The husband and I have just booked a mini get away to Al Hamra Village, in Ras Al Khaimah, for 2 nights next week, and I am currently making my “What to take with us” list. Looking at how lengthy it is, it got me thinking about the differences of a weekend away before and after I had Baby Z! Below I have listed a few from my experience:
Travel to Destination
Before Baby: The holiday starts as soon as you leave the house. The car journey to the destination is filled with excited chatter and comfy seating positions (those ‘bare feet on the dashboard’ kind of ones) whilst admiring the dessert landscape around you. You have plenty of space to stretch because you’ve probably only brought one tiny luggage bag.
After Baby: Check you’ve brought all five suitcases, that are mostly filled with nappies, wipes and baby toys. You never know what kind of baby disaster might befall you during the trip, so you have come prepared! Spend the entire car journey entertaining your child, and in case your baby does fall asleep, speak to your partner in hushed tones so as not to wake the baby up!
After Hotel Check In:
Before Baby: Unpack within 5 seconds and head down to the pool!
After Baby: Take an hour to unpack everything. Quarrel with hotel staff about not receiving the travel cot like you asked for during hotel booking. Finally once the cot arrives, allow your baby to have his/her afternoon nap because that is PRIORITY if you want a chance to enjoy the rest of the evening. Once everyone is in a good mood, and sleep has been fulfilled, head down to the pool.
Before Baby: Have a lush and sophisticated experience, enjoying your meal with polished cutlery and soaking in the ambiance.
After Baby: Try persuading baby to try out anything and everything, and clean up each time he/she throws food/napkins/cutlery across the table. You and your partner take it in turns to entertain baby whilst the other gobbles up food as quickly as possible. Pay and run out before the waiters realise the extent of the mess under the high chair. Ambiance?… What ambiance?
Before Baby: Lazing by the pool, lazing around in the room, trying out new sports or a lush spa treatment. Generally anything that either does not involve too much energy at all, or is off the scales for adrenaline rush.
After Baby: Plan everything according to your baby’s napping and eating routine. Perhaps get into the pool for 10 minutes, until your baby’s cries beckon you. Check to see whether any activity or place you visit is child friendly and safe beforehand.
Capturing the moment:
Before Baby: Take a few romantic selfies, and ask passers by to take some more romantic photos. Throw in a few landscape and meal shots, perhaps even a couple of those ‘Toes in the sand’ clicks.
After Baby: Take a ZILLION photographs of your baby, documenting every smile, laughter, happy, embarrassing and funny moment. Only stop when your batteries run out, or your SD card is full. (Don’t worry, you have packed extra batteries and SD cards though.) Put cameras well away during tantrums, unless you are feeling brave! (It could serve as your adrenaline rush activity of the day!) Take one couple photograph, if you can remember to.
Hotel Check out and Returning Home:
Before Baby: Pack your things moments before your check out time, and bid adieu to a lovely trip. Feel hotel-sick when you get home and start planning your next getaway trip!
After Baby: Start packing the night before you leave. Check out, and then run back into the hotel for that beloved soft toy that you forgot in the travel cot. Get home and breathe a sigh of relief for being back “In Routine”. Print all the zillion photos you took and store them in your holiday album. Grimace when you realise you will have to pick up all the mess from under the baby high chair yourself.
Can you relate to any of these? Do you have any additions to make to this list? I would love to read about your experiences or suggestions, so pop a comment in the comments section below!