Its that time again… we are into holiday preparation. You might think I am mad as we don’t go for at least another 6 weeks, but with four kids and two still in nappies I have to start well in advance or I will lose my mind. I used to be so organised, but since having the kids our house constantly looks like a bomb site and it just seems to be permanent chaos which does not help with holiday preparation.
This year we have been trying to learn from last year and plan well in advance so throughout the year as we think of things we need we have been adding them to the one note and now I just need to start buying the stuff we don’t already have and I need to get working on updating the holiday spreadsheet. I will actually upload that here once I get it updated as maybe it will help someone else and save someone a job. The other thing I always do as part of holiday preparation is number the bags we will be taking using stickers. This again might seem like total madness and whilst I am a control freak this is really done just to prevent me from killing my husband when we suddenly need something enroute and he asks me a hundred times where things are or worse still starts looking himself which inevitably results in stuff everywhere (he is, as an aside, entirely incapable of folding things so that’s his retail career over should he ever decide on a change ) and me losing my shit when I have spent hours sorting it all out. So, with the numbered bags and a spreadsheet that lists what is in every bag then he only has to look in one place and so the carnage is at least limited.
My other top tip for holiday preparation is to do a surprise bag for each of the kids. This does not have to be expensive. I have seen that you can buy packs for kids, but I think it is easy and cheaper to do it yourself. If you have a long journey ahead of you I think kids need some new stuff to play with so I hit up the pound shop and places like Wilkinson’s where I can buy things cheaply. If possible I choose toys that can double up as bath toys so that I tick this box too. I also remove some of their existing toys in advance of the trip and hide them. This means that they don’t play with them for a while and so are excited to see them again having the same effect of occupying them for a good bit. I go for small dinosaurs and other characters that they can use their imagination with but in confined spaces and then find that colouring works a treat. I also have a secret bag that I keep with me containing extra surprises for emergency meltdowns!! This year I am thinking of getting some magnetic building blocks and some of the Crayola no mess pens which they can use in the car and then also have when we get to our destination without fear of pen on walls – last year I had to do a lot of scrubbing so lesson learnt!!
No matter which way I do it holiday preparation does seem to take lots of time, but it’s all worth it once they get there and we can all just enjoy spending time together doing fun stuff for a few weeks. This year has been largely positive, but we still have to work hard and are always running so I am just looking forward to no deadlines or rushing about – well once I have completed the holiday preparation that is!!