Whilst we absolutely love to travel, see the sights of the world, have adventures and soak some rays in a foreign land, we’re not really those people that “live for the holidays”! You know working to mainly go on holiday after holiday and counting down to the next one the day they get back? Yeah its just not us. We do work hard and save for holidays but its not the driving force, more of a bonus and treat every so often I guess. We have a goal to see one new country/place a year and give the kids opportunities to appreciate, experience and learn of other cultures and their history, but then the rest of the time we are also content with random little day trips and short breaks around the beauties of the UK.
We believe its very important for a happy and fulfilling life to always have things to look forward to and I think that living holiday to holiday prevents enjoying the daily adventures – the ordinary moments that make life the experience that it is and therefore whilst we haven’t (until recently) let it dominate all we do, we have very much been looking forward to our summer holiday, and because we have been so busy living life its here before we know it – we are all so very excited too. We have a huge list of “to dos/to sees/to eat” and the kids can’t wait to get on an aeroplane. Its great to hear them ask “how many more sleeps til Italy?” and they are the biggest pair of giddy kippers. Its this I love, to see them get excited for something huge that doesn’t happen too frequently – it keeps holidays special and extra ordinary! But no matter how prepared you think you are though it always seems there is so much to do before a family trip and my week (other than a couple of sick days) has been dominated by ‘Holiday Prep’ – Packing, laundry, cleaning, shopping, printing, planning and sorting. Thankfully though I haven’t done it solo and it has been great to see us all work together to get ready for some family fun in the sun!
Cleaning/Sorting/Laundry: I don’t know about you but since creating my own little family I have developed the need to completely blitz the house, catch up on all of the laundry and put it away, strip and remake all the beds and generally have a spotless, clean, tidy home for our return. Of course I know it means I am creating more work than perhaps is usual but its something I look forward to when we get back, I do it every time, yes it requires a lot of effort but its always worth it when you come home to nothing to do (for a couple of hours). The kids have been grand at helping and their room has stayed surprisingly tidy since Thursday.
Packing: I packed most of our stuff early on in the week so I knew that we had enough of everything, so that the kids especially wouldn’t wear their clothes and leave me frantically washing and drying them the day before and so that i’d have time for other things later in the week. We’re only taking a carry on each firstly to save money but mainly because we don’t need anything more than will fit in that size luggage – I am learning how easy it is to travel light and love it! I found it so easy to plan enough outfits with minimal ‘stuff’ and feels very refreshing to go with useful outfits rather than a case of clothes and too many shoes I will only wear half of.
Planning: Mid week Nath took the kids one evening to see his parents and siblings still living at home to let me rest. He returned with the biggest bag of food from his mum as she thought it would be nice to fill the cupboards for our return – how lush is that? That is what I love about mums they think of the things were yet to learn. It was great prep for after the holiday and it was one less thing to think about. I was so happy for her thoughtfulness and experience, it was very much appreciated and it made my day!
One of my fave evenings though was when we all congregated on our bed and started to look up places and images of where we are going, it was fab to get excited together and make plans of everything we hope to see and do. Nath was so into the holiday spirit that he snook off and printed the boarding passes, it was a lovely moment.
Shopping: Not technically shopping but it did cost money and was an important preparation – E had a hair cut ready for his hols as he hates a “sweaty head”! He loved his new do…
The rest of the time has been spent legging it all over for travel bottles (3 for 69p in HomeBargains), beach towels (£3.99 in Aldi) and sun hats/cream, but mainly in search for the perfect swimsuit for me (and more shorts for Nath). It has been so hard to find one thats flattering, funky, supportive (uplifting) and not too expensive – im long overdue a new one and it has been quite a dilemma to get one that ticks all of the boxes. Ive been to Debenhams, Primark, BHS, M&S, Sainsburys, Tesco…it goes on, I found the perfect one in BHS and it had 20% off – they just didnt have my size *sob*! So in the end on Saturday evening I settled for this one in ASDA for £12 – I like the colours and that it doesn’t show much but I feel the neck tie digs in around my armpits a bit..but Its nice enough and will keep me going for a summer at least!
I am so ready for a holiday and the extra ordinary moments it will hold for us. I have loved getting everything sorted for it and being prepared, I love to see the kids giddy-ness and treasure these ordinary moments of ‘holiday prep’ that we have all pulled together to accomplish and now we cannot wait and look forward for the adventures ahead…