and take over running things is always chaotic, with last minute trips to the store and trying to remember all the little things that make up our week.

For those of you that have never traveled without your kids for any amount of time, or overseas, you may not be aware of all the things you should have done before you leave.

writing in journal

Below is a list of things that we make sure we do when we travel. Feel free to add anything you think I missed in the comments!

  • Create/Update your will. This is something that frankly you should have already done if you have children. In case you haven’t, now is definitely the time. It’s not morbid, it’s responsible. It’s a way to show you love your family and ensures that your children are cared for in the way you want. We have ours locked up in our safe and also have letters to each child along with it.
  • Create a Minor Child Medical Consent Form. In order for your MIL, friend, or sister to give your child medical care they need to have one of these forms. It takes 3 minutes to print and fill this out and will save everyone a ton of trouble if one of your children gets sick. I usually make the date it ends a few dates after our planned arrival home in case there are plane delays.
  • Clearly post health information about your children. I have a sheet with their full names, birthdates, weight, and allergies as well as our address taped inside our medicine cabinet. This is all information paramedics need in a case of emergency. Your caregiver will also need this information if they need to give your children medicine.
  • Helpful numbers. From neighbors to school and daycare numbers I have a list on the fridge where it’s easy for everyone to see.
  • Copies of your itinerary and other vital information. It’s always a good idea to leave behind a copy of not only your flight information and itinerary but also copies of your ID and Passport. The Cowboy went one step further and notified the US embassy in England of our plans.
  • Daily schedule. It’s amazing how many little things go into making our day flow smoothly. I’ve found putting a schedule up helps to keep things on track!
  • How to use appliances. This one may not be necessary for all caregivers but I’ve found putting a quick sheet up on how to use the dishwasher, TV, and washing machines can be helpful. I have older kids now that can run all of these items, so it’s probably not needed anymore but if you have littles do it.



Looking at this list I feel a bit better about my stress levels…that IS a lot lol!

Despite all the pre-trip stress I am absolutely looking forward to crossing England off my bucket list. The Cowboy and I plan to do lots of touristy things around London and will be spending three days hiking around the English countryside too. Mary Poppins and her mom WILL be meeting up with us for some fun too. I can’t wait to see her again.

I’ll be posting pictures on our social media when I can, and will have new content set to show up here on our usual days (Tuesday and Friday)!

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3 thoughts on "Traveling Without the Kids? Here’s What You Need to Do Before You Go"

  1. Bennie says:

    Have a great trip! Have you and the cowboy ever been out of the country before? I have a packing list on my computer so that I remember all the basics. It looks like you’ve got some pretty extensive to-do lists listed above with great suggestions. I can’t wait to hear all about it in a future blog.

    I went to England maybe 20 years ago with a friend. We did a bus tour around the country going up to Scotland and then circling back down to London. Do you have something like that planned or are you just staying in England?

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      We went to France 4 years ago, you can find the post and pics (covered in cobwebs I’m sure) deep in the blog archives 😉 I did some looking on Pinterest for ideas of what to pack and stuck with easy to mix and match solid shirts and sensible (sigh) walking shoes. The weather calls for rain every day so have a cute raincoat and umbrella and cardigans to layer because it will be 60. We are going to mostly be in London doing touristy stuff but Mary Poppins will be meeting up with us Friday! We also have a few days in the countryside. We decided rather than try and squeeze it all in we would immerse ourselves in England and do another trip to Scottland/Ireland someday!

      1. Bennie says:

        Oh that’s right, I forgot about Mary Poppins. That’ll be fun to be reunited with her. I bet she’ll show you some really neat places or tell you where to go that the average tourist might not know about. And you’re packing style sounds like a good idea. I tend to try and stick with a couple basic items that I can mix and match. I try to stick with one or two colors that then I can swap other tops with that’ll combine nicely.

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