1) Do your research: The splash pool sounded like a fab idea for a toddler, but the ten tonnes of water it expelled every few minutes resulted in putting said toddler off the pool from day one!!
2) All inclusive or self catering? Bring all inclusive adults pre-children and it seems like the obvious answer - food and drink on tap all day for all! However, the reality was very different: too much choice of ‘different’ food resulted in confusion and anxiety so we ate out most days - definitely will go self catering next time!
3) How much stuff to take? Two suitcases between four seemed reasonable. But add in a pushchair and three hand luggage bags - including all the paraphernalia a nine-month-old needs, a toddler who refused to walk and it all suddenly becomes unmanageable! We definitely took too many clothes for the children - does it matter if they wear the same shorts to the beach two or three days running even if they have chocolate ice cream on them? My advice - pack light!
4) Variety of activities for the plane! We were lucky that our nine-month-old was content with banging on the food tray (not sure the man in front was but surely better than her screaming hey!!). There were no TVs on our flight so we were grateful for the iPad loaded with children’s films and games. The other firm favourite of ours are the activity packs from My Busy Bots. Our 2.5 yr old loves playing with these anyway and they definitely seemed a better alternative than trying to colour!!
5) Pre-order any milk etc for collection at the airport - just take a bag for it as the paper bag we were provided with split whilst walking to the plane! If travelling with a bottle fed baby consider how you will sterilise bottles - I remembered to take the tablets with us but never thought what I would sterilise in! Luckily for us our bathroom sink was huge. Seek out shops etc before you go away - there was a spar on our doorstep which we didn’t know and it stocked baby milk and nappies so we could have left these at home had we realised (would have helped get us down to one suitcase!)
(if you are travelling with a formula-fed baby, we have more tips here https://bit.ly/2voW1q1)
Written by Fran Peover
Fran is based in Cheshire and works in education. She loves to spend time on the Isle of Anglesey with her husband Neil and their two children, Fallon (2) and Neve (10 months)