Parenthood, Travel

Family holiday in Lanzarote

Back in April we went to Lanzarote. Our little girl is clocking in those air miles like no other. On her first flight to Tallinn in October she was given British Airways travel log book and we record her miles by letting the captain fill it out during the flight. It will be a nice keepsake for her one day.

It was time to visit this lovely island once more. We were there two years ago and absolutely loved it. It has a mild temperature all year round, flight time is only over three hours, wonderful beaches and amazing food. What’s not to like? Here is my blog post from then with some wonderful photos from the trip. But how different was the holiday this time! No more cocktails in the sunset, sunbathing on a beach all day, staying up late drinking wine or enjoying lie-ins.

The flight went quite smoothly. When we boarded it was her nap time so I knew she would have no problem falling asleep on my lap, which she did but unfortunately woke up in 40 minutes already. Luckily she fell back asleep two hours later and slept through the landing, which also meant she would be in a good mood while we’re getting off the plane, getting our rental car and making our way to the villa we rented.

Again, we stayed just outside of Playa Blanca, a quieter resort on the southern tip of the island. It’s calmer than Costa Teguise or Puerto del Carmen.

As it was self-catering then the first trip we made the following day was to a supermarket. There’s a Superdino in Playa Blanca with a car park for customers, which is great as street parking there can be difficult. We needed some nappies and I also wanted to check out the baby food range. Great range for both but I might add that everything is more expensive than in the UK (island life, import costs more…) so if you do have space in the suitcase, bring baby food from back home. I had boxes of Ella’s Kitchen pouches prepared for each day even though we cooked every evening and gave her some of our food but we’re not big on BLW (baby led weaning) yet.

Eating out in Lanzarote is fun too. We didn’t have one bad restaurant experience, the food is just delicious everywhere.

A few restaurants that you should add to your list if you happen to visit the island:

  1. La Lapa in El Golfo. They were very family oriented and had several high chairs available. Fabulous seafood! I remember this was one of the first restaurants we visited during our first visit and when we returned we knew we definitely wanted to go back. They serve amazing octopus with traditional potatoes.
  2. Restaurante El Risco in Famara. With a magnificent ocean view, very friendly service, and the paella was one of the best I’ve had!
  3. Restaurante El Marinero y la Muchacha in Arrieta. If you’re seated by the window you’ll get a great view over the rugged lava coastline. The menu was quite small but it had all the traditional dishes (Canarian potatoes, octopus, fish) and we enjoyed a fantastic meal.

You’ll see these restaurants are all over the island and we did pretty much go almost everywhere. Car rent is cheap (everything is relative but yes, a lot cheaper than in the UK), roads are great, so it’s worth renting one and exploring!

Our little girl is still too young for any toddler/kids’ activities on the island but there seems to be a lot for them too – water parks, underground lava tubes (!) etc. – all to be discovered when she’s older.

Return flight was in the evening and it didn’t go as well as the previous flight. In the future, if we can, we will try to avoid evening flights because it would just disturb her night sleep. She fell asleep without a problem but instead of sleeping through like she has done in the past (flight back from Boston in March was a dream when she slept peacefully in the bassinet in front of us and both of us were able to get some sleep as well) she woke in an hour and cried quite a lot. Could have been for a number of reasons: another baby crying, announcement by the captain, painful ears, too warm… She slept again before landing but she lost a few hours in-between.

Here are a few tips  for plane travel with a baby (who doesn’t crawl yet, back then she didn’t, but does now 🙂 ) from our experience:

  • Fly during the day if you can.  Sometimes it’s not possible but if you’ve got a choice of flights don’t pick the evening one :). During the day they’ll surely nap at some point and you won’t ruin their bedtime and night sleep too much.
  • Breastfeed, give a bottle or a dummy during take-off and landing to avoid ears getting blocked.
  • If they’re happy sitting on your lap then keep them buckled in so should they fall asleep and it’s time to put the belt back on because you’re landing you won’t interrupt and potentially wake them up.
  • Use a baby carrier – you can go hands free!
  • Use a back pack as your hand luggage, again – hands free. When I flew the first time I had a big handbag and I felt out of balance and it wasn’t very comfortable lugging something on my shoulder and also carrying the baby in BabyBjorn.

All in all, flying with a baby is quite easy in our opinion. It will get a lot harder in her toddlerhood but for now, more family holidays abroad, please! 🙂 Next stop – Estonia. Stay tuned.

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