Family Holidays Abroad – they’re fun right?!
Unless something goes wrong!
If you follow me on social media you’ll know that I went away last week with my family to Spain. But by family, I mean:
- My partner, our daughter and I
My sister, her husband and their 3 children
My mum and dad
My other sister!
So 11 of us….
So perhaps we could have predicted that it wasn’t all going to go swimmingly well.
It did eventually – once we were there!
But the journey to get to our destination was full of mishaps – some funny, some not and some just a teeny weeny bit stressful!
So I thought I would share these with you and the lessons we learnt, to ensure that when you’re next traveling with a large group, you don’t all have the same experiences!
1: My brother-in-law was late getting to the airport.
Bur really late.
A good family friend had suggested to him to park at her house, which wasn’t far from the airport.
So he dropped my sister and the kids off and went to park – only to find that someone had parked in the allocated space!
He did eventually find another space, only to then find that Uber wasn’t too hot at 4am in the morning!
Lesson: Make sure you leave lots of time to park and get to the airport!
2: Baggage Conveyors can be tricky things!
So whilst waiting for my brother-in-law, we all went to drop our suitcases off. It was using Easyjet’s automated service, so no human help was provided (technology hey?!)
Which wouldn’t have been a problem, but my sister loaded one of the cases onto the baggage conveyor without any tag on it!
My partner Scott had to jump on the conveyor belt to rescue it!
And just caught it before it was whisked away!
Lesson: Make sure you put your tags on the bags before you send them away on the Baggage-Drop Conveyors!
3: My sisters suitcase weighed too much – but by about 6kgs! So no small amount!
To be fair to my sister, she had to pack for 5 people all in one bag – so this was quite impressive.
But at 3:30am, we then had to unpack her suitcase to work out how to lesson the load, it wasn’t so much fun!
Nappies were taken out of my suitcase, added into my Mum’s hand luggage and my sister and husbands toiletries, were then added to my suitcase.
Still with me?! You get the picture!
Lesson: Check the weight of your luggage before you fly – or you too could see some flying nappies!
4: Last on the plane!
As a result of all of this, we were the last on the plane! We literally just made it.
There was another stumbling block to overcome too. My sister couldn’t collapse her pram!
Sounds a bit crazy doesn’t it. But a friend had lent it to her and she hadn’t used it before, so had no idea how it worked.
But we eventually worked it out.
But as my other sister said, with so many of us, they weren’t going to take off without us!
Lesson: If there’s a large group of you, the plane probably won’t leave, so don’t panic!
5: Travelling with 1 year olds on a 6am flight is not fun!
Actually the flight back was just awful – I mean really awful – but more on that another time.
But at 6am, with my daughter running up and down the plane, with some not very impressed people making their distaste known – this really wasn’t much fun!
Especially when your fellow travellers are all asleep!
Lesson: If you have little ones that aren’t of the age where they can be kept amused by ipads and iphones, be prepared for a long walk – that is quite repetitive!
6: Don’t let your children think that they’re going to be kidnapped!
We needed to wait at the airport for a minibus to collect us to take us to our car rental office.
It took quite a while and by this point we were all quite tired.
But the minibus eventually arrived and we asked my two nephews (6 & 8) to jump in the back.
No sooner had we done this the minibus sped off!
As it turned out, there was a larger bus right behind it and the minibus just needed to move out of the way.
But cue lots of shouting from all of us ‘our children are in there’ and lots of upset from the two boys – and quite understandably too.
Lesson: Make sure you get in any transport immediately with your children! It can happen so quickly.
7: Know which direction you’re headed in
Now with technology enabling us to look up any location and source the directions easily, this is a mute point – right?
Turns out it isn’t and one party did get lost! They added at least another 20 mins to their journey…..but that might have been down to my Dad and brother-in-law thinking they knew best 🙂
Lesson: Check any route you’re taking before you leave the country – so you at least have a reasonable idea of where you’re going. When you’re tired and in a foreign country – things can seem overwhelming.
8: Croissants for lunch anyone?
So you know that feeling – when you’ve been traveling for what seems forever and a day, and you finally reach your destination. But you need food and you need it now!
Well we arrived and found a lovely buffet style restaurant – but what we didn’t think about was that the boys and the two 1 year olds might not eat that much. They were all tired and just needed a rest. Or in the boys case – just lots of croissants to see them through!
Cue paying for lunches that we probably didn’t need to.
Lesson: Check out beforehand where you might be able to eat when you arrive!
9: Not being able to check into your room when you arrive!
So we did know this in advance – but for some reason we still hadn’t packed everything in our hand luggage that we needed to.
We had my daughter’s swimming costume, but not her armbands.
I had my swimming costume but not a towel.
My mum, as it turned out hadn’t packed anything for the pool! Even though she had told us about this several times!
There were a lot of trips back and forth to the car.
Lesson: Pack early enough and re-check what you might need if you can’t check into your accommodation when you arrive!
10: Takeaway anyone?
So the end of our first day involved my family going for dinner, whilst I stayed back and looked after my daughter.
I’d asked for burger and chips to be sent back, whilst the rest of them ate in the restaurant.
But after 1.5hrs there was still no sign of food so I crashed into bed.
It turned out the waiters didn’t understand what my family had asked for and the burger and chips came after all of their food had arrived and they had eaten it all!
*I did crawl out of bed to eat when it did arrive, I was so hungry!
Lesson: Learn some of the language of the country you’re visiting – it could be really helpful!
The first day of our holiday was eventful to say the least and highly amusing at points!
But it set off what was to be a wonderful 8 days…..and we also learnt a few things along the way!
*Read some more of my Travel stories here