Neilson Messini Beachclub

OK so this post is a little late, a year late in fact. I’ve no idea why I didn’t write this at the time *shrugs shoulders* I think because Olivia went straight to school when we returned from this holiday, everything just snowballed from there and before I knew it, eh, it’s September again?! It’s safe to say this post got well and truly parked. However I think I’ve been spurred into writing as we had a ten day getaway to France this August, just the three of us and whilst the sun shone, we ate well, drank delicious Rosé and enjoyed the pool at our little house, ten days altogether with just the three of us was too intense. It was too full on with Olivia 24/7 and for her too, she got bored with no other kids to play with. Neither me nor my husband had any much needed, ‘down time’. We discussed it a lot on the last day and both realised that going forwards, we need a holiday with a kids club. Which reminded me of our lovely stay at Messini Beach last year.

So rewind a year and we took full advantage of the fact that Olivia didn’t start school until late September and decided to go away. After much internet searching, one option that kept popping up was a Neilson holiday in Greece. I’ve heard about Neilson before as a good friend who I play hockey with swears by them and after much deliberation, we settled on their Messini Beachclub site. A minor concern we had about this hotel before we booked was that it is quite isolated. Bar a sister hotel next door which is adults only, there are no shops etc nearby. There are one or two restaurants about 15/20 minutes walk away (30+ with a small child) and there is a Lidl about a ten minute taxi ride, but that is it. Generally we like the option of having places to walk to (to erm, buy booze and snacks for our hotel room), but after speaking to Neilson direct, to a lady who was incredibly helpful and who had been to the site, we decided that because we were only going for a week, this didn’t matter too much. We paid £1,993 in total and had a Double room with Club board (Club board includes breakfast and lunch every day and four evening meals per week)

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A Weeks Stay In Bahia Del Durque Hotel, Tenerife

I’ve mentioned on here before about the two somewhat disastrous holidays that we’ve had as a family. Not completely disastrous in the sense that one of us got incredibly sick, or we had to come home (although we nearly did) but in the sense that we miss-chose holidays, not thinking about the mini tyrant we were taking with us. Fast forward to November and we had an opportunity to take a last minute week away somewhere. We initially looked at Cape Verde. But after much Googling and deliberation we decided that six hours on a plane with the kid was a no, no and we read that there are strong waves and currents, and a constant wind around the island. So we settled for what seemed to be the easiest option for some November sun, Tenerife. Now to find a suitable hotel. This meant whittling down a shortlist of hundreds down to ten, then scouring Trip Adviser for hours, discounting favourites because Fred from Manchester hated the place. Ultimately the ones we were left with took kids in the kids club from age three. From these we chose the Bahia Del Durque Hotel in Costa Adeje. It ticked all the boxes really. It had four pools, was on the beach, had access to restaurants outside the complex if needed, a shopping centre nearby and most importantly, it had a kids club that would take Olivia. WIN.

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4 Things To Help You Survive A Long Car Journey With A Toddler

Normal service is resuming here on the blog. My power is slowly returning after being sapped in the summer break. Now that it’s October, my holiday to France back in August seems like a lifetime ago, which is essentially what the previous month feels like when you get to my age. My holiday was with my family, and by ‘family’ I mean my husband, the kid, my parents, two older siblings, their respective husband, wife and kids (fourteen of us in total), not many people can say they’d holiday in such a way. It would, I imagine drive some of you bananas but we all get along really well (read as, not in a Waltons-esque way, but we all like a good laugh and a considerable amount of vino). I’ve written two previous posts about our holidays together but this time, having done an epic drive to and from France a few times now, I wanted to write about how we get through it semi-unscathed with the kid in tow.

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6 tips to help you survive a family holiday

After my last post talking about how lovely our house was in France, that made a family holiday sound rather wonderful, right? Well, now it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty, how to survive two weeks away with fourteen other human beings, that happen to all be your family! If you get along with your family like I do, then group holidays with them can be great fun, you’re on holiday with people you love and want to spend time with, you get along with everyone and know the general traits of those with you, you get free child care and you make some fantastic fun memories. But, but, but, let’s not rose tint it, it can be hard work especially if like me you’re going away with quite a large group. There’s always a lot of clearing up, swimming costumes on the floor to pick up, dishwashers to empty and potential arguing between the kids etc. It often is your routine at home but multiplied. So, if you want to get the most out of your time away, and if you want to come out the other side unscathed, here’s my tongue-in-cheek guide to surviving a family holiday.

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Les Granels – A Five Star French Holiday Rental

A few years ago my family started a tradition of going on a group family holiday to France, and it’s something that has now become an annual occurrence. France has always been part of our family life growing up, certainly below the age of twelve I recall that we’ve always holidayed there. I can remember spending hot sweltering days by glistening lakes, watching my Pops or brother attempt to wind-surf (and failing miserably) I can remember being dragged round various Chateaus with my parents, eating delicious food and staying in funny little rented holiday homes (one was a tiny pink bungalow, we still laugh about that one to this day). For our annual trip this time round, we re-visited a house that we stayed at two years ago. A rather beautiful, quiet, blue shuttered, ivy clad house called Les Granels.

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