You may, or may not know that this time last year we were going on our summer holiday. It was my first holiday abroad, and we were going to Menorca.
We are stayed in Cala n Bosch which is not far from Cuitadella, the old capital of the island.
There is only one airport, at the capital, Mahon (or Mao in Spanish.) Menorca, also spelt Minorca is famous for gin, and mayonnaise comes from here. It is a small island, quiet, unspoilt, with no stag or hen parties or groups of people getting drunk!
As I said, this was my first holiday abroad, I went with Mummy, MeeMee, Lea, and Luke. Mummy says she was very excited, but a bit nervous too.
Mummy’s tips for planning a holiday to Menorca are:
1. Mummy booked the holiday about eight months before we went and her biggest tip is book as far in advance as you can, especially if there are more than four of you, accommodation is limited, and you can’t leave it till the last minute.
2. Mummy booked the flights and accommodation separately. Make sure the company is a member of ABTA and have an ATOL license.
3. This is the cheapest way to book, but, you do have to pay for all flights at the time of booking. So, if you only want to pay a small deposit, this isn’t for you. Beware of companies who offer £1 deposits – yes they will for accommodation, but you will still have to pay for flights upfront.
4. Don’t forget luggage and transfers to and from the airport are extra too when not booking a package holiday. Car hire is also extra. We flew with Thomsons, the flights and the accommodation were booked through Travel Republic.
5. You will have a hand luggage allowance each, so use it! Mummy bought the lightest suitcases in the world for us, these small cases are the allowed hand luggage size – but check with your airline, as they can vary slightly. Pack as much as you can in these – checking the weight with some accurate luggage scales. The airline will charge you massively if your case is over the allowed included, or paid for weight. Each 20kg suitcase is £40 – £50 depending on the airline. So we travelled as light as we could!
6. As a baby, under two years old, I paid a nominal fee for my flight, it was around £35 but I didn’t have my own seat. As it is only a two hour flight, I was fine. I did get 10kg luggage allowance of my own, and a pushchair for me was free.
7. Mummy took a rucksack for hand luggage to keep her hands free. In one zipped pocket she put all our passports, tickets etc.
8. Apply for passports as early as you can – there can be a big delay in Spring and Summer months.
9. Every baby needs their own passport.
Here’s my first passport!
10. You will need European Health Cards for everyone, full details are here they are free of charge valid for all EEA countries. You will need NI or NHS numbers for everyone. The telephone number is 0300 330 1350
11. Buy your Travel Insurance through Top Cash Back a free to join website where you earn some cashback if you buy through the site. If you join via this link, I get an ickle bit of commission for recommending them to you. Mummy has earned over £300 cash back over the last few years.
12. Mummy used Holiday Extras for travel insurance. She found the cheapest airport parking was at parkBCP.co.uk and chose parking within a 5 min walk to the terminal and a shuttle bus if we decide to take it. Oh we flew from Cardiff.
13.Car hire in the Balearics is horrendous! They have much higher car hire costs than mainland Spain and other countries. Mummy found it cheaper to hire a car for the full two weeks from the airport rather than pay for shuttle bus transfers and hire a car at the resort for a few days. If you wait and hire a car when you are there, it is even more expensive.
14. Keep an eye out for early offers on summer clothes, and discounts online.
15. Current laws allow baby milk – breast, cows or soya both in hand luggage and in the hold. Mummy could take water for me in a baby bottle full information on what you can and can’t take on board is here
16.As I am dairy intolerant, mummy had to be careful what I have, I had just been weaned off my special formulae. I have such a sensitive tummy, even a change of water can upset me. My home tap water is fine, but Mummy weaned me onto bottled water to keep consistency when we were away. The dietician lady told mummy that bottled water is fine for babies as long as it has low sodium and sulphur.
Are you planning a summer holiday abroad this year?