Summer holiday with 13month old - villa or hotel? UK or abroad?(25 Posts)
DH and I want to take our DS on holiday at the beginning of July. This will be the first holiday as a three. What sort of holidays have you been on with a one year old? I'm not sure whether it would be better to be in a villa/apartment or hotel, because villa could be a bit of a busman's holiday in terms of cleaning, cooking etc. which I really want a little break from, but equally a hotel is a bit more restrictive in terms of the evenings when DS is hopefully asleep.
Also, we were thinking UK this year, mainly for ease, although am definitely tempted by some 'proper' sun!
Has anyone got any advice please? Our budget is under £1500 for a week including food and travel.
Also, some of the hotels I've been looking at in the UK, e.g. Bedruthan Steps in Cornwall, have a baby listening service which they encourage you use. Has anyone used this kind of thing? I think I'd feel a bit nervous about it.
For £1500 between the three of you, you could easily abroad to a 5 star resort and all inclusive. That way you don't have to worry about cleaning, food etc
I know a friend who went to a 5 star in sharm el sheikh and it all came to just £1000 in total and it was dead posh!
Is it possible for you to put your baby to sleep when you go to sleep? And then it would just wake up late. That's what I would do personally.
Also as its the beginning of July, you'll miss the 'summer holiday' rush so it'll be cheaper too.
Thanks ginger - that does sound good and I was reading that there are some really good deals in places like Sharm atm. Not sure I'd want to go to Egypt right now though - I would if it were just me and DH but not with DS too. Am a bit pfb maybe...
Sorry about that post my phone went a bit crazy. I took my 8 month old to turkey in September last year in a 5 star 24 hour all inclusive and found it very accommodating. It was 1200 for a week I put my lo in the pushchair and he slept through the evening entertainment. I also took a mosquito net to go over pfb We took some food and milk but bought most of it out there. Obviously not as relaxing as a couples holiday but enjoyable all the same.
I've been to sharm twice once pregnant and with a four year old, and once with a five yr old and a 5 month old both times in a 5 star ai.
The first time was nice ( hence the second visit) the second time was horrific my husband got the worst d and v I have every seen. If a one yr old child got that I really think he would have ended up in hospital. After seeing that not a chance I would take a young child there again we were so lucky that neither of our children got it. Sharm is notorious for food poisoning and d and v. Also in July the temp is around 40 which maybe a bit much for a little one.
We are going to Spain as we love the sun as do the kids and it's a short flight v imp in my experience as we now have 3 and one on the way! We stay in an apart hotel which works well as we have a kitchen as well as hotel facilities so lunch times can be done in the apartment some days. Also when the kids have a nap we have a separate sitting room so we have somewhere to sit. HTH
Can you be more flexible about which month to go in? If so, I would look at May (beginning and not the end), it's a good time, as the weather is reasonable.
My neighbours went all in to Majorca I think last year with their 18 month old and said it was amazing. Cost just over a grand! I also had another friend mention one in lanzarote!
Why dnot you pay your travel agent a visit and see what's out there
I am going away with my pfb this summer when he will be 18 months. We have hired a 2 bed apartment through owners direct website in Majorca. It is a posh apartment with private gated garden and a shared pool. Bout a grand for 10 nights, then we have bagged some cheap easy jet flights and cheap car hire so overall the whole holiday is about 1500 plus spending money.
The reason we have gone for a 2 bed apartment is we really want to not share a bedroom with DS! And we NEED a living room to sit/drink wine/watch DVDs in once DS is asleep at night. He goes to bed at 7pm every night and cannot be persuaded otherwise! We went on a hotel holiday to Crete last summer when he was 7mo and it was a nightmare cos he wouldn't sleep in the buggy whilst we went out for a lovely candlelit dinner like we saw the other families doing: oh no, not my DS! He screamed blue murder and looked at us like wtf are you doing? It's my bedtime! Why are we in a taverna? Lol.
So don't assume that you'll be able to do the whke out for dinner with baby asleep in a buggy thing. It wouldn't wash with our boy! But he is a bit like that. So we should have known.
Anyway, to avoid 10 nights of sitting in silence in a tiny hotel balcony we have gone for an apartment this year :-)
Hotels are great if you can afford adjoining rooms but if you're stuck in a darkened room, being quiet from 6pm it can get rather tedious.
I have 2dc and neither have ever been the "put in a buggy and take them to dinner with you" types. I've tried and ended up with screaming and overtired kids and me being hungry and stressed.
I personally wouldn't use baby listening. I'd rather pay the money and get an agency approved babysitter. The trouble with baby listening is it relies on someone actually listening, all the time, and acting on what they hear. There are too many people with access to hotel rooms IMO to want to leave an unsupervised baby or child. I've worked in hotels, that's not paranoia talking.
A nice compromise can be a hotel that has cottages/villas on site, so you get the best of both worlds. But you need to make sure they serve food early enough. We've had a great stay at Crieff Hydro which has a very child friendly set up while being a bit more individual than centreparcs. There are similar setups around and abroad too but they take some searching out.
Figure out what's most important - sun? No cooking? Nice evening experience? And go from there.
Canaries. Hotel, or all inclusive. We went when ds1 was 13 months and just packed him in pushchair at night and went to dinner. Worked a treat at 6 mtgs, 13mths and 18 maths. At 2 years we gave in and now we have ds2.... Make gay whilst the sun shines!
We hired a villa last year when dd was 8 months. Bliss. She could have her bedtime and we could sit by the pool quaffing wine.
Hotels were put as dd is a nightmare to share a room with and unless it was a small hotel where we could take the baby monitor to the bar with us we would be sat in silence in the dark from 7pm. Dd does NOT do nighttime pushchair sleeping.
We're doing the same thing this year and going with friends so we have company, a nicer villa and will take it in turns to babysit
Thanks for all the ideas. Lol at 'why are we in a taverna?' Bot!
I'm not sure how DS would be in a pushchair while we have dinner, but I imagine he'd want to be sitting on one of our laps, eating breadsticks etc. which wouldn't be particularly relaxing.
I really like the idea of a villa but think we'll try that next year when we can get other people to come with us and share a bit of cooking / baby sitting!
And thanks for the advice about baby listening sunshine - that was my gut feeling too.
We've been to the Canaries a couple of times and really enjoyed it. It's also very family friendly, from what I remember so I think we may go for that. Don't think we need to go in for the specific child focused hotel just yet - plenty of time for all that!
I would go AI to somewhere like Spain, Portugal or Majorca. I've always been lucky my kids (6 and 2) sleep wherever so we would have evening meal, kids disco for DS and then stroll along the sea-front in buggy and then back to resort for some cocktails by which time DD would be fast asleep. We all retire to our room about 10.30-11pm (DS turns into a night owl on holiday) and then me and DH sit out on the balcony with a bottle of wine from the hypermarket. Most hotels in Spain seem fine if you request a fridge for baby bottles.
Sounds like you have a plan! There's lots of threads on here with advice for flying with a little one but it's never as bad as you think.
One thing to consider going abroad is the heat on his feet. He may well be walking or at least cruising, so you may need shoes earlier than you'd have planned.
You could always do a trial evening out in this country before you go. But tbh at 13m the idea of either of mine sleeping contentedly in a buggy in a restaurant would have been laughable!
Have a wonderful holiday (and don't forget travel insurance for the baby as soon as you book in case pox or a bad case of norovirus comes along --bitter experience of 5* trip cancelled after DS vomited on first plane and then for the next week--)
We have been on holidays to a couple of hotels that were ideal set-ups. One in Lanzarote had pools, playground, access to hotel restaurants, kitchenette with fridge and microwave and hob, bedroom(s) and lounge and dining area, cleaned every day. Another in Turkey was a family room with lounge area, bathroom and bedroom with balcony (no kitchen/dining table). They are out there, just takes a bit of research to find them!
Apart from that, we've been to apartments and looked at other aparthotels, but it's only now the DC can go to bed a bit later that we're starting to look at basic hotel rooms without the extra facilities/rooms.
We went to insotel Punta prima in menorca all inclusive with first choice when DS was 13 mths. I was v apprehensive about going abroad but it was the best decision! Very family and toddler friendly all round. The perfect place in my view. Look it up - great tripadvisor reviews too.
We've always done self-catering with DS1 (and dS2) - but that is mainly because I'm a vegetarian (as is DS1) and so I don't want to rely on eating out every meal as the veggie ranges abroad are a bit limited, and to be honest the first time we did a villa holiday abroad it was just so much better than a hotel that we've never stayed in a hotel again!
If you had the dosh I'd definitely go for the villa, I know you'd still be cooking etc, but the relaxation of having your own space, no noisy hotel guests waking you up when you finally get to sleep, having your own pool, and being able to live to your own personal timetable are more important to me than not having a bit of cooking to do, but maybe you're really looking forward to getting time off in that regard!
We've also done loads of self-catering in the UK as for all the weather isn't great I've always been a bit wary of taking the kids somewhere really hot (although me and DH love the sun) in case I screw up in terms of shade/sunscrean and they end up getting burned (I don't trust myself!)
I think its also because before DS1 came along, we used to love sunny beach holidays, lounging around with a pile of books and cocktails in the evenings and I think I'd find adjusting to the reality of having a child to look after in that environment a bit hard (e.g. wouldnt' be the selfish holidays of old
Have great fun planning your holiday though - sounds fab whatever you do :-)
When dd was that age we found a little hotel which also had apartments in - best of both worlds as could put DC in their bedroom and relax in living room or on the balcony, we had breakfast in the hotel dining room. We ate a bigger meal at lunchtime then gave DC tea in the apartment, and had bread and cheese and wine and olives etc out on the balcony with dc asleep - though did go out in the evening as a family a couple of times.
We were on a massively shoestring budget, but still had a brilliant time. I'm sure you could find something similar but luxurious for your budget!
Forgot to say, the Insotel Punta Prima rooms have a living area and a kitchenette.
Thank you - these are all great ideas and very useful. X
Staying in the UK, Bluestone in west Wales is great for little ones. They do all inclusive so doesn't need to be a busman's holiday either.
We've taken DS to France (mid and South) three times since he was born (he's 3yo). Travelling is stressful, no doubt about it, particularly if your LO is particularly 'energetic'! Some dc are happy to sit still for several hours with lots of entertainment, but mine was one of those who needed to be up and about and ensured everyone knew about it. And you can't explain at that age why they can't get out of their seat on an aeroplane. We drove when he was 9mo and it was much the same story. But it was worth it, we all had a lovely time once we got there.
We've mostly done self catering (apartments and villas), though we've stayed in hotels, and caravans, in the UK too which is also great fun (though weather not guaranteed of course!). If flying, i would say keep it short haul unless your LO is fine sitting still for long periods. Loads and loads of age appropriate toys is the key - so you're pretty restricted if you fly unless your LO's attention can be kept with one favourite toy. Or you could fly when they usually have a nap and are already feeling tired. Whatever you choose, you will have a fabulous time - family holidays are so special. Be prepared for some stressy times, but you will always look back at the great memories with fondness and forget the stressful times.
I would not recommend driving long distance with dc at that age... not one of our finest moments!
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