DEAR HARRIETTE: When I travel with my children and my husband, I find myself overpacking to ensure that I have everything I need for them and for myself. During our vacations, I find it difficult to relax and wind down. I’m always preoccupied with one thing or another. I’d like to take it easy for my next trip. How can I achieve this goal and break free from self-induced worrying all the time? -- Worrywart
DEAR WORRYWART: I believe in lists. Before your next trip, make a list of what you will do each day of your vacation. Be specific -- even as you know that things may vary. Based on your schedule, think about what each of you needs to be ready for the activities listed. This includes clothing, shoes, accessories and logistical details such as contact information and maps (even if they are through a GPS, as you may want to download them in advance in case you find yourself in a Wi-Fi-free zone). Then give each family member the list and have them pack for themselves -- except for very young children, of course.
When you are on your trip, tell yourself that you will be fully present and enjoy each moment. You can set forth your plan but remain flexible as you and your family decide how you will spend your time each day. You can be spontaneous and confident when you are prepared.