First Time Abroad with Our Daughter…Looking Back #9

First Time Abroad with Our Daughter…Looking Back #9

Welcome back to my little mini series where I am looking back over our family memories, if you have missed one you can pop here to catch up.

When Alice was ten months old we went on our first family holiday and we thought that would be our only one for that year. But, then our friends asked us if we would like to go away with them and their son. We instantly said ‘Yes’, I mean why wouldn’t we?

Then I started to think about the logistics of taking Alice abroad, the amount of stuff we would need. Thinking about what it would be like on the plane with her…

So of course I took my natural approach and started a list. Writing down everything we would need to take for Alice, it was a long list.

We had booked a villa in Portugal and we would be setting off in September, about three weeks after Alice’s first birthday.

Thankfully our friends like to be organised too and were great at finding ways to make our lives easier. We used a great company that would deliver two cots, two highchairs and a bath support straight to our villa on the day we arrived and would then collect them when we departed. Perfect!

Everything else was pretty straight forward. We knew the rules on what we could take for the little ones to drink and eat on the plane. It was then just a case of packing everything, Andy was taking his golf clubs which turned out to be really handy, as I managed to squeeze the packs of nappies in there.

We stayed at a hotel the night before as we had an early flight out. We were in bed by 7pm whispering so not to wake Alice and also trying to tell our bodies to go to sleep, as we would be up early. Luckily as a parent you are pretty exhausted and getting to sleep is never normally a problem.

It seemed strange waking Alice up to leave, I transferred her to the pushchair and she kind of dosed as we made our way out of the hotel and into the car. Then it was just a short drive to the airport.

We got on the plane and were lucky they were in rows of two seats near the window, which meant we wouldn’t annoy anyone next to us. Luck then wasn’t on our side as we had a short delay sat on the plane, I remember saying to my friend we should be half way there by now. Anyway, we were soon off and I gave Alice a bottle to help her ears, this made her quite sleepy and after a couple of rocks of the arm she had fallen asleep on me….bliss! Luck was then on our side, as my friends little boy fell asleep too. We smiled at each other, pleased that our babies were sleeping and not causing the havoc that we worried about.

Once we arrived we picked up our car, loaded everything in and set of for our Villa. It was set on a resort, that was like a housing estate of Villas. Some people lived in them permanently and others like ours were rented out.

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The Villa was amazing, really spacious and plenty of room for us all without being on top of each other. The cots and highchairs were all delivered and we were all set for our week.

Our days were spent swimming in the pool, which was a little bit on the cold side. I brought Alice an inflatable car with a roof that protected her a bit from the sun. She loved it. The little ones would have their daytime nap and we would have a couple of hours to sunbathe, how amazing is that!

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Or, we spent our days at the beach. We found a couple of lovely ones, but on one of them we got to see more than just the sea. We had ended up on a nudist beach, thank goodness Alice was only twelve months old!!

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Our villa had a lovely garden away from the pool, that was nice to play in with some shade.

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Once the little ones were in bed, we would either have a barbecue or cook dinner and spend the evening eating outside and chatting. It was perfect.

We had one day of rain in the week, but luckily the resort had an indoor swimming pool that we could use. Other days the men played golf and my friend and I even managed to have a spa treatment on the resort.

We had a lovely time and when you have babies, it is nice to go away with another couple, so that you can put them to sleep and then enjoy some company.

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Once our week was over it was time to pack up and head to the airport. Sadly, the journey home wasn’t quite as smooth for me. In the car Alice had the biggest nappy explosion ever and I had to change all her clothes.

Then when we went through security Alice was asleep in the pushchair and the security man said he had to see her eyes, so I had to wake her up. What was that all about?

This meant I then had a tired grumpy Alice to take on the plane. She was ok to begin with, but then I could tell she was overtired and that is never good. It took everything in me to get her to sleep, she was crying, I was stood at the back of the plane rocking her. Eventually she went off, my arms could barely hold her anymore and I managed to sit back down with her still asleep. Then the seat belt sign came on and we were about to land. Great, I was never going to get the seat belt on her without waking her.

Luckily she wasn’t too grumpy that she was woken up, those twenty minutes of sleep was just enough to see us off the plane.

We survived our first holiday abroad and had a lovely time. Would we do it again? well, we are off on holiday next week with both our girls on a plane. Wish us luck.

Next week I will back with the decision to go back to work…


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  1. 05/05/2016 / 09:54

    What lovely photos – and sounds like a fantastic trip. I did a very similar one when my daughter was just a couple of months older, also a villa with some friends, and she teethed all the way through so no lazy sunbathing as she napped unfortunately! But still worth it I think. And I loved that you stashed the nappies in the golf bag, I remember hiding a few in the buggy bag on one trip too 🙂

  2. Dean of Little Steps
    05/05/2016 / 11:36

    Oh I miss warm days like that! Looks like it was a lovely holiday judging by the photos. Your little one is so adorable!

  3. 05/05/2016 / 12:56

    What lovely photos. Travelling with children is fab. We love it. We took our baby to Australia at 5 weeks old to stay with my family. I hope you enjoyed the other holidays you went on too x

    • 06/05/2016 / 06:49

      I think the younger they are the easier it is, it is just all the stuff they need! x

  4. Sarah Mumx3x
    05/05/2016 / 13:50

    Awww, beautiful photos! I’ve never been on a plane myself so your little one did great! It sounds like you all had a wonderful time! 🙂 xx

  5. 05/05/2016 / 13:55

    How lovely. I’ve never taken mine abroad but I would like to, we may go away this year if the timings work out ok.

    • 06/05/2016 / 06:48

      We are doing it all again next week with both of them eek!! x

  6. 05/05/2016 / 16:45

    Oh that’s such a lovely post! I have some really precious pictures of our first holiday abroad and I love looking back at them! H x

  7. 05/05/2016 / 20:08

    This looks such a lovely holiday – your mini series idea is fab! I hope you have a great time next week, Kaz x

    • 06/05/2016 / 06:46

      Thank you I’ve enjoyed writing it and going back over fond memories x

  8. 05/05/2016 / 21:22

    It looks like a lovely first holiday together- we went on our first holiday abroad with Mads with friends and I think that definitely helped ease my mind as I was so nervous about it all. Now we travel loads but that first time is so daunting. I love the idea of this mini series. x

    • 06/05/2016 / 06:45

      Thank you I am enjoying writing it, taking me back and seeing baby Alice. Yes, I think you do get used to after that first time x

  9. 05/05/2016 / 22:01

    I had to laugh about you accidentally ending up on a nudist beach – the same happened to me and my husband once! We soon left and headed elsewhere!! A bit more than I was looking for on my holiday! Looks like you had a lovely time from your photos. x

  10. Rachelswirl
    07/05/2016 / 22:39

    Soooo jealous you lucky things . The eyes open thing must be for the passport likeness check I guess ?

  11. 09/05/2016 / 12:07

    Lovely photos and a lovely story. All that talk of setting off from your hotel in the morning to fly abroad ahs made me really desperate to go away myself now! I love starting the holiday a night early with an airport hotel.
    And wow, I’ve never heard of them needing to see your child’s eyes before! makes perfect sense though.

  12. 10/05/2016 / 16:14

    I think going away with friends is a great idea although something we’ve not been able to do with Archie, he has Autism so needs a strict routine, plus it also means we have to avoid a lot of things due to sensory issues. Restaurants, swimming, the beach etc are all no go’s but maybe once he’s older we might be able to