I recently wrote a post about who do you go on holiday with as a single parent? Or maybe you are a parent who’s partner is unable to travel with you and you want to get away on holiday, same problem.
Well, one of those options was to go it alone with your little person/people. Is that such a crazy idea? Will you end up pulling your hair out? Feeling out of place? Wishing you had never bothered? Well, I thought I’d put it to the test! I was craving some winter sun, had previously put a bit of money away and thought, sod this, let’s just do it! Now I realise this isn’t on par with the women back in the day who were fighting for our right to vote but hey, it felt pretty damn liberating!
Ok, so the decision was made but now where the hell were we going to go and what were my considerations in where to choose. My criteria was pretty basic;
- Kid Friendly
- Kids Club
- Kids entertainment
- And did I mention Sunshine?
After speaking to quite a few friends, colleagues and customers (is it just me or has everyone else lost the ability to make a decision since they have given birth?!) I opted for Lanzarote, then narrowed it down to the Playa Blanca region as it wasn’t supposed to be so commercial, and there found the Flamingo Beach Resort Job done!
Ok, first hurdle, how on earth do you manage all of the luggage, without resembling a packhorse? I soon figured, looking like a packhorse was unavoidable but there was a solution to single handedly carrying quite a lot!
Munchkin – Trunki I am a HUGE fan of these, they really do keep them entertained as you queue at the bag drop, which quite frankly is no different to back in the day when you used to check in at the same time. Also handy on that last minute dash to get them to the departure gate.
Me– A rucksack, the name of the game here is to free up your hands!
Munchkin – Small pull along case that doubles up as a rucksack with straps, note above point re freeing up your hands! I found this great one by Karrimor and not a bad price from Sports Direct either!
Me – Standard suitcase
I figured with these options I could fully load up and manage all four if my little travel buddy wasn’t willing to help out!
Just the two of us
On arrival at the hotel and checking in, it appeared they had seen two names on the room and assumed couple, hence giving us a double bed. I’ve never been into bed-sharing with Munchkin. I much prefer to sleep without being elbowed in the face or kicked in the stomach during the night. So a swift call to reception and we had our own separate twin beds to help us remain friends for the rest of our holiday!
The hotal was brilliant, definitely geared up for kids/families. At this stage I wondered how I might feel being there on my own and not part of the normal family unit. Do you know what, it didn’t bother me at all. I think that was simply down to the fact, that I am so used to it at home, why would it be different anywhere else, as this is our norm. **Eureka lightbulb moment!
I signed us up for a couple of trips so that we didn’t start to get stir crazy being at the resort all of the time and then pondered the thought of Kids Club…
I wasn’t sure how I felt about this before we went, as you can no doubt guess the “mum guilt” was nagging away at me. I work full time, I get a full week of quality time with my son and I’m considering Kids Club! What kind of bad mother am I? Well, I’m the kind of bad mother that, with an absent father, never gets any time to herself apart from in the evenings when my son goes to bed.
What would it be like to have some real time to myself in the day, now thats appealing! So I surpressed the mum guilt with the concept that I’d introduce him to it and if he wanted to go he could, if not, I wouldn’t push him into it. Guess, what..whoop whoop, he loved it! He went in a few times while we were away and what did that mean for Mummy?
Some serious reading time…havent read a book on holiday for 3 years, only ever managing on previous holidays to read a page , which involved repeatedly reading the first few lines! Munchkin going into Kids Club did seem to jinx the weather, so out went my tanning time but hey, when was that ever going to stop me, just cover up with Munchkins towel and happy days!
We were fortunate enough to be staying all inclusive, so for a whole week I didn’t have to think about what to cook, buying it and then cooking it. Bliss! It was this environment though, that I was probably the least prepared for. We’ve been out many times to restaurants, just the two of us, however there, you have your table booked and the obvious sign you’ve finished is when you have paid up. Not in an all inclusive, the sign you have finished is when you are not at the table. Here posed our first problem…getting meals, puddings, drinks and the standard “I need a wee, wee mummy”, meant we were often away from our table. At least on a few occasions by the time we returned, there was already someone sat there wondering why I was shooting daggers across the room at them.
I soon became wise to this and went out at mealtimes with “props” that could be left at the table to show there was some sign of life and the potential for someone to return – towels, coats, scarves. Always part mindful that someone may take a fancy to said item but trusting the human race and hoping they were all in “be nice” holiday spirit.
As I’ve already mentioned, the hotel was really geared up for families with young children. The entertainment in the hotel was very low key, with kids shows starting at 1930 and on for just over an hour. I therefore threw the Gina Ford book of parenting out of the window and let him stay up as long as the entertainment was in play. I was able to ring fence that this was special as we were on holiday! It was a win win situation, Munchkin loved it and was entertained sitting with the other children in front of the stage and I happily tucked into some “Mummy’s Juice” aka red wine! We were generally back in the room by 9, Munchkin went to bed and then I followed soon after. It was a great way to catch up on some much needed sleep.
Overall, I can say hand on heart that we had a really lovely time, it was great bonding and very special with it just being the two of us. I didn’t feel out of place not being in a family unit because why would I, it’s how we are all of the time. If you are reading this and have toyed with the idea, I’ve got one thing to say – DO IT, DO IT, DO IT! I promise you, you won’t regret it.