Yes, around here even our vacations are hyper-organized! While we always leave room for spontaneous fun (I DO NOT plan every minute) having all the paperwork and information about the vacation in an easily accessible folio helps me to relax and enjoy the trip.
Start with a 1/2 inch 3-ring binder or an expandable folio file. I prefer the folio or a binder that can be secured closed (think Trapper Keeper). You will need clear plastic protective sleeves for all your documents. (I like these that have colored edges so I can classify documents by type using the colors.)
Start by creating a vacation itinerary with each days driving or flight plan, address and phone number of where you will stay each night, what you will be doing that day (i.e. For a non-travel day, list that you will be at Disney’s Magic Kingdom on that day) and any reservation confirmation numbers that pertain to that day. Print this out and put it into a sheet protector. This should be the first page of your folio.
Print out all reservation (hotels, dinners, etc) and flight and/or rental car information. Print copies of anything you have pre-purchased (amusement park tickets, photo packages, etc). Put each reservation into a separate sheet protector. If you use the sheet protectors with colored edges, use one color for each location OR use one color for all hotel info, another for all dining info, etc.
Research your destination and travel route. Print out any information about interesting stops, rest areas, etc. and then put them in sheet protectors and file so that they follow your route (an interesting place to see on travel day two comes before a restaurant you want to eat at on travel day 7).
Next type up current health and medical information for each family member (1 sheet per person). Use the linked form or make a list of current prescriptions and pharmacy information, doctor who prescribed it, and any other relevant medical conditions. Print this and keep it in your folio.
Be sure to include a copy of your car’s insurance and registration in a sheet protector in your folio. Also add in a list of important phone numbers (you never know when you might need an actual list in an emergency. Don’t just rely on a phone.). Include a map that covers your trip route. GPS isn’t always reliable and you don’t want to be lost someplace unknown without a map. We also keep several empty sleeves for adding brochures and other things we pick up along our route. Stick a Sharpie marker, a pen, and a small role of duck tape in the folio. We have used all of these at unexpected times on trips.
Finish off your folio with DVDs for the kids (if you have a computer or DVD player for the car) and keep them safe using 3-ring DVD sleeves. Include a couple that you enjoy too, as you are likely to hear them playing in the car!
Now your vacation folio is complete. Keep this in the front seat with you and bring it into hotels. Enjoy your vacation knowing you have all the information you need right at your fingertips!