Here’s how to put your holiday checklist together!
I’m heading off on holiday and must remember to bring…my passport, bank cards, clean underwear, toothbrush and swimming trunks. It’s pretty difficult to forget the standard things you bring on holiday – but take it a step further and it starts to get complicated. Did you pack the sun lotion? Did you remember to pack your daughter’s aqua shoes? And are you sure you remembered to pack that book you wanted to read, or your favourite magazine? There are few things more annoying than getting to your holiday destination and realising you forgot to pack some things that you need. I’m here to help you put together your ultimate holiday checklist!
Step 1: A solid basis
Putting your checklist together is not unlike developing a football team. You start by listing the absolute essentials – what do you definitely need to pack? Obviously that’ll include your passport, your phone and your debit card – but of course it’s not all that handy (not to mention expensive) to have to buy everything you need once you get to your destination.
Make sure you don’t forget your driver’s license, credit card, health insurance card, car registration certificate, booking confirmations and any insurance forms you might need. You probably have some of these available digitally, but a printed copy can’t hurt. Of course you’ll also need all your essential toiletries, a couple of shirts, pairs of trousers, towels, shoes, underwear and socks.
Tip: Of course you can leave your bank cards in your wallet, but I always put all my printed documents and forms in a separate folder.
Step 2: Taking it up a notch
All the basics are on your list. Now we can take things up a notch. What clothes will you need, and how many of each? What camping equipment is already available at the campsite, and what do I need to bring myself? And what do we need to keep us all entertained once we’re there? Games, toys, music, books, DVDs, games?
Of course this depends a lot on the type of holiday you’re going on, your camping equipment, and who you’re travelling with – so we can’t list all the options here. There are a number of checklists for your camping holiday destination online, so use these as a starting point. An example of one is on the Suncamp holidays website. You probably won’t need everything on these lists, but using them as a starting point reduces the likelihood of forgetting any of your essentials.
Tip: Even if its summertime where you’re going, it’s always an idea to bring a warm sweater or cardigan. At night or during an unexpected downpour it can quickly cool off. Are you bringing electronics with you? Then don’t forget their chargers!
Step 3: The personal touch
Does your daughter find it impossible to sleep without her favourite cuddly toy? Do you really want to play badminton at the campsite, and do you need to bring your own set to play? Or do you have a favourite perfume you always wear on nights out? It’s time to complete your list with your personal favourites, or the things that are essential for you.
Don’t forget any special creams or medications. Are you allergic to some insect bites? Or do certain foods give you an upset stomach? Don’t forget to take the medication you need to nip these irritations in the bud.
Tip: Write down everything you think of, but don’t forget to cast a critical eye over your list – make sure that you really need to bring everything on your list. Otherwise you won’t have room to pack it all!
Step 4: On the road
You’re not afraid of a bit of driving, and once everyone’s had their cat nap you can still have some fun with games like counting all the red cars you see. Even with games for on the road, the mood can turn at any time. Hunger, thirst, boredom and tiredness can kill the holiday mood, and if you’ve got nagging children in the back seat, the trip will feel so much longer.
So make sure you have enough with you to ensure entertainment and comfort for the round trip. Put together a playlist for the car radio, and let your kids pack their favourite games, apps, (audio) books and CDs. Worried they might want to bring too much? Give them each one bag that they can fill with things they want to bring. Always include enough food and drink to keep going even if you end up sitting in a traffic jam for a while.
Tip: Put everything you need for the journey in one bag. It avoids having to stop at every petrol station on the way to get things from the boot. Remember to take some delicious sandwiches with you, and even if you’re eating on the motorway it’ll still feel like you’re having a picnic.
Step 5: Before you go out the door
Your bags are packed and you’re ready to go. Before you close the door, don’t forget to check that you’re leaving everything at home as it should be. So make sure you’ve emptied the bins, that there’s no food around that can go bad, and that the thermostat is set a little lower than when you’re at home.
Also check that you’ve locked all your doors and windows, and that your pets will be well taken care of while you’re away (or are they coming with you?) You can also let your neighbours know that you’re going away. Then they can keep an eye on your house for you.
Tip: Here are some ways to prevent your home being burgled during your holiday We’ve listed some ways to prevent break-ins for you. One of the tips is emptying your mailbox (and keeping it empty while you’re away).
Of course I’m interested to hear what your holiday checklist looks like. What are you planning on taking with you, and are there things you think other campers should remember to bring?