On average, I travel with my children overseas two weeks a month and I am making the most of it before they start school!
Rocco has just turned 4 and Tahlia is 2 and a half. If you have read any of my blog posts you will know they both took their first trips overseas when they were just three weeks old; Rocco travelled with me to Austria when I took part in The Jump and Tahlia’s first trip was to Palma, Mallorca. Since then, I have made it my mission to make travelling with young children as stress free as possible and I have found some amazing products to help me along the way.
A little over 6 months ago I came across the Baby Jogger City Tour Stroller and let’s just say it’s a stroller I can’t live without. It massively frustrated me that every time I was at an airport, I had to walk miles from the gate to the luggage belt before I could collect my pushchair – it’s not easy carrying two children who each weigh over two stone as well as bags from the flight! The Baby Jogger City Tour solved my problems. It collapses down into a rucksack bag and stores in the overhead locker on a flight. It’s light and in my opinion it is a travel life-changer product for any parent.
On this trip, we would be spending a week in Alicante then flying over to Menorca for our second week (which would involve connecting in Mallorca). Alex would be joining us for the weekend.
Flying with the children now is pretty easy – they do it more frequently than getting on a bus. I collapsed my stroller down, popped it in the rucksack back and stored it in the overhead locker. Rocco & Tahlia sat happily watching a film on their iPads, and two and a bit hours later we touched down in Spain. Yes, I am a parent who lets my children watch films and play interactive games on their handheld tablets on a flight. It keeps them quiet and entertained and the other passengers appreciate it! I see nothing wrong with it when travelling.
Arriving at Alicante this time was somewhat of a nightmare. Four flights landed at the same time and there were only two people checking passports at border control. It took over an hour and a half to get through – it is times like this when I am grateful that when Tahlia falls asleep on the flight (just as she did), I can open up the pushchair on board before we get off and manoeuvre her in to it without her waking. Thankfully she stayed asleep for a further thirty minutes whilst we waited in line. After such a long wait, we had a further hour wait to collect the car – not ideal!
My filming week in Alicante was lovely. We were helping a couple from Eastbourne find a holiday home and they were a lot of fun. Without giving too much away, let’s just say they were very happy with how the week ended! During each filming week, I do get a few breaks so II spent a few hours on the beach with the children and also spent a couple of mornings at one of my favourite shopping malls in the region ‘La Zenia Boulevard’. Not only is the shopping great at this place, there are amazing facilities for children which include soft play areas and water fountains to keep the little one’s cool in the heat. We did have a small disaster when during our week, when a tyre blew on the car and we were stranded down a country lane. A two hour wait for the recovery vehicle in 28 degrees wasn’t ideal but we always deal with the challenges we are faced with when travelling and there is always a story to tell.
Despite of our flat, the week ended on a real high because I managed to catch up with my ski jumping coach from The Jump (excuse the pun!) James Lambert, the ski jumping trainer from Channel 4’s most dangerous show has recently moved to the Southern Costa Blanca and he just so happened to notice from some of the photos I had posted on my social networking pages that I was in the same area. It was great catching up with him (this time in a warmer climate) and lovely that our children all got to play together on the beach! The last time he saw Rocco was when he was three weeks old.
On Friday evening, it was time to fly to Menorca. There were no direct flights so this meant connecting in Mallorca. The flight connection was extremely tight so when we were delayed by 20 minutes it only allowed us 10 minutes to make the connection. It was pretty stressful dashing across the airport to make the flight, especially given that Alex was going to be meeting us there for the bank holiday weekend. Thankfully we had the Baby Jogger City Tour with us. We quickly unpacked it and ran, I have never sweated so much in an airport. Rocco and Tahlia were so well behaved and could see that there was a massive sense of urgency. Thankfully we made it in time.
I absolutely love Menorca. The beaches are stunning, its family friendly and there is a lovely laid back pace of life. Although it was a second visit for the children, Alex had never visited before and he really enjoyed it.
We spent time on the beach in Cala en Porter, relaxed around our villa and spent a wonderful weekend together as a family before I had to return to filming on Monday and Alex had to go back home and to work.
With just one week in the UK before we are jetting off again to Ibiza, Malta and Morocco (some work, some pleasure), there is never a dull moment and our Baby Jogger City Tour Stroller will be joining us on all our adventures. We even love using it on UK soil!