Pack Your Own

For the upcoming holidays, the boys were going to carry their backpacks and their individual sets of:

– sunglasses 

– caps

– jackets 

– Lip balm

– Handcream 

– Storybook

It was time for them to take charge of their mini set of belongings, while we take care of the rest.

This time round, I also got Z to prepare his clothes. Actually, I had planned for X and given that both boys had the same clothing item 70% of the time, it was not hard for Z to grab the items from his wardrobe.

For the balance, I asked him to propose. Mr H, on the other hand, packed the necessities like underwear and socks for them. Well, that was where we contrasted on parenting. 

He would rather do it than save the hassle of making sure they knew how to do it and appear like the sweetest parent. I would rather go through the hassle of teaching them how to fish than to fish for them and appear like the meanest parent. 

Upcoming holiday 

According to my usual style, we would have packed our luggages weeks before the trip. This time round, we were less than ready. Perhaps it was a summer holiday, or that we were going to the land of shopping. 

With us jumping on the bandwagon of essential oils, they had joined the foray of the medication pouch.

Here’s my travel checklist:

For health:

1. Chinese tonics

2. Children and adult medicines for flu, fever, cough and stomach pains 

3. Travel sized Manuka honey 

4. Essential oils and spray 
For electronic use:

1. SD cards (clear memory)

2. Camera 

3. Travel adapters 

4. Charging cables and chargers 

5. iPad

6. Selfie stick 

7. Audio jack adapter 
Other items:

1. Passports 

2. Printed bookings

3. Books, Assessment Books & pencils 

4. Hand cream 

5. Local currency

6. Foreign currency (in small notes)

Service or the lack of it 

Having visited and toured many countries, there were a select few that offered no service.

In planning for the upcoming holiday, I had had several brushes. Suffice to say, the unpleasantness could be a sign of things to come. I must remember to breathe and most likely avoid returning to this place for a long time to come. 

I should breathe more!

At this stage, I could only keep my fingers crossed very hard.

To stay or not to stay 

Whilst booking the June holidays, I came to a crossroad of whether to stay or not to stay at the theme park’s hotel. It was more than double the price of an equally well located hotel, though they differed in number of stars.

One part of me supported the notion of paying for experiences, the novelty of being there and it was probably going to be the only trip to this location in a long time.

Another part of me wanted to be practical. There were many things which we could buy with that amount, or which we could save too. Having a minimalist shopping movement also meant I tried to buy as few items as possible. 

Experience, shopping or savings?

Countdown to June holidays 

We were approximately a month to holiday.  It was a trip that we planned, cancelled, planned and cancelled, to the point that I wondered if we were really going until we reached there.

I always used booking.com for booking of accommodation. I loved the transparent cancellation policies and free cancellations in most instances. I had gotten so used to the free cancellation option that it did not sit easy with me to commit. 

Keeping fingers crossed! 🤞🏻

If the trip worked out, we wouldn’t have to plan any holiday camps for Z. 

Holiday planning & recap

Considering that we had booked up to 4 holidays in advance, our kiasu factor ranked high. 

I had maxed out my planned leave for this year, so all I could do was to plan ahead for the following year. 

The kids remembered their holidays fondly. Every now and then, we would be quizzed as they walked down their memory lanes.

Where was my first holiday?

Which countries have I visited?

Where did we go in 2014?

Z was at the age where he remembered tons. If I didn’t check my records, I would not be able to remember. Hence, Z surprised when he was able to rattle off where we had been. In particular, X had asked us where he’d been in his first year, his second year. I actually got the answer wrong but Z proved to be the better of the two.

It helped that I had photo books so the boys really enjoyed looking back and flipping through those precious memories. 

Counting down 

It was another 2-3 months to a break. 

Given that I had booked the trip last year, there really wasn’t much to do except to plan for the shopping list. 

Meanwhile, the children were reminding us day in day out. 

Actually, we spoilt them such that they had come to expect trips every school holiday. It would do them some good if we could leave them behind soon. It would also do us some good because we could pack a lighter luggage and spend less! 

I really should start counting down to the day we could leave them behind. This was an indication of the kids’ irritating quotient.