Dubai is somewhere I had always wanted to visit. It had basically been on the bucket list that floats around my busy head for many years. Instead of planning a visit before I became a mummy, I decided to take the plunge and book it with a 23 month old (as you do!)
DECIDING ON WHEN TO GO AND WHERE TO STAY
After doing some research I decided that November would be the best month for us to book our trip to Dubai. The reason I chose November is because the average temperature is around 26 degrees! I thought this temperature would suit our little lady. I would have hated for her to feel uncomfortable in the heat, Dubai is in the desert after all.
Choosing somewhere to stay took a little longer…there are SO many incredible hotels in Dubai. My dream was to stay on the Palm. I was concerned it would be too pricey. I had already decided I wanted to fly with Emirates (I really rate them) and their holiday website had some amazing half board Dubai offers! This included a half board stay at Sofitel The Palm. (The best bit was our little lady got to go for free, as she was just under two years old!) The reviews on Trip Advisor were excellent. The hotel came across as family friendly (which is so important to us when booking a holiday). So I booked it! Six night’s, half board, emirates flights included! We couldn’t wait for our adventure to begin!
A MID HAUL FLIGHT WITH A TODDLER AND A VERY NERVOUS FLYER
I was nervous about the 7 hour flight. Firstly as this was our little ladies first time flying, and secondly because I am such a nervous flyer. Despite my fear I never want this to stop us seeing the world. I chose a night flight to Dubai in the hope that bubs would sleep, and she did most of the way. I on the other hand didn’t! The Emirates flight attendants were great. They provided her with a children’s activity pack, and a cute bag with her very own blanket included. I would highly recommend flying Emirates with children. We were well taken care of. If you want some happy tips for when flying with a toddler check them out here.
SMILES, SUN, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN
When we arrived in Dubai my husband and I were a little nervous, we didn’t know what to expect. This soon passed. Everyone was SO lovely, they couldn’t do enough to enough.. Emirates put on a private car, to take us to our hotel. They had a baby car seat ready for bubs, which was fantastic. It was a great way to start our holiday as we basically had a tour of Dubai. Sofitel The Palm was beyond my expectations! It really was 5 star luxury (we felt like we were on our honey moon again). The staff were amazing, and were so kind to bubs. As soon as I walked in I knew I had book the perfect hotel for our little family!
SWIMMING, EATING, BEACH, PALM TREES, PLAY AREAS AND SUNSHINE
The hotel had everything and more. It had three different swimming pools, including a small children’s pool and sandpit. These were safe and shallow for bubs to play happily in. There were also lifeguards on every swimming pool, which was a great addition.
The hotel had a children’s club on site. Bubs was a little too young to stay there and play on her own, however accompanied by me or my husband she could play with the endless amount of toys they had to offer.
As we had half board included we chose to have breakfast and dinner. The amount of food, and choice was out of this world! They even had a small children’s food section in the evening which changed every night. The staff were attentive, and made sure bubs was looked after.
Getting around dubai
When we go away we like to have relaxing days, as well as exploring what a place has to offer. We found the best way to get around Dubai was in a taxi. They didn't cost very much, and drop you to the door. My only qualm... the taxi's do not provide car seats, so bubs had to sit on my lap, in my seat belt. We visited Dubai Mall, went up the Burj Khalifa (highly recommend you do this), The Emirates Mall, and The Aquarium and Water Park at The Atlantis. Walking around we felt very safe.. Before we went we were concerned about the dress code. If you dress respectfully you will have nothing to worry about.
In my opinion I would highly recommend a family holiday to Dubai. I enjoyed it so much so, that I have booked to go back again late this year (so sorry bank balance), If you are thinking of going, look around for deals. There are lots of great ones out there! Have a little plan of what you would like to see, and do in Dubai before you go, There is so much to do in such a short space of time. You don't want to miss anything out! If you do go have a great time, and enjoy every minute! I would love to hear all about your Dubai adventures!
(please note all opinions are my own. I have not collaborated with any listed venues above, this is all my own experience and paid for by me, The images shown belong to me and my husband)
As a busy working mummy I get very little “me” time these days! Anyone else with me? I dream of being pampered and taken care of! (It’s such a rare treat when this does happen!) When I was invited along with Bournemouth Bloggers for a morning of January indulgence, and relaxation at Christchurch Harbour Hotel’s HarSpa I couldn’t believe my luck!
When I arrived at the beautiful HarSpa I was welcomed with such a warm smile from the receptionist. We were talked through our morning and then provided with crisp white robes, and slippers to change into. The changing rooms were immaculate, and kitted out with everything you would need. We then headed to use the spa facilities for the first hour. These included a good size swimming pool, jacuzzi, steam room etc. It was so nice to just chill out.
After an hour of blissful relaxation we went through to have a 25 minute treatment. I opted for a neck and back massage as I really needed to get rid of some built up mummy tension. The treatment room was beautiful, they have all been completely refurbished to a high standard. The tranquil colour scheme set a relaxing tone perfectly. The massage couldn’t have been any better! The therapist took time to get to know me and make the treatment personal.
After the treatment we headed to Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spas Upper Deck Restaurant. Well the colours in there were right up my colourful street! It has to be one of the funkiest restaurants I have been to (especially with the sea views). We were served the most delicious and filling two course meal! I had fish and chips, followed by apple cake. It was absolutely amazing!
I never wanted the morning to end, or leave Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa! It was the most relaxing and fun morning. Thank you so much for having us! I can’t wait to go back soon!
Back in May (this year) we went on our first holiday abroad to beautiful Norway. Our little lady was 17 months old and we felt ready to head off on our adventures as the three musketeers. I am a bit of a nervous flyer (which is an understatement). My solution to avoid flying was to book a cruise holiday. I researched many of the big cruise brands, and the best value cruise for us was with P&O. Most other brands charge full price for a 1 year old (which is crazy), whereas P&O offer a huge discount! I think we paid £99 for our little lady!
I was so excited and a little nervous about the holiday as a whole, but it couldn’t have gone any better! We embarked P&O’s largest ship MV Britannia in Southampton, which was easy for us as it is only down the road. Our luggage was taken, and check in was so simple. Before we knew it we on board the most beautiful ship exploring everything it has to offer, which is a lot.
One of the reasons I love going on cruise holidays is everything is in one place and you get to go somewhere different every day. This is perfect for a busy toddler, who likes to explore. During sea days there was so much to do (as well as eat your body weight). The Britannia has an amazing play room (the reef), which offers a large soft play area, endless toys and a variety of table activities. Our little lady was in her element. The ship also offers a night nursery, we didn’t use this but spoke to other parents who said it was an amazing addition to their holiday.
The ship was child friendly, however it wasn’t solely aimed at families. I believe they have a quota for certain age groups, so the ship wasn’t overrun with children, however there were enough families so you were made to feel welcome. The staff couldn’t have done enough for our little lady, they loved her as did the passengers. She has never had so much attention (she didn’t know what to do when we got home, it was all a bit boring).
I would highly recommend a cruise holiday with a one year old. Everything felt so easy, and we actually felt like we had, had a holiday. When you hear the word cruise, you think of luxury and pound signs. It was definitely luxurious, but it cost us less than a holiday to mainland Spain, it was great value for money!
As we disembarked the cruise and got back to our car, I looked back at the ship and a wave of emotion hit me. We had the best week, and made the most incredible memories as a family of 3. I never wanted it to end. I felt so lucky and grateful to have been able to experience something so amazing.
Last week my little family and I enjoyed a staycation in good old Blighty. We decided to visit local and fun attractions, which we hadn’t been to before. One of the attractions on the list was a trip up the M27 to Paultons Park to visit Peppa Pig World. We wanted to take our little lady (who is 20 months old) because of her love of Peppa. Since our visit a few of my friends asked my thoughts on the day, so here they are…
I didn’t have any expectations before our trip. I decided not to read any reviews and to take it as we found it. On arrival I was shocked by how busy it was (it was the first week of the summer holidays, so I should have known). We got there just after the opening time of 10am. I would definitely recommend getting there early as the crowds soon flood in. I was also surprised at the entry price (quite steep), however as soon as we walked through the entrance this soon dispersed. I was taken aback and excited by how large the park was, we could have almost been at a Disney Theme Park (the hot weather probably helped with this nostalgia). We decided to hit Peppa Pig World first.
As you arrived at the entrance of Peppa Pig World you soon became immersed into the theme. Your olfactory senses were hit all at once. Even if you are not a Peppa Pig fan I think you will become absorbed and impressed by everything in sight. The attention to detail was incredible. With the sound track playing in the back ground (which my little lady was singing along to), the smell of sweet treats, and the yummy colour palette of cosmopolitan ice-cream everywhere you will be whisked into a dreamy escape. Our little lady was in her element, as were we. There was so much for her age group to do, from driving a car, splashing in the water fountains, exploring the soft play, or even flying in a hot air balloon. It was busy and we did have to queue for the rides (take plenty of snacks), but it didn’t matter as we were all so engaged in everything around us.
After a couple of hours exploring Peppa Pig World we were ready to eat. We headed to the main restaurant at the entrance and ordered some cooked food. We were actually very impressed with it. It came out quickly and it looked and tasted fresh. After lunch our little lady was zonked so we headed to the other side of the park to Lost Kingdom. This is where my hubby relived his childhood and enjoyed going on The Flight of the Pterosaur. I however sat in some shade and enjoyed an ice-cream.
One of the things that really stood out for me were the fantastic changing facilities. They cater so well for toddlers, which makes life so much easier for us mums and dads! We all left feeling thoroughly fulfilled and exhausted. It is not somewhere I would go every month, however it is a great treat and a top family day out. We hope to go back again soon... xx
Hi! I am Katie... a new mum trying to balance life, work and a beautiful baby girl! I love to take photos, travel, write, make art, and spend time with my family! xx