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First time going AI - I need ALL your advice!!!

44 replies

Mamabear04 · 27/09/2023 16:15

Thinking of booking an AI holiday next spring around late March-early April. Kids will be 4yo and 1.5yo. Never booked a holiday like this (although went on a couple when I was a kid with my parents/siblings). I'm looking for advice mainly what's the best thing to go for with such young kids and do you think its the right holiday for us? We have tried self catering the past few years and the kid/kids have always been a bit out of sorts with the holiday home and it's ended up more work/all the duties of being at home ie cooking/washing dishes etc and I think maybe AI would feel more relaxed? We've also never been abroad with the kids so thought the spring temperatures would make things a bit easier (high teens early 20s). We were thinking of the canary islands/turkey/Egypt. Any advice/tips?

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Lockdownmummy · 27/09/2023 16:49

Have a look at Tui Blue hotels.

Just come back from an AI week in Menorca with two preschool DC and it was better than I was expecting! AI took the stress out of meal times, good entertainment for the kids and even got DS at kids club for a few sessions.

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HAF1119 · 27/09/2023 16:50

Try to go for one where the kiddies have their own space in a room there. Holiday villages, and some TUI Blue do them, there's probably a load more I'm not aware of! When they're asleep for yonks in the night you can relax then. Ideally if you have access to the balcony without disturbing them that is great! We did a Holiday village recently and there was kids clubs and water slides as well as activities geared towards the kids in the day which was great, and they had childrens buffet seperate to adults so they could 'see and pick' themselves which my one loved

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NatWestPigFamily · 27/09/2023 16:51

I second Tui Blue, usually have really good kids clubs and entertainment.

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Mamabear04 · 27/09/2023 17:11

Googling Tui Blue...

I was considering Turkey mainly because a lot of the hotels have adjoining rooms so means we could put the kids to sleep and still use the balcony/not have to creep around like ninjas.

Don't think my 4yo would go to a kids club unless one of us were with her. She's super timid and doesn't like to be left with people she doesn't know. I don't mind keeping them with us as long as there are things to do. I saw one hotel even had soft play and water slides!

Do hotels usually provide cots for infants? A lot of the rooms I've been looking at have big beds or sofa beds...

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WhateverMate · 27/09/2023 17:14

I'd say TUI Blue too.

But get an apartment in a hotel so you'll have two bedrooms and a lounge with balcony.

The price is often very similar to two hotel rooms.

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Zola1 · 27/09/2023 17:15

Another vote for TUI blue. I don't like the holiday villages personally

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WhateverMate · 27/09/2023 17:16

And yes you can request a cot at the time of booking.

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Zola1 · 27/09/2023 17:18

Zola1 · 27/09/2023 17:15

Another vote for TUI blue. I don't like the holiday villages personally

Went to Tui Blue Ephesus in Izmir last year and that was really good, took 4 children aged 18m-12y and they all had a great time

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Dropthedonkey · 27/09/2023 17:21

We've had some Jet2 holidays, usually half board rather than AI as not big drinkers. We look for a family suite type of thing, a room with a double (or sometimes two singles) and a separate living room with kitchenette that has bed settees. Not as good as two rooms but still much better than just all in one! Kitchen handy for snacks and coffees.

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Mamabear04 · 27/09/2023 17:22

When do Tui release dates for 2024? I can only find them for 2023...

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NatWestPigFamily · 27/09/2023 18:57

We have been to the Tui Blue Nevis resort in Bulgaria a few times. The kids loved the pools and water slides.

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Lightsandtights · 27/09/2023 19:16

For March or April you really need to look at the Canaries or further afield if you want to have any decent weather, even then it’s early in the season. Check for heated pools at that time of year as well.

I would not do Egypt as an adult, let alone taking young children.

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Triptastico · 27/09/2023 21:47

I second Canaries. I wouldn't do Turkey that time of the year. Not hot enough. The pools would be cold too.

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HAF1119 · 28/09/2023 06:34

Zola1 · 27/09/2023 17:15

Another vote for TUI blue. I don't like the holiday villages personally

What do you find the differences are if you don't mind me asking? We have done HV but not TUI Blue, and are looking for next year also! Just curious as sometimes you go with what you know so I lean towards HV but keep looking at the Blue ones while searching as they have the room sizes I want!

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Coffeepot72 · 28/09/2023 06:43

I love Egypt but not their AI arrangements. I would also recommend TUI Blue. But if you’re thinking of spring then Turkey won’t be warm enough, so I would stick to the Canaries. But even around Easter it’s not always that warm. Could you go a bit later, ie end of May?

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Caspianberg · 28/09/2023 07:12

Falkensteiner kinderhotels.

I wouldn’t go in March though, the pools and outdoor areas like beach or lakes will be freezing. Unless it’s in a ski mountain resort very few will heat outdoor pools. Beginning of June better if you want to be able to use outdoor activities but not peak summer heat or crowds.

Although I don’t think kids mind the heat. We just did a summer trip in south Mediterranean with our 3 year old for 2 weeks. It was hot, but didn’t bother him at all tbh. He liked the pools, beach and ice cream. We didn’t half board rather than all inclusive which works well as then we were often outside elsewhere over lunch anyway and dh and I don’t drink alcohol really so no major savings.

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Mamabear04 · 28/09/2023 09:21

I'm tied by my job so can only go late march-early April or late June-July. I did think maybe the summer would be too hot for my youngest and also a bit worried we'll catch one of these heat waves that seem to be every year now. Do you think even early April will be too cold for the canary Islands? My kids can only manage up to 25° and then it's too hot for them!

I mainly was looking at Turkey because the hotels look so much nicer and most seem to offer adjoining rooms so would be perfect with the little ones. Does anyone know if it's dreadfully hot end of June-early July?

Anything to look out for when choosing a place?

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StaringAtTheWater · 28/09/2023 09:40

If your kids don't like temperatures over 25 then Turkey will be far too hot in the summer, unless they are spending 90% of their time in a swimming pool (which I know some people do).

The average daily high in Antalya at the end of March / beginning of April is 19 degrees, but that is in the shade so sitting in the sun will feel warmer. Looks like about 2/3 days are mainly sunny & 1 in 3 more cloudy, so overall you should have a decent amount of sun. Chance of rain on any given day is 1 in 5.

It depends what your kids want to do. It's great weather for walking, sightseeing, and the odd quick dip in the water, but if they want to spend all day in the pool it might be too cold.

https://weatherspark.com/s/96456/0/Average-Spring-Weather-in-Antalya-Turkey#Figures-CloudCover

Antalya Spring Weather, Average Temperature (Turkey) - Weather Spark

In Antalya during spring average daily high temperatures increase from 16°C to 28°C and the fraction of time spent overcast or mostly cloudy decreases from 38% to 16%.

https://weatherspark.com/s/96456/0/Average-Spring-Weather-in-Antalya-Turkey#Figures-CloudCover

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Coffeepot72 · 28/09/2023 10:50

We've been to the Canaries several times in March/April - obviously its a good bit milder than the UK, but none of our holidays gave 7 days of 'beach/pool' weather, eg some days we were in coffee shops in our jumpers!

Egypt will definitely be hot enough in March/April, but as I said in an earlier post, I don't rate their AI. We went to a really nice TUI Blue in Sharm el Sheikh, brilliant for families, but there were some strange food combinations at meal times (spaghetti and lettuce with everything!) no one was ill, but I can't say I enjoyed the food.

Would you consider Dubai if you want to go early in the season?

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OstrichInPink · 28/09/2023 10:52

What's your budget OP?

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Coffeepot72 · 28/09/2023 11:02

If late June is an option, that would give you far more choice, as everywhere has warmed up by then - the Balaerics or mainland Spain will be hot but not unbearable (although I realise heat tolerance is a personal thing)! Majorca has some amazing family friendly all inclusives.

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Mamabear04 · 28/09/2023 13:42

Maybe I should think about late june-earlu July as my 4yo will probably want to be in the pool/beach constantly.

I don't have a huge budget probably looking at £2000-£2500. I'm not sure we can even get away on an AI with that? My parents go on AI every so often and recommend not going lower than 4* but then they are retired and can go off peak.

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Caspianberg · 28/09/2023 13:53

I think you will struggle with £2000 for 4 for a week tbh all inclusive.

We just paid €2300 for 4star premium.But that was half board, 6 nights and hotel only ( no flights or car hire, we drove).

To keep costs down look at half board and less number of nights. Plus locations with cheap flights

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DiaNaranja · 28/09/2023 14:01

If your budget can stretch to it, Magic Natura in Benidorm is amazing. Don't let the fact it's in Benidorm put you off! It's a huge resort inside a zoo and waterpark, which is all included in your stay. We only actually left the resort once when we were there. A free shuttle bus will take you to the beaches, and they were actually gorgeous and really not what I was expecting. I would go back in an instant.

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dearcleo · 28/09/2023 14:08

I always think the self catering places look nice when they come up in a search because you get so much extra space for kids but to me my number one favourite thing about being on holiday is walking down to breakfast in the morning and going up to the buffet. I could literally eat the same thing in my self catering apartment but I just want it laid out as a buffet and to walk away from the mess to go to the pool after 😊

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