Mummy Confession: I’ve sometimes forgotten to do things before I leave the house, like take out the trash, or hang the laundry, but these are things you simply cannot do when leaving on holidays.
As we prepare to go on holidays for a short while, there are some things we need to remember, so I figured I would compile a list and share it here as well. Hopefully it will help you remember what to do when you go for a trip, whether it be a day or months at a time! Pin it for later, or share with someone you know who is going away for longer than a few hours!
1. Take out the trash– In the bin, and if there is a garbage day while you are away, be sure to put it kerbside and arrange for someone to move it after it is emptied. Nothing like coming back home to a house smelling rancid or the bins completely full for another cycle before they are emptied. Or, the chance that there is a windy day, and your bins wind up wrecked or involved in some hit and run incidents.
2. Use up/store the perishable foods– Whether you are freezing meat or making sure to eat it, be sure you don’t leave it for too long in the fridge! Milk, vegetables, and other products need to be eaten, drank, or stored properly away, too. French toast for brekkie every morning before the trip could be a valid option!
3. Do the laundry– You will have enough to do upon your return, and no one wants the smell of dirty gym clothes sticking around too long in the laundry basket either. And be sure nothing sits wet in the washer. Mould and mildew are not pleasant!
4. Wash the Dishes- Not only will it be nice, look nice, and all that jazz, it won’t wreak and be covered in mould once you come back from your time away. Let it also be noted, if you have children or people who leave cups and containers, etc with drink or food in them, find them and empty and wash them all. Spoiled milk in a sippy cup is no one’s friend.
5. Ask someone to keep an eye on your mail– Especially if you’re expecting a parcel or a large amount of envelopes, it would be a good idea to ask someone to mind your mailbox! If you are away for a substantial time, put a hold on your mail.
6. Sort out the children &critters- Duh to the kids, right? And I’m case of pets, always ask someone to help care for them if they aren’t coming with you on your journey. You can have someone come to your house, or find somewhere for them to stay so they are properly cared for in your absence.
7. Be sure all appliances (minus the fridge) are unplugged and off– There is no need to have more electricity running while you are gone, and there are obvious ones that would be fire hazards. Just unplug everything that doesn’t need to be on. It’s probably also smart in case there is a lightening storm and the chance of surges especially with computers and other technology.
8. Lock up everything- Before you leave, be sure everything is locked properly and maybe close those blinds.
9. Ask someone to keep an eye out– Whether it’s a neighbour or friend, it’s wise to have someone check on your place while you are away and let the proper authorities know if there is any suspicious activity. Maybe consider giving your phone number, too.
10. Put a hold on any subscription service that is unneeded- Grocery or food box subscription? Ask to put a hold on it, as you don’t want to come back to rotten food. Going away for a longer time? Consider asking your internet provider or cable subscription service to put a hold on your service until your return. No need to pay for months you won’t be using if it’s a long trip!
11. Mow the lawn- In case of lawn-mowable seasons, just do it before you go so your lawn isn’t (too) overgrown when you get back. I can’t imagine needing to do more when you get back from a relaxing time away.
12. Tell someone who cares about you details of your trip, just in case– I err on the side of caution, and always tell someone how long I should be away.
13. Flush all of the toilets– Just do it because…well…do it. Better yet, scrub them down before you leave and come back to a clean toilet.
14. Turn off the lights– Nothing like a high electricity bill to greet you after an expensive holiday! Am I right?
15. Make a list of what you need to get on your way home- Now, maybe it’s a given, maybe it’s not, but if you’ve emptied your refrigerator before leaving on holidays, you may be missing any sort of ingredients to satisfy your hunger (or the hunger of the little ones) upon your return. Be sure to swing by the grocery store on your way back if possible, or set up for a grocery delivery the day on or after your return, so you don’t need to worry about it. Especially a smart move if you return to work or school the day after you come home.
I hope these are helpful as you pack for your journey wherever and for however long you may be leaving! If you have any other suggestions, I would be glad to hear them, so I don’t forget anything!
Mummy Confession: I don’t mind hours in the car on the road. However, a road trip with kids is a bit more complicated and may prove a bit challenging!
As I mentioned before, we are taking our first family trip to the snow soon! I have compiled another list of things to bring on the road! Not only for the drive, but what to have close at hand, and just in the car, when traveling with kids!
Plus, better still, some great suggestions for games, recipes that travel well, and other advice from fellow-travelers! I’ve included a quick click here, or scroll to see! To check out what to bring to the snow (for kids), check out my post here.
Road Trip! What to Bring in the Car/Specifically for the Drive:
We’re talking a 4+ hour drive with kids in tow. Two of which are toilet trained, so that should be interesting! I want to be sure that on the trip down, we are taking minimal breaks (I mean, as minimal as you can with kids). In order to insure this, I have a list of what we will be taking in the car, strategically placed so as to have necessities accessible while driving. You know how it is when little Munchkin wants that’s toy that’s in the boot? Yeah, we will try to avoid that.
Easily accessible or in the front:
1. Eskie (Cooler) with drinks/snacks– Nothing says “pull over!” Like a thirsty child. Be sure to have plenty water bottles and other beverages for you and the kids as well as some ice packs if desired. We bring a water bottle for each child in addition to drinks, so there is less mess going! Sippy cups are my favourite.
2. Snacks/Food– The road trips in my childhood bring back memories of my beloved Barbeque chips and savouring them as we drove along. Snacks can help pass the time and hold the kids over until the next rest stop. Opt for healthy, or whatever suits your family! There are some great road-worthy recipes for snacks and ideas below courtesy of some amazing Bloggers! (Click here to skip to the recipes)
3. Activities/Games/Toys– I often pick a few cheap toys the kids haven’t seen yet and hide them for a bit and give them out at random times. Nothing too loud, of course! You do need to be in a car together for hours! If you enjoy playing games in the car or need other suggestions, there are some ideas below (or click here).
4. Toy Organiser/IPad Holder– Unless you wish to hold everything on your lap, it’s probably best to invest in something to store all the bits and pieces from your kids’ toy box. We opted for something to hold a tablet so we can play a movie some of the time, or a couple toys or tissues that are easier to grab. Skip Hop looks like they make good organisers.
5. Chargers for phones with car adapter &Phones– You don’t want your phone to run out of batteries while you are on the way to your destination. Especially if you use it for a GPS or to stay in touch with other cars on the way there!
6. Any music desired– When “99 bottles of” your chosen beverage are no longer on the wall, or your refuse to entertain the idea of signing that, opt for some alternative tunes. Go “Retro” as the kids call it nowadays and blast some of your old favourites, or if you’re game, let the kids pick the music. See some ideas below (or click to skip there now).
7. GPS or other Directions– We do need to arrive somewhere close to our holiday spot, eh? I think this one is self-explanitory.
8. Access to internet or written down numbers/addresses for hospitals, medical centres, etc (just in case!)– You can never be too prepared! Either have information on your phone, in a notebook, or however your prefer. Google is great for searching, too, if your GPS is questionable (I know mine is…), so be sure whatever you are using is reliable! And when in doubt, follow the signs!
9. Car Pass for Toll Roads or Money for Tolls– If you plan on travelling the way of Tolls. Try to stay away from trolls and bridges though.
1. Tissues and/or Wipes– Messes happen, and so do boogers. I often have a few travel packs on hand throughout the car. Baby wipes aren’t just for babies!
2. First Aid Kit– So long as you have access to the first aid kit in the car than its location isn’t necessarily needed in the glove box (it’s jut the easiest place to store it.) I will say, make sure you have a vomit bag in there because, well, you never know. If you would like to purchase a first aid kit, Mumma Morrison has a great place to find one with a great cause here (first aid kit proceeds going to families in need to provide first aid training).
3. Spare Change– You never know when shops may not take cards or have minimum EFTPOS limits. Take some cash just in case!
In a Container or Bag in the Car (I call this my Go Bag):
1. 1 Change of clothing for each child, full set with two pairs of understuff
2. Wipes – Always an essential. Even without babies.
3. Nappies (if you have one in them)- I always have three per child who needs them.
4. Plastic bag or wet bag– For dirty or wet clothing, or rubbish you need to bring from the car.
5. Towel, blanket, burp cloth or muslin wrap– For the messes, spills, and comfort of your child. Especially in winter, I always carry a blanket.
6. Nappy rash cream– Sudocreme is always good one to bring, because it is not only a nappy rash cream, but is also good for cuts, grazes, and burns. Be sure to use a cotton bud if you intend to use it on more than your baby.
7. Potty seat (just in case!)– With a couple who are toilet trained, you can never be too certain where the bathrooms are on the road. Or, if you child will decide they need to go as soon as you hit the longest stretch of road without toilets.
“I love the app “Elmo loves you” for my 2 year old. It doesn’t require data so it’s great in the car and there’s a heap of activities within it. Get the free demo version first to see what your child thinks.
Worried about relinquishing your phone? Put it into airplane mode so your toddler can’t make calls or post your selfies on Facebook!” from Mel- Anyday Adventures
“Portioned bags of air popped popcorn, ‘scroggin mix’ of nuts and dried fruit, portioned bags of chopped carrot, celery, cheese sticks and rice crackers all make good snacks for the road” from How She Does It
“We need our portable DVD players. They keep everyone quiet for a good hour. You also need scheduled breaks. So find the best parks or kid friendly cafes or towns with lolly shops. Map those out before you go.” from Entertain My Tribe
Mummy Confession: We have never been on a family holiday. This winter, we plan on going on a nice holiday to the snow
Disclosure: This list has been compiled of my own accord and I have not been compensated or sponsored by any of the following companies for this post. This post, however does contain some affiliate links which just means I earn a percentage in qualifying purchases, but has no effect on the price you pay. Please see my full disclosure policy for details.
To my friends overseas, it may seem like a silly idea, having to travel to see the snow. Sydney never gets snow, though, so it is necessary if my kids want to see the fluffy white stuff. They have never seen snow (except for when my oldest was 9 months old, but there is no way she remembers that). So, this is going to be exciting for everyone!
Now, coming from a snowy-winter State in the US, I have an idea of what I will be needing as we travel, but needed to create bit of a list as I’ve never been there with children. I’ve compiled a list of essentials when traveling to the snow in Australia, essentially this is a list for adults and children, but I have mostly included photos of the things for children. I hope this will help anyone set to pack up and head to frolic about the flurries!
Included below are some things to bring along and Part Two includes some road trip essentials, snack ideas, game/activity ideas and helpful tips from fellow road-travelers.
This list will be edited upon my return and critiqued as well!
Here is the quick click for the lists on this topic:
(The later ones will be edited to click through to the next post)
1. Lip Balm & lotion– Those cold temperatures can make lips and skin quite dry! Be sure to go for a Chapstick with SPF, because lips can get sunburn, too! I prefer the Blistex range for myself. Over here, there aren’t as many choices, but they offer a fair few types in the US.
For lotion, I’m a big Nivea and Aveeno fan! Aveeno is great for my bubs sensitive skin as well, so win-win! I make sure to apply it several times a day, especially on my hands, as they get chapped and dry very quickly in the winter weather!
2. Sunscreen– Though it’s cold, the sun is still out! It reflects off of the snow, and you can wind up with some pretty bad sunburn if you aren’t careful. I have very fair skin and so do a couple of my kids, so I need to be mindful of when I last applied sunscreen, and that I cover everything that isn’t covered by clothing. Be sure it’s a good brand and actually true to the rating. You can do some research here on sunscreen and finding the right one for you. We use Nivea SunKids 50+ Roll On for the kids, and Cancer council Classic 50+ Classic for the adults. Our littlest has to use a more sensitive sunscreen, and I have been recommended MooGoo Sunscreens for him.
3. Snow Gear- pants, jacket, boots, hat and gloves all waterproof or water resistant. Yes, you can do it old-school and just wear thicker pants and a warm jacket. I know how quickly things get soggy, and soggy turns to frozen in the cold. I wanted to make sure I purchased winter-proof (and water proof or resistant) snow pants, coat, gloves/mittens, and boots especially!
–For Jackets/Coats, I prefer ones without the fluffy bit outside the hood, as I recall my childhood was spent picking the snow and ice out of the fluff, and it just seemed to trap it close to my face. A hood is essential for my kids, even with a hat, just to keep the snow out of their suit! I opted for ones with snow skirts and all the bits to keep snow outside the jacket! I’ve bought the girl’s jacket from Mountain Warehouse, and the boy’s from Amazon.
–For Pants, Similar guidelines for the pants, as they had to keep the snow out, and keep warm! I prefer the overall style, as I don’t need my kids’ pants falling down as they play! The girl pants from Mountain Warehouse have a removable Overall. The boy’s does not remove, but I think that’s for the best! I opted for two pieces rather than one, as two of the kids are toilet trained, and it’s easier to take off a pair of pants than to try and manoeuvre out of the whole suit itself! I hope this proves a smart move on my part!
–For Boots, I made sure to go up a size, as thick winter socks are a lot better for the snowy temperatures! I look on Amazon for reviews in order to better choose a pair for my kids, if not to purchase online as well. I purchased my boots from Mountain Warehouse and Amazon. For the style, it was just based on which reviews were the best, and the design did not matter. I found a great design that was less than half as much as the others, so I went for the camo! They’ll be hiding under the pants, anyways!
–I prefer mittens for smaller kids, as it’s a hard enough job to get a thumb separate from the other fingers! I really love these Thinsulate gloves I found at H&M! They are water resistant and not super bulky for already struggling little fingers. Gloves are fairly easy to track down, but just make sure they do keep little hands warm!
-I found these great thinsulate hats online which are made to keep extra warm, but not as thick. You can find these a range of places. I also have the fur trapper style hats for the littler kids.
4. Thick socks– I love the woollen socks by Holeproof Explorer, and they do keep your feet nice and cozy! I also managed to snag some merino socks from the Aldi snow sale!
5. Thermal gear or layers– Plenty of clothing is essential, and the warm clothing especially. Back in the US, we layered up more than wearing thermals, but I find with kids, the less clothing needed, the less laundry I have to do later. Kmart has thermals for all ages at affordable prices, so I started there. I picked up a couple for each child. I also got some merino style shirts as well, as I have been told they do better for regulating temperatures. They do tend to run more pricey.
6. Warm clothing and pyjamas– Again, this is obvious, but you wear more, and you soak through clothing no matter how water resistant your gear is due to sweating, so bring plenty of warm things to change into after your activities outside. My favourites for the kids are some cozy fleece PJs from Kmart or these lovely footie pyjamas my mum sent me from the States. For the baby, I prefer to sleep him in a tog rated sleeping bag with the appropriate clothing, or his merino or tog rated sleepwear.
7. A four wheel drive vehicle or chains – Apparently in Australia, if you do not own a four wheel drive vehicle, chains are required on tyres upon traveling to snowy areas. This is a new thing for me, because I’m fairly certain they were illegal in my home State.
8. Plastic bags or other waterproof bags– For transportation of wet gear. But, a more handy tip we used back stateside was to actually wrap our feet (over top of the socks, under the boots) in plastic bags to prevent having soggy socks which turned into frozen toes.
9. Water Bottles– Its important to stay hydrated, especially when you don’t think it’s too hot. Chapped or burning lips can be a sign of dehydration (or sunburn), so be sure you are getting the recommended intake of water each day, especially if you are participating in snow sports. Be sure the kids get enough, too, because they often forget. We use these Camelbak ones for the kids, which have a handy place for a caribeener to hook them up and not lose them in the snow!
10. Snow Fun– Now, you can hire or you can buy your fun. We’ve purchased a couple small sleds in Aldi’s snow sale, but plan to hire anything else needed as we need. I’d prefer not to bring all the bulky equipment that we won’t use after this trip, and it shouldn’t run too pricey, as the kids are young and mostly want to run around in the snow.
1. A travel cot– Obviously where we go will have beds for those who sleep in them, but the baby needs somewhere to stay, too! I’ve heard the Baby Bjorn Travel Cot Light is quite good!
2. Portable High Chair– Of course wherever you go will have chairs, but in case they don’t accomodate younger babies, a high chair will be needed. I opt for the more portable options that can be stuck on any chair such as the Target brand portable booster or the Gro Company chair harness.
3. Sleeping Bag, Swaddle or Sleep Suit– those cold winter nights can mean a chilly baby. In order to help you figure out what clothing and tog to use, most companies make a chart to help. The Gro Company has a handy thermometer called the Gro Egg in order to let you know what layers and sleeping bag would work best. We recently purchased the ErgoPouch Sleep Suit Bag and Love to Dream Sleep Suit (the comparison is here if you want to know the differences), so those are some other great options.
4. A Good Baby Carrier– IF you are going to be outside with a baby in the snow for a while, and this baby isn’t great at walking (or doesn’t walk), it may be a good idea to take along a good carrier for bubs. The Baby Bjorn Carrier One Outdoors is great for active times, and it is built to keep weather out a bit better than a typical carrier, as well as drying quicker. It may be a bit of a time to put a fully snow-proofed baby into though- I guess we will see!
5. Medicines, just in case!– You don’t want to be running around trying to find medicine at all hours of the night, so it’s best to pack just in case! Be sure you carry paracetamol, ibuprofen, allergy medicine and any other occasional medicine you have used. We add an inhaler, some eczema cream, and some cough/cold medicine as well as vitamins and probiotics.
6. Nightlights and Comfort Objects– Being away from home may mean some homesickness or uneasiness about travel. Bringing a comfort toy from home and a nightlight may help them feel more secure and also help them during the night when they need to get up and use the toilet or for you to see if you need to tend to their needs as well. The GroEgg is a great option for this, and doubles as a thermometer as well!
Mummy Confession: I have a hard time letting go of things I’ve bought for babies, especially the “big ticket” items.
Disclosure: This post is not affiliated, sponsored, or otherwise endorsed by Tree Hut Village.
We’ve all done this, I’m sure. After having one child, and unsure about time between children, we put the car seat, the high chair, and maybe even other large items in storage. They gather dust and appear useless until needed again for years. It’s either that or sell on buy/sell pages for a few dollars more than nothing
Did you know, though, there is a way to make some extra money off of those unused baby products you’ve packed away in storage, just in case you need it again?
Introducing Tree Hut Village, a parent-to-parent lending community! I’m excited to tell you all about this new platform, and hope you are as excited as I am about this opportunity to help others, and maybe make a little back in your pocket as well!
What is Tree Hut Village and why was this community created?
Tree Hut Village is Australia’s first parent to parent baby equipment
hire platform.^ It is a community designed to allow those who wish to hire their baby equipment to parents.
This initially was designed with traveling parents in mind, as they have the choice to either drag their bulky equipment around in and out of travel locations, or hire from a company. It can be quite a lengthy and expensive process to hire from big companies. Tree Hut Village provides a simple 3 step, all online, process for both lending and selling.
Listing your items is completely free, and there is no cost to start up. Tree Hut Village only deducts a 15% administration fee after you have approved a booking. I have to say that’s amazing, for the fact that they connect you to a community that would otherwise be very difficult to manage yourself!
I love the community that Tree Hut Village has created for parents, and the opportunity to support local families while we travel!
Why the name “Tree Hut Village”?
^Tree Hut Village was the name chosen because the creators wanted to express what’s important to them:
– Fewer items go to landfills (“the tree”)
– Enabling giving back to the community (“the hut” stands for tangible things)- that’s why we partnered with charities like St. Kilda mums
– Parents helping parents to travel hassle free or to earn some extra
How can I participate in this community? Why should I participate?
Firstly, you need to go online and register with the platform, and you just start either listing items you would like to lend (they must comply with Australian standards and be no more than 6 years old), or selecting items you would like to borrow.
The lending process is merely three steps:
1. List an item (it’s completely free!)
2. Approve bookings as they are requested.
3. Connect with borrowers when and lend your baby equipment.
Again for someone borrowing, just three steps required:
1. Search for an item and check its availability.
2. Book and pay via the security of the website.
3. Connect with the lender and confirm pick-up details.
Both lenders and borrowers are able to leave reviews, and the listing will remain active until changed by the lender themselves.
You should participate because it’s a good way to make use of your baby equipment while it is just around collecting dust! Be a part of the community and help others who would like to either trial a product before they buy it, use equipment while they travel rather than hiring elsewhere, or just have an item for a shorter period of time rather than buying it. We all know that baby equipment can be expensive to buy outright, and it’s only used for a small portion of time!
The community is growing, and it would be amazing to see people from all over Australia offering to lend their unused baby equipment in order to help others!
Mummy Confession: I’m pretty terrible at remembering holidays other than the “main” ones, so it came as a little bit of a surprise that Mother’s Day is indeed this coming Sunday!
I have compiled a list of ideas, thanks to some other bloggers who are more on top of it than I am, in case you haven’t quite found that “little something” or idea you were after. Please feel free to share this post, or any of the links with anyone who could use some inspiration!
If you have a website or blog and would like me to feature you on this list, feel free to leave a comment or fill out the contact form! We can always use ideas for gifts!
Is it truly the last minute and you did forget to get something and you want to have it on time for Mother’s Day? Check out my ideas for Super Last Minute Gift Ideas. Yes, it was for Christmas, but the ideas listed are for year round last minute events!