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    How to Pack For a Family Vacation

    How to Pack For a Family Vacation

    How to pack for a family vacation. 10 packing tips

    Summer is fast approaching, and that means many of you are starting to think of your vacations. We've put together this guide on how to pack for family holidays, so if you need a little help getting organized for a fun summer break, take a look at our list of 10 top tips below.

    1. Roll Your Clothes

    You know who has to carry clothes and then wear them in pristine condition? The good people at the US military! Rolling your shirts, pants and socks instead of folding them is one of the main secrets to enjoying less creased clothing. Take a look at the WikiHow guide for more details.

    How to for a family vacation

    2. Pack Smart!

    When it comes to packing for a family holiday, you have to be ruthless in your selections. Less is often more when it comes to clothing. For the kids, make sure to take one set of clothes per day, plus a spare for accidents. Any more than that is adding unnecessary extras.

    3. Pack Snappy!

    Save space on beach essentials by using our compact, microfiber beach towels! Check out our blog post on why Snappy Towels make for excellent travel towels for your next vacation, resort holiday or cruise.

    4. Prepare for Baby

    Take more baby essentials than you initially think you need. In the event of a delay, you want to be prepared, unless you're absolutely sure you can pick up essentials in Departures. Take a look at Mumsnet's PDF checklist for a comprehensive list of must-pack baby items.

    5. Divide Clothes between Luggage

    Try to spread clothes for each person across a few different bags. That way, if the worst happens and a bag goes missing in transit, nobody needs wear the same set of underwear for the first few days of the holiday!

    6. Make Copies of Your Itinerary for Each Bag

    Misplaced luggage will be returned much more easily if every bag has details of your flights, home address and hotel address. Plus one lost bag doesn't mean a lost itinerary too!

    7. Give the Kids Their Own Bag

    Hand your kids some responsibility in the shape of an appropriate backpack or wheeled carry-on bag. Fill it with their favorite toys and books for the journey ahead.

    8. Take Medication in Hand Luggage

    Pretty self-explanatory - the last thing you want is someone not getting their medication because it's in the Bermuda Triangle instead of Cancun!

    How to pack for a family vacation - luggage tips

    9. Pack in Advance and Test the Weight

    Don't leave it until the last minute. Make a checklist well in advance and then make sure you're done with a couple of day's grace. For extra ease, take your packed bags round the block a day or two before you leave, to check that nobody is overburdened.

    10. Make Your Life Easier

    Finally, take a look at this short list for some extra inspiration on packing hacks:

    • Sunscreen - buy and pack at home - it's likely to be better quality and not overpriced
    • Kids' inflatables - they're usually cheaper to buy and pack at home than on the beachfront.
    • Zipper storage bags - these multi-purpose bagging solutions have a million uses, from storing wet or sandy clothes to transporting dirty nappies.
    • Nappies - a sneaky trick is to pack cash, jewelry and valuables inside a nappy if you have one available: potential thieves are less likely to try and steal soiled garments. Just make sure nobody -helpfully- throws it out on arrival!

    Images by ironypoisoning and Infomastern, and used under Creative Commons license

    New Kids Beach Towel Design! Microfiber Kids Beach Towels

    New Kids Beach Towel Design! Microfiber Kids Beach Towels

    We have been busy this winter designing new products for 2016!

    When we switched to our unique textured microfiber late last year, this opened up a whole new range of possibilities over our previous cotton fabrics. The new textured microfiber towels allow for highly detailed printing, among the many other benefits of a compact yet comfortable swim & travel towel or microfiber beach towel.

    Play Mat Travel Beach Towel for Kids - beach town design. The towel is the toy!

     

    Play Mat Towels for Kids are now available on SnappyTowels.com! They are 50" x 27", the same size as our medium sized adult Swim & Travel Towels, which is big enough to act as a changing cover for kids of any age, but still small enough for a 2 year-old to wear over their shoulders like a poncho or cover-up without tripping on the edges of the towel. After all, something magical happens when you snap a towel on to a youngster and they can run hands-free. So we don't want to trip anyone while they sprint off into their imagination.

    The Play Mat Towels, and our other microfiber kids beach towels all have 6 pairs of safe, durable plastic snaps, so that they can be fastened over the shoulders or around the chest or hips of larger kids and teens to dry off, shelter from the sun, cover up, or use as a changing towel. The towel can even be snapped together lengthwise to make a beach bag!

    Where to Get Swimming Lessons in Toronto When City Programs Are Full

     Swimming lessons in Toronto, with your best swimming towel, of course!

    The recent controversy over the failing 20-year-old registration system for the City of Toronto's public recreation programs has added to what was already an uncertain summer for recreation in Toronto, after last week's news of a potential union strike or lockout. City spokesperson Wynna Brown confirmed a CUPE Local 79 work stoppage would postpone registration for spring-summer recreation programs.

    What no one seems to be talking about, though, is the real reason why it's so hard to get your kids registered for recreation programs in Toronto: there just aren't enough spots.

    Even if you've armed yourself with everything you need to know to register online for summer programs such as swimming and summer camps, you're probably going to be out of luck. For a city of over 5.5 million people, there just aren't enough swimming lessons available at Toronto city pools.

    Beyond dated technology, the reason that the online registration system is so stressed is because every parent in the city knows how limited spots are: if they don't make a mad dash to register their kids for swimming lessons on the very second that the online registration opens, they won't get a spot.

    There is likely a backlog of years of demand, since it takes years to learn to swim, and there are only 5 sessions all year: Fall, Spring and 3 fast-track swimming lesson session in summer (mostly daytime lessons that working parents can't attend). If you miss a couple of registration dates, you'll be still trying to register for that same class next year.

    So, if you are as hell-bent on your kids learning to swim as you should be (for obvious safety reasons), here is a list of places you can go to learn to swim in Toronto when all of the city swimming lesson programs are (inevitably) fully booked. Or when the registration system fails, or the Union craps out, whichever comes first.

    9 Places to Get Swimming Lessons Outside of City Pools in Toronto

    1. Swim Secure (www.swimsecure.ca) Operating out of Central Technical School, located at Bathurst and Bloor, Swim Secure specializes in private swimming lessons, tot lessons and parent & tot lessons.
    2. Felix's Swim Schools (www.felixswimschools.com) Multiple locations Downtown, Junction, Beach, Markham, Woodbridge and North York.
    3. Shendy's Swim Centre (www.shendys.com) 22m saltwater pool in North York.
    4. Zodiac Swim School (www.zodiackids.ca) North York
    5. AquaMobile Home Swim Lessons (aquamobileswim.com) They teach all across Toronto and the GTA. Private swimming lessons in your own pool.
    6. Olympian School of Swimming (www.olympianswimming.com) North York, Scarborough and Markham.
    7. Beach Swim School (www.beachswimschool.ca) Various east-end locations.
    8. Jack of Sports (www.jackofsports.com) Various locations east, west and central Toronto.
    9. G.S. Aquatics (www.gsaquatics.com) In Bayview/401 area and Bayview/Eglinton area.