Staying Organized On Vacation

Staying organized on vacation is easy – if you plan ahead and keep things simple.

Campsite in Colorado
Camping in Colorado


For the first time, we took a long vacation (17 days) and camped out for the entire time. Well, we used a pop-up camper, which I consider camping. This is a long time to be gone from home and have to think about what to bring – and how much of it.


This was also a very frugal vacation for us. We didn’t want to spend a ton of money on a bunch of things that would sit around the house, collect dust or were just useless. Our purpose was to reconnect with each other, experience new things and capture the beauty of God’s country. So, our “souvenirs” were postcards. Our plan is to arrange the postcards and our pictures into a colleague so that we will always remember how much fun we had. The biggest cost of our trip was the gas to travel from Virginia to Utah and back. So how do 3 people stay organized on vacation?


Staying organized on vacation wasn’t that easy at first. As one of our “neighbors” in Yellowstone told us (while they were struggling to put up their pop-up camper), there are at least 41 simple steps required to put up a pop-up camper up and down every day. And, if you forget just one step in the process, you can spend 30 minutes back-tracking your steps to get it right. It was all pretty stressful at first.

My top three tips to stay organized on vacation are:

  1. Think minimalistic when it comes to cooking. We used 1 cast iron skillet, 2 metal pots and 1 bowl to cook everything for 2 weeks. We used a one pan cooking stove to cook everything and clean-up was quick and easy!
  2. Keep everyone’s personal products together. Having one place where you can grab and go and head to the shower was very convenient. It was much easier than each of us having our own “place” for their personal items.
  3. Use a car organizer for the children. We hung a small car organizer on the back of the front seat for our little girl to keep all of her “things” that she felt she needed to have in the car. This held her drink, snack, crayons and coloring books so that she could easily access whatever she needed (without having to ask me for help).

The other tip that I would offer to stay organized on vacation is to plan ahead. Since we were camping, we stayed at National Parks and at KOA Campsites. It was really easy for me to search the internet (on my phone) and reserve a campsite just a few hours before arriving. It totally relieved the anxiety of wondering “where” we would be staying that night.

Vacations were meant to be enjoyed and staying organized on vacation is simply a matter of planning ahead and allowing yourself to enjoy your time away from home.

I’d love to hear your vacation stories!