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A guest blog by Ruth Start who tweets as @2babies_1me and travelled to Tenerife with her twins.
When people discovered I was expecting twins, as a single mum, I was frequently met with such cheery encouragement as “you’ll never be able to leave the house” and “you can forget all those holidays you used to go on”. (Where did I meet all these emotional hoovers?! ) Well my friends, I can tell you that not only did the three of us leave the house pdq, but 6 months in we went to Tenerife and it went so well that when the children were 14 months old, I went again!
I chose the apartment complex Parque Santiago 2 in Playa de Las Americas, South Tenerife as it is a place I know well and have holidayed many times. But going there with two toddlers was a whole different ball game –a really fab one!
Travelling alone with 2 little ones throws up a few logistical challenges, so the first thing I would say is cut yourself some slack – if you can, get a taxi to the airport, then you are dropped at the door and not having to juggle cases and a double buggy very far. Use a backpack as your carry on luggage so your hands are as free as possible and book speedy boarding so that you aren’t in a check-in queue for very long. Finally pre arrange as much baby equipment as possible to be waiting for you when you get there. I hired 2 travel cots and high chairs and arranged a stair gate all with a quick email to the apartment management company – less to carry (but believe me, we still had plenty!)
One of things that s great about Playa de las Americas is that it is just a 15 minute taxi journey from the airport (and a lot of the taxis carry car seats) and once you are there, everywhere is within walking distance.
Parque Santiago 2 is a lovely complex, with a good sized swimming pool and a lovely toddler pool with its own slide. It’s at the quieter end of Las Americas, backs on to the lovely wide promenade, is close to a plethora of restaurants and shops and is just a 5 minute walk from a great sandy beach.
An apartment rather than a hotel gives you more living space, your own kitchen and in our case the added advantage of a microwave (great for sterilising bottles) and a washing machine…. Our apartment also had a lovely large balcony overlooking the pool and sea. I put the high chairs around the table out there and we ate al fresco the whole time. Wonderful!
My 2 have always loved swimming and they were in the element with the pool. The toddler pool was the perfect depth for them, so using their Zoggs rings for balance and support they would wade around it for hours, cornering which ever other children were in there too and waving at them until they played, and they adored wooshing down little slide. I even got to soak up some rays (albeit not horizontally these days) but I was quite relaxed sitting on the pool side in the sun watching them happily play. It’s not often that twin mums get to sit and relax believe me!
We would often go out for lunch as eating out was so easy. The Spanish love children and would always make a fuss of my two, as well as bringing high chairs, arranging shade and helping create a path for the double buggy. I would choose somewhere with a sea view and the children would happily eat watching the waves and the world go by, giving me a chance to enjoy my lunch too (again not something twin mums say very often!)
They loved the safe sandy beaches, keeping me on my toes and entertaining any passing spectators whilst they both crawled off in opposite directions! And they were thrilled to sit on the water’s edge whilst the waves lapped at their feet. We also spent many a happy hour going for a walk along the promenade. These days it stretches for miles and due to European Funding a few years back is fully wheel chair (and therefore pram) accessible. There are even a good choice of little play grounds along the route, with soft floors, and slides, swings and climbing “things”. Again a firm favourite with my two, who would point excitedly as we approached.
People seem obsessed with asking me, concerned, what I did of an evening. Well again, my friends I can tell you it worked a treat. I tried to put my two to bed at their usual time (keeping to as much of their routine as possible). Then some evenings I relaxed on the balcony with a book and a glass or two of cava; but on others, once they were sound asleep, I put them carefully into the fully flat buggy (I took my beloved baby jogger GT with us) and went out for a lovely dinner, parking them next to me, the gentle breeze and the sound of the sea keeping them asleep. At the end of the evening I pushed them home, put them safely back in their cots and wondered if they had any idea of their midnight outings!
So is it possible to take two little toddlers to Tenerife by yourself and have a fun time? You bet it is – and come September, I think I’ll do it again!
by Ruth Start