I havent been on a package/beach holiday for some time and this year was our first ever resort holiday abroad as a blended family and the first time we had visited an all-inclusive resort. Holidays abroad are expensive (stop hiking up the price in the school holidays holiday companies, its so unfair) and can be stressful but its also a unique time where you dont have to ‘do’ anything if you dont want to and the usual chains of being an adult are removed.
So what did I learn during 11days of resort living?
1) Yes, it can be expensive but once you’re there that wont bother you – in fact you’ll probably start planning your trip for next year. I’ve got to be honest, paying for this trip hurt a bit (I’m notoriously stingy LOL) but once we were there and I saw how happy everyone was, all I could think about was how it was SO worth it and I wanted every summer to be like this from now on.
2) Before you leave you will probably worry a bit about wearing swimwear but after a few days of seeing real people, rather than airbrushed magazine shots or Facetuned Instagrams you will not give a damn! Embrace that body – its the only one you have and its beautiful because it’s unique and it’s yours!
3) Your holiday doesnt start till someone gets stung by a wasp (me, day 5)
4) As Baz Luhrmann famously said – use sunscreen. Take loads – you always use more than you think you will. We were doing really well, had one off day when it was cloudy and then really had to pay for it via copious applications of after-sun and anti-hystermine. Slight parenting fail! Its also worth considering using rash vests/sun suits – I bought some cheap ones for our 3 boys from Sports Direct and they were brilliant – especially for our sun-adverse red-head.
5) It might come as a surprise but a £10 pool inflatable can make a child more happy than a £400 games console ever will…
6) All-inclusive food and drink brings out the gluttony in human beings – be better than that. Anyone that goes up for thirds at dinner with 3 bread rolls under their arm and their eye in the dessert bar needs to have a word with themselves!!! I will miss that choice of every breakfast food imaginable each day though…
7) By halfway through the holiday you’ll know all the words & dance movements to the resorts chosen theme song with your kids begging for the resorts overpriced disco CD (just say no – if they are really desperate for a song, Shazam it and then buy it as a download when you get home – they’ll of forgotten by then anyway)
8) Pool sliders may look ugly but they will save your life (and soles of your feet)
9) Foreign crisps are better than UK crisps. End of. And in HUGE bags!
10) Palm trees are the best trees
11) Bring at least of 2 of everything for your kids that goes near water. Swimshorts, towels, caps etc. – that way you have time every day to dry or wash through the day befores clothing.
12) If you want to dress up, do it. If you want to relax and dress down, do that. This is your holiday. I love to dress up and use Instagram, so was never gonna miss the chance of creating fashion looks using some fab backgrounds…
(look out for a separate blog featuring what I wore)
13) Exercising on holiday is fun! Yes – we are that couple…We always fit in some form of exercise while away, and found that because we had more time for it, it felt easier and less of a chore. Running is easy to fit into a day and needed minimal extra stuff packed. An added bonus – it takes a long time to form a habit, especially if that habit is regular exercise – so if you can keep up some of the momentum while you are away, it’s much easier to get into it again when you get back.
14) As a mum in particular, it can be hard to give yourself permission to relax – but you need to do it. I’d say it took me 3-4 days to properly relax…Use whatever you need to – a good book, headphones playing your favourite music, romantic walks or a nice cocktail. No guilt allowed – youre on holiday!
15) Holidays have the ability to bring siblings together in a way that nothing else can. You will get those ‘melt your heart’ moments when you least expect it…cherish them.
16) A kids disco at any other time might seem like hell but seeing your child experience entertainment purely for them, and seeing them dancing/singing/playing games on stage (if your child is anything like mine) is just the most wonderful thing.
17) In an all-inclusive resort, order the maximum amount of drinks allowed each time you visit the bar that you can. This is not being greedy, it just means you won’t have to keep queueing up (and those queues can be LONG!)
18) Reading an actual book is wonderful. I read two that I had been meaning to read for ages and just hadnt had the time and felt so satisfied.
19) Entertainment staff are all the most beautiful people on the planet and will make you feel totally ugly in comparison but remember the rest of the guests in the complex will remind you that people come in all shapes and sizes!
20) A great view can lift your soul
21) If youve got kids under 12 bring a bottle of Capol or Inbruprofen plus some anti-hystermine. We needed medicine for 2 out of our 3 children during our 11 days away.
22) Beaches look great in an Instagram shot but are really hard work especially with kids coming back with sand in areas you didnt even know they had. However theres just something about them that makes it worthwhile – for our boys it was when they found out there was free wifi (we banned them for going online at out hotel) and for me nothing beats the sound of the waves lapping. Talc helps remove the sand and make sure you utilise the beach showers.
23) If youre anything like me and spend all your time checking everyone has remembered everything, you will probably end up losing your own stuff, most likely your sunglasses. Pack a few pairs of cheap ones – I kept mine safe till the last day and was feeling smug and then lost them going through Spainish security on the way home. Primark is great for cheap but stylish pairs.
24) Dont forget those chargers and travel plugs. We didnt allow much screen time but trying to keep our own phones, plus ipods, cameras, portable chargers and tablets charged was quite a challenge.
25) Travelling abroad with young children can have its stressful moments but the joy it brings both them and you makes the best memories, ones that will stay with them forever. Giving yourself permission to relax is a huge step in self love and the moments it creates are priceless. There really is nothing like it.
So kiss your kids, snog your partner and most importantly, love yourself xx
I’ve set up a direct debit and am ready to start saving for next year – after all, taking holidays are one of the reasons we work so hard the rest of the year! Its only money, right?!?
We travelled to the island of Majorca in the Spainish Baleric Islands with LoveHolidays.com.