Last month we took Stanley on his first holiday aboard - we had 9 days in Alcudia, Mallorca and it was fantastic. Dan and I have been lucky enough to travel to brilliant places in the ten years we've been together - India, Brazil, Costa Rica, The Philippines, Morocco to name a few. But it was Mallorca where we first came a few years ago that we were most excited to return.
I was a little anxious about how travelling would be but it all worked out ok. Some tips I would suggest are.
Travel from your closest airport, we flew EasyJet from Southend which is only a 10 minute drive away, cut down on pre airport travelling as much as possible.
Try and get flights around nap times. We had morning flights both ways so did breakfast and milk as soon as we got on the plane which meant (after a bit of coaxing) he fell asleep for most of the journey.
Don't try and fly too far if you don't need to. The flights were just over two hours and that was enough.
We stayed in Alcudia Old Town which was a really pretty place - all castle walls and winding cobbled streets. We hired this Finca just outside the walls of the town which was ideal. The pool was a great size for Stanley to splash about in and we had separate rooms so we didn't disturb each other. The best part was the amount of private outside space, the garden was lined in olive trees and there were so many lovely plants scattered about, there was also plenty of space under shade for Stanley to roll around whilst we had breakfast and lunch. He grew so much during the 9 nine days - having a little bit of freedom was so good for him.
It's fairly English in Alcudia Old but not as bad as Port D'Alcudia which we stayed away from. There is a great market on Sunday and Tuesday which sells the most amazing produce plus so many cafes and restaurants to pick from. We found eating dinner at lunchtime worked best for us, it was much easier to keep Stanley entertained before he got too tired and wriggly. Instead we popped out for a drink and ice cream in the evening which was enough time to wear him out before bed.
Before I move onto beaches, we found this great shop which sold everything from craft supplies to bbq coals, beach umbrellas to tin mugs, head for Placa Porta de Mallorca and you will find it!
We were told about two beaches north of Alcudia - Playa de St. Joan and the one next to it (who's name I've forgotten). We only ever went to the latter as it was easy to access (via a slope) with the pram. It was perfect for a few hours, the sea was shallow and calm and there was a bar and a loo which is all you need really!
A second place in the similar area and definitely worth going to is 5 Oceanos Chillout. Its an Ibiza style bar which serves delicious food and has loads of day beds so you can lounge around for as long as you want.
About a 20 minute drive from Alcudia is Pollenca. We went there once in the day for coffee and lunch and then again in the evening for a drink and look around a gallery we'd seen the day before. This was definitely my favourite place, it had all the classics - weathered shutters and open squares but also some lovely shops with well merchandised windows! I'd recommend popping into Galeries Bennassar to see which artist is on display - I loved the paintings by local artist, Amara Dacer ,
The final place near Alcudia that is definitely baby friendly is Pine Walk, Port D'Pollenca. We met friends and their children for lunch, then went back for an evening stroll and then again for a morning coffee which turned into lunch as we were having such a good day. The beach is perfect for little ones - so calm and shallow it's like a bath and and the trees provide plenty of shade so if you end up having an impromptu beach day there is no need to worry about forgetting the sun umbrella, there are also lots of shops selling baby food too! Our favourite place was Cappuccino Grand Cafe, not only did they serve the prettiest lattes and each time we had a drink there we managed to get at the front over looking the sea which was perfect.
Going on holiday is with a little one is of course very different to when it was just the two of us. Instead of cramming as much into each day as possible we selected one activity and made the most of it. Watching the sheer enjoyment Stanley got from going to the beach for the first time, splashing in the sea was the absolute best and made this holiday so special.