Avoid Holiday Packing Hell – Follow These Tips and Travel Like a Pro

Packing for an upcoming trip can be exciting and fun, but it can also be tedious, time-consuming, and pretty frustrating too. In fact, you may feel like you are in holiday packing hell as you are trying to figure out exactly what you will need and what you should take and leave behind.

Whether you’re headed off for a long holiday or a short getaway, continue reading for a few helpful tips that will help you pack and travel like a pro so that you can reduce the aggravation you feel while packing and so you can rest assured you will take along everything you need.

Use Compression Bags

If you are planning on packing a lot or you simply do not have enough room in your suitcase for everything that you are planning on taking, consider storing your clothing in compression bags. You will be amazed by how much more you can pack and how much space you can save with these handy bags.

How do compression bags work? Basically, they remove all of the air from your bulky clothes by simply rolling them rather than using a vacuum cleaner to suck the air out. On your way home, these bags are also a great way to pack your dirty clothes.

Make a List of Everything You’re Packing

This may seem like a daunting task, but if you make a list of everything that you will need for your trip, you will be less likely to forget staples behind, like your toothpaste or your sleepwear. This list will also serve you well when you are ready to head home because you can make sure that you are not leaving anything behind in the hotel. Remember that when you pack multiples of the same item, such as multiple pairs of socks and pants, you should note how many pairs you are taking.

Pack Heavy Items on the Bottom

The key is to pack the heavy items in your luggage in a way that will have them at the bottom of the suitcase when you stand it up. This will prevent heavy items from wrinkling or damaging delicate items.

Use Refillable Travel Size Bottles

For things like body wash, shampoo, and conditioner, make sure you meet your airline’s requirements for travel sizes. You can do so by purchasing reusable, refillable travel size bottles that will allow you to bring enough of what you need without having to sacrifice your favourite products and without being forced to purchase another brand if the brands you prefer don’t offer travel sizes.

Don’t Forget Your Accessories

In addition to packing all of the outfits that you’ll need during your time away from home, as well as your shoes, don’t forget your accessories, especially things like your Oakley sunglasses.

Keep these tips in mind when packing for your next journey away from home so that you don’t have to worry about forgetting anything important at home. Then relax until you reach your destination and proceed to have a blast once you arrive.

A Tick List for the Best Family Holiday

Planning a family holiday can be stressful but the overall emotion should be excitement. Taking your family away for a fortnight in the sun or on an action-packed adventure will be the highlight of your year. It is a time to forget the stress of work, bond, and create some great memories. The best way to enjoy the anticipation of a family holiday is to prepare as thoroughly as you can on the run-up to your time away. Here I’ve listed the most important factors you need to consider in preparation for your holiday. So make a list and don’t forget the bucket and spade!

Weather

A week in the blistering sun is not the ideal holiday for all families. You may be a group of especially light-skinned people who struggle to cope with baking heat or you may be winter sports fanatics. If the former is the case perhaps consider a holiday closer to home. The south of England has some warm weather which does not get overwhelming as does the north of France.

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Activities

If you have young children they will need to be kept occupied during a week or two away. A holiday such as the ones provided by UK Breakways to various Pontins destinations are perfect for keeping the kids entertained. Having face painting, tennis, and go-karts all organised for you is a hassle-free way to make sure they are kept busy. Alternatively, you could plan a family cycling holiday or even go on a city break.

Down time

If this is your only holiday of the year you may need to prioritise some relaxation time. It is not pleasant returning to work after a week away and not feeling like you have had any time to recharge your batteries. By having at least a few days somewhere where the kids will be kept occupied but you are able to kick back at the end of your holiday always works for me.

Food

Do you have fussy eaters in your family? It’s a common issue. Probably best to avoid a remote Indonesian island where chips are not on the culinary radar. However, most holiday destinations these days are accommodating to the majority of diets.

Insurance

Make sure you get the boring bits out of the way well in advance. Websites such as Money Supermarket are great for finding the best deals on travel insurance. Also, check your passports to ensure they are in date. It’s a surprisingly easy oversight to make!

Travel

If you have young kids you may want to avoid long haul flights. You may also want to factor in airport transfers if there are family members who suffer from travel sickness.

Packing

Make sure you have all the essentials way ahead of packing. Holiday wardrobe, toiletries and medication should be on shopping list well in advance of the packing phase of your preparation.

Home

Pets and plants may need to be taken care of while you are away. Organise this with a neighbour or friend well long before you go away. Remember they may have a holiday planned for the same time.

Enjoy a South African Family Holiday: Things to See and Do

Boasting coastline, bustling towns and breathtaking scenery, South Africa has plenty to offer those hoping to spend a family holiday there. With diverse cultures, delicious local cuisine and tours of the bush, you won’t be short of things to keep a family of mixed ages entertained. Of course, there is a very obvious rich and poor divide in South Africa, so it’s important to plan and ensure you organise a tour guide for the areas you are unsure of, but there are plenty of adventures you can have alone too. Here are just a few things to see and do in South Africa to help inspire your trip.

Safari

You simply cannot visit South Africa without embarking upon a real African safari. Get back to nature and see some of the world’s most magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. It’s essential you book onto a guide led safari to ensure your safety around these wild animals, but companies such as Flight Centre include safaris and game drives as part of their attractive African holiday packages. Spot lions, elephants and giraffes too and give your family memories that will last a lifetime.

Penguins in Africa?!

Unless you’ve seen the film Madagascar, it may surprise you to learn that you can encounter penguins in Africa. If you’re visiting South Africa, you’re in luck, as the penguins are found only in the southern African waters. If you or your children would like to witness these playful creatures for yourself, then why not book onto a cruise and you may be lucky enough to spot the penguins as well as dolphins, sharks and whales!

Splash Water World

Perfect for cooling off in the African temperatures and guaranteed to please even the fussiest of kiddos, Splash Water World in Port Elizabeth is the activity or you. This aqua theme park has 10 different waterslides, a choice of pools suitable for a variety of age groups, mini golf and rides for the younger children too – not forgetting a refreshment area for mum and dad!

International Market

Take some time to visit the International Market in Durban. It may be a little crowded at times, but the diverse choice of food will more than make up for this. Whatever time of day you visit, you will be inundated with gourmet delights from calamari to quinoa. If you’re wanting to escape the sun, then the tree lined courtyard and fountain are certainly an oasis of sorts, especially if you’re travelling with younger children.

Wherever your travels take you, South Africa is the perfect choice for the family holiday of a lifetime.

Overcoming the Language Barrier on International Business Trips

If you go abroad on holiday, you’ll generally be able to get by talking slowly and loudly while punctuating every other word with a hand gesture. However, in the world of business, it’s a bit different. If you’re looking to overcome the language barrier on international business trips, follow these top tips:

Get a translator

While it may be impractical to take a translator with you on a business excursion, if you have a meeting with a client who speaks a different language, or have documents given to you in another language, there’s a chance you’ll need to use a translator. To ensure everything runs smoothly, it may be a good idea to make use of a professional translation service, such as those offered by London Translations.

Give a little respect

Wherever you go on business, it’s vital that you always show respect for the local language. Even if your translations are poor, showing an appreciation for the language, culture and customs will stand you in good stead.

Mind your language

It’s important to consider certain areas of a country may have variations on the national language. For example, the Basque and Catalan variations on Spanish. Not knowing which language is spoken locally could really rub the natives up the wrong way.

Key phrases are key

If learning an entire language isn’t possible – for instance, if you have clients across a number of countries – learning a few key phrases will help you get by. It’s best to keep it simple and learn the basics, such as how to ask for directions.

It could also be worth carrying a phrase book to help you out. However, a phrase book should only be used for quick references, so make sure you bookmark the relevant pages to save time flicking through the book in public.

Check your hand signals

Hand gestures are a natural part of any language, but an acceptable gesture in one country could be something entirely different in another. So, swot up on the local language, use your judgement and gesture wisely.

Work it out
Some words may look familiar whatever language they’re in, so use your common sense, look at the context the words are being used in, and try to figure out what they mean before asking for assistance.

Let tech take the lead

Using a simple smartphone app could make your life a lot easier when doing business abroad. There are a variety of apps available that can help you properly learn and articulate local words and phrases. Even if you can’t get the hang of the local lingo, the app can to do all the hard work for you.

Be quick on the draw

It could also be worth carrying a notebook around to write down certain words if you have trouble pronouncing them, or even to draw pictures of the thing you’re looking for. While this may not give off the most professional image, it can be a quick way to get your point across with the minimum of fuss.

Take your time

Although speaking slowly and loudly fits the stereotype of the typical Brit abroad, it’s actually a good idea to take your time when speaking in a foreign tongue. Taking your time will ensure that your accent and grasp of the language doesn’t confuse the listener.

Parlez-vous Anglais?

While it may sound obvious, it’s always worth finding out if the person you’re conversing with speaks English – if they do, it could make everything a lot more straightforward and save you stumbling your way through a foreign language.