School’s finally out! Summer is upon us; for many people, that means dusting off those suitcases and getting ready for vacation. Whether you are traveling near or far, use these executive function tips to ease that pre-vacation packing stress!
Ask the important questions
- Where are you going?
- What’s the weather like?
- How many days are you going for?
- What are you doing each day?
A brainstorm using these questions will help you get an idea of what you need to pack. If the weather is colder, you might want to bring a sweatshirt, or if you are swimming, be sure to pack your bathing suit. Once you have your answers to these questions, it’s time to make a packing list.
Create and stick to a packing list
Now it’s time to make that list. Use your brainstorm to identify what you need to pack for each day and write it out. Categorize items in sections (such as clothing, toiletries, and electronics) to make sure everything is accounted for. Then write down how many of each item you need to prevent over or under packing. Don’t forget to check off each item as you pack your suitcase!
Pack versatile items and a flexible mindset. Packing items that can be used in various settings is an excellent strategy to prevent overpacking. You can make a few items into many different outfits by layering or mixing and matching.
Having a flexible mindset will allow you to adapt to unexpected situations. Allow yourself to explore different solutions to problems that might come up and take the opportunity to engage in adventure throughout your vacation. By preparing your flexible mindset in the packing stage, you can remind yourself of some real-life situations that you might face.
- Julia Ronkin, SMARTS Student Intern
SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum: smarts-ef.org
Research Institute for Learning and Development: researchild.org
The Institute for Learning and Development: ildlex.org