25 Mar 2014

First Family Holiday Abroad

First Family Holiday Abroad Booked 

J was just over 18 months old when we booked our first ever family holiday abroad. We booked to go all-inclusive to Majorca and after a particularly miserable winter, were really looking forward to relaxing in the sun, sand and sea.

J had started to walk without support only recently, and was gaining in confidence with each passing day. Not to mention getting more independent and adventurous.

The Fracture
About a month before we were due to fly, he was up to his usual exploits when he slipped and fell. Nothing unusual about that, you would say. Toddlers who are learning to walk do fall over a million times a day. Only that this time, J had fallen at such an angle, that he was in a lot of pain. The poor child could not even touch his foot to the ground, let alone stand up and walk.

We were at the emergency room within the hour, and a few X-rays later, J's poor little leg was diagnosed with a toddler fracture (so called because they are that common in toddlers!) They put it in a cast to mend the break. A cast that was to remain in place for at least 4 weeks.

Toddler Fracture in a Cast
J was brilliant through all of it.  He sat quite still for the first couple of days. And then he figured out a way to crawl, dragging his casted leg behind him. But the fact remained that he could no longer stand and walk.

To Cancel or Not, was the Question
J's review appointment was the day before we were due to fly to Majorca. That was when they would decide whether to remove the cast or leave it on for a couple more weeks.

We were in a huge dilemma. Do we cancel our first family holiday, or just go anyway? We decided we would carry on with the holiday, since we were all so looking forward to it. It would be a well deserved break. We would just work around the cast, in case J needed to have it on for a bit longer.

Holiday Prep
Along with the usual holiday prep of sorting out clothes, flip-flops, and sunscreen, we did a lot of research about holidaying with casts. We discovered you can use protective sheaths for casts when in the pool and when out on the sandy beach. So J could still have fun on holiday. We did a check with the airlines about their policy of carrying people with casts. They were okay too. The ground was prepared for our Majorcan holiday.

We went for the review appointment, and hurrah! They decided to take J's leg out of the cast. His leg was fine, but it could be a while before he could go back to walking normally. There were cases when children took a month or even longer to walk after the cast came off.

Holiday in Majorca

We flew to Majorca the next morning armed with a pushchair, not quite sure how J was going to cope with his newly cast-free leg. He was happy to be pushed along and made no effort to get out and walk. But he did stand with support at the airport when we landed in Majorca. First positive sign!

Happy in a Pushchair
Majorca and the resort lived up to all our expectations and beyond. J needed some encouragement, but he was soon happy to walk a few steps at a time holding onto our hands. We coaxed him along, pointing to Mediterranean flowers, sparkling fountains and Spanish food.

Sparkling Fountains

He walked to the pool and was delighted to splash about in the water. He walked on the sandy beach, struggling a little at first, but gaining in confidence with each step. Half-way through our holiday, he was walking on his own with very little support.

Toddling on the Beach holding Hands
Holding on for a little Support
Hold My Hand
Before long, he was toddling along the beach all by his own self, looking for shells. He was digging in the sand and building castles. He was splashing in the sea. As we stood by and took it all in with a huge sense of utter relief.

Looking for Shells

Building Castles in the Sand

By the time we returned home, J was back on his two little feet, with no remnants at all of what had passed just a few weeks before.

On His Feet

First family holidays abroad with a tot in tow are always marked with the initial sense of trepidation followed by excitement and happiness. They are always memorable. Ours was even more so.

Top Tips when Flying with a Baby or Toddler

These are my top 5 must-haves and must-dos when flying with a baby or toddler:
  1. Pre-book a bassinet seat if your airline has the provision for it. 
  2. Request for the pushchair to be delivered at the aircraft upon arrival, so you are not left carrying your child to the baggage carousel.
  3. A magic slate can provide hours of entertainment for bored little minds cooped up on an aeroplane.
  4. Give little ones a drink of water at take-off and landing. The act of swallowing prevents pressure changes in the ear that can otherwise cause earache.
  5. Carry more nappies than you think you will need in your hand-luggage. Little tummies do the strangest things when flying in aeroplanes. 

This is my entry to the Mark Warner's and Kiddicare's Quarterly Blogging Challenge #1 for March 2014.


  1. I like your tip about giving little ones a drink before takeoff and landing. He looks like he had a really brilliant time and built his strength back up again post fracture :)

    1. The holiday served as a great distraction. It might have taken him longer to get back to normal if we had stayed at home. Speculation only, but I think it is right.

  2. Oh no what a nightmare time to do such a thing! Looks like you had a great time though and I bet you are so glad you didn't cancel. Great tip re the drinks for little ones!

    1. It was such a relief when the cast came off and his leg was all better.

  3. That was so lucky having the cast off before you left! Another tip for flying with toddlers is to take 5ml sachets of infant paracetamol on board the plane in case their ears start really hurting.

    1. Excellent tip that. Thank you for sharing it. I am sure it will come in very handy when we next fly out. x

  4. It looks like you had such a lovely time - me and my girls haven't been on holiday in the UK let alone abroad - maybe when they're bigger and I'm braver!

  5. I am completely with you on your bassinet seat and your extra nappy packing! Don't forget the extra clothes too though.

    We're going to Majorca in June, it's nice to see it's toddler proof!

    Great post, good luck in the competition xx


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