Travelling with a baby: Our stay at Ardencote Manor Hotel & Spa

img_5997.jpgBEFORE I had a baby, I travelled the world with a backpack on my back, on my own, without a plan. 

Let me tell you now that travelling with a 10 month old baby is COMPLETELY different and my days of packing up and taking off without a care in the world are most definitely in the past.

It’s not to say that you can’t still have an amazing trip with a baby, it’s just that your priorities have definitely changed.

First of all there is all the baby junk that you have to carry with you, or have provided for you including travel cot, high chair, toys, spare clothes, blankets, nappies, baby bottles… the list goes on.

When Rafael was a newborn, he’d just sleep all the time and we could easily pop out for a few hours and he’d nap in the pram. One thing that we discovered whilst on holiday was that he DEFINITELY won’t do that anymore, and his passion for crawling around, playing with his toys, trying to eat everything he’s not supposed to including wires, paper and rubbish was second to none.

We booked a two night holiday at Ardencote Manor Hotel & Spa through Secret Escapes, which I’d highly recommend on both counts as we had a wonderful weekend away. The hotel was beautiful, the staff were friendly (if not a bit young and inexperienced) and the facilities such as the hotel pool were really fantastic. However, I learned LOADS about travelling with an older baby while on this trip.

Car vs. Train travel

It was great to have a travel cot and high chair provided for us, we’d travelling up to Birmingham First Class on Virgin Trains (not really recommended, the perks of First Class were minimal in my opinion), and so we were travelling LIGHT. It was lovely to be able to relax and have a glass of Prosecco on the train (which I turned into a Bellini using an Ella’s Kitchen peach pouch!!!) but it wasn’t ideal to only be able to take minimal clothing for me, my partner and Rafael.

 

Be prepared

When you go to breakfast, lunch or dinner… make sure that you have a baby bottle full of milk (or a boob available), snacks, toys… basically EVERYTHING that you need to keep your baby happy while you try and eat a meal. We only learned the way to keep Rafael amused by the final evening/morning and I wish we’d had a bit more preparation on the first couple of days!

 

Base your trip around your baby

The main thing I really realised on this trip was that our holidays are going to have to be a lot more baby-centric from now on. As much as I love spa hotels, and relaxing and drinking Champagne at 11am, all Rafael wanted to do was crawl around and cause mayhem. I’m not booking Butlins for the next 10 years, but our next trip we’re hiring a car and going to France and staying in Eurocamps where Rafael has a big patch of grass to play on, there are child-friendly facilities on site and it’s a cheap and practical family-friendly holiday.

 

I’d love to know what kind of experiences that you’ve had when holidaying with your kids.

What are your tips for travelling with children?

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