A couple of weeks ago, we headed to Turkey for our first half term resort break.
I can almost hear the sniggers and see the eye rolls. Yes, we went on holiday during peak season, with a 4 and a 5-year-old. Apparently, we like to test ourselves.
Having travelled a fair amount pre-kids to some wonderful far-flung destinations, we have come to terms with the fact that travelling with kids limits our options somewhat. Don’t get me wrong, I know some people can do the Inca trail accompanied by a newborn with only a backpack and a baby carrier. We are not those people.
That said, I’m not the biggest fan of resort-based holidays. Like an actual Nana, I love buying the guidebook, researching the area and planning trips.
I am also a fan of an easy life. We can barely make it down a supermarket aisle without one of my kids protesting ‘my legs are tired,’ and so the endless cobbled streets of beautiful overseas destinations are likely to pose more than a challenge.
We took all of this into consideration and decided we would go somewhere hot, for a week, and just stay in the resort. It can’t be that bad, right?
Well no, it’s not that bad. It’s still time away from the UK, in the sun, with a swimming pool and buffet food available 24/7. I know that I am VERY lucky to be able to go overseas at all. I didn’t travel abroad until I was 18 and as a result, I freaking love any sort of overseas holiday. I love airports and aeroplanes and I even love the plane food. What’s not to like about a meal that is 95% guaranteed to include cheese?
No, not all bad, but definitely blog worthy.
So this is for like-minded travellers and new parents. Those thinking about taking their kids to resorts when they’re trapped in the dreaded term time bubble. Obvs do it, as any holiday is worth it, but to help you prepare – here are my top tips:
TAT IS RIFE
‘All Inclusive’ is not what it says it is. Even if your resort is ‘ultra all inclusive,’ and doesn’t charge for water or ice creams (some do), you will end up spending your hard earned cash money on a plastic water gun, or some other tat that will break or be left at the end of the holiday. No one wants to check a giant inflatable flamingo on your flight home just because it cost £20.
Oh and you might think you won’t cave and will force them to play with the bucket and spade combo you brought with you from blighty but believe me, kids can wear you down. After 3 days of tantrums when passing the shop, it’s easier to just get the bloody double pump action pistol.
You know that stereotype of people putting towels on sun loungers at 7am to claim them for the day? The one when people will rip your face off for even looking at ‘their’ lounger despite the fact they have just returned to that pool after 3 hours in the spa? IT. IS. REAL.
I had no idea it was SO bad. The loungers from OUTSIDE OUR ROOM didn’t make it past day 2, someone had ‘em away up their stairs. Reason and rationality go bang out of the window. If you’re not prepared to metaphorically piss all over your territory by legging it to the family pool as soon as you open your sodding eyes, be prepared to carry your stuff around like a pack horse.
Resort entertainment is proper funny. I’m not doing them a disservice, I’m sure that it’s a reputable job that pays the money. It’s just clear that a few weeks into the season, dressing as a giant octopus and being wheeled onto the stage to a crowd of pissed up Brits is bound to get old, fast. Being leered at in skimpy costumes by sunburnt Dad’s in Sports Direct sliders, cannot be a career highlight.
Buffet food sounds appealing, especially when you spend your life in an endless cycle of prepping, cooking, serving and cleaning. Not cooking or cleaning up is a massive plus for me. But after a few days, we realised that we spent most meals eating without another adult present.
I would go up first, get the kids food, then wait with them as Mr GGL hunted for the biggest plate to fill, then we’d swap when he returned, and so on, and so on. It’s a bit lonely.
In hindsight, we should have practised balancing 4 plates and eating in moderation.
All sleeping in one room as a family might sound fun, but after a couple of nights you realise it’s just a game of ‘guess who’s fart?’
It’s also an exercise in torture if you pull the short straw and sleep next to the littlest, as she loves nothing more than kicking you in the tits every hour all the live long night.
Tube slides are all well and good until you lose some of your swimming costume in your vaginal canal. Do they lube those things for the fastest exit known to man?
Also queueing with a gaggle of 12 year olds and a soggy, excited and freezing 5 year old dampens the 30 seconds of excitement somewhat.
The man trying to get you to take a picture with him and a parrot might look like Jack Sparrow but make no mistake. He’s not. He doesn’t like kids. Or the general public. He’s just trying to get loads of cash money out of you. Especially when the general public needs convincing not to set the parrot free (I HATE trapped birds).
So, in summary, if you’re not trapped in peak time madness then travel like you’re Coleen Rooney. And if you’re playing by school rules, don’t be a twat. A lounger is for when you’re using it. Use your moral code, go against the grain, or I might just let my kids at your towels with their super soakers… 😉