The Day We Caught The Plane
Our first holiday as a family of five was to Tenerife when Moose was 13 months old and I have to admit, I thought we were just slightly insane for even thinking about doing it.
I was wrong. Really wrong!
As much as I love to travel our funds have thus far limited it to the occasional break away since having children. When MrG suggested that we book a holiday abroad, I was apprehensive about how well our youngest child, Moose, would cope with the upheaval (not to mention the heat). However, I knew we needed this time together.
I am not one to shy away from a bit of online searching to get a good deal and this was no exception. MrG and I agreed that the holiday needed to take place during the schools summer break (our eldest is about to sit his exams so really cannot afford to miss any school) and at the time of deciding that we needed to book it was really only a month away so I had to move quickly!
We took a vote and it was decided that we wanted to head toward the Canary Islands. We had visited Lanzarote and Tenerife as a couple some years previously (I am not telling you how many, it makes me feel old) but never with the children.
I found a great deal to the hotel Marylanza which looked like it would suit us perfectly. The only thing I was worrying about was the flight duration. 4 hours with a bored toddler is not my idea of fun and I had heard on the grapevine that the Dreamliner we were booked onto provided nada in terms of inflight entertainment. So, a special Moose bag was a must for the flight.
My top 5 items to include when flying with a toddler are;
- A sippy cup. This will help with take-off and landing which for us were the worst parts of the journey. You cannot explain to your toddler why their ears are hurting and that kind of sucks!
- A mini Aquadraw and a magnetic doodle toy (ideally one with the pen attached so it can’t be lost. Our son basically played with this for most of the flight.
- A favourite (preferably lightweight) blanket to increase the chances of them taking a nap. Moose did. He slept for over an hour and it. Was. Glorious!
- Spare clothes x2 and spare nappies and nappy bags. You do not want to be caught short mid-flight.
- Toddler friendly headphones. The grapevine was a big fat liar because once on board we soon realised that the in-flight entertainment was plentiful and once an adaptor had been purchased Moose loved having his own tv!
Of course your kid is not my kid and you will know what they need to comfort them or get them through dull situations but I found all of the above to be a godsend. The Dreamliner was actually pretty awesome. My 6ft2 tall, plane hating husband agreed. It was pretty roomy in economy and that is not something I have said before – besides, who doesn’t love purple mood lighting?
We arrived in Tenerife after a pretty easy flight (thanks in part to my mother in law living within spitting distance from Gatwick airport) and hopped aboard the coach transfer with me volunteering to take Moose while MrG sat with our 2 older children, Col & Bess.
It was around 5 minutes into our relaxing 30 minute transfer that Moose did what I can only describe as the loudest and smelliest poo he has ever EVER done.
People moved away.
There really was nowhere to change my poor (stinky) little man until we arrived at our hotel so as soon as we did I ducked into the baby change and did the necessary,leaving MrG to check us in.
Upon my return I was met with a complimentary cocktail (high five whosever idea that was) and beaming smiles which are not my families resting expressions. I was suspicious.
It became apparent that the reason for their happy demeanour was as it turned out down to a month long email conversation between myself and the hotel manager paying off. We had been given a free upgrade to the best room in the hotel.
It was a 2 bedroom duplex overlooking the pool on one side and a golf course and mountains on the other. An excellent start to our holiday. I would highly recommend exchanging pleasantries with the hotel from the get go. It can’t do any harm and it might just improve your entire experience!
Our time in Tenerife passed far too quickly
It soon became apparent that heat did not bother Moose, who was a natural water baby. Of course he was always well shaded and sporting a layer or ten of suntan lotion. He spent his days splashing in the water and playing in the onsite play park with occasional trips to the kids club.
He was too young to be left there obviously but they were more than happy to allow us to come in together to use their facilities and Moose became something of a big deal with the staff!
Our evenings were mostly spent within the confines of the hotel grounds getting the most value out of the all-inclusive (hic) but I did insist on going for walks too.
We also enjoyed playing at the park (and relaxing with a drink) late into the night with all of the other families – always remembering to have the pushchair to hand for when Moose decided enough was enough.
We took the children on a submarine ride on the third morning which was fabulous. All 3 of the children absolutely loved it. There was not a single complaint of boredom for the whole week. Any parent of a toddler, tween and teen will tell you that is no mean feat
On the last day MrG surprised the older 2 with tickets to a water park (which I hate) and I spent the morning with Moose in the pool before putting him down for his nap and packing our things.
Moose still mentions the holiday months later making reference to the pool and the beach. He loves looking at the photos and I do too. MrG and I have agreed that it was an amazing experience and we need to make it a regular one.
Next time the only reservations I will have will be the ones I make at whichever hotel we choose for our next adventure! What has been your favourite holiday?
Mummy & Moose