I know it’s absolutely ridiculous to write this after the year we’ve all had, but I’m already feeling slightly anxious about planning our holidays and trips away this year. I know! But I’m not a naturally organised person, and one of the very few things I’ve enjoyed about 2020 was NOT having to book anything in advance… and don’t get me started on kids’ holiday clubs!
I’m also the world’s worst packer – which is partly why I started the company in the first place – I like to be able to fold out my wash bags and see what I’ve put into the clear pockets, otherwise I end up rummaging around because I can’t remember if I’ve put in that favourite lip balm, or other holiday essentials!
So, apart from designing a range of beauty bags – there are other strategies I’ve developed to help me and make the process a bit more painless. Life is busy and stressful enough, and holidays are supposed to be about enjoying ourselves, right? So here's my 10 point planning travel tips and my holiday checklist to make the process go that little bit more smoothly:
- To start with, one of my holiday essentials for planning is a year to page calendar. I just download a free one online and print it off. I don’t know why, but I always feel 100% better when I can actually see the calendar in front of me.
- Now, with a highlighter, mark school holidays, bank holidays, annual leave and any trips already planned. Now you can see how much time you have to play with.
- If some of your trips involve other people, find out when they are free and pencil in provisional dates (with a literal pencil - you’ll see why in a minute!)
- Once you’ve agreed roughly WHEN you can go ahead, you can now research WHERE. I like to ask everyone to write a holiday checklist and list their top 3 holiday essentials. For the kids their travel checklist involves proximity to activities or things they want to see. My travel essentials are more likely to be practicalities, like how much it’s going to cost and how we’re going to get there.
- Present them with a shortlist of 3 or 4 and select from there. Remember to bear in mind recent changes due to Brexit and Covid-19 when selecting your holiday, for example rules on quarantine or visa requirements.
- Now you’ve narrowed it down it may be that you have to alter dates on your calendar, depending on availability, that’s why I always use a pencil and a free printout, just in case the scribbles get too unintelligible, and I have to start again!
- Once I’ve booked accommodation and transport, it’s time to consult my handy travel checklist to see what actions I need to take, then I add the holiday checklist tasks to my yearly calendar. I also add them to my digital calendar, so they automatically send me reminders. The more you can get on lists and calendars, the less you need to carry around in your head. I always think of my brain a bit like a computer, it starts to run slowly if you have too many tabs open!
- Nearer the time you will need a holiday packing list, so you don’t forget any of your holiday essentials! There's a beauty packing checklist below, because there's nothing more irritating than finding you've forgotten one of your holiday beauty essentials when you get to your destination - you are supposed to be pampering yourself on holiday after all!
- I have a digital travel checklist which I update on my return each year, print out, and keep in my suitcase. That way when I open it up it’s there from the year before and I don’t have to start my holiday checklist from scratch each time. Knowing you're not going to forget your holiday essentials makes packing so much easier - dare I say it, even a pleasurable experience!
- Don’t forget to LOOK FORWARD to your trip! We now understand how important it is for our wellbeing and mental health.
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