This summer I experienced a ‘first’! I went on my first package holiday!
I have done quite a bit of travelling before, I used to work as cabin crew and I lived abroad when I was younger, but when planning a holiday I have always just booked flights and accommodation separately because it gave me more choice and flexibility.
However now we have a child I thought it would be easier and less hassle to book a package trip where transfers to and from the destination airport were included, we would have a holiday rep in case we had problem and an evening meal was included. All things that would make our family holiday less stressful!
It was quite hard choosing a destination that would keep all the family happy; I’m more than happy to just relax with a book by the pool or on the beach but this is my husband’s idea of hell! He’s more of a sightseer and loves visiting as many sights as possible and taking thousands (not exaggerating!) of photos, I don’t mind doing this too but usually by the second or third day of the holiday, my little feet just can’t take the pace of walking from one attraction to the next and standing in endless queues all day! And now as an added consideration, we have to factor in what a four year old would enjoy doing on holiday too!
My husband and I, along with our three year old son, decided to spend a week’s holiday in Lido di Jesolo near Venice in Italy. We chose it as it seemed to have something that suited everyone. The beach for me, close to Venice for my husband and lots of pizza and ice cream for the boy!
We booked our holiday through Thompson, and our flight was fine and on time, we flew really early in the morning which I was a little concerned about when I booked it as I wasn’t sure how my son would react to leaving the house in the small hours, but the night before I put him to bed in his travelling clothes so we could simply lift him out of bed and transfer him to the car! Fortunately we decided to take the pram which meant we got to go through the priority lane at airport security, this definitely saved time!
When we arrived at Venice airport we were met by a very helpful Thompson’s rep who directed us to a coach that would take us to our hotel. The transfer took about 50 minutes and when we reached our hotel ‘Milton Romantik’ we were earlier than the check-in time and our room wasn’t quite ready so the friendly staff at the hotel took our suitcases and directed us to the bar, where we could sit and have a drink while we waited for our room key.
The hotel was clean and the staff were very helpful and polite and we were made to feel very welcome. Our room was a little on the small side and it only had a shower (no bath tub) but all in all we really enjoyed our stay. The pool area was lovely and the hotel was just a five minute walk from the beach.
There was a good choice at breakfast and the buffet set out in the evening served well cooked traditional Italian food and I was pleasantly surprised by the selection and quality of food available. Our accommodation was half board so it meant we could still try out some of the local restaurants at lunchtime. On a couple of occasions, after a morning at the beach we managed to get our son so have a sleep in the pram which meant we could have a relaxing lunch!
The resort is very family friendly, the streets are flat and ideal for pushing a pram/pushchair and in the evening the main street is closed to cars which is great! Overall the resort seems like it hasn’t changed for years and some hotels that you pass look in need of a makeover. The main street in Lido di Jesolo goes for miles and is made up of restaurants, shops ranging from cheap souvenirs shops to upmarket boutiques, ice cream parlours and games arcades. It is very touristy but definitely aimed at families rather than those looking for clubs and bars.
In Lido di Jesolo there is also a water slide park, fair ground, Sea Life Centre and Tropicarium, so lots to keep kids of various ages entertained!
The major downside of the resort were the mosquitos! We didn’t have any in our hotel room but out and about in the evenings they were everywhere! You really do need insect repellent and it is advisable to were long sleeves and trousers if you’re going for a stroll at night! (We visited mid-June.)
During our stay, we visited the Sea Life Centre as well as the Tropicarium. Our son enjoyed them both and they were good indoor activities to give him a break from the midday sun.
Despite loving to sit on the beach reading, the best part of our holiday was our day trip to Venice and nearby islands Murano and Burano. We did a full day excursion which we booked through our Thompson’s travel rep and it was a really good day out! We probably could have saved money by arranging our own excursion but with having a three year old with us we wanted to keep it as simple as possible!
It took just over an hour by coach and then ferry to get to Venice from Jesolo. Once we arrived in Venice we had a guide to show us around the canal streets which were quite amazing!
We did take the pram with us, which had both positives and negatives! It’s not pram or pushchair friendly as most of the bridges over the canals have steps, but on the plus side it was nice to have something to strap a three year old into as not all the canals had railings and as a mum, I found this quite stressful! The risk assessment for a three year old on this day trip would be phenomenal!
Never the less, he really enjoyed seeing all the boats and was fascinated by the lack of cars.
He was also over the moon that one of the water taxi drivers let him sit in the driver’s seat and pretend to drive the boat under the Rialto Bridge!
Venice is also famous for masks, I thought these were just gorgeous! I bought one but have had chance to hang it up at home yet!
After Venice we visited Murano, famous for it’s glass making and then our last stop was Burano. A picturesque island of beautiful coloured houses.
If you are visiting these islands, don’t wait to buy the Murano glass on Burano, it’s cheaper!
We were quite lucky that our son had quite a lot of patience for our day trip, it was a long day and he did get bored at times. I have to admit that to get him through the day we did have to bribe him with a box of Lego, which he thought was well worth it and spent most of the following day playing with!
We all enjoyed our holiday in Lido di Jesolo, apart from the mozzies! Italy is fast becoming one of my favourite countries to visit and I look forward to going there again. Not sure I’ll be visiting this resort again as I think we saw and did everything there was to do there and we like variety when travelling, however I would love to go back to Venice and spend longer there! Might have to wait until our son is older so he can appreciate it more, or who knows, maybe we’ll be lucky enough to have a romantic child free weekend there as a couple! I can dream….!
A little snapshot of our holiday! On our way to the aquarium…
Does this sound familiar at all?
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