Holidays with a larger family - packing for 8 and preparing for Butlin's!

We have been counting down to this since last summer when I had a really, really exciting email. I remember vividly when it popped into my inbox while I was queuing for food at a shopping centre with DS#1 and FDIL. I thought at first it was a "thanks but no thanks" email and had to read it over and over because I just couldn't believe it.

I had been selected to be a Butlin's Ambassador!

There was much squealing and jumping. I was told NOT to tell anyone until after the embargo time.- Argh! For most bloggers not sharing news instantly on social networks is torture! Check out my profile and this of my fellow ambassadors HERE.

The children spent hours on the Butlin's website looking at resorts, accommodation, food, activities.... so much choice and since we have never been to Butlin's EVER we wanted to make the most of this opportunity.

Since I have 7 children (did I mention that before?) holidays are normally a bit of a challenge. Even camping has become an issue since campsites decided to charge extra for big tents and per person not per pitch. We have been lucky enough to house-sit for a lovely lady who lives near Portsmouth a couple of times and have had two memorable whole-family holidays to Cyprus thanks firstly to an inheritance and secondly through the generosity of a wonderful friend.

But the children have never stayed in a hotel so are particularly thrilled to be booked into the The Wave hotel at Bognor Regis Butlin's. We have booked linked rooms and have already sorted out where they are sleeping and packed what feels like their entire DVD selection to take for their individual bunkbed TV's!
Bunks At The Wave Hotel
(pics from Butlin's website, copyright Butlin's)

They are looking forward to the fairground rides, soft play and swimming while I am delighted that we have the premier dining package - a substantial breakfast and a three course dinner every day so no cooking for Mummy! And there's loads of places to eat around the park if we get peckish in between breakfast and dinner including a new American diner which looks amazing!

We are leaving in just a few short hours and luckily I have almost finished packing. Believe me this is no mean feat when there's 8 of you going on hols (DS#1 has to work but is hopefully joining us for a day later in the week).

So far I have packed a giant suitcase and a smaller one, one large rucksack and one Barbie wheeled rucksack thing. DS#2 has commandeered my old lady shopping trolley to use as a suitcase and stuffed all his clothes in without ironing them. He is adamant he is not appearing in any photos on the blog.  His plan is to eat breakfast, revise (A-levels), emerge for lunch and a swim or a go on the go-karts or climbing wall, head back for more revision then dinner. He was going to stay at home but tactfully commented he was coming because he was looking forward to better food than usual at Butlin's. Thanks love!
The Wave Hotel
(pic taken from Butlin's website copyright Butlin's.)

Grumpy has packed his own suitcase. Hence the picture. He dragged out his beloved Trunki bumble bee case and very carefully placed his precious tail from his onesie in it. He only wears the tail on special occasions you see so that more than anything tells me he is excited to be going on holiday.

He doesn't know it but I have added a few more essentials to his case now. Y'know like pants and socks and his swimming shorts!

I was losing the will to live a bit on Saturday trying to track down enough clean underwear for our trip. So I cheated and stocked up with new at a well-known cheap clothes shop. Make sure you note the matching socks on the upcoming holiday snaps! It's a rare sight!

And I managed to persuade DS#2 to do all the ironing while I went out with friends for dinner. Best £20 I ever spent!

All we have to do now is load up our two cars and we are off-keep your fingers crossed for some nice weather although it sounds like Butlin's is all geared up even for rainy breaks. Pop back tomorrow and read about our first impressions!

Disclaimer: As a Butlin's Ambassador my family is enjoying a free 4-night break. Views and opinions remain impartial, honest and my own.
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