In the weeks and days before your trip, staying organized is your best defense against poor planning. The second-best thing is to give yourself (and your family) plenty of time to prepare. Don't wait until the last-minute to get everyone involved. If possible, two weeks before you leave, begin making a list of important items you'll need while away from home. It can be costly on vacation to replace important items you left at home. How often have you forgotten your toothbrush? Laptop power cord? Medication? Prevent careless planning by staying organized and allowing enough time to plan for every detail of your vacation.