(OUR FIRST HOLIDAY ABROAD)
Looking after a baby is much like looking after a drunk person. They’re wobbly, they need feeding, and they’re quite often sick! What would holiday with a newborn be like? I had mixed feelings.
One thing was for sure – we needed a break. Contrary to the advice given, I was pretty certain I could still have my five star luxury holdiays too.
After lots of googling we decided on Sardinia. It’s beautifully warm and not too far to fly. In my wisdom we did a trial run in the UK before (holiday baby essentials – try before you fly) to figure out what we’d need.
Armed with this knowledge, I turned to Boris the Trunki and got packing. Although he’s a bit young for it, it still served us very well knowing all his clothes were in one place. My top five items to include are:
1. A lightweight jacket, like this from Vertbaudet
2. An all-in one swimsuit and hat (M&S have the best range)
3. A poncho towel (try Babies ‘R’ Us for a cute collection)
4. A cool polo shirt like this from JoJo Maman Bebe
5. Baby vests – you can never have enough (Tesco’s are great value)
T5 was a dream. Going through the airport was so smooth and we were given priority treatment. We had no issues bringing six bottles of baby milk through with us either (you can take enough as ‘deemed adequate’ for your journey).
Before we parted ways with the Bugaboo at the stairs of the aircraft, I packed it in a Koo-Di travel bag which is compact and secure, but not very protective. From here we used the Baby Bjorn carrier as did the other three parents on the flight.
I was worried about flying, as I didn’t want to be one of those parents with a screaming brat! As advised we fed him at take off and landing, and although there were inevitable tears, it wasn’t too bad at all. Be armed with baby teething granules too – they seem to soothe.
Our biggest challenge was the tiny (and very loud) plane toilets, where you need to be quicker than Lewis Hamilton at a pit stop! I was at the mercy of the Diono Travel Changer, which saved me. The small clutch bag holds just enough nappies, wipes and nappy bags for a few hours, and comes with a well-designed foldable wipe clean mat. At £20 it’s a no-brainer. We ended up using it the entire holiday, perfect for the pool, beach and little trips out.
Sardinia is a mountainous and a car was needed. We booked a Golf from Holiday Autos, and ended up with an ugly Citroen. Car hire companies can’t guarantee reserving a baby seat either, so it’s a gamble and at £55 for the week, also a rip off – bring your own.
The roads in the north of the island are not my favourite. They wind and twist and hang off cliffs. Thankfully, it was only a 40 min trip to our amazing abode – The Colonna Pevero Hotel.
The hotel was SO good to us. We’d been in touch prior to ask for a cot, which they supplied along with a kettle, changing stations and lots of lovely baby amenities. To say they went out of their way was an understatement. We soon learnt that the Sardinians are very lovely and welcoming of families. We felt very at home.
Our room was impeccable with everything needed for a good nights sleep; peaceful, cool, comfortable and had black out blinds. I slept like a baby, as did the baby!
A few things to look out for when researching family hotels are the following; good ramp access, lifts, baby seats at restaurants, the ability to microwave bottles, a children’s pool and good WiFi (for googling every aliment!) – the Colonna checked all these boxes.
Onsite dining is also important, because convenience is key when you’ve got a baby. The food here was lovely, but on the pricey side.
THE LOCAL AREA & BEACHES
Thanks to the ugly car we were able to get out and about. We found Baja Sardinia very welcoming of families, but Porto Cervo very hostile, with no ramps and hundreds of steps.
Sardinia is famed for its beaches and we were impressed. The hotel one (Picollo Pevero) was small with lots of seaweed, we preferred nearby Liscia Ruja, with turquoise waters and lots of sunbeds. But my God, it was HOT!
Thank goodness for the Bugaboo Breezy Sun Canopy, by far the best travel investment we made. With ventilated panels, a zip-window and UV protection material, you don’t have to worry about baby overheating. It can fully open or fully close, but best of all it comes with a mosquito net that can be easily opened or closed, compact in a little zip case. You can see why celebs like Holly Willoughby love it. We used it the entire trip and found it offered great protection in the evenings too when mosquitos came out to play.
I had also brought the Bugaboo parasol with us, but found this better for when we were stationary, it wasn’t as beneficial out and about.
So, the beach was beautiful, but not easy, so it was back to the hotel pool for us…
Back at the Colonna we had five luxurious pools to choose from. There’s not much babies can do in the water, so a swim seat proved handy. A good UV protecting swimsuit is also key, along with a cute towel poncho and some decent sun-cream (we used Nivea Factor 50).
To hydrate the little one in between dips, we gave him some water in his new little Nuby cup. On the recommendation of followers on Twitter, we boiled and cooled down Evian – as others can be high in sodium.
So our first holiday abroad was a triumph and everything I hoped for. And yes, five star luxury is totally doable with a baby. The Colonna was the perfect family hotel, and I’d like to thank the people of TripAdvisor for their useful reviews that led us there. While I’m at it, I’d also like to thank Paola and the team at the hotel for making our first holiday abroad so memorable.
Finally, to help you on your travels, here’s my top 10 items I suggest taking with you…
1. If you have a Bugaboo, then the Summer Breezy Canopy is a must
2. Google Translate App
3. The Baby Bjorn Carrier
4. Travel wash for baby’s clothes
5. The Diono travel changing bag
6. A travel case for your stroller
7. A Trunki!
8. Evian face spray
9. Nuby cup
10. A First Aid kit – just in case
FURTHER DETAILS AND STOCKISTS:
We stayed at the five-star Colonna Pevero Hotel in Sardinia, rates start from £336 per room with breakfast in July, booking at Expedia.com (Colonnapeverohotel.it)
– Boris the Trunki from Trunki.co.uk (£44.99)
– Diono travel changer Amazon.com (£20)
– Bugaboo Canopy (£59.95) and Parasol (£34.95) from Bugaboo.com
– Baby Bjorn Carrier from PreciousLittleOne.com (£56.95)
– Baby Bjorn Bouncer from John Lewis (£119.95)
– Nuby flip cup from nuby-uk.com (£1.99)
– Swimsuit from Marks and Spencer (£12.99 on sale)
– Koo-Di travel case from Argos (£17.99)
– Swim seat, Slazenger.com (£7.99)
– Spiderman towel poncho from Sports Direct (£3 on sale)
– Nivea sun cream, Evian spray, First Aid Kit and travel wash from Boots
– Clothes from; Sports Direct, JoJo Maman Bebe, Vertbaudet, Marks and Spencer, Baby Gap, H&M, F&F, TU and Next
Milk Drunk Diary is an editorial blogzine based in the UK. We buy, borrow and receive products to test and review. Our opinions are always honest and our own.