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5 Ways To Prepare For A Trip with Your Family

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A trip to the beach. Nothing but the sun in your hair, sand in your toes, and a much needed dose of relaxation, right? A trip to the countryside. Nothing but quaint cottages and tranquil views right? But that’s only if you discount the frantic packing and shopping and list-making that occurs the week before you go. And adding a toddler to the equation guarantees at least triple the amount of planning, packing, and stuff to cart along with you. Honestly, the immense degree of thought required when taking a holiday with a toddler might make it tempting to skip the salty waves and tranquil settings altogether. To make the whole process less intimidating, today I’m sharing a few tips that come to mind when thinking about holidays. Today we set off bright and early for a family getaway, something we both were looking forward to, especially after a few meltdowns in the preparations stages. Being someone who loves to write a list, I thought that I would start off with a little bit of list making. I started off by writing a list of all the things the little lady would need and how many sets of clothes I should pack before, I then did a list for me, and then my husband. Before I knew it, I had one day left to pack! Whoops. Then a small frantic meltdown occurred. What do I pack for a toddler? How many baby grows do I take? What shoes? A coat? What if its hot? What if it rains? I some how managed to pack for the three of us, for seven days in less than 24 hours! BOOM! Squeezing as much as we could in our car, setting off for our four hour car journey. Any car journey can be difficult but I thought that I would put a few tips and tricks to help ensure your journey is as care free as possible. 


Before you set off on a car journey the most important thing to consider is the car. You won't get too far without one. And you most definitely don't want to get stuck on the on a single track roads right through the middle of the Lake District, with steep and twisting roads with a gradient of 1 in 3 and break down at the top!!!! So getting your car prepared is essential. My husband loves his car, no seriously he loves his car - so much so, it's like having a second child. But despite how much he loves his car I cannot fault him in making sure that his car is safe and efficient before any long journey. Whenever you set off for a long journey there are always essential checks you have to make beforehand too ensure you have the safest journey. 

CAR CHECKS

All drivers will know the importance of an MOT test so before you set off check your MOT expiry date, just in case you're due. Something else you need to consider before setting off are your tyres so make sure that you check tread depth, pressure and keep an eye out for damage. If you do need new tyres there are a number of amazing places that are more than happy to ensure that all your tyres are safe for your journey. The engine is something that goes without saying too. To ensure these checks are carried out, undertake any task that may need doing a few days before, making one last check that the evening before and that morning. Always check the water/coolant and oil levels to prevent overheating and engine failure. Make checks on your battery in that they are secure, clean and greased and look over belts and hoses too. Even the smallest leak can lead to a dangerously low fluid levels on a long journey. Windscreen washers and wipers must, by law, be in working order at all times. So make sure that the washer bottle is topped up with water and ensure that the wipe blades are arms are in a good conditions. Lastly, not forgetting to go through all of your lights - indicator, brake, dip, full beam, fog etc. I always help my husband with these checks to make sure that there are in full working order. 


PACKING

As parents we all know that when you take a baby or a toddler away, you have to take so much with you including the kitchen sink. So, I have really sat and thought about all the things you will need when you're away. Babies and toddlers need so much so if you're travelling with a really little one you may need a steriliser, as well as the usual bottles, formula, food and feeding equipment. It would also be a good idea to take a travelling changing mat, nappies, wipes. Not forgetting a buggy or stroller, portable highchair and car seat where necessary. More important essentials include clothing, obviously. If you have access to a washing machine whilst away, you can pack lightly with three or four changes of clothes for everyone day and night. If you don't, pack at least one outfit for everyone for everyday that you are away, for babies and toddler you will also need to pack a few spare outfits, we all know how messy little people can get. Don't forget to check our ultimate check list for babies and toddlers to help you on along the way. For adults, all dependent on your activities make sure than you have more than enough clothing to see you though your time away, not forgetting to add in a couple of outfits for an evenings. Don't forget to pack coats, wellies, boots. After all we know what the weather can be like in England.

BE ORGANISED

Being organised is a complete essential when it comes to holiday. If you have more than one child, then you have your work cut out. So along with your lists to start packing in advance, you could also keep in mind that you may need to take your booking confirmations in case any problems arise. Also keep a list of your activities that you plan on doing. I feel as if these really help you stay focused on holiday without missing anything. 


ENTERTAINMENT

Download plenty of toddler friendly apps and games. It also helps to have a good supply of cartoons. Some people may frown upon kids being given tablets to play with, but kids love feeling like they’re doing things that adults do, meaning they will more likely to be kept entertained for longer. And for the sake of a peaceful journey, it’s worth it! Not forgetting to take a couple of films and board games for the evening for the adults. Being a blogger, I like to take photos and so taking my DLSR camera is an absolute must. 


MEDICINE & TOILETRIES

It would be a good idea to pack a first aid kit, medicines, thermometer, antihistamines, jungle formula and most importantly sun screen, of at least factor 50! As well as a few bottles of high-factor sun screen and after sun, if you're spending most of your time in the sun. Not forgetting sunglasses and a sun hat too, plus a shade for the buggy or stroller. In terms of toiletries, again its best to be prepared. Pack the basics; shampoo, conditioners, body wash, plus toothbrushes, toothpaste, extra wipes, talcum powder and a moisturiser.


Don't forget before a long journey you get enough sleep and to eat something. It is always wise to pull over for regular checks and breaks every couple of hours. Go grab a snack, get some fresh air, stretch your legs and if you can have a quick nap. Plan your route, taking into account the times of day when you'll be passing through busy towns and where there are road works. Breakdowns and accidents are often attributed to poor car maintenance so make sure you carry out these check. How do you prepare for a long journey? 
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