Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Summer Vacation 2015

We are back!!! After 13 days, travelling more than 2000 kilometers, we are finally back at home safe and sound. Which is all I hoped for because this trip was not as smooth sailing as I'd hoped it would be - I can't wait to tell you all about that! If last year, we opted for a short trip to Paris, this year we went all out with a 13-day family trip to the south of France. Our first priority was the beach - the sound of the waves, sand in our feet, the salty water, and the sun shining. It's been too long for this island family!!! But we got more than what we had bargained for. We experienced all the feelings that's possible to feel. Happiness, Fear, Anger, Hunger, Amazement, Wonder, Awe, Contentment, Surprise, Exhaustion, Sleepiness. All of this we felt and we felt it together. Because that's the thing - something happened to our family on this trip. Something definitely good. Gone were our (MR and I) once-a-day senseless fight. We took the time to talk, listen to each other, and just enjoy time. Gone was that feeling of hurriedness.

I was determined to go on holiday fully-prepared. In this folder are all the information I needed before leaving home and it was handy more than a couple of times!

So what did I put in my folder? 

1.) I had all important telephone numbers and addresses. Contact numbers of our loved ones and the addresses of the hotels we were staying at. This made it easier when we had to type it in the GPS navigator while on the road.

2.) I also printed out an itinerary of our trip. This included the dates, cities, names of hotels, the road to take (with the kilometers / fuel expenses / and toll fee charge), and the duration of the road trip. I printed out a copy and gave it to my sister (just in case).

3.) I had hotel reservations for 3 cities that I reserved through the website Booking (click here). I printed out a copy of the reservation confirmation sheet with all the important details.

4.) Things to do list. Weeks prior to the trip I took some time to really research the places we were visiting (and adding places to visit!). My Things to Do list included landmarks, things to see, places to eat at, local specialties to try, and etc ...

5.) We were staying one week at a Mobilhome we rented so I had the reservations contracts, confirmation numbers, quotation, and receipts printed.

6.) I bought online entrance tickets to a theme park, so I made sure not to forget to bring the tickets. The tickets were cheaper online and it saved us time once we were there since we didn't have to line up anymore. Anything else we bought on site.

7.) I looked online at the city's Tourism Offices (Office du Tourisme) for the ongoing summer activities. I also noted down the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the banks, police station, fire station, tourism office, taxis, hospital, doctors, nurses, and pharmacies.

8.) I made a potential list of daily schedules depending on the activities for each day. For example, buying fresh fish at the port was everyday, but the night markets were only on Fridays and Saturdays. We also wanted to take up Catalan language class on Monday morning, learn Catalan Dance, and watch a show on Sunday.

9.) And finally a packing checklist which I printed out from Travel Smith (click here for the link). I have a tendency to overpack so this was really helpful to bring me back down to earth. LOL. I definitely have to learn to travel light.

I also used this folder to store and keep all the papers, receipts, and brochures I collected throughout the trip.

The hubby thought I was a bit mad when he saw the final product, but realized how useful it was when we were on the road. Haha Men! So typical.

So what do you think? Anything else I should / could have added? Don't hesitate to share! :)


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