Holiday Heroes - Meet Chris
Chris is the man behind www.newdad.io where he writes about the challenges of being a forty-something new father, cruise journeys with a baby and reviews baby products from a dad’s point of view. He shared his holiday planning tips with us…
Q: How seriously do you take holiday planning?
A: Pretty seriously, but not religiously - we're not like control freaks. It all depends on the holiday we're going on and whether we've been before. If there's anything in particular we consider a "must do" we will always plan, and usually book online if available.
Q: Why do you do it?
A: The way we see it is that those two weeks away are meant to be relaxing so we've always found that the more planning you do before you go, means that the holiday is likely to run like clockwork, making it a proper chill-out. Also, because we do chill-out so much, it’s easy to miss or forget things.
Q: What form does your planning take?
A: For Canada, we did a road trip from Calgary to Vancouver. We used spreadsheets to list the B&Bs we were staying at along the way, and we pre-booked some activities such as whitewater rafting, walking with wolves, and zip lining in Whistler. We added the activities to the spreadsheet just so we knew what was coming up and to help keep any necessary clothes towards the top of our suitcases. No point in having jeans and shirt at the top if you plan on bobbing down a river in Clearwater.
Also we usually check out restaurants on TripAdvisor before we go and again, if possible, we'll book a table online. It’s always easier to cancel a table.
Q: Do you budget for your holiday? And do you generally stick to it?
A: We usually pay for a lot of activities up front by booking them online. As for the rest of the budget we don't usually have one in mind but are careful whenever we're away. We don't usually buy tat, purely due to limitations on baggage more than anything. We tend to spend our money on making memories whether that be exploring ourselves or hiring a local guide.
Q: How far in advance of a holiday do you start to plan it?
A: It depends on work and location. Planning a trip on a research boat to Antarctica took a long time to make sure we had all the correct flights and the correct clothing and equipment. A road trip in Canada also required a lot of planning. However, a cruise in the western Med takes far less. We've sometimes booked on a whim with only weeks before departure so not much planning takes place.
Q: Do you share your plans and tips with other people? (if you’re going on holiday with them, or if they’re going to a place you’ve been to)
A: We prefer to holiday alone as it’s our time. We've been lucky to travel to a lot of destinations and have shared info with others, whether it be via TripAdvisor reviews or things like Wunderlist where we created a list of the best Speakeasy Bars to visit.
Q: Does your planning help you to make the most of your holiday time?
Q: Can you share your top three holiday planning tips?
- For a road trip, Google Maps is an essential piece of planning. It's also handy as you can list all details and phone numbers of your accommodation.
- Take photos of any reservations or things you really want to do. It's then easy to find without remembering everything and it saves you paying any roaming charges.
- Take a 4way plug extension with you. That way you only need 1 plug adapter and can still charge all the mobile phones, iPads etc.
You might also like these Holiday Heroes tools to help you get organised.