Were you a jet-setter prior to having your baby? Or perhaps you looked forward to your big holidays all year wishing for those late wake ups, breakfasts in bed, a relaxing day of your chosen activities with no need to plan. . . We were like that too, until we had babies! Our first Christmas holidays with babies were very different than they’ve been in the past. We each approached the holidays with a different plan in mind, but I don’t think either one of us was fully prepared for what happened. In this dual post (one today and one later in the week), we will divulge our two very different experiences in hopes they can help you plan your first long haul holiday with your baby.
The Villa Holiday
My husband and I were always the type that liked traveling to remote locations with little to no plans except sleeping in late and making plans as we went along. We were avid goers to Aman resorts, or remote islands like Cat Island (before the Four Season’s was built there when no one knew where or what it was). But when we had our baby boy, this changed. It wasn’t because we felt we couldn’t still do those things it was simply a combination of not wanting other Aman resort-goers to suffer our baby’s teething cries (or for us to stress out about them hearing them), as well as the fact that we didn’t want to put our son through the jet lag that a 10 hour flight with at least 1 layover entailed. So, we thought we’d bite the bullet and find a location closer to home. Our criteria:
- Short flight of no more than 3 hours
- Sunny location (we do live in london after all and need to store up on our vitamin D)
- Close enough to friends that we can actually have a fun time with on NYE whilst still having the baby on the premises with us but comfortably sleeping.
This was going to be a challenge, because my husband was not comfortable leaving our baby boy to spend his first NYE with a babysitter. He wanted us to be together, even if one of us was fast asleep (our baby boy started sleeping through from 7-7 at the age of 6 months,so we knew he’d be knocked out by midnight!) In comes our saving grace, a very dear friend of mine who suggested Morocco.
Yes, I bet you’re making that face. . . The one we got from lots of friends thinking we were nuts taking a baby to Morocco. Well, all I can say is that it was one of the best decisions we ever made.
- Morocco is 3 hours from London and has sunshine to spare all day long!
- The country is on the same time zone as London, which makes it easy on the baby to adjust
- Moroccans are the most welcoming people who LOOOOOVE children so they go out of your way to help you
- Our BFF is from there and she hooked us up
If you aren’t lucky enough to have a Moroccan BFF, then here is the best kept holiday-with-baby-secret: RENT A VILLA! It is by far the best way to enjoy your friends company without feeling guilty that you are cramping their style.
They can go out at night, come and go as they please, and you can fit lots of activities in without disrupting your baby’s schedule and without exhausting yourself! For example, your friends can play with the baby to give you a short nap, you can all simply play by the poolside while everyone has fun and relaxes. You can have joint meals, and even host NYE guests at your house while the baby sleeps upstairs comfortably isolated from all the noise. You can even have a tete a tete with your husband when your friends go out to party for the evening and you’ve put the baby upstairs to sleep. In a hotel, you’d either be bound to having room service in the dark (if you have a single room that you share with your baby) or you’d have to get a babysitter. If you don’t like to leave your baby with babysitters (or don’t travel with your nanny), then a villa is the best option for you too!
By the way, if you know of good baby friendly villa holiday destinations in self contained resorts like Al Maaden, please send those tips our way so we can share it in a future blog post!