Summer vacation will be on top of you before you know it. Some simple organization ahead of time can make your trip stress free, and a stress free trip for you translates into a happier time for the whole family.
The Vacation Binder
Okay, it doesn‘t have to be a binder. A dedicated drawer or a file on your computer will do just as well. The Vacation Binder is where toss your ideas together to ferment and eventually to develop into vacation plans. Centralize all the information you will use to create an inspired vacation. This could include a business card for that darling B & B your friend told you about, notices of discount deals for car rentals, and potential itineraries gleaned from family discussions. Once the plans begin to take shape, you can relegate the stuff you didn’t use to the rubbish bin.
Light and Tight Packing Lists
Set up a fundamental packing list. No matter the season or destination, there are going to be some items that you are always going to need, such as passports, medication, cosmetics and shampoo. Put all of these standard items on one central list. The list can then be revised for specific trips. Unless you are a certifiable shopaholic, do not assume that you can quickly find headache tablets or bathing suits at any shop along the beach front. By making sure that the essentials are on the packing list, you can spend less time dealing with mundane and more time actually enjoying yourself. Pack only those items that you know you will wear and or will use—and nothing else.
Zap those niggling worries that could spoil your vacation by taking care of routine details up front. Make sure the monthly are paid in advance. There’s nothing worse than worrying about the ones you have left behind, so locate the name of a reliable cat-sitter beforehand rather than worry about Mr. Fuzzy during your entire trip. Review annual travel insurance options at least a month in advance and make sure all your needs are met and in place, otherwise lost luggage or an accident that requires medical attention can wreak havoc with the best laid plans.
Budget Friendly Ideas
Every self-respecting hamlet in the UK has a summer festival of some sort, never mind the big city attractions. A little research on the internet can reveal a host of free and less expensive options to round out your itinerary. For example, admission is free at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, which is held for four days in August and draws considerable crowds. Another August event is the Liverpool International Music Festival, which takes place in and around Mathew Street and is regarded as one of Europe’s largest free music festivals. You don’t have to give away your vacation savings for admittance to themed water parks when all the local pools are free in Wales during school vacations and they offer organized activities for children, such as water discos and lifesaving lessons.
While you may be looking forward to enjoying the passing landscape by train or car, your kids might be more entertained with their electronic games. Keep your ipad, mobile phone and digital reader chargers and adaptors nearby in a separate plastic bag. Bon voyage!