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How to plan a great weekend trip with kids

We love travelling and creating memories as a family. Which is why we try to explore our surroundings as much as we can, and travel internationally at least twice a year. So vacations and a weekend trip is always on the radar. We are yet to go anywhere this year for many reasons. However, travel is still on the cards. We just need to get organised and get a holiday booked (we are usually so last minute on travel related plans for many other reasons but we are getting better).

 

 

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We have been on a few trips within the country this year. Our first trip was to Birmingham for 2 nights for new year. Then we visited Chelmsford Essex in February for a weekend away. And we spent the spring break in London and Essex. We were there for 2 weeks exploring the cities, and it was a lot of fun. I am kind of a mini guru when it comes to planning a weekend trip with kids. My twins are 5 years old, and we have been travelling around and outside the country since there were babies. So I kind of know what to do when it comes to comes travelling with children.

 

Here are some of my tried and tested tips –

 

Plan your trip well in advance

I am a very organised person, which is why I like planning our trips before we go. I always have a packing list so I don’t leave anything behind. There is also another list; I usually call this list the itinerary list. This itinerary list contains our plans for the actual trip. So places we plan to visit, prices for attractions, alternative attractions, travel routes, and so on. That way I know what to expect and I prepare myself and the kids for it. Planning in advance also allows me space out our activities so we are not too shattered. This preparation usually helps our trip go really smoothly.

 

Book child-friendly accommodation

When booking a hotel for our trips, we ensure we pick a child-friendly accommodation. So spacious rooms with beds for the kids is a must. A hotel with good internet connection, restaurant, room service and concierge to help with the luggage. I also like great customer service, which is why I make sure to check Trip Advisor’s website for reviews. That way we don’t get any nasty surprises.

 

Involve the kids

I make sure to get the kids involved in our trips. They know well in a advance where we are going and we plan to do there. I also get them involved in packing before the trip and activities while holidaying. I find that getting them involved gets them all excited and keeps them well behaved.

 

 

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Have snacks and entertainment ready

I never leave the house for hours with the kids without snacks. Having snacks and some form of entertainment while out and about with children definitely helps. My crossbody bag comes in really handy for popping little snacks in, especially when we are on the move. They definitely make our trips go

 

Stick to the routine

We try to stick to our routine as much as possible when holidaying. Sometimes it is not possible at all to do so, but we try our best. Routines are so important with young children, and they help them behave better. Which is why we try to stick to ours when on holiday. Children thrive on a routine, so it is important to implement this even when on vacation.

 

Do you have any tips for planning a great weekend trip with kids? Please share your tried and tested tips in the comments section below.

 

 

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Guide to Holiday Packing

*I was recently commissioned by Simply Beach to give my thoughts on the following topic.

 

Holiday packing can be very stressful, but good planning makes it a lot easier. I like to take my time when packing for a holiday. I usually pack for 3, so I have to make sure I pack all the important stuff. Packing for kids can be tricky as they usually need extra clothing, snacks, toiletries and entertainment. Forgetting a pair of pyjamas or shoes can mess up the entire holiday, which is why I make use these tips when holiday packing –

 

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Set the scene

When it comes to packing for a holiday, I like to set the scene. In other to pack quickly and properly, I take note of the number of days we are going away. Next I lay down all the clothes and shoes I will be taking for each person. That way I can quickly see if any important item is missing. Laying all the items down also allows me see if I have packed more or less than we need for the trip.

 

Pack for the type of holiday you are going to have

When it comes to packing for a holiday, I pack for the trip depending on the sort of holiday we are going to have. Lighter pieces and accessories for a summery weather or warmer clothing for a chilly weather. If we are visiting a warmer city like Dubai for example, I make sure we have our sunglasses, hats, sunscreen, swimsuits, sandals and other light clothing packed and ready to go. It makes sense to check the weather forecast for the city you will be visiting so you have a good idea of how the weather would be like during your holiday.

I am hoping we have a summer vacation this year, and I have my eye on some stunning designer swim and beachwear by Simply Beach. The brand stocks some lovely looking swimwear. I currently have my eye on a couple of pieces on the website and can see myself grabbing them soon. If you are after fabulous designer swimsuits and beachwear, you need to check out Simply Beach. I bet you would be spoilt for choice.

 

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Have a theme

I always like to pack with a theme in mind. That way I ensure we can mix and match various pieces and accessories together. It is like having a capsule suitcase with you on holiday. Having a theme saves you packing more items, which save your packing space and washing when you get back.

 

Crossbody bag

Go with at least 1 crossbody bag. This will free up your hands for when you need it, especially with little ones. It also helps you secure your valuable when out and about in a foreign place. Crossbody bags are a lot more practical than shoulder bags while on holiday. Also, make sure you get rid of any recipes in your purse that you won’t be needing on your holiday. You can also keep bank cards and other valuables at home while going on vacation. That way you keep your purse contents low, and easy to carry in your crossbody bag.

 

Bag them up and steam clean

Keep your underwear separate in lingerie bags and shoes in shoe bags to keep your box neat and organised. You can steam clean any rumpled clothing in the bathroom whole having a shower. Just hang them in the bathroom for a few minutes while showering. The steam will get rid of the creases.

 

 

Put some clothes and underwear in your hand luggage

You should put some clothes, underwear and other essentials in your hand luggage incase your suitcase goes missing. Good to have a change of clothes just incase, you never know.

 

What do you think of these tips? Do you have any holiday packing tips to share?

 

11 Things to Know About Travelling Southeast Asia

*Collaborative post.

 

Travelling through Southeast Asia is exciting and for many, it’s one to tick off the bucket list. However, it can seem like an entirely different world, so it’s wise to be as prepared as possible before getting on the plane. Preparing yourself mentally and physically for your trip will mean you’ll be able to enjoy it as much as possible. Here are a few tips to get you started.

 

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Expect Jet Lag

Travelling to Southeast Asia will mean you’ll probably suffer from some jet lag. Not only is there a huge time difference, but there’s also a significant temperature and humidity difference. It’s a lot for your body to adapt to in a short amount of time. It can come as a shock to your body and you may not feel on top form for a few days. The key is to remember that jet lag is a possibility and take those first few days to rest. So, don’t go planning any extreme activities for the first three to four days of your trip.

 

Eat Some Yoghurt

It may sound like idiotic advice but eating some local yoghurt shortly after you arrive could be one of the best things you can do. There’s often no avoiding getting sick when you travel to a location so different from the one you’re used to living in. Your body will have to absorb a lot of things it’s not used to because you’ll be exposed to things that are completely foreign. The local yoghurt can help settle your stomach into this in a healthier way.

 

Follow the Locals

When it comes to eating out, follow the trail of locals. The busiest restaurants are busy for a reason. The locals will always know the best places to eat, like in toa payoh. The locals are some of the friendliest people you’ll meet, so don’t be afraid to try to engage in conversation and ask for suggestions. If you’re willing to travel off the beaten path, you’ll probably find some hidden treasures outside of the well-known tourist areas.

 

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Don’t Worry About Quality

It can be easy to worry about the quality of the food your served. After all, no-one wants to get sick during their entire trip. If you’re prone to getting sick while trying new foods, it could be wise to avoid street foods. However, restaurant standards are usually quite high, so you don’t need to be as cautious as you may think. You can also drink beverages that have been served with ice. Although it’s wise to consume bottled water while abroad, the ice served is generally purified beforehand.

 

Beware of Copies

When you’re travelling through Southeast Asia, you aren’t going to pick up a Rolex for a few coins. The genuine article would cost you near enough the same amount as your trip, so don’t be fooled into thinking you’re getting a bargain because you’re in a foreign country. If you don’t mind buying copies to take home to family and friends, make sure you do some bartering and get yourself a good deal. But, never be fooled by the stories the salesmen will try to tell you.

 

There’s No Such Thing as a Refund

Life in Asia is fast. So fast, your money will be gone in the blink of an eye. Be sure you want to make a purchase before holding your money out. Once your cash leaves your hands, there’ll be no returning it. If you want to buy from local markets or stores, keep your cash safe in your wallet and your wallet safe in a bag close to you. Don’t bring out your wallet until you’re ready to buy an item and have already agreed on a price.

 

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Sudden Deafness is a Thing

If a little old lady or sweet young boy approaches you to buy something and you decide you want to, make sure you give the exact money. These sellers are fantastic at developing sudden deafness if you want to chase them for change. So, handing over a fifty bill for something that cost five could mean you unintentionally lose forty-five for your troubles. Street sellers can be highly manipulative and tend to prey on traveller’s good will.

 

Travel Prices

Do your research before jumping into local transport. Knowing how much a taxi or tuk-tuk will cost is half the battle when you’re trying to get around. Getting in a taxi without first agreeing to a price could see you bankrupt when it’s time to get out, even if you only travelled a few minutes down the road. What a taxi driver charges as 200 could drop to 50 if you know what the trip is worth and not to be manipulated by this kind of public transport.

 

Arguing Will Get You Nowhere

If you find yourself in a sticky situation, try not to escalate it. The culture of Asians will allow you to diffuse a situation more successfully by creating a joke and smiling, instead of getting irate. Arguing isn’t the way to get what you want when travelling in Southeast Asia. If there’s something that can’t be resolved and it’s important it is, report the situation to your hotel staff or the local authority.

 

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Get Your Shots

You’ll need to go for a few vaccinations before travelling to Asia, at least six weeks before your travel date. However, there are still some things you can pick up that you won’t be vaccinated for. Mosquitos are notorious for carrying hundreds of different diseases, so you’ll need to take a DEET-based mosquito repellant and make sure you sleep surrounded by a mosquito net at night. If you find that the mosquitos are particularly attracted to you, ask the locals for their advice on keeping them at bay.

 

Trust No-one

When you’re on vacation you want to let your guard down and relax. However, it’s important to keep your wits about you and remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

 

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