A Heavenly Week With The Family At Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa

Review of Beaches Turks and Caicos

A couple of months ago, I’d never heard of Beaches. I’d heard of the parent company Sandals (everyone has heard of them and those romantic couples holidays, right?) But I had no idea the same company also has three resorts, aimed at everyone, called Beaches. Fast forward to now, and not only have I been on a Beaches holiday but it’s safe to say, I’ve had one of the best holidays of my life at a Beaches resort.

I recently spent a week at the Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Village & Spa with Mr P and the four-year-old. All three of us loved it and we’d thoroughly recommend it to any family. Here’s why…

Who we went with

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having lunch in one of the pizza restaurants

Our travel buddies were Katie, Mr E, Mads and LL – better known as the family from Mummy, Daddy And Me Makes Three. I work with Katie on family travel blog Space In Your Case, and we were both invited by Beaches to stay at their Turks & Caicos resort. (You should have SEEN us dance around when we received the email. We were at the Clarks press day and Katie actually did a lap of the room.)

The four-year-old loved having two little play buddies for the week, and Mr P and Mr E got on well too. Thankfully. Would have been a bit awkward, otherwise. You can read what Katie had to say about our stay here and here (and watch her fab videos.)

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How we got there

We flew from Heathrow to Miami (just under ten hours) with American Airlines, then after a four hour wait in Miami Airport, we hopped on a short American Airlines flight (1 hr 20) to Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The journey was thankfully smooth and all of the kids coped so well with the long day. Before we went, I was genuinely a bit stressed about the flight, wondering how I’d possibly entertain my four-year-old for ten hours (never mind the five hours after that). I didn’t like to go on about it at the time, for fear of getting lots of “Oh poor YOU, worried about how you’ll cope on the long journey to the CARIBBEAN” responses, but I was genuinely worried.

So it was such a relief to find the journey was actually fine. It’s six years since I’ve done a transatlantic flight and in that time, I’m amazed at how in-flight entertainment has improved. We had a touch screen TV with dozens of movies and TV shows to choose from. The four-year-old watched Frozen, Tangled, a few episodes of Sofia the First and listened to a Disney music album. We also each had a plug socket and USB socket too, meaning we could charge iPhones and iPads. Such a brilliant feature when you’re on a long flight and might lose power.

By the time we got to Miami Airport, the girls were as thick as thieves, running around together and playing games on the iPad. Only fighting a little bit (ahem) over whose turn it was.

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a couple of iPhone snaps i took of Mads and the four-year-old at Miami Airport

When we got to Providenciales, the kids had been awake for 22 hours so I think they deserve a medal for being so brilliant. There wasn’t a medal waiting at the airport, but there was a chauffeur driven car which whisked us away on the 15 minute drive to the Beaches resort, and as we got out of the car, we were given a cold wet flannel and welcome drink. They sure know how to make a weary traveller feel happy….

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On The Sun, Page 3 And Feeling Disappointed

No More Page 3

If The Sun was a child, I’d sit it down and tell it that I feel disappointed.

“You’ve let everyone down,” I’d say. “But most importantly, you’ve let yourself down.”

Because they really have. A few days ago, we thought that finally, Rupert Murdoch had come to his senses and made a decision to support 51% of the population (yes us women are in the majority) by cancelling running a photo of a topless woman on Page 3 of The Sun. I felt relief. Relief that my daughter would grow up in a world that is just that little bit more equal. I felt happy that even though it’s a relatively small gesture, it would have such a big impact on our society. I cringed at the thought that we had put up with Page 3 being part of every day life for so long. That women were being used as passive objects of desire to please the male readers of The Sun – reduced to nothing more than how they looked. “Can you believe that just last week, we had a ‘family’ newspaper print topless models every day?” I said to people. It already seemed like an incredible and unlikely idea.

Admittedly, it’s a bit daft that we all went bananas, celebrating something which was just a rumour. The Sun didn’t once comment on, or confirm, that they had ditched Page 3. We just took the idea and ran with it. What was initially reported as a rumour quickly became fact as the news was shared on Twitter and reported by the media.

The team at The Sun must have been rubbing their hands with glee and laughing.

I think that’s what upsets me the most about this whole affair. Us women – we’re being laughed at and ridiculed by a major UK newspaper. It’s just a joke to them, a PR stunt which got them talked about by the nation for the best part of a week. Are we really that unimportant to The Sun that we can be reduced to being the butt of a joke?

Going back to my initial point – The Sun really have let themselves down. They could have been applauded for being progressive and finally supporting women. Even if they were running pap shots of female celebrities in bikinis on Page 3, in place of the topless women, it was a step forward, y’know, we couldn’t see their nipples. But instead, they’ve succeeded in making women feel worthless.

Still, let’s look on the positive side. The Sun may still be running Page 3, but the No More Page 3 campaign, which arguably was ambling along without the media attention it had once got, will now be bigger than ever. I’ve seen women get fired up about this, women who two weeks ago might not have cared one way or another whether Page 3 continued. My Twitter feed has been filled with women who feel humiliated and angry, and it’s quite possible that this whole debacle has made many women – and men –   think about equality and feminism differently for the first time.

We need more people to fight for equality, so if you haven’t already, do sign the No More Page 3 petition and make your voice heard. Better still, buy a t-shirt and wear it this weekend.

 

Grab A Merlin Annual Pass For A Year Of Family Fun

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 With 52 weekends a year, half term breaks and the entire summer holidays, there is so much time to have family fun. But how can you create fond and fun memories without breaking the budget?

A Merlin Annual Pass unlocks 31 Worlds of fun across the UK for an entire 12 months and with Merlin Worlds across the country there is something for everyone, and the value is amazing.

Merlin Worlds include, Alton Towers Resort, Chessington World of Adventures Resort, LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort, THORPE PARK Resort and SEA LIFE centres around the country….

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New Kicks For The Kiddo

I’ve talked before about how uncool I am. I listen to Radio 2. I love an early night. I dance around the kitchen to Taylor Swift. There is not one part of me that’s cool.

But this week, I reached peak uncool status when… we became that family who all wear matching shoes.

Mr P has long been a fan of New Balance and has wanted to get a pair for our little one since she could walk. But as well as being uncool, I’m also (fairly) sensible and thus, always opted for sensible shoes for her instead of awesome New Balance trainers. You know the type – sensible sturdy walkers, cosy winter boots and low price but fun looking trainers.

However when Schuh told us they’d opened some dedicated Schuh Kids stores (in lots of cities from Glasgow to Liverpool) it seemed rude not to indulge Mr P’s wishes and get a pair of New Balance for the four-year-old.

We went for blue 574s with flashes of pink, yellow, orange and zebra print – what do you think?

Blue kids' New Balance trainers

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I love the bright colours and the hint of animal print that adds a bit of fun without being OTT. The four-year-old loves them. She’s going through a real phase of wanting to be just like Mummy and Daddy (I totally realise this won’t last long and soon she will tell us she’d rather DIE than be anything like us…)

So, yes, we all went out for the afternoon this weekend, wearing New Balance trainers. I’m hoping the coolness of NB counteracts the uncoolness of us all matching. …

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6 Reasons Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa Is A Parent’s Dream

Beaches, Turks and Caicos: a parent's dream

You might have noticed the blog has been a bit quiet in the last two weeks (actually, you probably haven’t noticed. Who do I think I am? Zoella?)

I’ve been away in the Caribbean, at the Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa. I’m writing this a day after we returned home and I’m so so sad to have left the white sand and turquoise sea behind.

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I’d never been to the Caribbean before, unless you count a day trip to the Bahamas when I was 10 (which I don’t) and I know I’ll be back. I’m not sure I’m going to be able to describe how fantastic a resort Beaches is – I went with fellow Space In Your Case family travel blogger Katie and as we walked around the resort, we discussed how magical it was and how hard it would be to put into words. It was such a perfect mix of family time and relaxation – hanging out with the four-year-old (and Katie’s two gorgeous girls Mads and LL) having fun in the sun.

Beaches, Turks and Caicos

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I’ll be writing a full review of the resort but before I do, I wanted to focus on the elements that make it so special for parents.

1. The ahh-mazing activities for kids – seriously, there is so much to do that we didn’t fit everything into a week. From snorkelling to baking and from pool games to tie dying t-shirts, there is an incredible number of fun things for the smalls to do. Oh and there’s an actual water park on-site. This was definitely the four-year-old’s favourite thing of the holiday – she must have gone down the yellow slide with Mr P at least 20 times….

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