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In about four weeks, we’re off on our first family holiday of the year. I am desperate for some sunshine – it seems to have been a particularly long winter, and Spring has so nearly sprung. But not quite yet…

I always get excited about a new adventure, after all travel is my passion. But now that I am a mother, going away has a different resonance because not only do I feel I’ve earned a well-deserved break, it’s also a chance for me to spend some quality time with my husband and son. Preparing for it, however, will never be the same as before Monkey. There is so much to consider when travelling with a youngster in tow, as I recently discussed in a post Top 10 Tips For Parents Travelling with Young Children.

I remember when it was just the two of us:

  1. I used to lay things out, co-ordinate outfits with bikinis, and shoes with evening attire.
  2. Iron things, and fold neatly into a pile – days in advance.
  3. Make time at the local beauty salon for primping and preening.
  4. Get to the airport in a prompt and organised fashion with about a zillion hours to spare
  5. Browse the shops in a leisurely fashion; go to WH Smith and spend a while choosing holiday books and the latest issues of my favourite glossies; shop in Boots for last-minute toiletries; and buy make-up that I didn’t really need from Duty Free because I could get about £3 off.
  6. Enjoy several beverages of the alcoholic variety in a slow, relaxed manner before boarding the plane.

With our trip to Thailand just around the corner, there is still so much for me to do and get organised. For starters, I need to dig out all my summer wear from the loft and their vacuum-packed bags, and try figure out what fits Monkey from last year, and what doesn’t. I also need to make lists – I am very good a making lists because they are my saviour. The main problem, though, is finding the time – I am so time poor at the moment what with my job, blogging duties, mummy duties and household duties. And, even though I am super-efficient, the below will still happen when the time of our holiday arrives…gin

  1. I will shout a lot – especially when barking orders at dear husband, who will, try as he might to follow my instructions, will still end up doing something wrong. Poor man.
  2. Forget where I put the plug adaptors… every year I always put them in a ‘safe’ place and then end up turning the house upside down in my fruitless search for them.
  3. Have to buy new plug adaptors (see above).
  4. Throw as many clothes that look wearable into any suitcases that I can lay my hands on – there will be NO ironing…
  5. Then worry that they’re too heavy and spend ages trying to use the scales to gauge if I’ve gone over our luggage allowance.
  6. Have no time to paint my nails and beautify. And then do it last-minute and give myself a smudged paint job and streaky orange legs.
  7. Struggle to fit our suitcases into the car.
  8. Decide to buy something to eat at the airport, then realise that departure gate is about 2 hours from the terminal so have to eat everything super quickly, while gathering son, husband and hand luggage, and frantically run to the boarding gate.
  9. Monkey will need the toilet just before we get on the plane – probably a number two.
  10. Breathe a sigh of relief while the plane is taking off
  11. Have a gin and tonic because it would be rude not to.
  12. Then have a mass panic that our luggage will be lost. And that I didn’t bring everything we needed.
  13. Have another gin and tonic
  14. Finally, relax…

I wouldn’t be me, if I didn’t worry but since I am writing this quite some time in advance – I am determined to find those blasted plug adapters and to write those all-important lists.Zen

Here’s to stress-free preparation and a stress-free holiday!

Images: Fotor, Flickr: JonathanEmmanuelFloresTarello, Flickr: cyclonebill