Yes, you read that right! We thought it would be a great idea to pack up the 4 year old and the 3 month old and escape to Corfu for the week. Whilst it wasn’t the most relaxing holiday to date with 2 kids in tow it was definitely fun and so lovely to get some quality time together. Here are my tips for surviving, and enjoying, your holiday with two under 5’s!
Book Family Friendly
This might sound like I’m teaching you how to suck eggs, but when I say this I mean book SUPER family friendly! We booked with TUI and chose a hotel from their Family Life collection. These guys have got it down when it comes to catering for everyone in the family. From a dedicated baby room where you can feed, change and take an air conditioned break with the baby without going back and forward to your room, to a kids club for every age group, evening entertainment and trips and excursions to suit the whole family. This really made the difference and meant we could just settle in and everyone was looked after!
Our flight was super early in the morning which meant we had a whole day of sun ahead of us when we arrived but unfortunately an early alarm. One of the best decisions we made was to stay at an airport hotel the night before which made this a lot less painful. We arrived at the hotel early evening, checked our bags in using the twilight bag check (thoroughly recommend this!!) then ordered room service before an early night. It was such a fun way to start the holiday and after the stress of packing for 4 of us I was glad to be there and starting to relax. Alice loved the excitement of eating in our room and it was the best way to start our holiday- why does room service always taste better?!
When you book your trip make sure you look at the transfer time when you arrive. This was really important to us as I didn’t fancy sitting on a bus for an hour and a half after getting off the plane. I felt like we’d be winning if we made it through the flight ok and didn’t want to stack the odds against us by adding on a hefty transfer too! Our hotel was just a 20 minute transfer from the airport, short enough to get through unscathed but just long enough for Alice to take in the sights of Corfu Town!
Go All Inclusive
If your budget will allow, go All Inclusive. In a previous life I would always have enjoyed finding local places to eat but with kids this age having food, drinks & snacks on tap is so handy. Entertainment ran late into the evening which inevitably meant a sleepy Alice in the morning. It was great knowing we didn’t have to wake her up and if we missed breakfast the snack bar had cereal, fruit and pastries and we wouldn’t miss out! I have to admit, I took advantage of this and the morning I got to enjoy breakfast alone in the adults section of the restaurant was an energy-restoring treat!
What To Pack
There were a few items that were sooo useful throughout the week for the littles:
Buggy Fan- this was a god send for Florrie and meant that she could nap comfortably in the shade when we were by the pool. I got ours from Aldi during their baby event but you can pick up a similar one up from Amazon. It did rinse the batteries though so make sure you go with a good supply of spares.
Bug Watch- I picked up a this mosquito repellent wristband for Alice as I didn’t want to be spraying her with repellent and it worked a treat! You just pop in the cartridge (which lasts about 2 weeks) and they’re good to go. Alice loved wearing hers every evening and showing it off to anyone who’d listen!
Pool Toys- Alice has been learning to swim but still needs some help so I picked up a float and some dive toys to keep her entertained in the pool. She mostly enjoyed jumping in and swimming around on my back though so they didn’t get a lot of use but I’m sure they’ll be handy when we go swimming here!
Packing Cubes- I think I’m late to the packing cube party but a friend leant me these and I’m never going back! I thought I was going to really struggle getting 4 people’s things for a week along with nappies etc into two cases but these made it a breeze and I have got us this set from Amazon since we’ve been home!
When we booked we said we likely wouldn’t use the Kids Club much, then we arrived and Alice couldn’t wait to get involved and make some new friends! Each day you just had to register using the app and Alice chose to go in for the afternoon session most days. This was a great opportunity for her to get out of the heat for a couple of hours and enjoy the activities. The staff were brilliant, they are all trained to UK childcare standards and the 3-5 age group session had a different theme every day full of games, face painting and arts & crafts which Alice loved!
The reality of your family holiday is you will probably spend your week tagging each other in to entertain the other child. As Florrie wasn’t too keen on swimming this meant one of us chilling with her whilst the other was with Alice in the pool. When the kids were asleep it was a nice opportunity to grab a cocktail from the bar, drink it in the room and say hi to each other! Take a book or some playing cards with you, I was surprised I was able to finish a book I took with me as I was able to snatch some time whilst the baby was sleeping or Alice was at Kid’s Club. On that note, you must read ‘This is going to hurt’ by Adam Kay if you haven’t already, it’s a gem of a read!
Another reality of your time away is someone will poop in the pool, it’s inevitable with that many kids around. May the odds be ever in your favour that it’s not one of yours…
The most important reality is that you will have fun and make some amazing memories. As much as it seems like an impossible task getting there and keeping everyone happy for 7 days I’m so happy we braved it and I will always treasure the memories of our first holiday as a family of four!
I’d love to hear if you’ve been away this year and any recommendations you have for family friendly trips so please leave me a comment, I always love to hear from you!