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The guide to a happy foreign holiday

We did it! We are just back from our first foreign package holiday without the grandparents to help out and we have had a ball! Menorca was beautiful, friendly and hot. For any other families setting of on their hols (without grandparent back up) here’s some things I picked up:

  • Going to the beach is messy and you’ll bring a lot of sand home with you but nothing is quite as much fun as digging with a bucket and spade and making sand castles
  • Burying your children in the sand is strangely satisfying!
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  • It’s not wise to tell your nervous six year old about that baby who was swept out to sea on an inflatable whilst you are pulling her away from the beach on a blow up boat – cue petrified daughter!
  • Having three ice creams a day is the law when it’s 35 degrees
  • Trying to rub sun cream into little ones is like trying to smooth yoghurt on an eel – and once they’ve been on the beach, and resemble the Sandman, it’s like trying to rub in broken glass
  • It’s more than OK to have a small beer at 10am and another at 11am!
  • If you let your little ones loose on their own at the hotel buffet they will get a plate full of plain pasta, chips and bread – doesn’t matter how adventurous they are with their food – without your guidance they will go back to basics!
  • When they find something that reminds them of home they are happy!
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  • Sharing a room with your sibling is a real treat – sharing a bed is even more exciting and despite your fears they will sleep
  • Don’t book seats on the plane in advance unless you really have to all sit together – I think it’s awful that some travel companies will split children as young as six from their parents and then ask you to pay to ensure you sit with your little one (emotional blackmail of the worst kind). In my experience if you check in online as soon as you can, you will get to sit with your child (even if you aren’t sat with your partner) – and if the worst happens the air stewards are really good at moving people around on board so everyone is happy
  • Don’t be upset if the kids say they want to go home – the three year old spent a lot of time saying he wanted his ‘normal house’ (even though he had a ball and wasn’t upset) only to announce when we were back in the UK he had had a great time and wanted his holiday home back! Travel can be confusing for little minds
  • Kids are solar powered – you may need a siesta before dinner but they will keep going until 11pm no problem
  • Drinking out of a glass with a straw and an umbrella makes any child feel like a grown up
  • The kids’ disco will have at least one novelty song you’ve never heard before but by the end of your stay you’ll be up on stage doing the actions
  • The kids’ club staff will become like a god to your children and a saviour to you!
  • The kids will spend a fortune of one euro slot machines in the hotel foyer and bar and be devastated when the tat that comes out of them breaks in seconds
  • The kids will make new best friends in the pool in seconds but will have forgotten their name as soon as they get on the plane
  • A three hour flight goes very quickly if they have a tablet to play on and an endless supply of crisps!
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