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Bandos Island and longhaul with 18-month-old toddler while 28 weeks preggers - Tips please!

(9 Posts)
angel1976 Thu 25-Jun-09 21:23:29

Hi all,

After spending literally weeks and weeks searching for a holiday to meet DH's unreasonably high expectations and thanks to the amazing thumbs-up from MNetters about the Bandos Island resort, we found a great deal today and booked it for August. We are so chuffed and looking forward to it as it was getting so depressing getting quoted ridiculous amounts of money for not-very-nice places in Europe... We've got the deluxe room and going all inclusive. We are open to the idea of paying extra if we do decide to eat in any of the other restaurants. I will be 28 weeks preggers then and DS will be 18 months old so any tips will be appreciated!

I've got a couple of questions for those who have been there as well:

1. Any idea how much the dive course there is (DH would like to get his dive cert there, only done 'try dives' before)?

2. Other than the three main meals, are there any snacks on all-inclusive? Main concern is DS, do I need to bring him lots of snacks or will we be okay without?

3. Heard the spa is very expensive but would like to spoil myself a couple of times if possible... Any ideas what price we are looking at?

4. Do we need to bring bottled water with us? Will there be fresh milk for DS?

5. What are the essentials for DS? So far - Sunsuit, swimmers, hat, sunblock, nappies, cream, beachy things to play with...

6. Do we have to ask for a cot or will they provide that automatically on seeing DS's age? I imagine a pushchair is not a good idea, will bring a sling... Anything else?

7. Should we bring any currency (I read it's US dollars?) or will credit card suffice?

Any other tips appreciated! A million thanks!

Ax

P.S. Am a seasoned longhaul traveller but only to see family and this time, DS is 18 months as opposed to 4 or 7 months, which I know will be more challenging!!!

Rebeccaj Fri 26-Jun-09 11:12:05

I can't help with the specifics of Bandos Island, but a couple of things - I would email them and request a cot, just to be sure. Essentials for DS - I would add some child-friendly bug repellent, just in case.

I wouldn't dismiss a pushchair, we took a little foldup £15 Mothercare one with us around Australia even over to Lady Elliot Island (eco-resort) and it was fine even on the little 12-seater plane we had to take to get there! I couldn't carried my DH around much as 18months, he was/is a giant child ;-)

Fresh milk may be an issue, others may be able to tell you definitively. You may well find they have some in the kitchens even if it's not out, so do ask!

Rebeccaj Fri 26-Jun-09 11:15:10

I can't help with the specifics of Bandos Island, but a couple of things - I would email them and request a cot, just to be sure. Essentials for DS - I would add some child-friendly bug repellent, just in case.

I wouldn't dismiss a pushchair, we took a little foldup £15 Mothercare one with us around Australia even over to Lady Elliot Island (eco-resort) and it was fine even on the little 12-seater plane we had to take to get there! I couldn't carried my DH around much as 18months, he was/is a giant child ;-)

Fresh milk may be an issue, others may be able to tell you definitively. You may well find they have some in the kitchens even if it's not out, so do ask!

mumoverseas Fri 26-Jun-09 11:41:14

hi, very envy I love Bandos and have been 3 times, last time being Christmas 2007.
Good decision ref deluxe room as standard ones don't have a bath.
Will try to answer your queries

1) diving, can't remember cost but remember thinking much cheaper than other places I'd dived. Easter 2007 DS1 and I did our open water advanced and DD1 did her open water and we did loads of other dives and the dive bill was (I think!) around $1,000. The instructors there are lovely, particlarly Jenny the chinese girl. I'm in touch with a few ex instructors and will try to FB them and find guesstimates.

2) Didn't do AI but I would take snacks for DC as small shop very limited, a few souvenirs, a few types of chocolate, crisps etc. I'd take some boxes of mini raisins and other little snacks.

3) spa is expensive but nice for a pamper. Their packages and prices used to be on their website. Word of warning, don't have the Thai massage. I had it for my 40th birthday 'treat' and felt like I'd gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson!

4) Bottled water available to buy (reasonable prices) at all restaurants and pool bar. Milk is available at 24 hour coffee shop (restaurant by reception) and also sundowners, by the dive school. All restaurants have high chairs

5) think you've covered everything,just make sure you have enough sunblock and nappies as very limited range in shop.

6) Ask for cot in advance to make sure it is in your room when you arrive. You do need to request this as they don't automatically put it in. We always take a pushchair. The rooms are spread all around the island and there are proper paths around and its a nice walk in the evening

7) everything can be charged to your room, any watersports, drinks, ice creams and purchases in the shops (nice jewellery shop there!) maybe take a few $ in case you go on a day trip to Male (if you buy things in $ in shop you tend to get change in $ and Male money)

Other tip is go to FREE kids club early in morning before it gets busy. It is located in the sports pavillion in the middle of the island and is open (I think) from 8am to 5pm

Have a fab time x

angel1976 Fri 26-Jun-09 12:34:17

Thanks for all your advice! I am glad no one told me I am mad to be doing this trip at 28 weeks preggers... wink

Very helpful to know all the ins-and-outs.

Rebeccaj - Thanks, will see if we can borrow a cheap pushchair.

mumoverseas - Thanks for your offer of finding out costs. DH is paying for the trip and I was thinking of booking the dive course in advance as a surprise present for him. I will email them to find out anyway as their website says there is 20% discount (though we didn't book direct). I love Thai massages! The harder the better! But seeing as I will be heavily pregnant, I probably will opt for the pregnancy massage... LOL! Will email to make sure they have a cot in there...

Thanks for all your advice, getting really excited now!

mumoverseas Fri 26-Jun-09 13:47:00

no you are not mad, I did it the first time when I was around 16 weeks pregnant (we'd booked before we knew) and I was so gutted I couldn't go diving hence us returning again the next year.

You'll probably find you will be restricted with regards to which massages/therapys you can have due to your bump. Hope you have a lovely relaxing time.

Worth emailing in advance and trying to sort out the diving although there are courses starting every day so easy enough to book him in when you get there. The manager we deal with is called Afeef and he was really helpful (full name is Mohammed Afeef) but everyone calls him Afeef. Just looked for his business card but must have left it at home (away from home for 3 months)

BTW, if you decide to go to the 'posh' restaurant (can't remember the name, not the coffee shop or sundowners, they do a fantastic chocolate 'hurricane' dessert grin

phdlife Fri 26-Jun-09 13:53:06

I can't help with the resort, but I can offer some suggestions for travelling longhaul with 18mo whilst 28wks pg, having done it myself in December.

1) take little presents, things for dc to play with. wrap them up so it takes longer to open, but assume only 10-15 mins per item.

2) if you are booking dc a seat, you may need to take a carseat for them - check with the airline.

3) the best thing for keeping dc entertained ion the plane, I found, was the loo - took ds in there, put some water in the sink, let him splash. (and yes, then wiped it up). this is obviously not the safest thing to do if there's going to be any nasty turbulence, but I didn't know that then blush.

4) we found co-sleeping worked a treat in keeping ds happy in a strange place. just a suggestion. (mind you we were travelling from place to place, not just a holiday, so bit more of an issue for us).

trying to think what else...

angel1976 Fri 26-Jun-09 14:06:45

mumoverseas - I'm personally not keen on diving having done two 'try dives' in the Great Barrier Reef in Oz and ended up almost drowning both time, just not a comfortable experience for me but DH has loved the 'try dives' he's done so far.

phdlife - Laughing at tip 3! And great to hear someone did what we are trying to do and live to tell the tale...

Thanks all once again.

Nettee Sat 25-Jul-09 13:25:52

Hi - message from Bandos cybercafe here! you are going to have a great time, we leave on Monday and will miss it like mad

dive course - a bit more than $500 for the open water one but they do a sort of halfway house certificate for $400 + as well. We did the intro dive for $70 which was good.

No snacks included - we have been having icecreams and marsbars but also brought stuff from home - mind you we are not that hungry with all the buffet meals three times a day!

haven't looked into the spa - sorry - we got a 20% discount voucher from 1st choice on arrival though

There is bottled water around including a litre in the the room every day - UHT milk I am afraid - we brought loads of individual growing up milks with us which are helping.

essentials sound good - mosie spray also

ask for a cot, bring the push chair - lots of walking on paths to do

US dollers for tips at the end of the week only - they say $10 for the house boy and waiter and I expect we will also tip the brilliant childminders

early dinner in sea breese included for children - lots of pasta at the buffets - all good - have to go now on my fishing trip - dophins last night, you will love it!

xxxx

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