It has been just 2 days since we got back from our 10 day trip to Spain. This was a holiday I have been looking forward to the whole year. Mainly because of the hot weather, pool time, the beach and the warm evenings walking along the beach. We booked this holiday at the very beginning of this year. Originally it was our family moon but now we treated it as a normal summer holiday. Also our first time ever taking the two kids abroad on a nearly 3 hour flight. Matthew has been to Germany twice when he was a baby but I don’t really count that as a holiday because I went over to visit family.
In the beginning I was a bit worried about taking the kids on the plane. Matthew can be a weird with things he doesn’t know and is not sure of. A few days beforehand I mentioned it to him that we are going on a holiday and that we will be going on airplane. He was really excited about the whole thing but I wasn’t still so sure until the actual day of departure.
We decided to stay overnight in a hotel near the airport because our flight was at 10am. I wanted to give us plenty of time and not rush.
The day of the departure came. I already had us all checked in online for both flights. The airline was Ryanair. I don’t fly with them too often because they can be a bit of hassle sometimes but to my surprise, everything went really smooth. I might consider using them more often in the next few years. To be safe, I had also purchased seats online to ensure that we all sit together. As Chloe is still under the age of two, she shared a seat with me.
Once we checked in our bags and went through the security gate, we enjoyed some well deserved breakfast while waiting on our gate to be displayed. At the same time, we met one of our neighbours who live only 3 doors down from us and were on the same flight as us. What are the chances?
It was time to get on the plane. Matthew was super duper excited. He was such a good boy on board. Same goes for Chloe. Of course there was the odd complaint at the end of the flight but what do you expect? Kids will get bored sitting in the same seat for nearly 3 whole hours eventually.
We booked our holiday through Travelrepublic. It’s a website a work colleague suggested to me as he used them multiple times. And honestly, I can’t fault them. They were so helpful all the way through. On top of hotel and flights we also booked our own private transfer to get from and to the airport. Benidorm is 40 mins from Alicante airport. Our hotel was pretty much in the middle of the town and only 300 metres away from the beach. Great location in my opinion. The hotel we stayed in was called Sol Pelicanos Ocas. It’s a hotel with two buildings which I didn’t know at the start but they are both connected via the pool area.
Our family room was located in the Ocas building which required us to go around because we arrived in the afternoon and it would have been too difficult to walk through the pool area with all the people in it. The room had a King size bed, a double bed and a cot bed in it. To me it felt a bit cramped.
One thing that did quite annoy me about the room was the bathroom. We might have had a big shower that could fit 4 people but with a 18 months old baby in tow, a shower is not ideal at all. Bathing a baby was non existing. A bath would have been nice to have which in my opinion means they shouldn’t call it “family room”. I am really trying to keep it to myself when I am with hubby. He knows I like complaining a lot. Only for him I would have gone downstairs and requested a different room with no additional charge.
Our first evening we enjoyed a dinner buffet and walked down to the beach to have a look. Matthew got stuck into the sand when we reached the beach.
Everyday was pretty hot and no day was really a day for doing an excursion to see places. We soon found our daily routine. In the morning we walked down to the pool area and took Matthew swimming. We did the same thing in the afternoon around 4pm. I tried to ignore the hottest sun which was around 3pm. Unfortunately Chloe wasn’t a big fan of the pool. Mainly because the water was too cold for her. Instead her holiday was spent sleeping, playing and looking around in her buggy.
In the facilities of the hotel grounds they had a big playground for children at all ages. As well as that inside they had a games area with different arcade games. Matthew loved these and we spent a lot of time there everyday during the peak sun. Mammy and daddy even got to play a round of pool. Matthew’s favourite game was the gun game where you aim balls into holes. As a reward you get a bouncy ball at the end. The amount of bouncy balls we ended up with…
One of the days we discovered a huge mini golf facility. An evening we walked to it to give it a go. There were 19 holes in total. Matthew played mini golf previously on our mini holiday to Cork in April so he knew well what to do. He really had a ball and Chloe loved watching us all and maybe steal one or two of our golf balls. The competition was really only between hubby and myself. On the last hole I beat him by one hole which made me the winner of the game.
The last few days on our holiday Matthew spent a lot of time in the smaller pool as well as the children’s pool. He saw children with water guns and he wanted to get one too. Off we went to buy one and he was having water fights with a few kids from Belfast but he was also causing trouble with bigger children in the big pool. At least he enjoyed himself which was the main thing.
The last 3 days were not as warm and would you believe it last Wednesday it was raining for 5 mins. You could tell because everybody was out on the streets. It was nice to walk around and not sweat. On this day we decided to actually do something more fun other than pool time. Around 5-10 mins from our hotel there is an animal park called Mundomar. It can be easily accessed by taxi or bus. We decided to take a taxi because it was only 6 EUR. Just a little tip if you think of going… the tickets are generally more expensive at the door than they are in town at the tourist information desk. We paid 24 EUR for the two of us. The kids were free because they are under 4 years of age. At the door you would pay 30 EUR per adult.
Throughout our stay Matthew enjoyed a lot of slushies. Sugar rush for sure but it was our holiday after all and I let him have a few. You could get this penguin bottle and top up the drink for only 1 EUR which was very handy. I on the other hand had a lot of Fanta Lemon. For some reason the drink tastes way nicer and is more refreshing than it is in Ireland. Despite drinking it daily, I found myself buying another bottle at the weekend.
During the day they always had activities on for the kids. Matthew was still a bit young for it, plus he preferred going swimming anyway. They had the characters from the Flintstones on stage some of the days. One of them was the pink dinosaur. Chloe absolutely loved him. She called him “Baby”. It’s the cutest thing ever. The hotel had Flintstones merchandise so we bought Chloe a teddy dinosaur to have with her at all times.
I don’t want to overload you with too many photos because my Dropbox folder is full with hundreds of them. Overall the kids had a great time on their first family holiday abroad and I am happy to report that the journey to and from Spain was smooth enough. When we landed back in Dublin airport, Matthew said to me “I want to go on a different airplane now. A red one”. There you go, he is already planning the next holiday. I am pretty sure this is going to be a yearly thing now. Only if hubby agrees of course.