With many of us in the Shunyi area busily preparing for the end of the school year and the beginning of summer, I thought it’d be good to share some “getting ready for the holiday” plans that I’m noticing amongst those in the area.
*If you’re staying in Beijing, there is plenty to do! For kids, check out the endless summer camp programs in the city and suburbs. From sports to arts to fun and games, there are opportunities for all ages and interests. Don’t believe me? Just click here, here, here, here and here! There are still a few events and activities to check out in the coming weeks. Click here and here for more info.
*Moving? Then you’ve likely already scheduled a pack-out date and you’re crazily trying to sell or donate items that cannot come with you. To sell, post your items for sale on our website’s new classifieds section (click here) as a great way to advertise, and/or use all other local expat forums for maximum exposure. To donate, you can contact your favorite charities to direct you, or simply take everything to Roundabout where they can distribute items appropriately. Schools may be interested in plants or small pets that need to be left behind (although you may need to plan ahead for summer care).
*School parties – keep all of those in mind that you want to thank for teaching your children. This includes home room teachers, specialist teachers, and extra-curricular coaches/teachers. Maybe it’s not appropriate or feasible to give everyone gifts, but it’s a great time to say “thank you” for making a difference in your child’s life.
*Goodbyes are always difficult. Some years hit harder than others, but it’s likely that every year several people you know move on to a different “home.” It’s not easy to deal with this loss as adults, so pay particular attention to how it affects your kids. Give them time to talk about it and say their goodbyes, perhaps helping them by making a special memory/gift to give, or having a little party for their friends.
*If you’re leaving for one week or eight, there’s plenty to keep you occupied from now until you board that plane. A very simplified checklist of some of the less-obvious chores includes:
- Take care of any special airline requests you have BEFORE you check in. This includes meals (I always order the child’s meal for my kids even if they won’t eat much of it — it’s more fun and often includes fun kid things to do), or any seat assignments that haven’t been confirmed.
- Pet care: line up responsible children in the area who might want to make some extra spending money this summer, or set your ayi up with the essentials needed to care for your pet (including pre-purchasing extra food and bedding needs).
- Any electronics you are taking with you will need their specific power cords. Collect them now before you’re in a rush. If you need adapters for a different country, prepare for that now.
- Do you have currency for where you are traveling? Try to have some on hand so that you aren’t stuck when you need it.
- Extras to pack in your carry-on (especially with kids) should include obvious items like snacks and entertainment, but also be sure to include extra clothing (particularly underwear and socks), zip bags for unsettled tummies, medicines that they might need and chewing gum for relieving air pressure discomfort.
- It’s easier to go through security if you have slip-on shoes or comfortable sandals. I have my kids wear them while traveling, then use the above mentioned socks for comfort during the plane ride.
- Contact lenses wearers should be prepared with glasses and/or contact solution for long trips. Nothing is more miserable than having super dry eyes on 12+ hour flights.
- Gifts for home can sometimes be a chore. You don’t want to add to your luggage weight, but you don’t want to show up empty-handed. Think small and light-weight, and go shopping now to avoid last minute trips to the market. Jewelry is always a winner, be it pearls or jade, and silk items are flat and easy to transport. Always pack a few extra for those unexpected gift-giving needs when you’re home.
Wherever you may be for the next couple of months, have a great summer!!!