Thursday, February 15, 2018

What to pack for a last-minute holiday

It's Chinese New Year tomorrow! For many Fil-Chinese schools and businesses, that means it's a holiday so hello long weekend!

If you’ve decided to spend the weekend on a family getaway, then don't panic, mamas. While a long break sounds like a brilliant way to relax – nothing can beat the excitement of a last minute holiday, right? – it doesn’t mean that you can leave the success of your break to chance. You still need to pack efficiently. In fact, you need to be twice as efficient than you normally are during your holiday preps because a last minute plan doesn’t leave you much time to get ready. So what do you need to pack in your luggage to make it work for you and your family

Transitional clothes for both warm and cold kinds of weather
When you don’t have the time to study the weather, you need to prepare for cold and warm temperatures. Be reassured: it doesn’t mean that you should pour the entire contents of your wardrobe in your travel bag. 

Whether you're going to the beach or going on staycation in a posh hotel, make sure to bring midseason jackets for your family, as they’re ideal to keep you warm during a cool and windy day but they’re not too heavy so that you can still wear them when the sun is out. My husband always packs jackets for my kids (because I always forget, given our tropical climate). Why? Because when we go on long road trips, the car gets cold. When we book at a hotel, the A/C gets really freezing (even when I turn it off!). When we went to sunny Bohol and climbed the Chocolate Hills, guess what—it was windy and drizzly and chilly up there!

Just remember the onion skin layer concept. Pack clothes that you can layer on top of each other if you need to: T-shirt, light jumper, cardigan, etc. 
We left the hotel, it was hot and sunny. Thirty minutes later at Chocolate Hills, we were freezing!

The entertainment factor
It’s a holiday, however short it is. Consequently, it has to be fun! If you’ve still got enough time, make sure to book some tickets for local attractions and shows. Whenever we go to Tagaytay, for example, I really make kulit my husband to go to Tagaytay Sky Ranch and the zoo at Residence Inn. He hates those places haha but the kids love them! 

Additionally, make sure to pack a few toys to keep the kids occupied during the journey. While you don’t need to throw all their toys in a bag, you should have at least three different kinds of games such as a soft toy, a colouring book, and a board game, for example. I allow my boys to bring one toy each. More than the entertainment factor, their toy comforts them in a strange place. 
While boating in Burnham Park is something we won't do again, I'm glad we still got to do it!

Essential tech devices
Back in my day, there was no such thing as gadgets. Now we have a small bag just for it! We bring the iPad. It keeps the kids from running all over the airport or the hotel lobby when we're preoccupied with checking in. We bring a camera. We have chargers and wires and power banks. If we're traveling abroad, we bring a universal plug. 

One thing I really want is a smart suitcase that has an inbuilt GPS system. Have you seen those? This suitcase makes sure you'll never lose your luggage. Suitcases now are so hi-tech actually. They have built-in chargers, built-in child seats, and some bags even follow you around like a puppy. This last one I think is stupid because people will trip over that darned thing, diba??? Just look at it.


Looks cool, though.

Don’t forget a snack!
If your trip is going to last a few hours, you’d better pack some yummy snacks to keep you going. Best to pack your own chips and cookies, too, because those things are so expensive at tourist spots!  You can also make your own healthy snacks in a moment. Popcorn is universally loved and it's low in calories (unless you add tons of salt and butter).  Not a fan of popcorn? Try homemade power bars instead. They’re full of superfoods and don’t require any baking time, so they’re ready in no time. 

But we make sure to buy the local snacks, like ube halaya and strawberry jam from Baguio.

From appropriate clothes to something to eat on the way, it’s important to know what to pack when you’re in a hurry. Don’t let your last-minute holiday be ruined by poor packing and do enjoy the long weekend!

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