The “pre-leave” is what I refer to as the final period before you leave. It was basically the two weeks before we actually left for the airport. This is putting the rest of the stuff in order so that you can board your plane without being totally stressed-out. Here’s a list of things we had to do on our pre-leave schedule.
1) Create action plans for things that we were unable to do on our longer timeline. For us, this included finding a property manager to help us get a couple rental properties rented that we were unable to rent, and completing final items on our other properties.
2) Purchasing tickets and booking hotel rooms in Las Vegas (our stop over city,) and in Hawaii. We actually took our chances and decided to wait until we landed in Vegas to book hotel rooms in Hawaii. I was, however, able to get a sweet deal at the Venetian and Paris (comp’d) which was nice. We almost always go to Hawaii or Vegas over Christmas, and we managed to schedule ourselves to land in Vegas on Christmas Eve... Yeah!
3) Doing a final packing of things that were not moved into storage or sold in the previous month.
4) Cleaning the house, cleaning the carpets, making it presentable for renters (or to sell.)
5) Arranging for a place to stay the final night or two prior to your leave. We “camped-out” in one of the rooms in our house, which was kind of fun, although a little uncomfortable. At this point, all our stuff was sold and in storage. We kept a couple blankets and pillows back, and our carry-on items for bathroom stuff.
6) Made arrangements to give away the house plants, and toss any other items that we still had to get rid of.
7) Visit family, friends, etc, one last time before the move.
This is a fun but stressful time. It can be kind of scary for the kids (their home is empty, their stuff is in boxes. We are blessed with a couple of kids who are extremely flexible. They love Hawaii too, so when they started to freak-out a little, we’d talk about how beautiful and warm it is. Our girls don’t like the cold weather either, so this wasn’t a big deal. And they really love their home now!
As the final days count-down, you’ll find yourself a little stressed (or a lot:), but don’t worry, it will come together. For us, the final night, we stayed at an airport hotel and arranged for a friend to pick up our car. I asked my family to stay at the airport so that we wouldn’t have to drive far to get to our flight. One thing that was kind of funny, our hotel (it was a major chain,) had a water problem and NO running water. We got to the hotel really late and tired, and I wanted to take a shower. Well, they managed to get the water working again.
We overslept in the final morning of our leave. Another quick story: when we arrived at the gate, the flight/counter lady was really rude. I mean REALLY rude. Her famous line was “It’s the holidays, get over it!” Which we now quote all the time. Well, this rude lady saved our *sses, because since we’d overslept, we really probably should have missed our flight. This lady worked the phones and got us onto the flight somehow.
Well, once we boarded the flight, the stress melted away. I mean literally. I don’t even like to fly, but something about getting on the plane was awesome. We made the 3 1/2 hour flight to Vegas, landed, and started our trip. Next up: Travel!