We are off to Butlins in a few weeks and although I went as a child, i’m a little bit older now and I have no real idea what to expect. So as I started to think about what I needed to pack, I called on the amazing blogging community to share with me their best tips to prepare for a Butlins holiday!
I’ve also popped some reviews at the end too from these amazing bloggers, so check them out!
The best tips to prepare for a Butlins holiday
If you’re willing to take a bit of a gamble, don’t queue for shows! We saw people queuing for Justin Fletcher ALL day & missing out on a whole day of activities. When the show started & everyone was in, we wandered up got straight in & got a brilliant table with a view! Also, kids can sit on the floor at the front so don’t even need a table if you are just stopping to watch the show & then going home 🙂 sophiesnursery.com
Swimming and Activities
We go to Butlins Skegness every year and never queue for anything, and this is with us going in the busy Summer holidays! We always read the what’s on before we arrive, so we know exactly what we want to do each day. To beat the queues for the fairground, swimming pool etc we always go at the same times each day. Typically, we will have breakfast, spend a short while in the arcades and then head to the fairground once it’s opened. This gives us a round on the fairground before the queues start. After going around once or so, we then head to the swimming pool. By the time we’re out, we have enough time for any activities or shows we wanted to go along to before dinner. We always wing the evenings, but I never queue for the evening shows. We always go along around 5 minutes before any shows start in the clubs and ALWAYS manage to get a table; so queuing for literally hours/all day like a lot do seems pointless http://kaidenlaverty.com (A Suffolk Dad)
When using the pool, pick the days where there’s a switch over of new arrivals e.g. Fridays and Mondays when people are checking out. Get in there early before they open the day passes and you don’t have to queue for rides. You’ll get a decent hour at least!! Otherwise its usually too packed. Www.themummytoolbox.com
Book your activities as soon as you arrive, especially the circus skills one. This is always really popular and places fill up really quickly.
If you know you’re going to be doing lots of activities, buy a leisure pass on the first day. It gives you better value and you can do bowling, crazy golf, and other activities. www.kidsdaysoutreviews.co.uk
See if there is anything you can prebook/register for on the app. Saves queuing and gives you and the family the opportunity to plan before you get there instead of spending an hour deciding what to do next when you get there 🙂themoneysavingmum.com
When it comes to the pool we found it the most busy if we went first thing in the morning! People seemed to get up and head straight for the pool and the line would be out the door. Go a few hours later and we walked straight in. www.tantrumstosmiles.co.uk
If you are at the Minehead one.. do actually visit the beach too! It’s lovely and a great to get away from the crowds and take in some nature! Www.redtedart.com
Don’t forget to have a good walk around the site too. The have lots of things dotted about that are great for photo opportunities or for the children to let of stream for five minutes while you catch your breath. We have just returned and loved the Animal Antics show. Take lots of snacks & drinks and you will save a small fortune while there! www.chasingsimplicity.co.uk
If you’re self catering, take oven gloves. They don’t provide them and I’m terrified of burning myself so hate getting pans out of the oven with tea towels. Methemandtheothers.com
I took a slow cooker, had a grocery shop delivery when I got there and prepped meals on a morning ready for the evening. This saved us so much money. www.thriftymum.com
A meal plan is definitely worth paying for! There’s so much choice and it’s all super tasty – plus it means you only have to pay out for lunch Http://www.emilyandindiana.com
Food wise I would really recommend one of the dining plans. It seems like a lot up front but actually when we didn’t do the dining plan we ended up spending so much more when we factored in breakfast, lunch and dinner over the week buying ourselves! Plus there is always so much choice AND you don’t have to wash up (that was the decider for me lol!). Jokes aside though it took away a lot of the stress of worrying about what we were having and it meant we could all get ready to go out for the evening, go to the restaurant for dinner and then head straight for the entertainment, no worrying about rushing around, tidying up or trying to figure out how to use a new oven that’s different to yours at home! www.tantrumstosmiles.co.uk
The dining plans are good, and you don’t have to eat in the same restaurant – you can switch it up for vouchers to dine out at one of the restaurants (but you will have to book).
If you have the dining plan, Its ok to go and get the pancakes from the busy family restaurant and take them back to the other restaurant (which is less sticky) mummyandmoose.co.uk
Also, do not leave cashing in your amusements tokens until the day you leave. The queues were really something else. My kids decided to donate theirs to a family who was staying on. I may have bribed them to do so just so we could stop queuing.
If you plan to self-cater, it is worth paying for the meal plan for the last day (last dinner and breakfast). There is a big ice cream buffet for kids, which they love, and it takes the hassle off the morning packing. Also, if you are self-catering the food store on site ja expensive, but there are usually large supermarkets near to the resort.
If you pay for food, get there early – especially for the kids’ food. Take a football and games to entertain the kids, otherwise you’ll be shelling out endless 2p pieces in the arcades in the main pavilion!
My tips would be to pay for the best accommodation you can afford to steer clear of the crowds. Also go for the dining plan, it was brilliant, especially for young children. And yes the queues for Justin Fletcher were INSANE!
Looking for reviews? Check these!
REVIEW: Butlins, Skegness Just For Tots break: Why it’s the perfect fun family holiday
TRAVEL REVIEW: I buried my inner snob and LOVED Butlin’s Just for Tots break!
Butlin’s Bognor Regis Christmas Fantasy Weekend review: Things to do at Butlin’s for under 5
Butlin’s, Bognor Regis: A review of Butlin’s Shoreline Hotel and restaurant