Home from holidays – hints and what to pack…

  • Posted on July 21, 2011 at 10:14 AM

School holidays are over now…

Julia and her family recently enjoyed an interstate family holiday. Staying in a self-contained holiday rental house, here is a list of hints and essential items that Julia has compiled over many years of family holidays!

When planning a holiday it all starts with deciding on your destination. Once you have decided where to go you then have to decide on your accommodation. Whilst Julia’s family are keen campers they also like to enjoy other types of accommodation as well, particularly in the middle of Winter. Most recently they stayed in a lovely holiday house. When deciding on a house in a particular area, Julia prefers to be walking distance to the town centre. This makes shopping and dining out much easier as you don’t have to end up driving every time you want to go anywhere.

Allow plenty of time prior to your holiday to organised pet boarding or neighbours to mind you pets and collect mail etc.

If driving to your destination, about a month before you leave make sure you have your car serviced. The reason for doing it a bit in advance is so that if there are any issues or repairs that need to be done you are not organising these at the last minute. Sometimes issues arise after the car has been worked on – again you don’t want to be dealing with these by having to return to your mechanic in the days before you leave or worse still issues arising on the road and becoming stranded in an unfamiliar country town. Make sure your roadside assistance membership is up to date with your preferred level of cover.

Whilst holiday rental homes are generally well equipped, it always pays to take a box with a few essential kitchen and other items. Depending on your family’s preferences the box might include:

  • sharp knife and cover – while a knife block with selection of knives is usually supplied, these can often be blunt
  • coffee plunger – sometimes supplied but always take one just in case if you don’t drink instant coffee
  • preferred tea, coffee and hot chocolate selection including sugar (in case these are not available if staying in a smaller town)
  • a decent can opener – usually supplied but they tend to be the cheap and nasty variety that don’t work so well
  • extra tea towels – again these are supplied but usually not enough
  • hand towels – even when all linen is supplied hand towels are often missing or not enough
  • a couple of older towels that can be used as foot towels at front door in case of wet weather
  • thermos – very handy for on the road trip or for use on day trips to places where you cannot easily buy a cuppa
  • preferred detergents for washing up and laundry
  • garbage bags with handles – so handy for all sorts of things and not just rubbish!

When visiting rural and regional areas, seek out the locally owned and operated supermarket such as IGA rather than Coles or Woolworths. The independent supermarkets will often have a selection of local produce which will vary from area to area but often includes items such as jams, pickles, cheeses, gourmet oils and so on. Of course also support the local smaller shops such as butchers and bakers as well as stopping at farm gates and cellar doors where possible as well.

One of Julia’s favourite hints so as to make the unpacking on arrival back at home a bit less daunting is to make use of the laundry facilities if provided. That is, do as much washing before leaving the holiday house so that everyone takes home clean clothes that just need to be unpacked and put away. This is much more enjoyable than facing endless washing!

Happy planning for your next holiday!

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