Lifestyle

Lifestyle

Packing Tips for Your Caribbean Cruise (Family Edition)

So, you’ve booked your holiday after weeks of researching and navigating busy travel websites. You and your family are excited, but now the hard work begins. You must begin to pack for your week-long (or more) getaway! As a busy mom, or dad, packing well for the entire family is critical. Use these useful tips to pack like a pro for your upcoming Caribbean cruise.

CLOTHING 

Choose your outfits. When packing for your entire family, ensure be sure to bring a variety of outfits that will work for changes in the weather. You will need both casual and formal outfits including:

1. Bathing suits, shawls, cover-ups. 

2. Dinner outfits, cruise wear & semi-casual wear for shore trips

3. Cold weather wear, including long pants & sweaters, just in case

4. Flip-flops, deck shoes, heels, flats &  running shoes

5. Accessories: Shawls, hats & sunglasses.

CHILDREN

Pack or Help Your Children Pack. The same rule applies here. When packing with kids in mind, the same clothing rules apply. As moms and dads, we must now add those items that make our children sleep well at night and experiences the comforts of home:

1. Blankie, stuffie or favourite toys

2. Toys

3. Books & magazines

4. Gaming devices, ipad

5. Notebook, diary or exercise books for drawing or colouring.

6. Inflatables

7. Night light

8. Bottles, sippy cups, bibs

9. Stroller or baby carrier

10. Travel crib

TOILETRIES & ESSENTIALS

I like to pack a separate case for my makeup and toiletries. Through trial and error, I have also learned to incorporate my daughter’s items into my makeup and toiletries case. 

1. Skincare. Pack travel-size makeup remover, day cream, night cream, toner, moisturizer and face-wash. Pack any skincare item that you cannot live without!

2. Makeup. Include: foundation, powder, eyeshadow, blush, lipsticks, bronzer, set-tanner, mascara, eyeliner and primer. Take makeup brushes, face spray and any item that give you the best finish for your makeup. 

3. First-Aid Kit: When travelling with children, this case is a must. Include: medications, bandaids, bug-repellent, lighter, sun-block, polysporin, after-bite ointment, medication for motion sickness and upset tummy. Also pack a room spray (just saying!).

4. Pack an electronics case with the gadgets needed to be “plugged in” (if so desired) while away, including: telephone chargers, extra cords, extra headsets. 

5. Pack a case for hair care and/or sun-care: shampoo, conditioner, brush, comb, hairspray, hair-mask, small blowdyer and hair-ties.

TRAVEL BAGS

A vacation is as good as the bags you carry! Be sure to pack a variety of bags to put your best foot forward, while being practical, organized and ready to slay!:

1. Beach tote

2. Small cross-body bag

3. Knapsack for shore trips

4. Evening bag or clutch

5. Satchel or handbag

 

To pack the Soca Life way, put on your favourite tunes and open your favourite bottle of wine. My favourite red these days is a merlot from the 3 Dog Winery from the Picton area, near Kingston, Ontario where we live. Crank up the music and enjoy. Happy packing!


Adventures of a Travelling Mom

I travel quite a bit for work. I spend alot of time getting prepared for my out of town trips. Travelling for work requires organization and support from my entire family if everything is to run smoothly while I’m away. With each and every out of town trip, I learn something new that will help me on future trips. Here are  5 travel hacks that I now swear by:

1. Meals: Before travelling for work, I spend one day cooking and freezing meals for my family. In this way, when I am out of town, Eric can reheat and serve.

2. Packing: In preparation for my time away, I keep my travelling toiletry case packed and up-to-date. When I am running low on supplies in my kit, I record items that require restocking such as travel size toothpaste or body wash. 

3. Hotels: Once I know my destination, I book most of my hotel stays with Hotwire.com. Hotwire works by offering guests discounted rates on unsold hotel rooms. I have often stayed at 5 star hotels for much cheaper than the regularly posted rates. 

4. Phone Charger: To ensure that I never run out of “juice”, I travel with a portable charger, in addition to my charger cube and charging cord. On one trip, my portable charger came in handy when I needed to show my electronic train ticket before boarding the train on my way home from Ottawa.

5. Checking-In: To be sure that my family and I are on the same page, we created a check-in phone call at 8:00 p.m. each day. This works for me when I am out of town because I can clear my schedule for the call. It also helps my hubby to organize his time with Kennedy and also ensures that neither of us is calling at an inconvenient time.

5 Back-to-School Hacks for Busy Moms

  1. Time. Give yourself the time you need to get your home organized! Leave the cottage or your vacation with one to two days to spare, even if it is for your own sanity. This will give you the time you need to sort our your grocery list, to do the laundry (sigh…does it ever end?) and to begin the planning process for the busy month ahead.
  2. Meals. Prepare and freeze a few meals for the first week back. Spaghetti and meatballs or pea soup can be easily refrigerated for easy retrieval and reheating. If you kids are old enough, they can throw the food in a plate and reheat in the microwave. This will save you time when making lunches in the morning or when you’re too busy to make a meal from scratch.
  3. Routines. Create a list of daily or weekly routines and post them in a place that the little ones can easily see it. I purchased a wall planner from Staples that uses a dry erase marker for easy use. 
  4. Babysitters. Secure part-time sitters (new and returning) who can be relied upon for dates nights or other events. Good sitters are hard to find (can we talk honey!) and it is crucial to ensure that the schedules of returning sitters have not changed. 
  5. Outfits. Work with your little ones to plan outfits for each day the night before. This will save time and effort each morning, especially if your child likes to get (ahem) creative in the morning.  
 

Watch Artist Cheryl Heap Create a Soca Life Mural!

           Artist Cheryl Heap (www.cherylheap.com/soca-life) – Used with permission.