We went away with Amelia at a similar time last year and to be honest it put me off going abroad again. The airport stress, the sheer amount of stuff you have to take and the fact that she’d only sleep in bed with me attached to my boob. It wasn’t exactly relaxing! Then our crappy summer happened and we decided we needed a bit of sunshine and all the struggles of the last one were forgotten about as excitement took over.
About a month before the holiday in all the excitement I got the suitcases down from the attic so I could pack bit by bit in an attempt to be prepared and to be fair the morning of the flight we were all ready and felt relaxed. My plan was that Amelia would fall asleep in the airport before our flight but of course that didn’t happen! She fell asleep in the car on the way there so I hoped she’d get some more on the plane. After check in and security (where Kelly left a bottle of bubbles in her pocket – mum probs!) we went for some lunch. Everywhere was packed due to the Ryanair fiasco but we managed to eat and get to our gate in time.
My hopes for Amelia to nap on the plane didn’t go to plan at all! She was quite good but wanted to be passed between us and we had regular walks down the aisle. Thankfully the guy sat next to us didn’t mind letting us out every time.
We bought some things to keep Amelia amused on the plane and these are our must haves:
- Sticker book – Kelly and the plane were covered in stickers but it was a must have!
- Apps – I made sure these apps were on my phone and the tablet so we could access them when we needed. Amelia’s favourite two were the CBeebies Playtime App and the In The Night Garden Web App.
- Headphones – Before we went on holiday I thought about buying some toddler headphones but I didn’t think Amelia would keep them on. At the airport the Groov-e Kidz headphones were reduced in WHSmith so we bought them and they were a lifesaver! No one wants to listen to Igglepiggle or the Teletubbies for 4 hours and Amelia kept them on and really liked them. They will last her a few years as well so they were a great buy.
- Youtube – Amelia loves watching anything with babies on Youtube, she is always asking for us to put them on at home. I downloaded one video onto the tablet and she must have watched it on repeat about 15 times on the plane which is why the headphones were a must have!
We landed and it was already past Amelia’s bedtime and she had only slept for 30 minutes all day so we were happy that security and getting our bags didn’t take too long (apart from the buggy being on an entirely different belt and no one telling us!). We sorted out car hire before the holiday through AutoReisen which was really simple and they even upgraded our car when we arrived. The drive to the hotel was quite simple and I only nearly went into a ditch once which was quite an achievement I think! We checked in, eventually got Amelia to sleep and got a takeaway pizza and then tried to get some sleep ourselves.
The hotel we were staying in was the Coridal Mogan Valle in Puerto Mogan, Gran Canaria. We went self catering, mainly because the meal times in the evening weren’t great for Amelia’s bed time and we wanted to sample some of the local restaurants. The apartment was a really good size with a bedroom, kitchen, dining table (never got used), lounge, bathroom and a really big balcony which was great for us when Amelia was napping. There were three pools; one for adults, one family pool and then a splash area and baby pool. There was a soft play area which wasn’t the best but Amelia went in it a couple of times and a few slides dotted around the hotel. The splash area and family pool was where we spent most of our time. Amelia loved jumping (falling) in and getting attention from anyone and everyone around the pool.
We spent most of our holiday having lazy mornings, swimming, walking into the town and eating! The hotel was in a great location. There’s a supermarket and a few shops and bars nearby and Puerto Mogan harbour is lovely and was about a twenty minute walk from our hotel. Amelia walked or was carried quite a lot of the way there or back as she didn’t like being in her pram much this holiday so we all got some exercise in which helped with all the treats we had! We went down to the beach a couple of times so Amelia could play in the sand and have a paddle. As we had the car we drove to Amadores beach one day but I didn’t like it as much as where we were staying; it felt more touristy.
With little sleep the first couple of days I thought seven days was long enough but as we all started to relax and really enjoy ourselves it was time to come home! I’d definitely think about going for ten days next time we go abroad. I’d revisit Puerto Mogan but I don’t think we’d go to the same hotel unless they invested in some proper air con. We had to rent an aircon unit and it just wasn’t strong enough. It was OK for the bedroom so it was fine for sleeping but when Amelia was in bed and we were in the lounge it was too hot. I also didn’t like the fact that the tube that came out of the back of the aircon unit had to hang out of the french doors meaning we couldn’t lock the apartment properly when we were out. The sister hotel Cordial Mogan Playa was next door and could be an option if we returned. We had a nosey round and it was lovely!
Of course to end the holiday we had to have some airport stress. We needed to drop the hire car off but could we find where we were meant to be? No! Every turning said car rental and we went every way possible and got stuck in a car park and my road rage was at an all time high! Trying to reverse the wrong way in a car park sitting in the opposite side of the car was a nightmare. Eventually we found it and it ran pretty smoothly from there thankfully. Amelia even had a little sleep on the plane home and the couple sat next to us were great with Amelia and I even managed to read some of my book!
Holidaying with a toddler is a challenge and I wouldn’t call it relaxing but the memories last forever and make it all worth while.