A straw poll of my friends tells me that most of them will be grabbing a few days away over the festive season, with most visiting friends and family at home or abroad for a couple of days or more. I can’t think of a better time of the year to jet off for a winter sun break; warm your bones and enjoy some time away from the hectic festivities.
It turns out that my straw poll was pretty accurate, travelbag.co.uk have recently conducted a survey and found that 37% of people jetting off over Christmas will be visiting family, 24% will be visiting places outside the UK and 18% are on the hunt for better weather. I’m a bit surprised that more people aren’t looking for winter sun though.
I often think that trying to grab a break away with the family can feel like more trouble than it’s worth, by the time you’ve done all the washing and sorted out all the things you need to pack you’re almost entirely fed up with the idea of going away. Whether you’re going near or far, here are my top tips for packing and also in- car/train/plane entertainment –
Packing for your Christmas getaway –
- Keep a packing list on your computer, the things you always need to take, clothes, underwear, hairbrush etc. print it off and use it each time you go away as a check-list.
- Travel light, or as light as you can. If there is a washing machine available you can plan to do a wash or two while you’re away, yes it’s a domestic chore but I’d rather wash than pack half of my wardrobe.
- Check the weather forecast before you go, it won’t be 100% accurate, but you’ll have an idea of what kind of weather to expect and consequently what kind of clothes you’ll need to pack.
- Wherever you go they will most likely have shops there, so it’s not the end of the world if you forget to pack toothpaste!
- Don’t forget to bring a few of your child’s favourite things to help them settle – a book, a toy, a puzzle and their favourite snuggly for bedtime!
Entertaining kids on a journey –
- If you’re in your own car then it’s often easier, you have your own space and you don’t have to worry so much about disturbing other passengers. We’re big fans of audiobooks and CDs for the car so we can have a family sing along. Planning a “spotting game” is always good, ticking off when you see a bus, a lorry, a smoking chimney, that kind of thing. When all of your efforts are exhausted, we break out the portable DVD player, nearly 2 hours of battery life and a pair of headphones are enough to restore tranquillity to the car.
- Trains and planes are good for quiet games, such as the Shopping List game from Orchard Toys, Dobble or even Snap! If the kids are old enough some quiet time reading their favourite book can be good, and like in the car a DVD player or tablet with headphones is a good way to occupy them for a while if need be.
- Whilst we do try and generally limit screentime, playing a game on your tablet, smartphone or hand-held gaming device could be a good way to wile away a bit of a long journey, and it gives you a break from endless games of I-Spy and Snap!
Travel is always a great learning experience for children no matter what age they are. Talking to them about where you are going and why, as well as what you might see or do there. Getting them involved and invested in the planning of day trips and things to do whilst you are there is something you can do ahead of time, or while you’re travelling to your destination. Showing them pictures of the famous landmarks in the area, showing them maps of where you are going and talking about currency are all fantastic things to do to not only get them prepared for their holiday but it can also help to develop a whole range of skills and knowledge for later on.
And for those lucky enough to be going away for Christmas itself, Travelbag have created this Christmas hub which is all about people spending Christmas abroad, however, Santa will always find them .
Are you going away this Christmas? What are your plans? What are your Christmas getaway packing essentials?
=In collaboration with Travelbag =