Lately I’ve been thinking about booking our little family of four a new holiday – a proper family holiday this time as the last time was more of a mini one than anything as Daddy P didn’t come with us to Fuerteventura. LO, bump and I went around late January and it was lovely. The temp was nice, not too hot, we got to do a few things and enjoyed what was pretty much a chilled out holiday.
As I was six months preggers and so sure I would be going into early labour I didn’t book any activities. I also don’t drive so couldn’t hire a car which is said to be the best way to explore any one of the Canary Islands. However I just wanted to share with you the 5 most important things I think any mum should think about when taking your toddler on their first holiday.
We decided to go away this year at the end of January for a bit of winter sun… we headed out to the Canary Islands, Fuerteventura to be exact. It was only a short holiday (4 nights) but was the best getaway/family holiday for me. It was also LO’s first time abroad and he was really good from the plane journey there to the end of the stay.
I booked our little holiday via onthebeach.co.uk and found the Barcelo Castillo Beach Resort to be the perfect hotel for us. It’s located right on the beach, has a gym and spa in case I wanted some me-time (I never got round to using them!), three restaurants to eat from, located 15 mins away from the airport, and it’s a family-friendly resort where kids stay free! 🙂 Perfect!
All in all, a 4-night stay for 2 adults and 1 child costed around £190 for the hotel and £180 for the flights so under £400 in total which is extremely cheap. The average weather for Fuerteventura in January is 19-20 degrees which was about right. The first 2 days we were there, we were blessed with slightly warmer weather (about 22-23 degrees) but this island is the most windiest of all of the Canary Islands so if you’re planning on going to Fuerteventura, don’t forget a light jumper or jacket for the evenings.
Even though the sea temperature was mild, it was too cold for us to take a dip to swim but it didn’t stop LO from having a good splash! The hotel was very clean and maintained well. Our bungalow was decorated in a traditional orange hue which was lovely but there were more modern bungalows available at the resort for those who prefer something a little more luxurious.
I never got time to relax at the spa or used the gym although my friend who came with LO and I was able to use the gym and she loved it. For €5 per session, it’s definitely affordable but the resort is so big that you can get your daily exercise from walking around the whole place. We also ended up sticking to the main restaurant which offered a buffet-style sitting but the other two restaurants at the resort looked amazing, especially the piano bar/restaurant.
By the end of the holiday, LO didn’t even want to leave! He said he wanted to stay and it just made me think about booking another holiday for us to go on after baby is born. We’ll probably go with daddy P to Butlins next year or maybe even Disneyland instead. 🙂
We simply cannot wait… well, I simply cannot wait. I don’t think LO is aware of my travel plans just yet. It’s going to be his first holiday and the first time he’ll be abroad since he’s been born. I went on a babymoon with him to Nice, France when he was still a bump but we haven’t gone anywhere abroad since then.
We are planning for a bit of winter sun and plan to visit this lovely place in January. Tickets were cheap but now I’ve realised it’s because it’s actually not that warm in Jan which is why the tickets were such good value for money. Woops! Well, I am more than happy if the temperature is around 18-20 degree Celsius with mild wind. I have heard a-plenty that this island out of all the Canaries is the most windy. Not to worry, we can just bring our light wind-breaker jackets I am sure that will be enough.
LO and I will be going with one of my college friends Coco. We used to holiday a lot together and stopped since I had LO so this will be like a mini-reunion for us too. We will be staying at the Barcelo Castillo Beach Resort in Caleta de Fuste. A lovely port area about 10mins away from the airport with its own beach area. 🙂
I just can’t wait to get away to be honest, I just want a bit of sun. As much as I love snuggling in the covers, the darker days really gets to the best of me.
I haven’t planned anything for the travels yet but have been looking into things I can take with me to keep LO entertained for the 4hr flight there and back. I’m thinking to purchase a little tablet with something that allows me to save the YouTube videos that he loves to watch and probably bring some of his beloved books to read to him. I’m hoping the plane engine will also soothe him to sleep as he sleeps well on buses and cars so maybe the same effect will apply up in the air.
Last weekend we decided to go on to a day trip to Westgate Beach and what a fabulous choice it was! We had sun, sand, and lots of fun. I think it was the best Sunday weather we had this month so it was a pretty good choice to go as the weather’s not been too great this week.
The weather was balmy (around 25 degree Celsius) and the wind was warm which I think is the ideal weather for young children. Any hotter and they’ll probably feel uncomfortable and any cooler, they probably would’ve felt cold. It was perfect. We got to Westgate-on-sea by car which took roughly 1.5 hrs as there was a little bit of slow-moving traffic on the way there. LO was pretty good in the car and slept for about half of the journey which made life a little easier, especially when he and his little friend kept fighting over some toy cars.
I hadn’t even heard of this place, it was my friend that told me about it. I knew where Margate was and this little gem is just a short drive away from there. There’s no amusement park here just a little town with a local pub and a sandy beach – that’s all I wanted anyway so it was perfect for us. I think if you have older children or teenagers Margate may be a better choice so the kids don’t get bored.
The children had so much fun… Even us mummies had fun too! I highly recommend Westgate-on-sea to any families with young children.
Things were getting on top of me and I could feel all of the tension, stress and anxiety building up on my shoulders. I was constantly snapping at LO’s dad, and the little things LO would do that I would usually find cute i.e. messing up the house or trying to help out with the tidying was really grating on me resulting in me shouting my head off and upsetting him. Even work was becoming exhausting for me – I knew it was time for a break away from it all.
The girls at work and I have been talking about going away for a spa break for a while so we finally decided it was time for our spa break to The Scarlet in Cornwall. We all paid for a flight there as it worked out quicker and cheaper to fly than travel by train.
It was early afternoon when we got into Newquay and decided to stop off at Watergate Bay as we couldn’t check into our apartment until after 4pm (it was 1pm when we arrived). We had a lovely beach stroll, a great catch-up chat about work and other gossip, and then decided to have a quick lunch at the stunning Living Space restaurant right on the beachfront at Watergate Bay.
The restaurant was aesthetically beautiful. The decor completely complimented the sea view and location. The food… the food was deliciously fresh, tasty and quite healthy.I shared with a friend the hot salmon bagel and chips whilst the other friend opted for a salmon salad. I shared as I wasn’t too hungry and just wanted something small to fill the void. The hot chocolate I ordered was frothy, milky and chocolatey… super yum! 🙂
On our way to the apartment we stopped at the shops to make our own dinner as we thought we’d be too lazy to go out to eat (and were on a budget). That night we two of us had breaded chicken and wedges, our vegetarian friend had spaghetti bolognese made with Quorn mince and we all settled down with a nice movie before going to bed.
Today was the day we went to visit The Scarlet Spa. Hidden away in Magwan Porth, this eco-friendly spa is simply stunning and despite its modern look, in no way it sticks out like a sore thumb in its surroundings. The building itself is nestled away in a small road up one of the many cliff roads in Cornwall. Upon entering the spa, we were gobsmacked at how beautiful the place was. As we arrived slightly “late” as an itinerary was planned for us which we were unaware of however as it was a weekday visit, the spa were able to re-jiggle our spa day to make sure we could still experience everything our spa day package offered. The Scarlet spa is a part of the hotel so as we arrived early, we headed to the main restaurant for a drink whilst we waited for our spa host to collect us.
When our spa host collected us and escorted us down to the spa restaurant as we arrived at the time we were supposed to have our spa lunch. We had to pre-order the food before coming; two of us ordered the salmon dish and the other friend ordered the chicken. It was a light lunch (and very healthy) but we loved it as we really wasn’t looking for a heavy meal whilst trying to “detox” at the spa.
The hummous was so delicious! It tasted like it had paprika and harissa spice added to it which was divine with the homemade bread. The apple juice was freshly squeezed and tasted so fresh like it had just been juiced that very second. We were very satisfied with our meals. After we had finished, we all made our way down to the spa area were we enjoyed 2 blissful hours using the spa facilities and experiencing the rhassoul.
Time flew by so quickly at the spa and before I knew it, it was time to leave. I was fully relaxed and even fell asleep in the spa’s meditation room… once again, snoring away! 🙂 When we left the spa, we went back to the apartment for a little rest. We decided we were going to go out for a meal so headed back out to Watergate Bay and had something to eat at Zacry’s which was lovely. Two of us opted for lamb which was really tasty and our vegetarian friend opted for the cod. The total bill wasn’t too much at around £30 each including drink and dessert which is reasonable.
This was the day I set off as I decided I was only going away for 2 nights. I thought I would miss LO too much so I cut my trip short. The flight wasn’t until the evening so the first part of the day we decided to go for a lovely beach walk which was calming and just what I needed to chill out before heading back to my busy lifestyle. It was so foggy that morning I got a great image of it on our walk.
The fog was so thick, it felt a little eerie to see it engulf the horizon. Looking out towards the sea, it was just all grey… you couldn’t see anything else. When you are walking up a hill/cliff, the last thing you want is limited visibility but luckily the road was still clear so it wasn’t too bad. When I arrived at the airport ready to fly home the flight was slightly delayed because of the fog but luckily we were still able to fly and despite the late departure we arrived back in London on time.
The short break was a well-needed getaway for me. After feeling so stress-out and exhausted it was the first time I was able to fully relax and unwind without having to worry about anything. Unfortunately the relaxed feeling didn’t last long – just two days to be exact. Then all the exhaustive demands came back. Now when I start to feel stressed, I think back to this wonderful trip.
Check out my #ThrowbackThursday post with more stunning photos of The Scarlet Spa