My Journey

From mind to paper and back again.

Summer Holidays

on June 13, 2013

You may remember in my last post that I was trying to work out exactly what I needed to take with me for Oliver?  Well, we’ve been and come back now and I have some tips for other mummy’s who are going away for the first time.

We travelled at a nice time on the way out – 3.30pm leaving Manchester Airport with Jet2, the flight was 4 and a half hours long and Oliver slept through take off and landing which meant he had no nasty surprises with his ears.  (I took some of the Calpol sachets through in my hand luggage just in case).

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Packing was a nightmare for the hand luggage, yet when I got to Boots to collect the milk I had ordered I was told I could have actually ordered any of his medicines, food pouches and snacks for Oliver too – I would recommend doing this as the choice is very limited.  I ended up finding a very good tip that I want to pass on to you, when packing your nappies in the hand luggage put each one in its own nappy sack so that you don’t have to route through the bag, have some travel packs of wipes and take two in the hand luggage – they weigh less overall than a full pack and can be split up to fit in what ever gaps you have.  The toilet on the 737 that we flew on did have a fold down changing table but as you can imagine the space is very tight and trying to take a full changing bag in there would have been a nightmare but one nappy in its own sack and a small pack of wipes was fine.

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Getting off and ready at the other end was completely different, we were quickly through passport control and on our way to collect our buggy and baggage – the buggy came off first so I was able to put Oliver in it and go wait for the cases.  It was at that point we found out that my step-grandad had passed away while we were on the flight.  It was terrible news to get at the start of the holiday but we had to take heart in the fact he was no longer suffering.  Although it was in the back of my mind I was determined not to let it ruin Oliver’s first holiday.  We got on the coach and were at the hotel in less than 30 minutes.  The hotel was lovely, we had an apartment each and they were massive – we stayed in the Barcelo La Galea in Costa Teguise, Lanzarote.  My only qualm was that there were no lifts (it wasn’t possible in the layout) but even knowing that we had a baby under one year old we were initially put on the 3rd floor.  Not great with a baby and buggy, luckily we were able to swap with my mum who had been put on the second floor but were told there were no ground floor apartments available – we would have to check back in two days when the next flight had left.  I didn’t bother because we were only there for a week.

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The food was okay – it was a buffet for the all inclusive at breakfast, lunch and tea.  It was very continental but we were able to find something everyday (even if I did descend on the pastry every morning).  We had morning and evening meals in the indoor restaurant and the lunch time meals in the pool bar.  There was always something to get and Oliver had fun trying new things, including chips (bad mummy) and cucumbers Smile

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The all inclusive included ice cream and pour your own drinks which was great, there was no waiting around in queues for drinks or anything like that.  We weren’t at any point made to wait for food or drinks.  Of course, baby milk wasn’t included so we went and got a five litre bottle of drinking water and then found one of the local spars – the Nestle brand milk was 8 Euros whereas the Aptimil was 19… luckily Oliver has never had an issue with switching milk.  If I went with another baby I wouldn’t take any more than enough milk to get me through the first couple of days.  Nappies were a different matter at 7 Euros for a pack of 14 they are much cheaper at home.  However, wipes and clothes are all available so there really wasn’t any need for us to take as much as we did.

As well as shopping we went to the beach for Oliver’s first experience of sand and sea, the sand was a hit, the cold sea wasn’t. 

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We did a trip to Teguise market and my only two issues were there wasn’t enough time to get around it all and I didn’t have enough money to spend!

We also found a bar that was English, it was nice to go in at night for something to eat or a few drinks, they had a quiz every night (we won three of the five we entered) and a raffle, we all came away with tee-shirts and Oliver even got a beach ball, the staff were brilliant, really friendly and I would love to see them all again.

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The week passed far too quickly though and before we knew it we were repacking our cases and getting ready to check out.  I got some pureed meals for Oliver and cartons of milk for the plane.  We were stopped briefly at security but not made to taste anything the lady checked the hand luggage and said ‘for baby’ before sending us on our way.  Another good flight with Oliver sleeping through the majority of it and we were back in Manchester.  If you’re buying a carton of milk for the plane whilst away be aware that the six moths plus milk has cereal in it and is VERY thick.

All in all we loved our holidays.

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3 responses to “Summer Holidays

  1. When travelling with an infant, most airlines will allow, free of charge, one checked bag per fare-paying passenger and two pieces of baby gear for the lap-held infant. Some airlines allow an additional checked bag for the infant when flying internationally, but if not, it generally costs only $20 to check an extra bag. Passengers are also entitled to one piece of carry-on luggage plus one “personal item” (purse, laptop bag, briefcase, etc.) each.

  2. Wilford Goodman says:

    Eldest daughter and family have just come home from Spain.When they were going out there was only 15kgs allowed per case, she says this wasn’t on the booking page on the internet, and it’s lower than most airlines. The surcharge was £260!! It appears that you can carry on large shoulder bags, so off to the airport shop they went. But this isn’t a fiver a bag like in Primark, the two bags were £39 each. Apparently there were a lot of people SEETHING at these untold charges, and couples with kids opening suitcases all over the place and putting the stuff into shoulder bags from the same shop. She was none too pleased with other rules either. Due to fears of terrorism, no jars of baby food were allowed on the plane in hand luggage, unless they undid the tops, stuck their fingers in and took a taste from each jar. They had to do the same with the babys milk bottle, which didn’t help, as neither her or hubby like milk. The bag shop has a branch in Ilford, so with labels intact and receipt in hand, she’s off to Ilford to try for a refund. If not, theyre going on E-bay at half price. She also has to pay a £50 ‘fine’ to the Education Dept, or some other body, imposed for not sending our eldest grand-daughter to school for a week. She said it’s cheaper to pay the fine than going in half term as the prices go up astronomically when schools are closed. I did point out that I remember that only too well, but there were no fines when they were at school.

    • kirstyross85 says:

      The prices in the summer are extortionate, luckily Oliver was only 8 months when we went so no schools were involved but I have had the same conversation with my mum as my little brother who came with us missed a couple of days of schools and they said it was cheaper to take him out and pay the fine than pay the extra travel costs.
      As for baggage allowances – we flew with Jet 2 Holidays and although Oliver didn’t get a baggage allowance with him being under 2 and us not paying for a seat for him, our allowance was very plentiful – we had 20kg each of hold baggage (checked in) and 10kg each of hand luggage so we actually used one of our hand luggage bags and packed Oliver’s clothes in that. It meant that we also had everything we needed there to hand if the plane was delayed for any reason too. (We did check his powdered milk in though).
      As for jars etc, I know what you are saying – but there is a way around it, at Manchester airport where we flew from anyway, there is a Boots store in every terminal that you can call in advance and order everything you need, from powdered milk, pre-made milk, jars, finger foods, even the bottles and juices. So as long as you factor that into the cost of your travel (they charge normal Boots prices) it makes things easier as you have already passed through security so you don’t have to do any of the taste testing or anything – thank goodness as Hipp baby milk smells disgusting so I didn’t want to have to taste it. Coming back from Lanzarote, we packed what we would need for him into the hand luggage and they did stop us at security, however, they just asked us to look in the bag which we were fine with, and when she saw that it was baby milk and food she just pointed at Oliver and said ‘for baby’ we nodded and that was the end of that, she waved us straight through – it took less than a couple of minutes for her to check so we weren’t delayed at all.

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