Planning a trip over during the holidays? Whether it’s via road, rail or air, don’t leave your holiday prepping till the last minute!
Traveling over December and January can be busy, costly and stressful, but not all is bad news. You can still have a great and cost effective holiday provided you shop carefully and plan ahead.
Check out The Crazy Store’s top tips for holiday travel and have a fun-filled stress free holiday.
- Work out your budget and stick to it – The holiday package that includes travel and accommodation may seem like a great deal but don’t forget to factor in cost of meals and activities. You don’t want to end up at a great destination with no money to participate in anything extra.
- Book early – It’s never too early to book your holiday travel especially if you require very specific travel dates or times. But be prepared to be flexible and avoid travelling on peak days such as the day before Christmas or on New Year’s Eve.
- Plan ahead – if you are going to be away from home on any of the public holidays, check which shops and attractions will be open on these days. There would be nothing more frustrating to find all shops and restaurants closed or fully booked on New Year’s Day.
- Self-catering or hotel – The destination and its surrounding attractions is often the prize and you may not spend any time other than sleeping in your accommodation choice. Decide what will work best for you and your family. Remember self-catering gives dad an opportunity to light up the braai and hotels give mom some time off from the kitchen.
- Buy and pack your holiday essentials before you leave – If you’ve forgotten to pack the sunblock or beach toys, you are sure to find them at your destination but will more than often have to pay a premium price for them.
Here at the Crazy Store we’ve put together a list of the top five essentials you need for a beach holiday, road trip or stay at home holiday.
Road trip essentials:
- Map and travel plan: pack in the map and have your route worked out well beforehand. Most smart phones today have GPS and apps which highlight great places to eat, points and places of interest and most importantly, the weather update app. Don’t forget to pack
- Quizzes, puzzles and games for the back seat drivers: “Eye spy” can get a bit boring two hours into the trip. Hang a plastic shoe holder on the back of the front seats and use to store games, refreshments, books and other favourite toys to keep kids occupied on the long trip.
- Essential snacks and drinks, ‘Padkos’: keep snacks and drinks cold in a soft sided cooler bag which won’t take up much space. Make life even easier by packing smaller cooler bags for each kid with all their favourites.
- Toiletries and other essentials: stock up on some easy-to-reach toiletries, such as tissues, paper towels, cleaning wipes, hand sanitizer and a roll of toilet paper, in case the rest stop isn’t well-stocked. Sunglasses are also a road trip must. Don’t forget to apply and reapply sunscreen during your trip to prevent sunburn. It’s also a good idea to include a basic first aid kit with a few essentials, such as antiseptic and band-aids for minor cuts, pain relievers and even some remedies for motion sickness.
- Camera: whether you’re headed to the beach or to the mountains, you’ll make lots of memories on the road and see things you may not come across every day. Keep a camera handy to capture those moments and always pack in a spare battery or two.
Beach trip essentials:
You don’t need a truckload of items for a great beach outing, just these top five items:
- Beach bag: a large beach bag is a necessity and the bigger the better. Look for a bag with plenty of pockets, and mesh material.
- Sunblock and lots of shade: you can never have too much sunblock but you also need to have some shelter from the sun. An umbrella is another great way to protect skin from the sun as well as being useful to keep bags, towels, and belongings a bit more covered and protected.
- Beach toys: where there is sand, there are games for kids of all ages. Pack in a selection of frisbees, beach toy sets, balls, kites, shovels, buckets and moulds for building sand castles. For water babies, don’t forget to bring along paddle and boogies boards, snorkels or other water toys.
- Sunglasses: sunglasses are a must-have for any outdoor activity, especially a day at the beach. Adults and kids all need to protect the yes from harmful rays and make it easy to enjoy a day in the sun. Encourage children to start wearing sunglasses early so they are more likely to keep them on as they grow.
- Cooler bag: a cooler bag is a must have for the beach to store lunch, water, and cold snacks. Also a great place to keep other items that don’t do well in direct sun like cameras and cell phones. Just be sure to keep electronics in plastic waterproof bags.