A family package holiday in Lanzarote

family package holiday

The idea of a holiday in Lanzarote came around back in January, the perfect time to start deciding where to spend this year’s family holiday. I was contemplating how to celebrate my 50th birthday, did I want a massive party with all of my friends or family? No, I wanted something more memorable than one night, I wanted a family holiday. A place we had never visited before which offers something for every member of the family, a place that was warm and sunny and not too far to travel to.

We decided on Lanzarote for May half term and set to looking for a family package holiday to take us there.

My husband has always wanted to try an All Inclusive holiday, his appetite is well known throughout our circle of family and friends and the package we found allowed three meals a day plus snacks around the pool – if you happened to be peckish – ice creams for the children in the afternoon and drinks. It sounded great. We also found a hotel in Playa Blanca that had a water park attached to it and guests were allowed free entrance every day for as long as they liked.

We booked up and paid our deposit.

We were traveling with a major UK travel company for the first time and although they are brilliant on social media I must admit to being disappointed with the run up to our holiday and the lack of any communication other than bills and documents.

I don’t know about you but I get excited way before my holiday starts and I research where to go, what to see, any particular foods I must try and any fun things for the kids to do.

The lovely people from Marco Polo sent me one of their travel guides on Lanzarote to read and by the time the day arrived I felt well prepared for visiting my new country.

Package holiday flights

Arrival at Arrecife

We flew with Norwegian airways and the four hour flight passed quickly, no food or drinks were built into the package but you could buy from the hostess. The flight times going out were in the afternoon but our return flight didn’t land at Gatwick until 2am in the morning making the first day back to school a very tricky one. Speaking to another guest from Kent, they had decided to go from Luton and by driving around the M25 for a very early flight going made for a much better time returning.

Top tip: Consider all flights and times before booking.

Arrival at Arrecife airport was swiftly dealt with and before we knew it we were on a cranky bus towards Playa Blanca where the fun would commence.

Family package holiday

family package holiday

Our family package holiday in Lanzarote was to be at the Lanzasur Club in Playa Blanca. You will discover that due to Lanzarote law, all of the buildings are built on one floor only so the hotel was more of a sprawling complex. The main building held the reception, bar, restaurant and area for evening entertainment along with a spa, gym, shop and games room, this building stretched in a long semi circle around the central pool system which had three pools and a fabulous bar. Off of this area were walkways to the rooms which were more like mini apartments which I guess they started out life as. Ours was two rooms and a bathroom, the main bedroom with two large single beds and the second room which had a fridge and small kitchenette with two sofa beds made up for the twins. I must say had they been 5/10 years older they would have struggled to fit in the beds but maybe this is something Lanzasur Club address when the ages of children come through. I must also point out that the majority of the guests had young children from 2 – 10 years of age.

All inclusive

I should start this paragraph by saying I put on half a stone in a week even though I thought I was being ‘good’. There is so much food on offer, with something for everyone that I found it impossible to not tuck in and try it all.

Breakfast included yogurts, bread and jam, cereals, cooked breakfast, a selection of hams, salamis and cheeses plus fresh fruit and sweet pastries. Oh and freshly made omelettes and pancakes too.

Lunch had salads and an assortment of shellfish/cheeses/cold meats which changed daily for starters, a choice of three main courses with sides, a selection of five or six desserts including fresh fruit plus freshly cooked fish or steak on the grill manned at the back of the restaurant.

Dinner was a pretty similar set up to lunch although the menu was changed completely.

One day they set up a barbecue by the pool and most evenings there was a theme meal to choose as well, like Canarian or Mexican depending on the day.

Naturally there were soft drinks and fizzy drinks available on tap alongside white, rose or red wine and a beer tap.

You could also start your meal with a glass of Cava from the bar. Cheers!

Now you can see why I put so much weight on!

Entertainment

family package holiday

We were in awe of the entertainment team that came from all over Europe; Italy, Norway, Belgium, Canary Islands and Spain and spoke perfect English. They had lots of great activities for the children but they also organised an adult table tennis and water polo game every day too which the husband participated in every day.

The evening entertainment had fun acts to watch or acts to participate in with family games and Women vs Men competitions like make the biggest mountain out of shoes, and then running around the audience asking for their shoes.

Very, very entertaining and cause of a lot of late nights plus the free drink from the all inclusive bar.

Lanzasur staff

We were totally bowled over by the staff at Lanzasur, they couldn’t be more helpful. They worked very hard at their jobs but I never once saw a scowl or a raised brow. When one little girl dropped her plate on the floor and burst into tears frightened at having upset her parents, a waiter rushed over and knelt down saying no problem, no problem, it’s all ok. I would give the staff a 10/10.

We did go on few excursions but I’ll write about them separately.

If you are looking to go on a family package holiday then I can vouch for this hotel as we have had an unforgettable holiday.

Marianne and the twins

Disclosure: We paid for our family package holiday in full and are under no contract to write anything I simply wanted to let you know what a great holiday we had and how this time an all inclusive worked for us.

Total price includes Flights and All Inclusive Accommodation

£2,615.34

includes costs, all discounts, applicable taxes and charges

To follow: Lanzarote Uncovered – a tour of the island

Time Traveller: The Travel Bloggers Linky

 

Time Traveller - Travel bloggers linky

A Time Traveller is someone who can move between different times in the past and the future.

Is that you? Do you think about past holidays that were really good fun? Do you think and plan future holidays? I do, I dream of the day I can take the girls to Disney in Florida, I’ve already told you about my Mexico dream and a secret desire of mine is to one day trek Machu Picchu.

I have a bucket list as long as the Mississippi, which I hope to sail on one day and basically cannot get enough of seeing and experiencing new places.

But one of my favourite pastimes is to go through photo albums and flick through the hundreds of photos of places I have been too, food I have tried like the Oysters in France – possibly not my most becoming photo, they were very salty.

oysters from marennes

Since becoming  a blogger I take even more photos, there’s a cloud up there somewhere with my name on it groaning at the weight of images I save for future blog posts that somehow in the busy family/work life get forgotten. I keep meaning to write them up so I am setting myself a challenge.

Write about one travel related experience a week.

The Time Traveller Linky

Then I got excited because I imagined that there were lots of other bloggers out there with tons of material to write up like me, days out (I have three posts waiting to be completed for over a year), the fabulous family holiday that never got written up, even places you went to before you started blogging. I really must tell you about Key West in Florida and all my Italian posts still waiting to be written up.

key Lime Pie shop Key West

If this is you then join me. You don’t have to do one a week – that’s for me to push myself a bit but feel free to join me if you need pushing too.

Thursday will be the day as it allows for some good reading time over the weekend

The rules are very simple

  • Your post must be travel related. It can be a day out, a weekend away or a longer break.
  • You can use posts from your archives or write something new.
  • You can write about places you visited before you started blogging, scan the photos, re write and relive the experience, tell us all about it.
  • This Linky is about sharing, please don’t dump a link and run. Read some posts, leave a comment on them. I aim to visit everyone who links up, be patient as I will fit my comments around my family and work.
  • Please leave a comment on this post.

I’ve made a pretty badge for all Time Travellers that I welcome you to use on your blog but it’s not compulsory

Time Travellers

Now for the link up. I have chosen a thumbnail so you can use one of your photos and here’s the first link, welcome to the Time Traveller’s Club


Tips for Frugal Family Travel

woolacombe beach

Holidays are great opportunities for families to spend quality time together and create great memories. Some of the best experiences you can give your family involve exploring new places and making new friends. For a kid, there’s nothing more educational than testing their preconceptions and learning about different cultures.

We’re all facing tough economic conditions at the moment, so budgets may be tighter this year, and it’s important to look into options that will allow our hard earned cash to stretch as far as possible. Here’s a few tips and tricks for making your holiday cash stretch that bit further.

Harness the power of the Internet

Budget conscious holiday makers are increasingly looking to the world wide web in an effort to make their money stretch further. The internet is a treasure trove of forums and blogs discussing cheap travel options as well as website offering the best deals on travel and accommodation. Frugal travel is a well-covered topic on the internet and many people are keen to share advice – here’s a great list of travel websites that offer access to a large community of fellow travellers.

Look for alternative accommodation

The rise of the “shared economy” and websites like Air BnB has allowed many home owners to open their doors to guests. The option to rent private properties for your family can reduce the cost of your holiday accommodation to a fraction of booking a hotel.

Another advantage is that this also lets you live like a local. Your host can be a great source of knowledge about the best their city has to offer. You can also buy your food at supermarkets and prepare it at home, cutting down on restaurant meals and saving cash for special treats.

Go all-inclusive

In recent years holiday companies have started to offer many more all-inclusive packages. This is a great help for those who want to be able to budget their holidays precisely. An inexpensive all-inclusive can represent great value for families as everything is included in the initial cost of the booking. This means travel, accommodation, food, drink and entertainment will be provided as part of deal allowing you to simply relax upon arrival. Many resorts also provide kid-focussed activities and daycare giving parents the chance for a break when they need one.

The “Staycation”

Perhaps the ultimate cost-saving holiday option is to stay at home and enjoy the amenities and entertainment that are available in your local area. Travel and accommodation form a considerable part of the cost of most holidays, so by staying at home, you can save cash that can then be used to entertain the family. Britain has much to offer, especially for those with families. A quick internet search will reveal numerous local options that you haven’t seen or done and would like to do. We explored the Gruffalo Trail at Thorndon County Park in Brentwood which the little ones loved.

Exotic locations and sun drenched beaches may be your ultimate holiday dream but if they are out of reach for now don’t despair. After all, holidays are as much about spending quality time with your family as they are about travelling to distant locations. The most important components of any holiday are relaxation and enjoying time with your family. Having a realistic financial plan for your holiday is a big step towards achieving those goals.