Book your first holiday with baby and soak up some sunshine during the colder months
When you’re a parent of a small baby, you have the advantage over some families, as you don’t yet have to take your holidays when the schools are out. This means that not only are holidays that bit cheaper than when all the kids are on holiday but it also means that some family-friendly resorts are much quieter.
For your first holiday as a brand new family, we’d suggest you make it as easy and stress-free as you can and luckily, there are lots of holiday destinations that love babies and provide amazing facilities for families.
Here are our top tips for your winter sun holiday with baby:
Keep it short-haul
Flying with a baby can be fine, as many babies love the sound of the engines and drift off to sleep. Others, however, hate it and scream all the way through the flight. So, it makes sense to start your family travel adventures with a short-haul flight and luckily, there are some destinations that are close enough to be easy to get to but warm enough for you to enjoy – see below.
If you are going to a family-friendly resort, you can relax, as they will have almost all you need on site. Most will have cots or cribs, highchairs, even loan pushchairs. Just take your SnoozeShade to pop over the pushchair for nap times. You can also make sure your baby keeps to their sleep routine even if the morning light starts earlier thanks to SnoozeShade for cots or travel cots. If you are going to a self-catering holiday house or to a villa, make sure that you know what facilities are available at your location and what you’ll need to bring with you. A quick Google for local supermarkets is well worth it too, to see if they have your favoured brands of baby milk and nappies, plus see our guide to packing for a self-catering holiday.
Remember to take sun protection
Even winter sun can burn your baby’s skin, so make sure you take as good care with winter sun protection that you would with summer sun. For babies over six months, a good organic and natural sun cream with UPF50 is ideal, plus you should have some long-sleeved, lightweight tops and long, light trousers to protect your baby’s skin. A sun hat is also essential and you can look for some UV protective sunsuits and pop-up tents for the beach. Remember that though UV is slightly lower in winter, it’s still there and your baby’s skin is very delicate. The sun’s rays are often lower in the sky too and will shine directly into the pushchair if you haven’t protected it with SnoozeShade.
Winter sun holiday destinations
Bear in mind that some resorts and restaurants close in the winter, so basing yourself near or in a larger town will mean that you can still find plenty of facilities. Here are our favourite short-haul winter sun destinations.
The Canary Islands are just four hours’ flight away and the average temperature in December is a balmy 210C. Lanzarote is the easiest to get to, with direct flights from most UK airports and resorts and restaurants tend to be open all year. Gran Canaria is also easy to get to from the UK and has plenty of gorgeous beaches; Fuerteventura also has some great resorts.
Madeira is also around 210C in mid-winter and also a four hour flight. It is a beautiful green island in the colder months and there’s lots to do, from sight-seeing to taking boats to other islands, with pushchair-friendly walking trails and cable cars into the mountains.
The Algarve is on Portugal’s Atlantic coast and while the sea may not be as warm as the Med, the coastline and sandy beaches have made it a family favourite for years. The locals love kids too and a range of languages is spoken, including English. It’s also a lot cheaper than other European countries, so your money will go further.
Martinhal Sagres, a luxurious family-friendly resort in a nature reserve.
Four Seasons Fairways, great for families and located near beaches and world-class gold resorts.
3HB Clube Humbria, is an inexpensive Albufeira resort.
Malta, with its sister islands of Gozo and Comino, has an intriguing blend of Italian, Arab and English cultures and there’s a lot to see and do – as well as gorgeous beaches too of course!
Greece is also a good winter sun destination, especially the more southerly islands of Crete, Cyprus and Rhodes, though the smaller islands like Alonissos and Skiathos are also lovely.
Marpunta Resort, Alonissos is right on the sea in a quiet location.
The Princess Resort on Skiathos has kids’ clubs and a lively location.
Constantinos The Great on Cyprus is all-inclusive and family friendly.
Sardinia is a little-known destination and it can be more difficult to fly to direct in the off-season but it’s worth it for the crystal blue sea and golden beaches.
The Delphina Resorts have eight locations, many restaurants and spas as well as great children’s clubs and facilities.