Our first family holiday with the twins
Welcome to my first blog on my new website!!! I really wanted to share some bits about the holiday, but I didn’t want to film while we were there, we just wanted to enjoy it as a family and not have to worry about capturing it all on film. We paid for the holiday, none of this blog is sponsored, or an ad and nothing was gifted.
So here you go….
Holidaying with babies was so exciting, but also a bit scary! We really wanted somewhere with a short transfer, fairly hot and baby friendly. We looked at Turkey, Ibiza and Tenerife, then my parents suggested where they went last year, Porto Santo. It's a small island off Portugal with two sister hotels both with Tui Platinum, we stayed in the Pestana Hotel and my parents stayed in the other one 2 minutes away, The Pestana Columbus. They loved it when they went and the transfer was only 10 minutes, perfect with babies! So that's what we did. Both hotels are so lovely! The one we stayed in is more family friendly I'd say and the other one was more modern, sleek and contemporary. Both have sterilisers, baby changing facilities, baby friendly pools and baby food on request. The hotels have various specialist restaurants such as Italian, Japanese and Mediterranean, you need to book these the second the office is open though, as they get fully booked fast. The buffet in the main restaurant in both hotels was really good with plenty of choice. If you prefer a snack bar with burgers, chips, steak, hot dogs, ice cream, cakes and so on there’s a fantastic one in the hotel we stayed in. To be able to use both hotel’s is just brilliant. Both also have large pools and sun beds or large beds in the shade, which we used a lot.
There's a stunning beach minutes away with beautiful views! You can use their wind breaks, loungers and umbrellas free of charge. You can walk all the way in to the small town, that’s about 35 minutes away, or head to the beautiful coves and take in all the gorgeous scenery. We couldn’t do this as we didn’t take slings and there’s no paths. So if you did want to, you can carry your baby/babies if they are small, or bring slings.
The staff are very warm and friendly, but the entertainment isn't great in all honesty, but we never really watched it anyway, as it was too loud for the boys, we stuck to the balcony bar, the chill out bar in the other hotel and then the middle floor bar. They do have various things for older children to do, all the usual, like a park, bouncy castle, a play room etc.. Wizard of Oz was on one night, so if you’re children are 4 and over they’d love this.
We booked a family room and it was ideal. We had 2 travel cots in our bedroom then we requested a kettle, I think you can hire your own steriliser if you wanted to, or just use the microwaveable bags. The family room had a lounge, balcony and a great size bedroom with a huge bed!!! There’s also loads of storage space!!
The spa is lovely with an indoor pool, both hotels have indoor pools, these were a lot warmer for the babies. We bought some floats before we came away. Treatments are pretty expensive though! If you did want some me time though, you can book in. Make sure you ask if there’s any deals on, or discounts.
Here’s the link for our hotel, https://www.tui.co.uk/destinations/europe/portugal/porto-santo/vila-baleira/hotels/hotel-pestana-porto-santo.html
Here’s the one my parents stayed in, their hotel room was amazing, there’s a gorgeous big bath in there, if you’re needing a room with your older children, make sure you book a different style. https://www.tui.co.uk/destinations/europe/portugal/porto-santo/vila-baleira/hotels/pestana-colombos-premium-club.html
Weather wise it was mixed. It was around 24-26 degree’s and sometimes a bit cloudy until after lunch, but we were fine with this as we hardly had chance to sunbathe and it wasn’t too hot for the boys.
We did a valet park option so we didn't have to carry everything too far. This was actually cheaper than the regular car park for the dates we went. Birmingham airport. If we needed more room a taxi would have been easier.
A new toy for the babies they've not seen before to play with.
Spare clothes for you and them just in case!!
Feed them when taking off and landing, or have something they can suck. We don't use dummies, so they had their bunny they sleep with and suck. Teething and ears are more painful in the air apparently, the flight attendants told us this. So have some sachets of calpol too handy.
Board the plane last. This was a tip from a follower, the less time the babies are on the plane the better. Tui were fab and moved us so we could sit together and have spare seats so the boys could lie down. We couldn't have two infants on the same row, so Chris and I sat one behind the other.
Select your seats before hand in case there aren’t any close by and check in online if you can to make the process quicker.
We took pots of measured out formula and asked for boiled water and then had cold water for the bottles. The boys have comfort milk, so it can’t be pre made and you can't buy ready made either. You might want to take some pouches of food too. Our’s loved breakfast! They ate porridge, pancakes, fruit and omelettes. Lunch tended to be a tuna toastie and some salad bits, then a banana or yogurt. They did have ice cream too, which was hilarious! Dinner was a bit tricky as the restaurant isn't open in time, so was a case of being a little more organised and grabbing some things at lunch time or food from the snack bar. They didn't tend to eat much at dinner, so we made sure they had a 6.30pm feed too, like they would after a bath at home. We bathed them one at a time, you can use a sink if easier, not having any sort of bath support was quite hard.
We used a spare quilt as a play mat and pillows for buffers. Even better take a cheap mat if you have space, spongey if possible. Getting ready with 2 babies was so hard! We asked for high chairs in the room too, so if we needed to feed them there we could. Another tip I wished I'd done is buy some cheap bouncers from argos and assemble them when you get there. This will depend on the baby, or babies age. Again just for getting ready, or safety it would be so handy to have somewhere to put them where they can’t roll on to a hard floor!!! I didn't like them being sitting in the stroller too much. These are perfect https://www.argos.co.uk/product/8874661. Some places will have somewhere you can hire strollers, bouncers, high chairs, seats, jumperoo’s etc from, so that could be an option too.
Keep the routine the same where possible. Ours are used to a routine and struggle when it's changed. How we adapted it was wake when they wake, which was earlier than home. Feed straight away. Breakfast at 7.30am to 8am. Back for a nap in the room at 8.30am/9am. Then head to the pool, feed at 11am, lunch at 12pm, then a nap in the stroller while on a walk. Bottle at 3pm, then short nap if not slept long enough at lunch. Dinner at 5pm. Then what worked best for us getting ready wise was bathing them alternate nights and earlier than usual, getting them dressed in something they can sleep in then when Chris was ready he'd take them out while I got ready. They'd fall asleep as they were reclined, we would pop their bunny in the stroller and the white noise my hummy in a pocket. Sometimes we used a snooze shade too, so it was more blacked out. Sometimes one would wake up, so occasionally they got out for a bit, or we walked around again and they’d go straight back to sleep. We never stayed out late, but it was just so nice to have dinner and a few drinks with our parents. The other thing is to eat out earlier around 6.30pm, grab some drinks and head back to the room and drink on the balcony while they were asleep. We took the cameras and monitor with us.
The babies got 10kg each for the flight, we used this for clothes, nappies and wipes etc. Then we had some in our case too. We took 2 tubs of formula and this just about did us for a week for both of them. Some people order stuff in to boots and collect it at the airport, but we didn't bother. We took 2 swimming nappy packs and 1 large nappy pack, this was enough.
Travel size stuff is fab! For them and us. Shower gel, shampoo and so on. Saves so much space and weight. Also take ambersol, teething powders etc. I got the boys a baby sun lotion which was a spray and a roll on one. They had this on morning and night.
Fans for the pushchair are great. We didn't need them this time, as it wasn’t really mega hot, but they are a really good idea.
After sun for you with insect repellent, you can get bit there.
Most of all try and relax and enjoy. It won't be easy all the time, but you'll soon adapt and so will they.
We had such a lovely time, it really brought us all even closer together if that’s possible! We laughed until we cried and just all tried to relax where we could. The joy of seeing babies explore new surrounding is just magical!!!!!! Loved it. I really hope you enjoyed reading this and it’s helped. I’d love to hear your thoughts and your holiday tips!
Thank you for reading and below are some photos and affiliate links to other things we bought. Lot’s of love xx
Ideal play mat https://amzn.to/2JpiR47
Toy for the plane that’s small, they love spinning the wheels https://amzn.to/2J8E4AK
Baby towels https://amzn.to/2J51VRM
Sun roll on https://amzn.to/2FJHXtJ
Munchkin cups for water for them https://amzn.to/2xtppJK
Snooze shade one baby https://amzn.to/2YtunC3
Twin one https://amzn.to/2J5DmEe