1 checked in bag 5 carry on cases 6 backpacks 2 buggies 1 baby carrier 4 children 2 very tired parents.
We are just back from a week in the lovely Corralejo in Fuerteventura in Canary Islands in Spain. We braved it with 4 kids 3 under the age of 5 and a hormonal 12-yr-old. It was our first beach holiday in 7 years and Family holiday in 4 years. We braved it with 4 kids 3 under the age of 5 and a hormonal 12-yr-old. It was the first time he ever left me for that length and even it was his first trip aboard without me. (My son that is not father-in-law)
Foremost of all, I felt this holiday was one that precisely was not meant to go on. With several people close to the family getting seriously ill in hospital and we had no passports for the children, even though, we applied for them a month before we were due to depart.
I’ve just made out a few tips to help you learn from my mistakes about going on a plane with kids.
- Make certain you receive all your passports in your hand before you book the flights, or even give yourself two months to receiver them. If anyone needs to deal with the passport office in Dublin I’d strongly advise you to make an appointment and go in if you don’t have much time to get one. The standard 15 days for passport express is not really 15 days it’s more like 25 days. And when you call them there is a message telling you that they don’t answer phone calls. They also don’t reply to emails the only ways of talking to someone is Twitter and going into the office. If you have an enquiry you don’t need an appointment. Anyhow, we applied for all four passports for the children to renewals and two new ones went to the Garda station and got all four forms stamped. You need to have the children with you and their father, Naas Garda station was glad to see the back of us. So, after doing all this paying for the express fee and posting off, we tracked it online and it said we wouldn’t get them back until the 25th April. Sure, we needed them before the 13th .after private messaging them on twitter and it takes a day for them to reply and even both of us going into the passport office on two separate occasions we finally got them on them on the 10th April 3 days to spare
- Do not book the earliest flight… It may be cheaper, but your sanity isn’t worth it. We were flying out at 7.40 am, so that meant we had to be up at 4.15 to go to the airport, we did pack the car the night before, best tip ever as it causes less stress. So, we got to Quick park in Dublin airport at 5 am to then park the car, unload the car. (Remember 1 checked in bag 5 carry on cases 6 backpacks 2 buggies 1 baby carrier 4 children, 2 very tired parents) get the stuff to the bus stop while a bus is waiting for us. Kids crying because its cold and they are tired. If I had booked a later flight we could have gotten to airport earlier, hubby could of dropped me and the kids (or half of them) to the airport with the bags, drove back to the car park and park it while we waited for him, by the time we are on the flight the kids were wired and over tired it’s a 4 hour flight to Fuerteventura and they were like a pack of wired cats that got high on skittles. Then they were too excited to be staying in a new place and to see their grandparents and brother.
- One big thing is if you are flying with Ryanair don’t try to save the money by not booking in luggage. Its €70 return for a bag, but it’s well worth it because as we thought we’d save a bit of money and only book in a 15-kilo bag for the 6 of us and carry on the 5 carry-ones that we are allowed to. But completely forgot about the fact that the two-year-old and the five-year-old cannot manage the cases and so Mammy and Daddy needed to try to wheel all these as well as try to mind the three younger kids.
- If you are bringing a child under 4 I’d highly recommend bringing a buggy for each child. We brought two as even though our two-year-old won’t sit in a buggy at home, she really needed it when we were away it’s a lot of walking and also late nights. We used one for the baby (5 months) also and I brought my baby carrier so I could strap him on. This came in handy as when the five-year-old got tired we put her in the baby buggy and I carried him. Less moaning and when Daddy was sunburned he didn’t have to carry her much on his shoulders. If you are doing this and don’t need it in the airport you can ask them to check it in with your luggage, you just need a sticker label of them and bring it to oversize baggage.
- Security is a nerve-racking place even for people who don’t suffer anxiety. I just need to see a guard and I panic that I’m breaking the law. I’ve watched enough of banged up a board and border control to make me think awful things will happen to me. So, make sure all liquids are in the bags that are required by the airport. But baby food, bottles of milk, baby medicine, yoghurts, etc. don’t need to be under the 100 ml and you can carry as much as you like. But try to have them all handy in the changing bag so you can take them out and put them into the tray. The security needs to test these by dipping a swab into them you must agree to this. Also, make sure there is nothing in the buggy basket or in any pockets. This need to be all emptied out. And they also swab the buggy for drugs, I bought it only a day or two before and had never used it that was a major eek moment.
- With 3 kids at that hour of morning say goodbye to any airport, shopping you think you might get done. Just head straight to the gate. And if you are flying with Ryanair it’s a long, long walk to the gate. Probably 20 minutes for an adult with two wandering and easily distracted girls its about 40 minutes.
- Make sure you have tablets charged earphones that work, different colours and books and teddies whatever your child uses to keep quiet, I had these, but none kept mine quiet, the five-year-old decided to sing the song from tangled at the top of her voice I had to keep telling her to keep quiet. Also, bring soothers bottles and hard sucky sweets for taking off and landing.
I must say Corralejo was a beautiful place and we stayed in Oasis Dunas .Click Here. It was perfect for the children, with 3 pools 4 water slides and 2 playgrounds. They also have a kid’s club; however, we didn’t avail of this. A pool bar that served lunch and drinks all day and a separate bar that opened in the evening a supermarket and a restaurant. The apartment was lovely there were two rooms with both having two beds, fan, wardrobe and dressing table and a real wooden cot for the baby The kitchen had the standard Cupboards, fridge, 2 rings ceramic hob, toaster, microwave, kettle and coffee maker, There were a sofa bed and a terrace with patio furniture and a sun lounger and where we where it was a real suntrap.
The town is lovely it has a lot of modern shops like Mango, Bershka and Zara as well as the usual tourist spots where you can get your rip of goods like fake MK bags and Super dry T-shirts. There are tonnes of restaurants my favourite while I was there were INFUSIONS and loved Toro Beach but couldn’t enjoy it as the kids were misbehaving and Most bars accept kids but the friendly bar is Murphy’s Irish Bar.
I came home for the holiday with 3 Spanish looking kids, they all have my shallow skin and are golden in colour and the baby is snow white & hubby is a lobster. The flight home was as much stress as the flight over, but with an added random drug swab for my five-year-old daughter, also she had a Build a Bear Teddy bear had wires in it and the security asked me if it was a bomb. I didn’t even know it did anything, but if you press his ears they light up.
So after the Stressful week of a holiday I couldn’t wait to get back into the norm of school runs, Think the next time we decide to go away as a family the kids will have to be a lot older than now. I need a holiday after it.