Sunny Costa Del Sol! That's where we have been for the past week and what a holiday we had. The few weeks running up to our holiday had to be the most stressful I have had in a long time due to my passport situation which I'm sure many of you know about if you follow me on Instagram or snapchat. However, we finally made it to Benalmadena and it was worth all the stress.
I have to admit I was a little anxious about travelling with the boys. We never went abroad when we were little so I suppose its just the fear of the unknown however it couldn't have gone any better so I wanted to share some tips and tricks with you guys that may help anyone planning on travelling with kids this summer.
Bear in mind Pearse is three and a half and Darragh is two so this may not be relevant for all kids.
I can't tell you the relief when I was able to line these passports side by side. I was under the impression that you could get a child's Irish passport within a day so I wasn't really in any rush to get the boys passports however this is not the case. When it is the first passport it can take up to 8 weeks and maybe longer. So they were posted on 15th May and I received them the day before we left. I was close to tears when the postman arrived and actually hugged him. My advice is to get passports sorted in plenty of time and do not leave yourself in the position I was in. It took me three days into my holiday to actually unwind from the stress of it all.
I am kicking myself for not taking a picture of these but they were the best idea passed onto me by a good friend. I bought little zippy food bags, went to Poundland and bought little packs of crayons, colouring books, snacks, toy cars and animals.
I spent the time before we left and made up six little bags of fun, each one with different bits and bobs. I gave them to the boys on the plane when they were beginning to get restless which kept them occupied until we landed. I also produced them at night when we would go out for dinner and they were an absolute godsend when you were trying to eat your dinner.
Everyone kept saying to me, you need to bring a buggy for each of the boys but in my head, I was thinking there is no way they will sit in one. I already have a pushchair but instead of buying another one and bringing them both to the airport I emailed the hotel who put me in touch with a hire company. I organised for two pushchairs to be delivered to the hotel on the day we arrived and picked up the day we left. It cost 85Euro for the week and was the best money we spent the whole holiday.
The boys were so exhausted at night they jumped in without hesitation and left us able to walk into town and explore. Don't hesitate to bring your buggy or to hire them. I guarantee you will use them constantly.
I was getting lots of tips from followers before I left and one of which from the lovely Claire from Barrett Opticians was the most beneficial yet. She advised me to dress the boys for breakfast in whatever they had worn the evening before when going out to dinner. After all, they would only be wearing it for 30mins max before they changed into their swimwear for the pool. This saved me packing double outfits and it really worked for my boys. Granted there may have been the odd morning this didn't work for one of them due to messy eating the evening before but in the most cases, this is exactly what we did. Thanks for the tip, Claire.
There's one thing I hate and that's kiddie menus. I hate frozen chips, chicken goujons etc. I know it is the cheaper option but Pearse and Darragh love salmon and prawns so a few times I would have ordered them dishes from the starter menu or asked for another plate and gave them some from our meals. This way I knew they were getting to eat nice tasty food. They were on their holiday too after all. So my advice would be don't give into the kiddie menu thing if it's not what they like. Let them try your food and order theirs from the starter selection. You will get more variety and better prices than the main meals.
We also bought fruit in the shop each morning and let them snack on it all day by the pool as their appetites weren't great during the day due to the heat. At least with the fruit, we knew they were getting something in their bellies.
I have always felt strongly about protecting their wee eyes. I don't believe in buying cheap sunglasses that they can't see out of and won't keep on. These Kidz Banz from Barretts Opticians are the best investment. They have a stretch back on them with velcro which can be adjusted. The boys even kept them on when they were in the water that's how I knew they felt comfortable in them and could see clearly.
So my advice would be to spend as much time choosing your kids sunglasses as you do choosing your own. The sun is strong so everyone's eyes need protecting.
This holiday was exactly what I needed after a very busy season in DIGG Childrenswear. Time with family is so precious and even if you can't get away on holidays I firmly believe time spent away from work is crucial for your own mental health and for the strength of your family unit.
Hope you all have a lovely break with your families this summer no matter where it is.
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