Getting ready to Spring into Spring Break!
Spring doesn’t officially arrive till March 20th, but I, like the rest of my town, am getting ready for spring break. I thought I’d help get me/us in the “spring of things”! (Pun intended, btw). And because no one I know is angling towards a snowy spring break…I’m really focusing this blog towards those who are searching for Sun…like me!
What to Pack
Less is more. With airlines charging a premium for baggage, packing as lightly as possible can save you big. Try to fit all of your things into a carry-on bag and pack your smaller purses into an oversized purse for your “personal item.” With some careful packing, you’d be surprised how much you can stuff into your luggage! Try to pack basic wardrobe pieces that all work together. If you start planning outfits with shoes and accessories, you’re going to need a U-Haul just to get to the airport. Think jeans and/or shorts, white shirts go with everything (especially a tan), at least one pair of shoes you know you can wear all day or all night. If you’ll have access to laundry facilities, so much the better. Leave the good jewelry home. And that applies to me as well. I was recently downgraded by American Airlines from Platinum, and now have to pay to have my bags checked. Ugh…that means we will be travelling very light this year!
Found these tips from a houston CBS affiliate, which also applies to sunny and snowy destinations!
1. Check the weather of your destination before departing. Are you headed somewhere with a cool climate? Will you be romping around adventurously in heat? Look at your weather forecast and pack accordingly.
2. Jeans. You can never go wrong with a great pair of jeans. Chances are that you will not wear them everyday so one to two pair will be sufficient. Sometimes I pack them for a trip and never wear them. What a waste of suitcase!
3. Sunny Attire. If you are headed for some fun in the sun, then you definitely need a swimsuit as well as waterproof sunblock. Sports sunblocks made for athletes are great. They absorb in the skin quickly and give you great protection, regardless of your sweating issues.
4. Cool Runnings? If you are going somewhere cool, consider a sweater or two. I recommend no more than two sweaters. Sweaters can take up large amounts of space and chances are that you will not be wearing them frequently.
5. Shoes. If you are like me, then you will pack more shoes than you will clothes! Remember, if you plan on being by the beach the whole time, you really do not need a boatload of shoes. So one pair for going out and another pair for walking are ideal. Chances are, (if you are anything like me), you will find a few pair while on vacation to bring home! Make room for those wonderful discoveries and assets! Workout shoes; flip flops; ballet flats and strappy sandals for evening. That will do it for me.
6. Not Too Many Toiletries. Purchase those travel sizes of containers for your soap, creams and lotions. Buying the larger and bulky sizes of essentials will weigh your bags down.
Roll your clothes, rather than folding them; they’ll take up less room and won’t get as wrinkled.
Use clear plastic storage bags for your toiletries. If a something spills, the mess will be contained.
Wear your heaviest/bulkiest items on the flight to save precious cargo space.
If your family is each bringing their own electronics, they need to be responsible for their own chargers!
On my list of things Not to forget
1. Sunglasses – I always bring a spare pair…lest I lose one (gasp)!
2. Sunscreen – Start high and work your way down to a lower number…It is Not prudent to start with an SPF 4 or 8…start with 30, and work your way down.
3. Beach tote – to hold my sunglasses, sunscreen, magazines, books, and iPod (iPhone, iPad, etc).
4. Chargers for all our devices…and because I have the iPhone 5, I cannot get away with the same charger I use for my iPod and iPad. I do try to have a little case, with all my chargers, ear phones and iPod so I just grab it and throw it in my carry on.
5. Sandals…mainly Flip Flops! 🙂
6. Shawl for the plane and for chilly nights
7. Books to read. I’m going to bring 3 Jen Lancaster books, because she’s sassy, sarcastic and I can fly right through those books while laying by the pool…which is one of my absolutely favorite things to do, btw. 🙂
What to Listen To
What to Wear
For individuals travelling by car:
■ No one likes to have vacation plans interrupted. Before you hit the road, have your vehicle serviced at a CAA Approved Auto Repair Service (AARS) facility to make certain it is in working order to get you to your destination.
■ For safety, plan your route in advance and make sure to travel with a fully charged cellphone and emergency road safety kit. Keep in mind, however, that under Ontario’s distracted driving law it is illegal to talk, text, dial or type using a hand-held communications device while driving. If a phone call must be made, have a passenger make the call, or wait until you are able to safely pull off the road.
■ Take your time; many highways will be congested with vehicles as people anxiously make their way to their vacation destination. Allow plenty of time for your travels and adjust your driving habits to reflect the weather conditions. When travelling for longer distances, notify someone of your intended destination and anticipated arrival time.
■ Excited children can be a challenge in the car. Regular stops and seat switching will turn their attention to something new until the next stop, while also preventing driver fatigue and distraction.
■ Though your travels on the road are family time, remember that you will be in tight quarters for the duration of your trip. To help keep arguments at bay, pack a range of games and activities that will cater to everyone’s interests.
For individuals travelling by air:
■ Long lines are commonplace at airports during this popular travel season, so be sure to arrive early for your flight. Eliminate unnecessary hassle by checking in online with your airline and receiving your boarding pass in advance of departing for the airport. Remember to confirm your flight’s status before leaving as well.
■ Avoid being surprised by extra fees by verifying your airline’s policy for baggage and help save time at the airport by weighing your luggage before you leave
■ Though no one likes to think about it, preparing for the unexpected is an important part of travelling. Leave copies of your passport identification page, itinerary and insurance policy with a friend or family member who can be reached during your travels if necessary.
Tips for College Kids
1. Sunscreen. You can’t have too much of it, especially when you’re in, on, or near the water – or on the sparkling white beaches! “Authorities” recommend at least an SPF 15. If you do get burned, take aspirin or ibuprofen, and wear a hat and a long-sleeved shirt in the sun till the sunburn goes away.
2. You’re going to be in the sun. You may get overserved. You’re going to dance too much. In other words, you’re going to dehydrate. So drink some water and stay hydrated.
3. Watch out for traffic. The streets around the bars, clubs and hotels are ALWAYS busy. Not everyone driving a car should be driving a car…be safe and cognisant of your surroundings.
4. If you get a jellyfish sting, don’t rub it. That’ll only make it worse. Put some meat tenderizer on it, or go to a walk-in clinic.
5. Balcony jumping. If you hang from balconies while drunk, chances are you’ll fall. Fall, and chances are you’ll die. Avoid this by not climbing on balconies.
6. Know the drinking age where you are. The bartenders, cops and judges won’t forget it… so don’t try ’em.
7. Travel in groups. Don’t let your friends wander off with strangers. Just because it’s Spring Break doesn’t mean the predators take the month off.
8. Watch out for the riptide and rip currents. They’re narrow sections of current too strong to swim against and will take you quickly offshore. Swim parallel to shore until you are out of the rip current, then swim towards the beach. Or drown.
9. Watch your drink. Spiking drinks is considered sport for some people…Never set down your drink or let it out of your site.
10. Visit the ATM in groups. Friends can keep a lookout while you’re withdrawing cash to lower the risk of robbery. If you must go alone, be sure to cover the keypad when you enter your pin number, just in case someone is watching or the ATM is equipped with an illegal skimming device that steals card information.
11. Keep your money safe. Carry a limited amount of cash at a time as well as a single credit card. Never flash wads of cash at the ATM or in other public places. Tell your credit card company that you’ll be traveling before you leave to avoid holds on your account due to suspicious activity.
12. Remember that sun exposure and alcohol don’t mix. Spring break often involves lots of time lounging in the sun and in hot tubs, both of which can intensify the effects of alcohol in the body. Take it easy, and remember to slather up with sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, even when it’s cloudy.
(Source: Panama City tourist bureau)
Family Friendly Ideas for Spring Break…from 5minutesofmom.com
1. Go camping.
If you want an adventure and are looking for an experience that your family will talk about for years, go on a camping trip. From rain storms, to pesky critters, to noisy neighbors, camping will leave your family with something to talk about and the best part? After a couple years, your less than desirable camping moments develop into stories with a life of their own!
2. Book a stay at an indoor waterpark resort.
If camping is not your cup of tea, maybe you’d prefer to book a stay at an indoor waterpark resort. In addition to the waterpark, many resorts also offer kids activities like story time, crafts and game rooms adding to the total experience.
3. Visit a major metropolitan city.
When I think of major metropolitan cities, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and New York City come to mind. Each city boasts a vast variety of educational, cultural and plain fun touristy attractions!
4. Go to the Mall of America.
Any mall may be considered a perfect destination for teenagers who love to shop, but with a seven acre theme park, aquarium and LEGO® store, you’ll find the Mall of America has attractions that will appeal to the entire family.
5. Take a road trip.
Pack a bag, grab some snacks, fuel up your car and set off on a road trip that you’ll never forget. Drive along a popular route like the Mile High Highway, Pacific Coast Highway, Lincoln Highway, Extraterrestrial Highway, or Route 66, stopping for spectacular views, roadside attractions or whatever grabs your fancy.
6. Volunteer as a family.
Spending your time giving of yourself to help others is a very rewarding experience. To be able to do the same as a family offers immeasurable rewards. Not only does volunteering together strengthen the family unit, it also opens communication channels, teaches values and builds character.
7. Try something new.
Do something your family has never done before. Eat at a new restaurant, visit a new attraction or try a new activity as a family. You could pan for gold, hunt for diamonds, zip line, kayak, snorkel, ski or go for an airboat ride. The possibilities are endless!
And, by chance if you are Not travelling this spring break, may I make these suggestions:
1. Go see Silver Linings Playbook. Definitely in my Top 10 of movies. Loved it, and hated to see it end!
2. Try a new restaurant you’ve been dying to go to.
3. Be a tourist in your own city or town.
4. Get a spray tan!
5. Read that book that’s been on your list. I recently finished: Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn. I loved it. On my list for this spring break: The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach, along with 2 by Jen Lancaster.
6. Take $20 to the Dollar Store and go hog wild and buy 20 things! I’ve gotten chicklets gum (6 to a pack, and comes in mint and fruit flavored), hard cover books, Liquid Plumber, gift bags, tissue paper for gift bags; office supplies.
7. Try a smoothie a day!
Safe travels to all, and here’s to doing Nothing at all!!
Happy Birthday Pop…we miss you!
Check out my last post on spring break:
- Spring Break With Kids: Best Destinations and Activities to Fit Your Budget (parenting.answers.com)
- An Alternative Spring Break That Helps The Homeless (wreg.com)