1: Check your passports
Children’s passports only last five years and they have a habit of running out when you’re not looking. Allow at least four weeks to renew them. The cost of a last-minute passport is astronomical, so check, check, and check again, this document is the most important one.
2: Make a List
About a week or so before each trip, I make a mental list of items I don’t want to forget — which I WILL forget if I don’t write them down. I’ve learned that when I think of something, I need to write it down.
3: Learn Common Phrases of the Local Language
A simple “Please,” “Thank you,” and “I’m sorry” in the local language goes a long way. Knowing the language also will help you when ordering food and drink or maybe when you’re looking for a bank or a certain beach.
4: Always Bring a Sarong
Sarongs can be used as a wrap when you are cold, a towel, a curtain, or a piece of clothing that can be worn dozens of different ways, it is also very thin so it won’t be a pain to pack.
5: Make Photocopies of Important Documents
A friend of mine lost her passport at the airport. She was told that if she had brought a copy of it and extra passport photos they would have let her travel. Since she didn’t, she was forced to forfeit a £1,000 flight and a week in Europe. I now carry a copy with me.
6: Pre-plan You’re Outfits
As a last-minute packer, I’ve spent too many trips with all black or all grey outfits because I didn’t plan my outfits before packing. I look back at photos and wish I had put more effort into packing. Take your time and think carefully, as we all pack way to much clothing only to wear maybe three or four outfits, remember the days may be hot so really all you will need is a bikini and a pair of shorts for the day, and a little black dress for the evening, easy hey.
7: Bring Lotion in Your Carry-on
I fill both sides of a contact lens case with hydrating lotion (I use this all-natural hydrating lotion) because they rarely have it in the lavatories and aeroplane cabins are exceptionally dry.
8: Stay Hydrated on Planes
I know it’s fun to get drunk at 30,000 feet, but it’s also much easier to get dehydrated. Staying hydrated — especially on long-haul flights — makes it easier to get over jet lag too. Although you are allowed one alcoholic drink, after all you’re on your holidays, just don’t get too carried away and end up rolling off the plane.
9: Beware of Free Public Wifi
I always try to avoid logging into bank accounts or entering any passwords while I’m using free public Wifi at a place like an airport. I’m not as strict about it once I’ve gotten to my hotel, especially if they have a password for their Wifi It’s better to be safe than sorry.
10: Alert Your Bank and Credit Card Company of Your Travel Plans
This is a great habit to get into if you don’t want your credit card company or bank to put a hold on your card while you are overseas. As this can be very annoying, you don’t want to have to start calling up the bank when you’re just about to put the kids on a quad excursion and you’re gently pulled aside.
11: Wear Sunscreen All the Time
The sun is blazing and all you want to do is run out into it and turn a lovely brown colour. Well stop and think about your skin and what repercussions a burnt body will have on your holiday. Yes The Lobster Look! Not attractive. Take time to apply your factor 50 before adventuring out into the open, you will still tan through this you, you just won’t have any harmful rays attacking your skin, makes sense doesn’t it.
12: Check Where You Stash Your Liquids
Every time we get to the airport you can guarantee that there will be at least one sneaky bottle in the hand luggage that shouldn’t be. Check your bags as it’s very annoying when everyone is staring at you, the one holding everybody up, because of one small bottle.
13: Separate Your Sources of Money
Don’t keep all of your money and cards in one bag or wallet. We usually hide some money and a backup credit/bank card in a separate bag — not the same bag as my wallet.
14: Be app-y
Thanks to toddler-friendly apps, there’s no need to cram a toy box into your hand luggage when travelling by plane. By all means take a book and a colouring book, but the most compact form of entertainment is a device loaded with apps and games, this will keep them entertained right the way through.
15:Keep Bugs at Bay
Whether you’re travelling to Paignton or Peru, antibacterial wipes and hand sanitiser are handbag essentials that are small enough to carry around. A wipe of the cutlery in restaurants where you’re unsure of hygiene, or a squirt of hand sanitise when there’s no washing facilities, can zap a few germs and prevent toddlers catching some common bugs.
16: Don’t Forget The Medicine
Whether they’re out of routine, jet-lagged, or eating less healthily, kids always seem to get ill on holiday, this has happened to us many times. Dampen the impact of broken nights, frayed temperaments and fevers by packing an easy-to-swallow medicine such as Calpol or Ibuprofen Paracetamol. Other basic ingredients in your first aid kit should include antiseptic wipes, plasters, sting treatment, and a thermometer, if you need further help there are always medical centres dotted around wherever you may be (remember your travel insurance before leaving).