Hi everyone! So, the school holidays are in full swing! How’s it going? Are you having lots of fun or are you ready for September yet?
So far it’s not been too bad here. We all know it would be easier to have 6 weeks off work (but would we really want to, work keeps me sane haha well most of the time anyway)! I work from home so I’m I am able to fit it around my kids, but I am up at 5am (it’s 5.15am as I’m writing this now) it’s the only way I can get a good chunk of work done before everyone wakes up and actually it’s rather nice, so peaceful! I know many of you won’t be in this situation and have to sort childcare whilst you’re at work, we all do this best we can do to achieve a balance over the holidays. Anyway, I hope my tips from last month are helping you survive the holidays so far and you have a few more things planned over the next few weeks!
So this month I thought I’d talk about going on holiday and travelling with the kids. Are you going away or have you been away? How do you go about planning holidays? We are going away on 5th August for a week to The Lake District (can’t wait). It’s my favourite place because I can completely switch off from the outside world and actually relax, ('what with 3 kids?' I hear you say, yes I actually do believe it or not – I think it’s something to do with the air, I genuinely feel myself relax).
I am currently trying to get myself organised for next week, I’ve got lists galore for what we need to take, for the jobs I need to get done before we go in the house, as well as finishing my work. So, I thought I’d provide a few tips for getting yourself organised for your holiday!
Okay, so as your holiday gets nearer start making a list of what you need to take. I have a list for me and my hubby, one for my girls and a list for my son (as we all need slightly different things in some cases). I literally write everything down even the obvious things like underwear, type of clothes – otherwise I will forget it when packing! Check you have everything a few weeks before you go. You don’t want to find out the day before you go that the kids have grown out of their swimwear and you’ve got to go hunting in the summer sales to find the right sizes! Nightmare!
So be specific on your lists. If you are going away in a caravan/lodge check when you book what else you may need to bring i.e. tea towel and write a list for those too, otherwise you’ll end up having to buy them from the really expensive shop on site (like we had to last year). Oh little tip if you drink beer- take a beer glass with you for some reason they only have wine glasses in caravans (as well as normal glasses obviously) don’t know why. My husband ended up drinking his beer out of a measuring jug last year hahaha!
Also, make sure you plan your route before you go, this can save a lot of arguments along the way and no one wants to start off their holiday in a bad mood. So, check your route, check for any roadworks that maybe happening and schedule in stops because you can guarantee the kids are going to need the toilet several times along the way! (This is one reason why we don’t long journeys with 3 kids, 2 hours is enough for now haha)
Right, now I don’t know about you, but whenever you have something planned with the kids they are constantly asking 'When are we going?', 'How many sleeps is it?', 'Can we go now?' Arrrggghh this drives me crazy. So, if it drives you crazy too, do what we do don’t tell them! Well, not till nearer the time anyway, especially a holiday (a day out you can surprise them on the day).
We booked this holiday last year but did not tell the kids (I did not want 12 months of “How many days to go before our holiday??”, and quite frankly my brain can’t do the maths). So we decided to tell them 3 weeks before by surprising them through a little game! After they had gone to bed one night, I wrote the sentence “We are going on holiday to the caravan” on sticky notes. Each letter was written on a separate sticky note and each word was a different colour (to help my daughter work it out). I then placed them all over the house. When our kids got up the following day, I told them to go find all the sticky notes, then they had to work out what the letters said! They were so happy when they found out, they couldn’t wait, but I knew we still had 3 weeks to go and I still didn’t want “How many days before we go?” constantly in my ear! So, I had created them a calendar for them to cross off each day, that way they could countdown themselves without having to constantly ask me! Bonus! And guess what? It’s worked, they have loved taking it turns to cross off the days and they’ve’ enjoyed being part of the build up, they are getting more excited each day! Try it, create a fun way of surprising the kids with whatever holiday you are going on!
This goes back to tip one, planning really, but though I’d put it separately. If you can try and plan some of your days whilst on holiday. We have been able to book activities in before we arrive for our hols. We learned from experience, as last year we didn’t book in advance and so missed out because things had already been booked up. So, book any activities you know you and/or the kids would like to do in advance then you won’t miss out. Don’t plan every day, we have enough of that when we are at home, but if you have a few things to do, at least it saves you time and arguments on your holiday deciding what to do each day, especially if it’s somewhere you haven’t been before.
The dreaded packing!!! I do this in my house because I quite frankly don’t trust anyone else to do it!! Remember to have your lists with you, get all their belongings together and pack each person’s belongings. Now I like my things in one case and the kids in another because it’s easier for unpacking at the other side. However, if you are going on holiday abroad it’s useful to have cases that have a mix of everyone’s belongings in it, just in case some of your cases get lost, which you hope won’t happen (but we know it sometimes does).
When packing, a couple of little tips, place a towel in the bottom of your case so it hangs over the sides, pack everything on top then when finished, pull either side of the towel over the top, so it’s like you’ve wrapped everything, it helps keep your things a bit more secure and your towel hasn’t taken up a big chunk of space. Another tip is to shove underwear and any other small items in your shoes, it can save quite a bit of space and also make sure you put your toiletries in a sealed bag, you don’t want a shampoo explosion all over your clothes (like the Ross situation in Friends for those of you that are Friends fans).
We all know that the plane or car journey with the kids is not the most exciting part, it’s usually rather stressful whether you’re checking in at the airport or just getting them in the car. You all start off excited with good intentions and you can guarantee within 10 minutes of setting you and hubby have had an argument, the kids are bickering and someone has asked
“Are we nearly there yet???”
"NO we are not!"
You scream and that’s how your holiday starts, am I right? I can’t guarantee this won’t happen, maybe it has to, because otherwise it won’t be the same haha!
So, the only tip to hopefully make the journey a little smoother is complete and utter DISTRACTION! Food is great for this, have a reasonable supply of various foods – make them a lunch box but don’t give it to them otherwise it will be gone in 5 minutes and that’s game over, keep the drinks rationed to an extent (you don’t want to stop at every service station on the way). Whether it be sandwiches, fruit, biscuits, stretch it throughout the journey – the mess will be worth the peace! Also another form of distraction is get them some activities to do in the car or on the plane, this will occupy them for a while and it makes it fun for them.
I hope these few tips help make going holiday with the kids that little bit easier. Wherever you go, whether it’s in the UK or abroad I hope you have an amazing time and if you’ve already had your holiday – I hope it was great!
I am off now to get some things crossed off my lists ready for my holiday!
I have a lot going on when I get back from my hols, will tell you all about it next month. I will be back in September – enjoy the rest of the school holidays!!
Love Rebecca x