In January 2018, I joined my God family in their annual holiday booking to Jamaica. Reservations were made for my boys and I to travel in Easter 2019. I put my deposit down and apart from making intermittent payments, I did not really think about it.
Fast forward to March 2019 and out of no where I’m off on holiday next month. There were beach towels to purchase, currency to buy and a large amount of aeroplane entertainment planning required. I cannot begin to tell you the amount of mummy travel blogs that I read to ensure that my 9-hour plan ride with a four and two-year-old would go smoothly. When your travelling with any child, no matter what age its all in the planning.
Logistics all have to be considered in advance – from were you are going to eat in the airport Gatwick South terminal does not have a McDonald’s) to how long are we going to stay in soft play (again Gatwick South does not have this either – but North does!)
I was privileged to be travelling with a number of adults who all offered their support services during our travel from the London Gatwick to the apartment in Jamaica, but ultimately the boys were my responsibility. Based on the blogs I read I chose the top items and then evaluated it they would work for any of my children. A good tip I did read was to wrap all toys in wrapping paper as the excitement adds to their delight and also provides a few extra seconds of not having to entertain the children.
For the trip I settled for the following items to entertain Ru and Ri:
- Downloaded content on a tablet with shared headphone access so they can both listen individually. The content included Paw Patrol; Blaze and the monster machines; Billy and Bam-Bam; little baby bum; bob the train; phonics song; puppets ABC
- Play mobile take alongs – these provided a miracle distraction. I purchased both packs off eBay (as let’s be real Play mobile is expensive) Ri had Noah Arks and Ru the Castle. Each would play with each other’s pack and Ri especially loved playing with the animals and making all the noises. In addition, the ark turned into a bath toy.
- Toys in a box – I loved the idea of this and it is the one of two toys that I did not donate in Jamaica. Ri loves animals and this was another toy where he could go full throttle with his imagination. Everything required was in the tin – which incidentally kept everything tidy
- Lacing toys – these are supposed to be good for fine motor skills and the blogger I read about stated that her two-year-old played with them for hours. Ru loved and played with these but unfortunately Ri would just spend the time destroying Ru’s good work. Despite that I still brought them home.
- Colour by water – I brought a number of these from Melissa & Doug. They were fantastic keeping the boys entertained in those moments between an activity and dinner.
- Scratch Art – Ru loved this. Its basically a blackboard which you can scratch away and it reveals different backgrounds.
- A small collection of cars with a mat – This is an old faithful from home and always works to encourage the boys to play together. As we have so much of these items at home, I donated all of these products.
Ri loving the live Jamaican band
I loved Jamaica and so did the boys.
Ru’s highlights were Dunn’s River as he got to climb the falls and swimming with sharks. Can you believe he would not swim with the dolphins as he was too scared, but due to the love of the Baby Shark song – all sharks are our friends! Hence not scary and totally the animal to swim with.
I met warm, friendly people that work extremely hard and at times may not have much, but are contented. This was a reminded about what is important in life. I left behind so much stuff and have we missed since we returned, I can confidently say NO as we did not need it. It also made me see that we have too much – therefore, I am re-pledging to myself that for the remainder of this year to only purchase something materialistic if there is no alternative. In the first instance borrow from others and then establish if I can purchase pre-loved before purchasing new. Its countries like Jamaica that suffer from our consumerism, fast fashion and the need to own more. So, if I can help with a small step, I will at least try.
Any of you fancy joining my pledge? Do you think you could manage it? Any tips for anyone considering this? Please comment below x
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