We are an expat family living in the UK and while we love to travel with our kids, most of our money is saved to see our own families in America and Southern Ireland. Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t change a second that we are with either of our families. I cherish them bonding with my kids and showing our culture to them but we want to also experience new adventures together as a new family of four and I hope as a #markwarnermum we could do just that! We want to show the kids there is more to see of the world than their extended relatives’ homes and experience adventures as a family of four together.
We did get lucky and had the chance this past January to take our very first family holiday to Lanzarote, just us. I was nervous what it would be like travelling with a baby and a toddler and what it would be like staying in a hotel with both of them instead of my parents house or my husband’s family home. There were so many firsts on that holiday where great memories were made that I will never forget. It was the perfect family holiday.
We chose to go to Lanzarote for our first family holiday because it was winter time and it was where the sun was at in January. We also chose it because we had heard great things about how child friendly the hotels were in Playa Blanca. We scoped out what were the best hotels for small children as Missy Moo was only six months old and Buba was only 2 years old. Now with kids when we choose a hotel we look for various things: family restaurants nearby or in the hotel, hotel room accessories like cots, highchairs, microwave, fridge, etc, creches, play-areas, kiddie pools, and a shop nearby for things like milk and diapers. All these things make it far easier to relax on holiday with small children and really made our trip to Lanzarote the much more enjoyable.
It was the best feeling to share a holiday with just our kids for the first time and I really look forward to the next as they are older now. It’s always amazing to see relatives especially being an expat I miss my family so very much but there was something even more special about being on holiday with just my kids and my husband. Call me selfish but I didn’t have to share my kids on this holiday. I know someone will beat me with a stick for saying that but I come from a huge family and when we visit back home, my kids are always off with grandparents, aunts & uncles, cousins you name it so it’s hard to get a lot of holiday bonding time just us and the kids.
We had a blast swimming with the kids and being big kids ourselves. We built sandcastles, and pretended to be dolphins in the pool. We let the kids pick where we ate for lunch and they napped in the stroller afterwards while Mommy and Daddy had some time together in the sun.
It felt amazing to have sun on our backs in January, a month where we usually have the blahs from the come down of Christmas and New Year!
Another first for me was letting the kids be on holiday too. When we go back home, we stay with my parents and the kids have the same routine of naps, bathtime, storytime, and bedtime as they do at home. Not really their idea of holiday where the same rules apply but while we were in Lanzarote celebrating the New Year, I relaxed on the routine and let them be on holiday just as much as we were. They may have had some sweets, they may have stayed up later or skipped a nap, they may have got toy souvenirs and spoiled more, I may even have let them have ice cream before dinner. I know, look at me letting my guard down. They loved it. We loved their smiles. What’s not to love about all that?
Buba really started coming out of his shell and getting more independent. It was this holiday that I realized my first born was no longer a baby! At 2 years old he was getting braver and more adventurous. He was standing his ground more and needing Mommy less.
One of my favorite moments of that holiday was sitting on the beach feeding Missy Moo and looking out and seeing Mr P and Buba kicking the soccer ball back and forth; like father, like son. It was then that I fell in love with that holiday and being just the four of us.
Over the years, Mr P and I have travelled a lot before we had kids and like everyone when you start a family of your own that gets less often and when your little family grows to four it gets even less. When you get the opportunity to go on holiday as a family of four you make the most of it. You experience as much as you can while you are there and you sit back and cherish the little moments of it all.
The kids loved sitting poolside on the lounge chairs with the sun warming them. I can still hear their laughter now and see Buba smashing banana all over his face in an attempt to eat it faster so he could get back to swimming.
Those are the little, great moments to capture and remember. Those little moments are what makes family holidays perfect. Life is so busy and when life gets busy you miss those moments. It’s nice slow down every once in a while and focus on them.
Other than when Missy Moo was born, it was her first time in the sun (with sun block of course) and she soaked up every sun ray and enjoyed wearing her very first swimsuit and hat. She is a little beach baby just like the rest of us.
We ended our family holiday in Lanzarote with a new spring in our step. Grateful for the opportunity to take such a grand adventure together and experience new things as a family of four. It was hard to get back into the swing of things as is normal – holiday blues – but we look forward to the next holiday together whether it will be beach somewhere or the ski slopes of France, I don’t know but all that matters is that we are all experiencing it together.
The perfect family holiday.
This is an entry to become an Ambassador for Mark Warner as a #markwarnermum. They are an amazing team and I would be so honored to work alongside of them, spreading family holiday cheeriness to all the families out there. Either way, I have enjoyed sharing my perfect family holiday with all of you. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you all soon!
Happy Holidays 🙂