It is summer holiday time in South Africa and many of us are getting ready to set off for holidays with friends and family at the coast, the game reserve or the berg or if you are lucky overseas.
Here are my travel suggestions to help ADHD families have a peaceful (OK I know peaceful is a relative word in ADHD households) and happy holiday.
I suggest you print this article and a checklist for each family member.
You will see that it has 2 columns. One for ticking things off when you pack and more importantly one for when you pack for the return journey so you don't leave your toiletry bag behind the bathroom door and shoes under the bed.
Before you leave
Pay all your utility bills to cover you until you get back. You do not want to come home to find the electricity cut off and everything in your freezer has gone off.
Check that your house, medical and vehicle insurance premiums are all up to date. If you are going to let your teenagers share the driving ensure they are added to your policies. Your premium might be loaded but if you don't do this and you have an accident the insurance probably won't pay.
Double check your accommodation bookings and flights. Make sure you are covered for out of country medical expenses, flight delays, lost luggage etc. Usually if you buy your tickets with a credit card you get quite a lot of benefits. Read the fine print.
Book a shuttle service to take you to the airport or ensure you have a (probably non ADHD) driver to get you there on time.
Give a copy of your itinerary to a family member in case of emergency.
If you are travelling abroad check your passports, visa's, medical injections and international driving licences are up to date.
Get your foreign currency in good time. It is not worth trying to time the markets to get the best deal and then find you don't have any money to travel with.
Set a budget and practise saying "NO" so you will be able to firmly ward off your manipulating ADDer kids who want, want, want but don't need everything they see.
Get the car, caravan, trailer, boat serviced and check all licenses are up to date. Especially check tyres and wheel nuts. After losing a wheel on our trailer on the N2 we have learnt a very painful lesson. Replace windscreen wipers if necessary.
Make sure lights and indicators are working on your car and whatever you are towing.
Remember the new boating laws. You can't just take a boat, jetski etc onto the water without a suitable licence.
Install security lights in your home on a timer if you don't have someone to house-sit.
Book your animals into kennels if you don't have someone to look after them. Animals pine without their families so don't just ask someone to feed them once a day and pay them no attention. They deserve better.
Turn off your geyser and all electrical appliances.
Cancel newspaper deliveries.
Check your alarm system.
Leave them a set of keys with a trusted friend, neighbour or family member in case a geyser bursts or some other drama occurs.