A couple of Glam mums and I had a wonderfully sunny break at a friend’s villa in the Algarve. A long weekend with husbands and babies in tow was just fabulous and we got to top up on some vodka tonics and much-needed Vitamin D.
Here are a few tips for travelling to a sunny spot for a long weekend with tots:
1. Don’t lose your sense of humour travelling on a budget airline.
Most summer trips around Europe make sense on budget airlines as the flight time is short and the plane is packed with families like yourself. Well it could all go wrong too. Your prepaid, pre booked seats could be moved to the last row in the plane so you are sitting bolt upright and next to the loos (like ours were). Or you could be stuck with a teething baby at dinnertime wedged against the window (that, again, you did not pay for) in the sun with a really old man at the end of the row making it a mission to pop in and out to change nappies.
Take deep breaths and know that every minute standing in the galley with the sleeping babe in your aching arms is one minute closer to an awesome summer vay-cay or your own bed (depending on which way you are flying). Regardless, there is a glass of chilled wine at either end.
2. Be prepared for every eventuality
Taking a first aid kit is a given but remember to pack the things you doubt you will need because it has never occurred before. For example: take teething gel, antihistamines, rehydrating salts, pain killers and make sure all are baby-friendly. And don’t forget loads of sunscreen.
Take a black out blind as kids are sensitive to changes in their environment, such as a new bedroom. My little Bug needs her naps and I need her to nap so I can have my hands free for a bit. (I recommend Gro Anywhere Travel blind)
Check whether high chairs, travel cots etc are provided at your accommodation at the other end. This will save you so much hassle!
And don’t be precious with your buggy, or buy an el cheapo for the trip, as it could be smashed to smithereens by the baggage handling staff at the airport (like ours was).
3. Pack light for hot weather
The week before our trip we were scraping the bottom of Bug’s cupboard as all her ‘pretty clothes’ were packed away for the long weekend in Portugal. I don’t know what I was thinking as she ended up living in her nappy or just crawling around stark naked. Take enough sleeps suits, some big muslins for towels/shade/lightweight blanket (I swear by Aden + Anais swaddles) and a few light pieces of clothing.
4. Book a babysitter
There is something about kids and water and how much fun they have. By the end of the long sunny days in the pool the kids pass out from exhaustion (hopefully) and this presents a perfect opportunity for a night out. Organise a babysitter in advance for a couple of nights, as our hosts did, and go out and enjoy yourselves. Book somewhere nice, put some heels on and a slick of lipstick and let your hair down, you deserve it.
5. Take turns to chill out
As much as we call it a holiday, it isn’t really that relaxing with everyone running around after the kids. So come up with a plan, ‘shifts’ if you like. The dads really wanted to play golf and the mums wanted to lie in the sun sipping wine, both of which are almost impossible with babies. So we agreed ahead of time which mornings the dads would play a round of golf and which afternoons the mums got to lie on a sun lounger undisturbed. It worked out brilliantly as we all got to unwind.
What a great holiday it was and looking forward to the next one! Oh, and did you see the sweetest thing I found on the plane? Click here.
xxx TGM xxx
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