8 Things To Do Instead Of Holiday Packing

The only thing I dislike about going on holiday is packing for the trip.  Packing to come home is easy, you just chuck it all in the case; your only concern is spending as little time packing as you can so you can eke out the holiday fun.  But packing to go away is one of those tasks I put off by doing other holiday related activities, some more productive than others.

Update my holiday packing list

Being of the generation where most of your school work was handwritten and university computers were a luxury, not an essential, I still like to write things down with pen and paper.

So, I have a packing list for myself, Master ATWWAH and Mini ATWWAH handwritten in a notebook which I use every time we go on holiday and I add things to it as required.  I love my packing list as I don’t believe I would pack everything we needed without it.  I get nervous for other people when they tell me they don’t use a list, including Mr ATWWAH.

Read TripAdvisor/Blog Reviews Of Accommodation We’ve Booked

From the moment we book somewhere I check TripAdvisor regularly to see recent reviews of where we are going to and bore Mr ATWWAH by reading the reviews out, good or bad.  I always dismiss the negative ones, as by then it’s too late, we’ve booked, but I love picking over the reviews people write on there.

I tend to treat blog reviews a bit more seriously, probably as I’ve usually read other posts from the bloggers in question, so tend to regard them as more genuine and like-minded as me.

Obsess About The Weather Forecast

As the holiday approaches I become fanatical about the weather forecast and swap between about three or four weather websites and choose the most favourable forecast as the most reliable.  Our recent Lanzarote holiday was a bit of a wash out and due to my weather obsession we were prepared and I’d taken the boys some warmer clothes as a precaution and packed an extra pair of jeans and my umbrella for myself as a result.  There is definitely something a little bit soul destroying about packing an umbrella for a winter sun holiday.

sunshine around the pool

Will the sun shine so I can practice my bad around the pool photography?

Buy ‘Holiday Essentials’

You can never have too many pairs of holiday shoes especially when, due to having to chase small children a lot, you tend to only wear flats, even in the evening.  I make up for the lack of heels in my case by buying lots of sandals and ‘nice flats’ for the evenings.  I don’t think I would actually know how to walk in heels anymore.


A new holiday purchase

I almost always treat myself to a new dress per holiday too, nothing fancy, usually a day dress, but it beats the usual ‘holiday mum’ uniform of shorts and tshirt.  We’re off on a cruise soon and I am toying with the idea of buying a pair of those patterned trousers fashionable people wear so I can ditch the usual jeans and trainers for the plane look.

I often whimsically look at people’s Instagram photos and wonder how mums can look so stylish on holiday.  At breakfast I’m almost always the least put together woman there and I hold records for the number of seconds it takes for one of the boys to decorate that day’s top with a stain.

Read Travel Guides So You Feel Like You’ve Already Been

Mr ATWWAH loves a guidebook and I tend to read them so much that I feel like I’ve already been to the place we are going to.  I like to think this is because I want to be informed and make sure we have a great experience and try places we may not necessarily have known about, but I’m not so sure if reading too much may take some of the enjoyment out of it.

Cancel The Milk/Eat The Contents Of The Fridge

Cancelling the milk is obviously an essential and can take a good few minutes out of time which would have been spent packing.  Eating the contents of the fridge is arguably not the best way to spend your time but I like to think of it as a virtuous act which cuts down on the amount of food waste which would otherwise happen.

Try To Lose Weight In A Week

Every time we book a holiday I tell myself this is the one where I’ll feel slim and not have the need to hold my tummy in around the pool when the ‘yummy mummies’ walk past in their bikinis.  We usually book holidays with a few months lead time so realistically I could easily get rid of my extra half a stone (oh ok, possibly more like a stone these days) and I tell myself it will be no carbs/biscuits/chocolate/alcohol for me and by the time the holiday arrives I’ll be slim.

But, for some unfathomable reason, well, maybe a Cadbury’s Buttons addiction and no willpower, it just never happens.  Poor Mr ATWWAH will have to endure at least a daily conversation with me telling him how dreadful I look and trying to justify my lack of weight loss with not having enough time to exercise.  In fairness he handles this with good grace but I am determined we will have one holiday where this conversation will not happen, although it won’t be the cruise one which is coming up.

So, as with every run up to a holiday I will spend the preceding week trying not to eat rubbish food (although emptying the fridge of food doesn’t help) and checking the scales every day and being disappointed that I haven’t lost the aforementioned half a stone.

Check Social Media/News Apps

I do this a lot when I’m meant to be packing.  I go upstairs and leave Mr ATWWAH with the boys so I can get all our bags packed in about 30 minutes, completely doable due to the packing list.  But, oh no, not if you take your phone with you.  You sit on the bed, just for a second, before emptying your wardrobe of its contents and just check all your social media accounts (something you can’t miss may have occurred) and then have a quick look at the BBC News app too and then repeat this cycle at least three times as well as check your email.  Then you can start to pack……..

If you liked this post you may enjoy:

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Our Greek Island Cruise

My Family Travel Resolutions


  1. This is exactly how I feel about packing as well! Pete doesn’t understand why I find it so stressful. I think it’s what you’ve said in your first paragraph- the risk that you don’t bring something you definitely need. He just assumes we can buy anything we might forget- but I’d rather not spend the first day of my holiday doing this. In fact once he did forget to pack more than one pair of trousers…

  2. I’m exactly the same with the weather forecasts – why I think the best one will be correct, I’m not sure. And there’s usually an attempt at a manicure/pedicure and a brief ponder about colouring my hair (and abandoning it for lack of time) 🙂

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