Category: Family Holidays

Family Day Out at Clovelly, North Devon

Family Day Out in Clovelly

What a gem of a place! I knew nothing of Clovelly before discovering a flyer whilst staying in a cottage in North Devon. Clovelly is a little fishing village that is traffic-free, other than donkeys and sledges to deliver supplies and the odd Land Rover to deliver hotel guests to their accommodation.

We were delighted to discover no charge for the car park. Then we were a little taken aback at the £20 admission charge to visit the village. However once we had made our way to the picturesque historic harbour, we justified the expense.

Accessibility to Clovelly

The journey down to the village involves a very steep hill that winds down to the harbour (about 400 feet down). It was sunny and lovely the day that we visited, but I imagine it could be very slippy on a wet and miserable day.

I wouldn’t recommend this place to people with accessibility issues. We did see a couple of parents with buggies, but it didn’t look much fun. Most wheelchair users would find this place a nightmare. We had a chat with a man in his eighties who had retired to Clovelly. He makes the walk up and down the hill each day to keep himself fit. I think this would be a challenge for older people that struggle to walk far.

Our kids and grandparents managed the walk pretty well. We took our time and enjoyed the views as we entered this pretty village. We also had an ice cream and a drink on the way.

Things to See in Clovelly

There are some lovely shops in Clovelly including gift shops, art shops and sweet shops. We bought some small sweet gifts including Clovelly specific items like notepads and pens and also more generic items. The Water Babies book is for sale in a few shops as this was written by Charles Kingsley who spent a lot of time in Clovelly. A small museum in the village is dedicated to him.

There is a short film explaining the history of the Clovelly. It is quite interesting for adults and short enough for kids to sit through. This runs every few minutes in the main entrance and gift shop. There are lots of lovely cafes, pubs and restaurants.

There are museums and craft workshops, including a fisherman’s cottage museum that you can walk through and see how a typical village house would have looked in the 1930’s. My young kids quite enjoyed the walk around cottage. There was a sweet art gallery/shop showing various materials and techniques which you could also purchase.

Donkey stables are located at the top of the hill with the offer of rides for little ones.

There is a lifeboat station that we wanted to look round, but we were told this was not an option as the staff were too busy. We did notice a bunch of guys drinking tea and chatting inside so that was a shame.

At the bottom of the hill beyond the harbour, there is a beautiful stone beach. Our kids loved finding pretty stones and it was very relaxing to sit and enjoy the sea view.

If you fancy a visit to Clovelly, check out the Clovelly website.

If driving to Clovelly, you should be aware that your Sat Nav may not recognise the village of Clovelly as there are no roads for cars in the actual village of Clovelly. There are plenty of signs in and around Bideford.


Family Day Out in Portmeirion in North Wales

Why Visit Portmeirion?

Having visited Portmeirion when I was younger, I was keen to return with my own family. So whilst in North Wales last Autumn with my kids and extended family we made a day of it.

We all had our reasons to visit the intriguing village of Portmeirion. I wanted to bring back nice memories from my childhood. My sister in law is a photographer so wanted to capture the beautiful scenery. My parents love to see wildlife and attractive buildings and gardens. The kids are always easily sold on the promise of an ice cream parlour.

Things to do at Portmeirion

Portmeirion is a beautiful village created by an architect called Clough Williams-Ellis (1883-1978). This visitor site is a collection of striking buildings in a beautiful setting. The area appears to be a microclimate as Portmeirion hosts a wide variety of flowers, trees and wildlife. We were lucky to visit on a dry day and enjoyed the sights.

There are lovely little cafes and shops with quality items. We enjoyed browsing the children’s toys and the local Portmeirion crockery.

There is a little road train that takes visitors on a short trip around the forest. We were lucky to see the gorgeous colours of many autumnal leaves and some pretty evergreens. I loved the views of vibrant red leaves of Japanese Maple trees across the lily pond.

Overall Thoughts on Portmeirion

We all had a lovely day out here. There was limited entertainment for children during our visit, but we had three young kids that played well together. Kids could be bored wandering round if they like to be entertained. If they’re happy with a game of hide and seek then they may be happy. The coffee in the cafe/restaurant was lovely with a small selection of cakes.

One big disappointment was that the ice cream parlours ran out of many flavours of ice cream. My promise was somewhat unfulfilled when we could only get a whipped style ice cream in a basic cafe bar.

Family Day Out at Milky Way, North Devon

Milky Way Day Out North Devon During our holiday in North Devon we had the pleasure of visiting The Milky Way. This is a family day out with a variety of attractions located near Clovelly.

Our kids (aged 3 and 7) loved it here. There were rides, indoor and outdoor play areas, a maze, a train, live sessions (owls, magic, Science), Sci-Fi memorabilia and loads more.

I was not sure what to expect from this place. Having read reviews online I was a little concerned about the fun value. However there was loads to keep our kids entertained and provide a really fun day out.

When we first arrived it did seem a bit of a small scale family run affair. This is not in any way like Alton Towers or one of the big theme parks. However this is part of the charm of the place. There is so much to do for young kids. We were constantly moving ours along to the next thing as they could have spent all day in the indoor play gym or the outdoor play area or the maze.

Milky Way Indoor Sessions/Shows

There were indoor sessions throughout the day including birds of prey, fun and educational shows.

We saw Merlin (Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist). He did juggling, magic and illusions.

He later did a Science session, which maintained the attention of the kids. We had a chat with him after the show and he was a really nice guy.

My girls particularly enjoyed seeing the owls session. This was run by a lovely lady who welcomed lots of questions.

Milky Way Rides

The familiar Caterpillar ride is always a winner with young kids. My three year old went on several times with her grandparents.

Whilst the Cosmic Typhoon roller coaster was a real hit with our 7 year old (minimum 1.2m tall). She loved going on this larger ride and it was perfect for her.

The Clone Zone was the first thing we experienced as we entered the Milky Way. After quite a queue, we followed a guide round this alien-themed walk-through. This was finished off with a short ride and a squeeze through a tight exit. My eldest was quite scared and afraid of the unexpected alien encounters. However my youngest thought it was great and wanted to go on again. The grandparents joined in too and survived the experience! There were also some bumper cars, but we didn’t try these.

Indoor Play Gym

Our kids had a great time in here. They could have stayed all day. We all enjoyed the big slide with sacks to ride. Whilst the kids were too scared, Daddy couldn’t resist the death slide, which was quite a big drop. I didn’t see many kids try this one.

Food and Drinks

We brought some and bought some from the cafe.

Picnic areas are dotted about and the food we bought was ok, reasonably priced and as you’d expect from a day out.

Overall we all had a great day out. I thought it would be busier, but we fell lucky as there was a large agricultural show that day, which may have affected the number of visitors.

As a family of young kids, parents and grandparents we all enjoyed the day. It helped that the weather was generally pretty good. There were lots of things to do indoors and outdoors, however it would have been a shame to miss the rides and the maze.

If you are interested in Sci-Fi the Milky Way has a large area dedicated to models and memorabilia.

The gift shop is reasonably priced (refreshing) and well stocked.

If you would like to find out more about The Milky Way and book tickets, the go to the website at .

Giving up All Inclusive Hotels for a Eurocamp Holiday

Eurocamp family holiday by aeroplaneWould I recommend a Eurocamp holiday? Can it compare to the luxury of an All Inclusive Hotel? Simple answer – Yes! We have been on a few Eurocamp holidays now to Italy and France and each time we have all had a great break.

The kids love the freedom of Eurocamp. We all love the quiet and freedom that we have experienced with Eurocamp.

I must admit, we have booked child-friendly (more expensive) campsites and made sure there was plenty to offer for our kids.

We have been lucky to have nice pitches/positions on our campsites. Our girls have enjoyed a little freedom to make friends and play around the caravan. We sit on our veranda and watch them play, which means we are all happy.

The Joy of All Inclusive Holidays

When we had only one child who was a toddler, we had some lovely All Inclusive Hotel holidays. We didn’t need to worry about school holidays so we had a wide selection of hotels in lovely locations for a reasonable price. Our hotels offered nice food and drinks, paid for in advance. We had kid’s clubs and pools to play in with lots of space. Sometimes we had a reasonable sized room with a double bed and a cot in, other times we were blessed with a large family suite, an out of season bonus.

Family Holidays in School Holidays

As a family of four, looking for breaks during school holidays, we are struggling to find the same level of accommodation for anywhere near a reasonable price. We tend to find small rooms, once known as a Double Room, squeezing a cot and a single bed alongside the double and now called a Family Room. The hotels are rammed full of people affecting everything from sunbed allocation to queuing for breakfast. We reached a monumental decision during an all inclusive holiday in Portugal. During our evening meal, our daughter asked if she could have an ice cream. David and I looked at each other as we watched children helping themselves to the ice cream with their hands and said “Not tonight sweetheart”. We both said “Never again!”

Eurocamp Family Holidays

Eurocamp is a different kind of holiday. It can take a little adjustment when you’re used to the luxury of an All Inclusive hotel. However having a school aged child, plus a toddler, changes the wish list. For us, a Eurocamp holiday seems to tick more of our holiday requirements.

I never thought I would go looking for a camping holiday. I didn’t see the attraction of a caravan. Despite having enjoyed many Eurocamp holidays as a child. In my mind I thought I’d miss someone pouring me a coffee as I sat at a table in a dining hall. However I discovered that I could make my own coffee and enjoy it in my PJs on the veranda looking out at a pretty view in peaceful surroundings. I thought I’d miss the vast choice of meals in the dining room, but I discovered that we could do what we want during the day and have our own meal when we wanted it. Also I can make simple meals that I know the kids will like or we can eat out whenever we feel like it.


You may like to read about our family Eurocamp holiday to Saint Avit Loisirs in Le Bugue in the Dordogne.

If you would like to browse or book Eurocamp holidays, check out the Eurocamp website.

One Suitcase for a Family of Four for a Week – Minimal Packing

packed suitcase with passportSo, we have the challenge of minimal packing with just one case for a week’s worth of clothes and stuff for a family holiday. We recently booked flights for a family holiday and we decided to book one case between the four of us as the price of an extra bag seemed pricey. Baggage allowance varies quite a bit between airlines and we are used to a generous 22Kg and 10Kg of hand luggage with Jet2. This time we have booked with TUI (Thompson) and they only offer 5Kg of hand luggage per person and we have paid for one 20Kg bag. I have just double-checked the TUI FAQs to be sure.

Previously we have needed extra space for baby items, such as nappies and wipes, however I am hoping we can manage with one case. With a charge of £50 per case, it makes me think about our packing. I’d rather buy an extra pair of sandals than pay out an extra £50 for another bag (even if I can’t fit the sandals in the case!)

Minimal Holiday Packing

We are going self catering and plan to eat out in restaurants most evenings. I will try and squeeze in some tea and coffee as well as a few packets of pasta that are invaluable for the kids. I like to have an outfit for every day and an outfit for every evening. Then we will all have something to change into when we go out. I will plan an outfit for every day and night for each of us. I am thinking one pair of sandals and a pair of pumps/trainers each. I’ll try! We will each wear the bulky pumps/trainers for the flight. We will have a washing machine so we could bring fewer items and wash if necessary. I will bring a couple of sample sachets of washing liquid and conditioner. I will also bring a small container of washing up liquid.

Holiday Weather

We are lucky as we are heading to a fairly guaranteed warm climate in the Canary Islands. This means we can pack for warm weather with a few extra items to allow for any cooler times, like in the evenings. The Canaries rarely dip below 20 degrees during the day. I’m expecting warm days and slightly cooler evenings. I will pack a couple of cardigans each and a fleece for any cool times. I will probably dress me and my girls in a cardigan and fleece for the flight.

Holiday Packing List

I always like a list, but when it comes to minimal packing, I know that a list will prevent me going overboard. I have a tendency to pack everything we need and then continue to add extra items over the next few days. Sticking to  list will help avoid this.

Packing Minimal Toiletries

I have various sample sized containers for moisturiser and make up that I have acquired through special offers and bonus buys. They save loads of space. Also I will bring cleanser wipes to replace the usual eye make up remover, facial cleanser and stack of cotton wool pads. I will bring a small tube of toothpaste rather than my usual pump loaded container. I will bring roll on deodorant in stead of a large can of aerosol. Where possible, I will decant small amounts of hair products into mini containers.

Hope this is useful for anyone planning an minimal packing holiday. If you are planning a UK self catering break then it may be useful to read my blog post about Things to pack for a caravan holiday.

Flying to a Eurocamp Holiday

For a while I wondered if it was possible to fly to a Eurocamp holiday without the use of a car. I went on lots of Eurocamp holidays as a child and we always drove to our campsite, including a ferry crossing.

I wanted to introduce my own young family to the joys of Eurocamp, but did not fancy the long drive either side of the holiday with little ones. I decided that flying to a Eurocamp holiday was the only way for us to get the most out of this luxury camping option with a toddler and an older sister.

Eurocamp By Air

View from a plane window

Since wondering about the possibility of Eurocamp without a car, we have been on a couple of Eurocamp holidays with a hire car from the airport. We have also been on a Eurocamp holiday with back up from my parents in their car. My brother joined us on one of our Eurocamp holidays without any car, relying on flights and train travel through Italy with his son and girlfriend.

Eurocamp have started to acknowledge the flying option, but it is clearly not a common choice amongst Eurocamp holidaymakers.

The easiest of these three options for us has to be travelling by aeroplane with a hire car and back up boot space from my parents. My Dad’s car has a large boot and plenty of space in the back so we benefited from that when my parents drove to the campsite in the Dordogne in France and we met them there. They spent three days driving and we travelled in a matter of hours, including a flight from our local airport. Our transfer from the airport in our hire car was under an hour.

Limited Luggage

When we flew without the use of a car, we kept our luggage to a minimum. We hired a cot and bed linen and towels from the campsite as there was no way we could carry them. We had to accept that we couldn’t bring much food or cooking items. Normally I would pack breakfast cereals and cooking oil and herbs, but that wasn’t an option when travelling with little ones to a campsite in Italy.

Getting Out and About

One of the big problems with travelling by plane to a Eurocamp holiday is that the campsites tend to be in rural spots in the middle of nowhere. If you don’t have a car it can be difficult to to get out and about to see things and the transport options are often limited. We chose a campsite with lots of activities on site and within walking distance of a beach. It was nice for a few days, but I think a fortnight would have been too much.

Top Tips for Flying to a Eurocamp HolidayEurocamp family holiday by aeroplane

Choose a Eurocamp site that is within easy reach of public transport and ideally places to walk to and things to see and do.

Choose a Eurocamp site that has good facilities on site, ideally a decent supermarket, restaurant and activities for the kids.

Prepare to buy bulky essentials when you get there, such as washing up liquid, breakfast cereals, cooking basics.

Hire bed linen and towels from the campsite. Carrying your own bed linen and towels takes up loads of room.

If you would like to read about our holiday to a Eurocamp site in the Dordogne, please click on the Sacred Hour blog post Eurocamp St Avit Loisirs Campsite, Le Bugue, Dordogne, France.

Top 10 Family Days Out In Cornwall

We have recently returned from a family holiday in Cornwall and we had a really great time. So I thought I’d share our top 10 family days out in Cornwall (and within reach of Cornwall) based on our experiences and with a little insider knowledge from some of the lovely local people of Bude in Cornwall.

1. Eden Project, St Austell

If you are interested in plants and wildlife then this is a great day out. If you or your kids require a bit more excitement and entertainment then this may not be the best day out for your family.

Our kids loved it here. They liked the rainforest biome which includes loads of unusual plants, including cocoa, coffee, bananas and pineapples as well as many colourful plants.

They enjoyed the canopy walkway and a bridge, which forms a cloudy mist every few minutes.

There is a Rainforest Lookout which is an aerial platform overlooking the tropical canopy below. The platform is at the top of the 165-foot-high Biome. We climbed the steps along with our kids, but you can’t carry children and it might be too scary for some. We managed quite well, but it was a little bit wobbly at times.

The restaurant offered a range of lovely home cooked meals and I really enjoyed my Moroccan lamb meatballs.

The website claims there are activities and events for families throughout the year, but we discovered that these are mainly focused on school holidays. Because our half term was different to the local schools, there was not a lot to offer beyond the general walk about. We discovered a craft activity 10 minutes before they packed up, but there was no mention of this on the activity list when we entered, which was a shame.

2. Boscastle

We felt this small village was well worth a look round.

It is probably most famous for the flooding issues suffered in 2004 then further flooding in 2007.

It is very pretty with a couple of tearooms, pubs and hotels. There is a stunning harbour and a lovely view out to sea. We stopped on our way back one evening so we just had a brief look around.

There is a youth hostel and a museum of Witchcraft, as well as a few shops including a pottery shop, but we only stopped for a quick wander so we didn’t get to experience these.

3. Bude

We really liked the town of Bude.

The staff in the tourist information centre are really helpful and friendly and they have a file detailing local events that you may not otherwise be aware of as a visitor.

We enjoyed a nice lunch at the Castle, which includes some local artwork. We watched a little projection film showing a sea life animation using artwork from children at the local school. I enjoyed sampling a bottle of the local cider along with a Ploughmans lunch, while looking out at a beautiful view.

The beach is lovely with lots of rockpools to explore and there is an outdoor swimming pool, which had people swimming in it both times we visited during our stay in February.

I imagine that Bude is packed during the summer holiday period and there are lots of facilities aimed at surfers, but it was nice and peaceful during our visit.

4. Beaches – take your pick

We went to a lot of beaches during our stay and all of them were beautiful.

Our kids just loved collecting pebbles on the beach and wandering about through the rock pools.

Our favourite beaches that we discovered in Cornwall were Sandymouth, Bude and Duckpool, but there are beaches all over that are gorgeous.

I cannot imagine what they are like during the crowded summer holidays, but we were really lucky to see them at their most peaceful during February. We even had a sultry mist to add to the atmosphere on a couple of days.

5. Bike Trail Camel Trail (Wadebridge to Padstow)

Following the recommendation from a lovely local lady we hired bikes in Wadebridge and we cycled into Padstow along the Camel Trail. It was a great day out. Our kids loved it. The views were pretty and it took us about an hour each way to leisurely ride there and back.

We stopped in Padstow and locked up our bikes. We then had a good wander round the beautiful town of Padstow. There are lots of lovely places to eat and we settled on a  fish and chip restaurant, which was great. We loved the Cornish pasties and the ice creams and we were lucky enough to stumble across a food fayre where we bought some chutney and cheese.

There are lots of companies to choose from, but we used Bridge Bike Hire and we were very happy with the bikes and the service. Click on the link to see the website and arrange a booking – Bridge Bike Hire, Wadebridge

6. Cream Tea – choose a venue

I had really looked forward to this before going down to Cornwall and lots of people had told me to try the scones with cream and jam. I think we picked a dodgy venue as ours wasn’t as good as my Mum’s, but maybe we are spoilt by her scones. I am sure that a tearoom would have a better offer than the seaside cafe we tried. It was nice to enjoy a cup of tea and a scone with a beautiful view of the sea.

7. Eat Proper Cornish Pasties – loads of places to find these beauties

I love a cornish pasty and we were not disappointed. We had a few of these during our stay from a bakery, a restaurant and a fish and chips restaurant and they were all great. There are bakeries all over the place selling Cornish pasties. We must have spotted about ten in our short wander around the town of Bude. My favourite was from one of the bakeries in Bude, where we also bought a lovely croissant with cherry jam and almonds.

8. Coastal Walk (Sandymouth to Duckpool)

There are loads of walks around the Cornwall coastline.

We headed off to Sandymouth beach one day and picked up a path and followed it.

It was a great walk with stunning views of the beaches and rocky coastlines. Our 6 year old managed well, our 2 year old relied on lots of carries. We were there in Winter so it was wet and muddy in places. The kids were fine in their wellies. Our trainers were less suitable, but we managed. We walked to Duckpool.

I think we took in some of the South West Coastal Walk. We brought picnic with us and had the most amazing view as we sat eating our sandwiches.

9. Try the Local Cider

There are lots to choose from. I liked the Orchard Blush cider. Somebody recommended the Rattler Cloudy Cornish Cyder, but they also warned it was quite strong so I stuck to a refreshing bottle of Orchards.

10. Milky Way Adventure Park, Bideford, North Devon

We were advised to try this place for some family fun, including rides and indoor play as well as shows including birds of prey. There are specific areas for little ones, including a show for under 5’s. We never made it to this adventure park, but we would have gone if we had managed to fit it in. Maybe next time. Click to see the website for Milky Way Adventure Park.

Bude Tourist Information Centre

The staff in the Tourist Information Centre in Bude were really friendly and helpful. They keep their leaflets up to date and they have a file to look at with all the local events that you may not otherwise discover.

We stayed in a lovely caravan park in Sandymouth, which was beautiful and it had fantastic facilities. I have written a separate blog post with tips for going on a family caravan holiday.


Things to Pack for a Caravan Holiday

We have been on a few camping holidays now and there are some things I have learnt along the way, especially things to pack for a family caravan holiday.

I am writing this post from our beautiful caravan in Cornwall so I can look around to remind myself of all the important things that you need.

Staying in a caravan in the UK means preparing for a range of weather possibilities, but you can pack a lot of things into your car.

I am a list writer and always write down things I plan to take and then tick them off as I pack. This time, I decided to skip the list and managed to forget a load of clothing items for the kids, so I won’t be doing that again – lesson learnt.

Comfort and Warmth

I always pack bed socks, slippers and dressing gowns for comfort and warmth. Caravans usually have hard floors, which can feel a bit cold and we’re used to the comfort of carpet at home. Extra blankets and pillows can also be handy for a bit of extra comfort or for a cosy afternoon in front of the television.

Weather Protection

It is a good idea to pack jackets and waterproofs whatever time of year you are going away. Wellies for the kids and walking boots for the adults are also useful if you’re planning to walk or go to the beach in cooler weather.


Most caravans will have basic items, but I think it’s better to be safe than sorry so there are a few items I always pack for a caravan holiday. Key things are scissors, tin opener, corkscrew/bottle opener, tea towel, hand towel and washing up sponge, hand wash and matches.

Extra Items

I always bring a torch, bin bags, food bags, toilet rolls, kitchen roll, cleaning wipes, picnic bag, drink bottles, cutlery, plastic plates and cups for the kids.

I brought a potty and step for my youngest this time, which has been really useful as she can go to the toilet with minimal help.

Online Shopping Delivery

I would certainly recommend getting an online delivery to your caravan if possible. We saved a lot of space and managed to get a range of frozen and chilled items delivered to our caravan as well as things that would have got squashed if we’d brought them all the way from home. Key items included butter, milk, bread, fruit, cereals, pizza, ice cream and beer.

This is a checklist of things to pack when going on a family caravan holiday based on our own experience. It is best to check what is included with your caravan as you may or may not have a dishwasher, washing machine, microwave, freezer and this will determine what you need to pack. Hopefully this list of tips will be useful for other people planning a caravan holiday and wondering what to bring.

We had a long drive to our holiday in Cornwall, but it was not as stressful as I feared. We played games and had a few stops along the way. You can check out my other blog posts about surviving long car journeys if you click on Long Car Journey With Kids and Games to Top 10 Car Games to Play .

Planning a Holiday

Holiday PlanningEach year, normally around Christmas and through January, I go through a tiresome process of searching options in order to select the perfect holiday for our family.


I start by browsing a range of options. I am generally open to a wide range of ideas and work my way through different destinations and different types of holidays. Hot, warm, likely cool. All inclusive hotels, camping, Eurocamp, cottages etc. This initial search helps me to create a list of definite requirements, desirable features and things to avoid at all costs. Every holiday I learn something new and usually add a new element to avoid at all costs.


Anyone that knows me knows that I love a list… This year’s list of definite requirements includes a separate sleeping area for our kids. Previous experiences of a family rooms in a hotels have proved challenging and some lovely hotels are squeezing families into what are really double rooms. A fortnight of no sleep is not conducive to a restful break for me. Desirable features include sunny weather and a swimming pool. Previously sunny weather has been a requirement, but my priorities are changing slightly. Things to avoid at all costs include hot weather, which rules out Greece and Cyprus unfortunately. Many beautiful places, but a heatwave with little ones can be really difficult.

I find the list helps as David and I have been easily swung by a pretty location or an enthusiastic travel agent. We can recall once going into a travel agent with a destination, dates and departure airport. We were just looking and didn’t intend to book anything, but came out having booked a different location, different dates, different airport. The holiday was good in some ways, but we wished we had stuck to the plan.


Once I have used my criteria to choose a holiday, I give the family a bunch of options and between us we select one. It is quite a long drawn out process, but I like to think I have done my best to find the most suitable holiday that I can find. I hate to panic about little niggles and wonder whether I have made a mistake.

Do you have any specific process for finding the perfect holiday? Do you have a set criteria?

Flying On My Own With Kids

flying with kidsLast year I travelled to Tenerife for a week with the girls without their Daddy. It was the first time I had flown alone with kids and I was very nervous about getting on a plane with two young children. I thought about how to fill the four and a half hour flights for a while before going.

The worst part of the journey was between the taxi and the check in desk at Manchester Airport. I had arranged a taxi to take me and the girls to the airport and after a discussion about car seats (which I had booked in advance), we made the journey to the airport without any problems. We were all excited and talked about the holiday. I had one large luggage case and three pieces of hand luggage ( a rucksack, a change bag and a small hand luggage case). I also had a five year old, a two year old and a buggy.

Child pulling cases in the airportMy five year old was amazingly helpful dragging the hand luggage case and helping with her younger sister.

We flew with Jet2 from Manchester Airport and the check-in desk was much further than expected. We had to walk through the main area of terminal 2 and go down in a lift, outside, then back inside to the Jet2 check-in area. We managed it, but it was more tricky than I had expected. It was a relief to drop off the big bag. The staff were friendly and I did manage to leave my luggage with them when my daughter needed a toilet stop.

Going through security was quite challenging. Keeping hold of two tired and excited children while putting bags on the conveyor belt, locating and separating electronic devices, folding down a buggy and removing shoes was difficult. There was seemingly no help available and some of the other passengers seemed a little irritated at being held up by a minute or two. Staff were friendly and patient, but a little help would have been appreciated.

Getting around the airport was straightforward with the two year old in the buggy, a rucksack and a change bag on my back and my five year old walking closely while pulling a hand luggage case. There was some entertainment in the airport in the form of dancing animal characters, which helped pass a bit of time. There was also a cafe for a much needed coffee and chocolate muffin.

Boarding the plane was fine and we left the buggy at the door of the plane as we walked on. The Jet2 air stewardesses were lovely and welcoming as we showed our tickets and found our seats. Abigail wanted the window seat so she sat down first, Jessica sat in the middle and I was in the aisle seat.

I brought a selection of toys and things to keep the girls occupied as well as favourite teddies and an iPad with headphones.

I took out sticker books, colouring books and some reading books. I find the Mr Men books really handy as they are quite small and slim, but you still get a decent length of story. My eldest loves the Usborne See Inside series of books with lift the flaps so I brought a couple of those, but these are really big and heavy.

We were buckled up and comfortable quite quickly and easily, but then there is some waiting while all the passengers get sat down and my two year old soon became restless. I tried to entertain her with sticker books, but she was annoyed at having to stay in her seat. I ended up getting the Play-Doh out and letting her have her dummy which helped.

Once the seatbelt signs were off, my kids liked the freedom of removing the belt. Abigail was quite happy with the iPad and Jessica liked the books, but I had to keep her entertained. We treated ourselves to a snack when the food trolley came by and that helped pass a little time. I had also packed an array of their favourite snacks including dried apricots, Pom Bears, malt loaf bars and chocolate buttons.

The flight went a lot quicker and smoother than I had expected and we arrived to the airport in Tenerife feeling calm and excited about our holiday. We had daytime flights both for departure and return. My kids do not sleep on planes and I would always try to get reasonable flight times.

Having flown alone with two young children, I would say that it is not as bad as you might expect. The key is to bring lots of things to do that are small and light and plenty of snacks. If you are going on a plane journey with little ones then good luck.

If you would like to find out more about our holiday without Daddy, please read my other post about our holiday to Costa Adeje in Tenerife, please click on Costa Adeje Tenerife.