Travelling with kids. Yeah.. that!
So, we just travelled to Majorca. It was amazing, but, it was also insanely tough! This was our first 'holiday' as a family of four and the first time that we have had a beach holiday since becoming parents three years ago (our previous trips have been to California to visit friends, so had more of a home from home vibe.) We went away with friends and we decided on a villa because none of us could face the hell of keeping four small humans alive in a holiday resort. BEST DECISION EVER!
Our worst decision ever was travelling with a low cost airline. The plane just got lighter and lighter as cans were sunk two at a time, screaming kids, rowdy parents, hen do's.. you get the idea! And I hate myself for saying that; times have changed and I'm submitting to old age! The return flight was even worse because the airline messed up and we almost missed our flight- not ideal with four small humans under three at 10pm. A week later and I can still hear the ringing of my friends banshee yell in my ears 'Stoppppppppp the plane!!'
I need a holiday after the holiday.
The reality of travelling with kids is that it's just not what it used to be. In many ways it's so much richer than before. Making memories with the boys was amazing; watching them have so much fun and spending time showing them new things. The thing is, my brain is still wired to think of a holiday as a time to tan, read and relax. The reality is really quite different. I did get a tan, I did read a book but it was laboured and, well, I'm not sure that I even know how to spell the world relax anymore!
So here are some top holiday tips for those brave enough to travel with small humans:
1. F&F do the greatest shapewear bikinis... I felt amazing (which I really didn't think I would).
2. Don't be fooled by big brands with fancys ads, Aldi sun cream is not only cheap but it has one of the best UV star ratings, we loved it!
3. I can't recommend the UV protection swim tops and hats from Decathalon UK enough, the boys looked super cool but were also super protected.
4. If you want a good book then you must read 'Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine' by Gail Honeyman. I read it at every opportunity, it lived up to the reviews and is a total steal on Amazon at the moment.
5. My holy grail, must have, top tip... ALWAYS take spf lip balm! I hate burning my lips! This year I bought the EOS spf30 grapefruit lip balm. It was beaut, tasted yummy, was smooth and my lips didn't burn at all.
Find the key to a drama free family holiday by keeping the kids active and entertained by the beach as they explore their sandy surroundings whilst trying new experiences. From learning to surf in Morocco to kayaking in Bali, say goodbye to boredom as Health and Fitness travel, the wellness holiday specialists, share their top ideas for active family beach holidays. Make the most of sharing new experiences with the kids or take some adult time out to relax and unwind as the little ones are entertained at the Kids Club, with everything from tennis to treasure hunts.
ITALY: FORTE VILLAGE
Luxuriate in the glorious Sardinian shores this summer and bring the family along for a fun-filled holiday at this self-contained paradise. Adults can enjoy a multitude of Thalassotherapy treatments, drawing upon the natural healing power of seawater and soothing marine mud, to benefit you with a rediscovered sense of well-being. Whilst your kids will enjoy their days participating in a wide-range of exhilarating activities from boxing and tennis to football and cycling. With its vast range of eight hotels, 21 restaurants and amenities; this healthy holiday offers something for every family.
PORTUGAL: VILALARA LONGEVITY THALASSA & MEDICAL SPA
Set on the renowned Algarve coastline of Portugal, this family friendly hotel is a haven for family fun in the sun. With direct access to Gaivotas Beach, families are never far from the abundance of water sports and beach activities, including jet skiing, surfing and diving. If you wanted to play some friendly family tournaments on a family sports holiday, make the most of the four tennis courts and five swimming pools. With spa facilities and a kid’s area, there are also great opportunities for children and parents to part ways for a few hours and unwind at their own pace.
MOROCCO: PARADIS PLAGE
Facing onto its own private beach on the southwest coastline of Morocco, experience an all-round family activity holiday with beach-front and mountain top adventures. From mountain biking and surfing lessons, to paddle boarding and kayaking, get the whole family involved with trying something new on the Agadir coastline. Treat the kids with a trip to the AquaPark 300m down the road for a day out they’ll never forget. Unwind after a busy day on your active family holiday with a French or Moroccan massage at the luxury spa, whilst the kids club keeps the little ones active with organised games and craft activities.
ST LUCIA: THE BODY HOLIDAY
This family beach holiday on the Caribbean island of St Lucia is an exclusive programme running over July and August each summer. Designed to promote a family friendly holiday vibe, The BodyHoliday aims to foster family bonding through a series of activities, including bike adventures and beach volleyball. With everything from abseiling and water sports, to tennis and healthy cooking classes, there are endless opportunities for the family to come together and have fun keeping active. To relax, mothers and daughters can enjoy special spa sessions together, with a range of beauty treatments and a dedicated teen spa menu
PORTUGAL: GALO RESORT
This beachside family resort offers affordable family holiday options catering to everyone’s active interests. Offering fun-filled family activities, such as snorkelling, horse riding and karting, there’ll never be a dull moment on this family activity holiday. With the kids’ club running throughout the summer months, take a couple of hours for yourself to enjoy the spa or the championship level golf courses, as your kids try their hand at badminton before refuelling in the pancake house. With a kids menu, family rooms, child pool and outdoor playground, you’ll find everything you need at Galo.
THAILAND: AMATARA WELLNESS RESORT
Don’t be afraid to travel further afield with the children this year, as you embark on a beachside family activity holiday in Phuket. Explore this picturesque coastal town with a bike tour or learn to cook the local delicacies, taught at the cooking workshop. After this fun-filled day, your kids can keep engaged and entertained at the kids’ club, the library or splash around in the pool. Meanwhile, you can enjoy the spa, try out stand-up paddle boarding, Tai Chi or meditation, before re-grouping for a family kayaking session.
GREECE: PORTO ELOUNDA GOLF & SPA RESORT
Designed as a fun multi-activity holiday with the whole family in mind, lessons are available for all ages in activities including tennis, golf and water sports, at this family beach retreat on the Greek island of Crete. Complete with a kids playground, vegetable garden and swimming pools, everything is taken care of at this family friendly resort, so you won’t have to worry about fussy eaters or bored kids. With a nanny service available from morning to night, parents can take time out to unwind in the luxury spa or join in with a group fitness class, from yoga and Tai Chi to water aerobics and Oriental dancing.
PORTUGAL: MARTINHAL LUXURY BEACH RESORT
Set on the western Algarve coastline within a protected natural park, this coastal resort is a beautiful beach spa destination for the entire family. Catering to all ages and interests, this family beach resort has five different kids clubs for children of different age groups, as well as five sporting academies including; surfing, windsurfing, swimming and football. For the football fans, there is also a 3 day football clinic throughout the summer months. Enjoy quality family time mountain biking, deep sea fishing or horse-riding, before Mum and Dad take some time to relax at the luxury spa with treatments inspired by the surrounding ocean.
PORTUGAL: PINE CLIFFS
Discover an active getaway for the whole family at this family beach hotel set in sunny Algarve. Overlook undisrupted views of the Atlantic Ocean as your little ones enjoy their own adventures at the in-house pirate’s children village. Master your game of tennis with coaching sessions at the renowned Annabel Croft Tennis academy while the kids are kept engaged and entertained with various activities including mini-golf, football and water ball at the Junior Club. Spend quality family time together, as you’ll dine together, at any one of the nine restaurants, all offering fresh food in charming settings.
VIETNAM: FUSION MAIA
Escape to this tropical paradise in Vietnam and get the most out of a luxury family holiday which offers world-class accommodation and high-quality service. Going above and beyond when it comes to children’s activities, this wellness retreat offers mini spa treatments and cookery classes allowing the kids to learn whilst having fun. Just a stone’s throw away from one of the most fantastic beaches in the world, enjoy a number of exciting ocean activities from water sports to local island excursions. Make it a memorable cultural experience for the kids as you let them tag along guided tours on Vietnam’s most stunning tourist spots.
For advice, guidance and booking visit www.healthandfitnesstravel.com or call 0203 397 8891
About Paul Joseph:
Wellness Travel Specialist and Entrepreneur, Paul Joseph, is the co-founder of Health and Fitness Travel, a global leader in wellness holidays worldwide. Always ahead of the curve in pioneering new health programmes that revive the soul, boost fitness or address serious health issues, the worldwide wellness tourism industry has now become a multi-billion sector, growing faster than travel in general. Paul has a wealth of PR, Marketing, Sales and Management experience in the health and tourism industry, consulting leading hotels on their wellness strategy and contributing regularly to broadcast and media interviews.
About Health and Fitness Travel:
Health and Fitness Travel is a global luxury wellness travel company that originated in the UK in 2010 and is committed to providing healthy holidays that enhance and change lives. Created by Paul Joseph and Adam Heathcote as a result of their passion for health and fitness travel and offering bespoke holidays to improve people’s well-being to lead happier and healthier lives.
Health and Fitness Travel offers clients a tailor-made seamless service with the very best health and fitness holidays, handpicked by its expert team, together with exclusive and added value packages with the best deals. As leading specialists, Health and Fitness Travel has also created their own collection of trademark healthy holidays in various destinations which include Fusion Fitness™ BodyBreaks™ and Discover Recover™, offering clients the best value and holiday experience. For more information visit: www.healthandfitnesstravel.com
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On Saturday, my tiny newborn baby turned two. How has that happened? How have two years passed since she entered the world as this helpless, gunky, squishy baby? She is fearless, but loves a mummy cuddle. She is strong willed and independent. She is loving and cares for her dolly and I am very proud of the little girl she has become.
Gift wise, we really struggled with ideas this year. Lets be realistic, she’s two and is more interested in the paper and boxes things come in, but you still want to get them something, right? What makes it even more difficult is that she has all her big sisters toys and things to play with too, so really, we were stumped.
In the end she got a new dress, a paddling pool, a wee bag full of sweeties and a bubble gun... and you know what her fave bit was? Opening the cards! At this age, they really don’t need any stuff, and they definitely prefer you spending your time with them, rather than money.
We were lucky enough to be invited along to the Wildhood Festival in Kinross and it happened to fall on Ivy’s birthday, and it was the absolute perfect way to enjoy some family time and celebrate her birthday. This year it was all to do with animals and you were encouraged to come dressed up, so naturally we obliged and donned all of our sparkles, glitter and wings and came as a family of butterflies - Gary was in his element I’m sure!
On arrival, it immediately felt magical. There were wonderfully dressed characters walking around, a ukulele orchestra, story telling, a graffiti garden, water and bug discovery, animal trail, crafts, crown making, fairly lessons (which was a huge hit with Lily) and don’t even get me started on the food... which all looked amazing and fortunately, we sampled quite a lot of it! There was excellently stocked bar too.... unfortunately i was driving. Next year we will definitely be going back, and I’m hoping we will camp the whole weekend!
Thankfully, Mr Sun came out to play, which made the whole day more enjoyable. We left around 3pm and spent the rest of the afternoon in the new paddling pool, laughing, drinking cider and soaking up as much family time as possible.
So, if your little one has a birthday coming up, remember it’s not all about presents, but more about presence. Of course there is nothing wrong with wanting to buy your child something special, but isn’t it great when you can do something the whole family can enjoy and make treasured memories from? I know seeing the smiles on the girls faces will last a lifetime, and that’s the best gift in the world.
Lots of love xx
Forever A Mum
My poor husband works so hard to make sure our family are happy and he often gets overlooked. Sure he’s a grumpy git at times and his toilet aim could use a little work, but he always puts us first. He doesn’t get out much and his Xbox has a layer of dust from neglect, but he never tires of sleeping bunnies or wrestling with Lewis.
Father's day usually falls around our anniversary so we never really do much, but this year I wanted to make it special by putting together some things he’d love to make him feel a bit more appreciated. Here are some of the things I’m including in case you’re stuck for gift ideas. I’m sure your hubby has plenty of socks already!
I’m almost disappointed Steve has fallen in love with these as now I have to share, but Harriet the creator is so lovely I’m happy to support. These are little one-use eye masks that heat up for 15 mins once opened and give off the nicest jasmine scent. Spacemask = the best sleep ever! What parent doesn’t need more sleep? Spacemasks are £15 for 5.
Yes you read that right. Dust. For your nuts. I’m no testicle expert but sweaty balls can’t be fun right? Eliminate chafing and stay fresh for £4.99.
A YEAR OF DATES
We were given these recently and they are amazing! We all know how easy it is to get stuck in a rut when it comes to date night, but these beauties can help with that. 52 individually wrapped date ideas colour coded for going out, staying in etc. Such a simple yet lovely idea. Prices range from £25-£29
COCO CHOCOLATIER GIN AND TONIC CHOCOLATE
We are lucky enough to have these made locally and the flavours are to die for. Steve is a gin man so this is right up his street. He might even share! £4.50 for this beauty.
WILLOW AND PLUM NETTLE SOAP
This is another of my favourites that the whole family now uses. Is anything sacred? Steve suffers really dry skin and was guilty of using harsh soaps, but this has really saved his skin. If it keeps his skin happy then I’ll gladly share. This is £6 and seems to last forever.
Naturally a bathboard had to feature. One of my favourite purchases of all time and another that Steve steals so I’ve included a beer board in the hope he might leave mine alone. These have a slot for candles, a tablet and a beer but are great for snacks and books too, starting at £23.
ANATOMICALS FACE MASK
Anatomicals face masks. These little beauties have given us so much fun and many a silly selfie. Self care is for men too and this brand is amazing for reasonably priced body care with hilarious names. These masks are only £1 each and stockists can be found on their website.
So that’s my little box of gift ideas for Steve and I think he’ll love it. He really deserves a treat. Do you have any novel ideas to add? Do you agree men are much harder to buy for? Drop me a comment and let me know what you think.
Champagne and Snotty Noses
*Please note this is NOT a sponsored post. Just some brands I genuinely love.