Packing your car for a camping trip can take a toll on you especially if you have not planned well. If you are not careful, you can end up packing and unpacking several times, tempers may flare, and you may end up with a bad start to your trip.

However, with a bit of planning and being organized, you can pack for your trip within no time and with less frustration.

  1. Be organized

Place the food items you will need in boxes or tubs, clothes in duffel bags or backpacks, toiletries in one place.

Use bags, duffels, and boxes with relatively straight lines to maximize the space. Use many smaller boxes and bags instead of few large ones.

  1. Put all items in one place

Get all items you will need for the trip and put them in one place. You can use a checklist to make sure that everything is there.  When it is all there, you can see all the items you need to fit in the car. If it is too much, you can leave some items that are not vital to the trip.

Ensure everyone going on the camping trip has brought all their items. You do not want someone to bring a bag full of clothes at the last minute when you are done with the packing.

  1. Carefully pack the items into the car

Now that you have the items you are carrying for the trip, then you should start packing it.

Assess the vehicle you are using and note all the storage places you can pack the items.

The items you will need last should go in first. That way, the items you will need first when you get to the campsite or on the way will be accessible.

For instance, if there is bad weather, your wet weather gear should be within reach in case you want to come out of the vehicle on the way or at the campsite.

The heavy items should go into the boot first and you should place them at the bottom in the center.  Place them against the secured parts of the vehicle such as against the seat’s rear. This makes it easy to handle the car.

To make packing easy, clothes should be put in backpacks and duffle bags so that they can squeeze in the spaces.

Fill the holes between heavy items with small items such as hiking boots, sleeping bags, and a kettle.

  1. Place items on the roof rack

Some items may not fit in the car boot such as camping chairs, fishing poles, bikes or a kayak. These are ideal for the roof rack. Remember that you should only place the bulky light items on the roof rack but not the heavy items.

If your vehicle does not have a roof rack, you should consider getting one since there are many types in the market. Depending on your needs, you should get a roof rack that will fit your bike, a kayak, fishing poles or whatever item you are carrying on the camping trip.

In the meantime, you can squeeze the items into the holes left when packing.

  1. Place very few items inside the car

You should not place a lot of luggage in the drivers and passengers’ area since these items can become killing projectiles in case of an accident.

However, you can put small items such as the sleeping bags in the back seat, soft pillows and the packs that you will need to keep yourself busy during the trip.

All the heavy items should be in the boot.

Going on maternity leave is a beautiful thing considering the fact that you will be preparing to welcome a new life and member into your family. However, it can also be a tricky situation since there are expenses that still need to be catered to and saving will depend a lot on the earnings that you will be paid during your maternity leave.

While saving on your maternity leave can be a tough thing to do, it is possible. Every mother needs to be financially prepared when planning for and during their maternity leave. The overall amount to be saved might not be easy to determine but there are several steps that you can take to ensure that you save up some money for future use. Here are some tips on how to save when on your maternity leave.

Use second-hand items

There are numerous second-hand items that one can use when on their maternity leave ranging from baby toys and even equipment. If you are a mother who already has grown up children you can make use of previously used items like reuse your cot mattress or even clothes which are still new. Some family items are passed down from one generation to another and can come in handy to save you a coin or two for your savings.

Personal preferences differ and an item that one mother might find comfortable to buy as a second-hand might not be preferred by another. While you don’t have to use everything second hand, you can still purchase a few new items. List the very important items, limiting your purchase to avoid spending on unnecessary items.  

Bulk shopping

Purchasing items in bulk reduce the cost of both household and baby items. Make a list of all the required items, depending on your family usage and consumption. Groceries and perishable foodstuff should be bought in small amounts while focusing only on what is used frequently.  Estimate your family’s requirements and avoid frequent visits to restock which will use up more money used for supplies and transportation or fuel costs.

Work part-time

The pay received on your maternity leave might not be enough to save and apart from that, you wouldn’t want to just sit, eat and sleep all the time. After determining the amount of savings from your pay, you can find a part-time job. There are several online jobs available for work-at-home mothers that you can do or make use of your skills with jobs like graphic designing, stitching, among other skills and increase your income.

Cut down your food costs

Reducing your food cost will not only enable you to save but it also reduces any chances of you becoming overweight from eating too much. Reduce your food budget by avoiding eating out frequently. Plan and make it a habit to always prepare homemade meals. Create a menu and stick to it.

Work until your due date

Find out from your doctor if you can continue working until your due date. This will help you save more since you will earn more before your delivery time. It also cuts down the cost of hiring a nanny for longer periods of time.

The time allocated for maternity leave is a short one and when not monitored, your expenses can rise drastically. Keep track of your spending to save more.

I’ve done quite a lot of STUFF in my life.

By ‘stuff’ I mean the kind of things that you normally see on people’s bucket lists, like flying in a hot air balloon, riding in a helicopter, or jumping out of a plane. (True story – when I jumped out of a plane I passed out mid air and woke up on the ground. Oops.)

never have I ever ideas

I have a list of 40 things I want to do before I’m 40, which helps, but generally I like to try things, even if it’s only once. Like skiing.

*shudders at the memory* View Post

While I was stuck inside last week hiding from the snow I developed a new hobby – making biscuits that look a bit like biscuits you might see in the shops.

It’s fun.

Basically you think up a biscuit you like, and then you try to make your own. I started with the Jaffa cakes, which were super fun and very tasty, especially on the second day when the jelly had soaked into the sponge a little bit and made it lovely and moist.

Next up I had a go at homemade Jammie Dodgers.

homemade jammie dodgers

Check out those bad boys!

Now although I do like a Jammie Dodger in real life, I do find they can sometimes be a bit MUCH. Do you know what I mean? They’re pretty thick and full on. (Like some boyfriends I’ve had.) For my homemade Jammie Dodgers then I wanted to make something a little bit more delicate, so I used a simple shortbread style recipe for the biscuits and made them thinner than regular Jammie Dodgers. View Post

In association with McDonald’s

Ever since I went to McDonald’s in Exeter recently to make a Big Mac live on Twitter, (as you do), I’ve been trying to remember the first time I ever ate a McDonald’s.

I know that we didn’t have a McDonald’s in our town when I was young, but I couldn’t remember when it did open. I asked my sister Annabel, who is four years younger than me but has a much better memory. She reckons it was the early 1990s, which would have meant I was probably at least 14 or 15.

‘I remember being very excited it was opening!’ she told me. ‘I also remember the smell of the chips being so irresistible that Grandad (Eric) had taken me to the drive-thru after school once for some reason and actually asked if he could have a chip WITHOUT CUTLERY AND WHILST DRIVING.’

Our family WhatsApp group did NOT know what to do with this information. My Grandad (Eric) was not the sort of man to do anything whilst driving, let alone eat a chip.

‘MY LIFE IS A LIE,’ wrote Bee, unable to process the information.

Needless to say that I can’t remember a time when a cheeky Big Mac has not been a part of my life.

Big Mac close up

McDonald’s has changed a lot however since I used to take Bee in as a toddler. View Post

Post in association with Princes

I know! They go together like bread and butter right? John Lewis and canned mackerel.

But think about it like this – you go to John Lewis, you wander around for ages, gazing at all the things you’d have in your house if you won the lottery and didn’t have children/a partner who spoilt everything by leaving dirty cups on your carefully Instagram styled vintage sideboard, and then you come home, exhausted, and whip yourself up my mackerel salad nicoise and eat it on your fancy new John Lewis plates!

Job’s a good ‘un, as we say in our family, fondly mocking my mum’s partner Mitch.

Canned mackerel salad

As you almost 100% definitely read my mackerel recipe post earlier this week, I expect we’re already on the same page. View Post