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First time abroad help

(80 Posts)
Pinkbutton85 Tue 15-May-18 14:36:41

I know IABU because I could just google this and I will. But I like your answers too.

We're going away on the 30th of this month to Peurto Pollensa, Majorca for 2 weeks. Myself, OH and out DD's who will be 3 and 4 at time of travel.

I have never left the country before. Well, besides to Wales ;)

I'm in a panic about what I need to do, what I can and can't take. Any tips for my first time flying as well as my children's first time? What can and can't we take on the plane? I believe we're flying with Tui.. don't quote me though.

We have 3 15kg bags allowance and 4 5kg hand luggage allowance. If I bring coloring bits on the plane, are there little fold down tables on the seat in front that the girls could use? Could I take their kindles on there with headphones?

Majorca - What do I need and what do I not need? We've hired a car, at a hotel along the pine walk of peurto pollensa and the hotel has a pool. Can you withdraw money out there with a Visa debit card? Do they still charge you to use your mobile with Vodafone? (Hotel has Wifi)

Ah, so many questions.. Sorry grin

BlueJava Tue 15-May-18 14:38:07

Just be careful on the baggage allowance is my tip. Check what you can take without paying more on your travel docs and select bags accordingly otherwise it can get expensive.

Buster72 Tue 15-May-18 14:40:24

It's going to be hot.
Yes you can take all that stuff on a plane to keep children occupied
You can withdraw cash but expect a charge from your bank
Vodafone can't charge you for roaming data.

SometimesMaybe Tue 15-May-18 14:44:34

Yes don’t go over your baggage allowance as you will get charged!
For the plane - take kindles with headphones and colouring in books (perhaps buy a magazine at the airport as that will be exciting!) plenty snacks. The flight isn’t too long - remember to take to toilet before you board as they might not be able to use for a while after take off.
Remember no fluids (or only small bottles) in your hand luggage so buy water etc in departures.
Google first time flying as a family as there is lots of good info out there.
Arrive in loads of time at the airport, you don’t want to add any extra pressure.
Remember to take favourite teddy for bedtime.

You will have an absolute ball!

EatTheChocolateTeapot Tue 15-May-18 14:49:30

Yes to table tray, yes to roaming charge, yes to getting cash but probably will have a transaction charge and conversion charge.
Take sungear, empty water bottle (to be filled in the plane or after as can’t take full bottle in the plane), lots of easy/practical clothing. Sharp and big liquid containers cannot go in cabin. Wear stuff that is easy to get on and off to go through security checks (you might have to remove shoes,belt, jewellery, watch and get electronics out of their case)
Good luck, I am sure you will have loads of fun

Fluffyears Tue 15-May-18 14:49:31

If you plan to use debit/credit card call the issuer so they don’t stop your card as it’s being used in an unfamiliar area. I’m so jealous, Peurto Pollensa is awesome I was there last year.

Fluffyears Tue 15-May-18 14:50:37

Oh you will need to get a plug adapter as European plug are two pin you can get them in loads of places. Is it Thomas Cook? They are really strict on baggage weight.

Fluffyears Tue 15-May-18 14:52:08

You can take water on the plane, after security you can buy a full bottle or fill up. After security they know all water in the shops/ fountains is safe.

Guardsman18 Tue 15-May-18 14:54:53

Lucky you! My tip would be (although it's been a while!) don't give your buggy up until you're boarding the 'plane.

You can hand it in as you're walking to steps. I hope that is still the case anyway.

Guardsman18 Tue 15-May-18 14:57:13

Just noticed ages of dc's - ignore me then!

Confusedbeetle Tue 15-May-18 14:57:19

There are No roaming charges for your mobile. For the children take in your hand baggage, snacks and plenty of activities for the children. something soft (Haribo) to suck at take off and landing. Change your money before you go, much cheaper, Google but last I checked the post office was good. You can fill a water bottle after you have been through security. Travel AS LIGHT AS YOU CAN. You wont need many clothes.
Watch the children like a hawk around the swimming pool, one parent on guard at all times.
Am sure you will have a lovely time

Confusedbeetle Tue 15-May-18 14:59:00

If you use a credit card abroad there will be charges so keep it to a minimum. If you are asked if you want to be charged in pounds or local currency, choose local currency. The worst l=place to change money is the airport

Luisa27 Tue 15-May-18 15:07:33

@Pinkbutton85 Oooh - how lovely

I can highly recommend Boots Children’s Earplugs for flying - look on the Boots website - cost about £4:50 for two pairs ( reusable) - they’re fantastic for relieving the discomfort of changing air pressure during the flight - especially for little ones - make sure you pop them in before take off. I swear by them smile
We also take sippy cups or bottles (if baby still uses?) for take off - helps young children if they’re swallowing (drink) when you take off and land - sometimes the change in air pressure can be really uncomfortable for them.
The weather should be lovely in PP this time of year - enjoy yourselves!

Otterseatpuffinsdontthey Tue 15-May-18 15:08:00

Puerto Pollensa is absolutely beautiful - hope you, your OH and your girls have a fab time!
In addition to advice already posted - remember your sun protection (for everyone), and mosquito repellent. Don't keep items like this in your hand-luggage - or else they will get confiscated = expensive mistake!
Good base to get out and about - trips to Palma, Valdemosa, + train journey (Soller) absolute must do's!
Some bus tours are good - but perhaps not suitable for your girls ages.

Luisa27 Tue 15-May-18 15:11:35

Oh and get your money changed at the Post Office before you go - never at the airport (so expensive)

YetAnotherSpartacus Tue 15-May-18 15:17:14

liquid washing detergent, cheap coathangers (to dry clothes on - hang them in the bathroom and leave them behind), a travel plug, adaptor, sunscreen, antihistamines, painkillers, elastoplast for blisters, proper walking sandals or shoes, sun hats, cheap clothes, insect repellant, a knife for cutting cheese, veges and meat if you eat in ...

ISeeTheLight Tue 15-May-18 15:17:43

- use your credit card for paying abroad, but call the bank first to check it's been set up for abroad usage (they might block it if they think it's been stolen)

- buy cash before you fly, not everywhere will accept card payments. this is a great place to compare the best deals. sometimes airport places are the cheapest - but only if reserved beforehand.

- check you have your EHIC cards - your insurance might not be valid without it. You'll need one for each person, including the children. Also make sure you have travel insurance!

- flying: you can't take any bottles or liquids over 100ml through security. Everything needs to fit in 1 small see-through bag too. You CAN take shampoo bottles etc in your hold luggage, just make sure to wrap it properly to avoid spillage - I tend to put all toiletries together in a plastic carrier bag.

- luggage: as others have said, be very careful not to go over the luggage allowance! also they check this per bag, so don't put eg 20kg in one and 10kg in another. leave some space so you can bring back souvenirs/presents. For the weather, I'd take layers. Yes it might be very hot but during the evenings it will still be quite chilly. It can also be useful to take things you can hand wash - eg a fleece cardigan. Check your hotel has towels you can take with you to beach so you don't need to take your own.

- kids on the plane: yes I highly recommend taking some things to keep them entertained - we bought different things so we had new things to keep DD busy every 10-15min or so. Also check you have booked your seats and you're all sitting together! Aisle seats are easier with young children - they might want to stand up every once in a while. Take some sweets to suck on / buy drinks in the airport for during take-off and landing as it can hurt the ears (also for adults)

- don't forget EU travel plugs! and sun cream (not in hand luggage!)

- apparently Mallorca has quite a few mosquitoes so take insect repellent. we're going in August (also near Puerto Pollensa)

- are you taking your own car seats? if not check the hire car company has them (and check the price beforehand - we were going to be charged £60 per seat!). If your seats are isofix check with the car hire company before you travel your car will have isofix.

In any case - don't forget your passports and your credit card - everything else you can buy there! Enjoy!

BluthsFrozenBananas Tue 15-May-18 15:19:27

For the plane download some CBeebies or kids Netflix programs. Take snacks, nothing chocolate because of the mess, nothing with peanuts in case of people with allergies on the plane. Colouring can be a bit of a pita because it's almost impossible to keep the pens on the little tables and they end up rolling all over the plane. Sticker books are good, or small travel magna doodles.

TroubledLichen Tue 15-May-18 15:34:45

For hand luggage liquids need to be under 100ml (the bottle must be under so a 150ml bottle that is half empty wouldn’t be allowed). Then all your liquids need to fit in one plastic bag; you get one bag each. It’s the size of a small sandwich bag but you don’t need to take your own, you get them at security. If the kids have sippy cups take them through empty and top up once airside. You can take your own snacks as long as they’re not liquid.

Yes there will be a tray table. Yes to their kindles and headphones and colouring. Get them to drink (or suck a lolly or sweet) during take off/landing for their ears.

It will be hot, pack the usual sun cream, mosquito repellent for the evening, Calpol, arm bands/swim aids if they use them.

You can withdraw money/use your debit card but you may be charged. Check with your bank.

Yes can use your phone as long as you don’t exceed your usual allowance.

For car hire, remember to get the code to share your driving license info. You need your NI number so do it before you go. Get the insurance excess waiver either through the hire co or separately to avoid crazy charges should anything happen to the car.

Don’t forget your EHIC cards.

And have a great time grin

Bridesmaidinchief Tue 15-May-18 15:49:45

Any tips for my first time flying as well as my children's first time? load an iPad or other tablet with peppa pig or movies and let it be screen time!

What can and can't we take on the plane? no liquids in bottles over 100ml and all liquids must fit in a clear plastic bag about the size of a sandwich bag - you can pick these up at the airport security bit. You also aren't allowed sharp things like scissors or nail files in your hand luggage.

If I bring coloring bits on the plane, are there little fold down tables on the seat in front that the girls could use? yep!

Could I take their kindles on there with headphones? yep!

Majorca - What do I need and what do I not need? sunscreen, sun hats, bug spray and those bug pens for bites, aftersun (it will be very hot). One pair of comfortable shoes like trainers each. Sunglasses. You won't need as many clothes as you think, people tend to overpack! Water bottle.

Can you withdraw money out there with a Visa debit card? yes but there will be a charge - better to get your cash in advance and keep it locked in your accommodation and just take what you need each day.

Do they still charge you to use your mobile with Vodafone? (Hotel has Wifi) you can use it but may incur roaming charges - better to only use it when on the wifi if possible. But the charges won't be extortionate as they are now capped.

Have an amazing time! You'll love it!

MereDintofPandiculation Tue 15-May-18 16:01:01

Talk to them beforehand about where you're going. They'll probably be too young to appreciate seeing, eg, the English Channel, but they might do. And being above the clouds is going to be an interesting experience for them.

If you've hired a car, it's worth taking out stand-alone "car hire excess insurance" before you go, otherwise the hire company will try to sell you "collision damage waiver", which will be expensive (but not as expensive of paying the cost of any accident). It's something you are amazingly unlikely to need, so it's money down the drain in that sense, but it's there in case. And it should cover you for punctures, which the normal car hire insurance doesn't.

BarbaraofSevillle Tue 15-May-18 16:16:35

Take toiletries with you, especially suncream as it's usually very expensive abroad (I saw suncream for 17 euro for a bottle that costs £3 in UK supermarkets in Tenerife last week), and often unfamilar brands, which may be an issue if any allergies etc. Put them all in your hold luggage. If you don't have any liquids on you, it makes going through security easier.

You might be able to combine your luggage allowance for hold luggage, eg 10 kilo plus 18 kilo plus 17 kilo, rather than all bags having to be 15 kilo or less, but check this, different airlines apply the rules differently.

If your hand luggage is slightly over 5 kilo, put heavy items like phones, purses and ereaders in your coat pocket while you are at the check in desk, because that makes the weight irrelevant grin

All bank and credit cards charge abroad slightly differently. The best are by far the cheapest way and others are more expensive. Make sure you understand how yours charges and get a new credit card if possible (Halifax or Santander zero charge nothing at all and have the best exchange rate)

If you have a card like above, make sure you alwasy pay in euros not pounds abroad. if you pay in pounds, the bank machine or retailer is taking a big cut for themselves, which is why they are so keen to do it that way.

There are no roaming charges in the EU so you can use data and calls and texts at the same rate as in the UK now.

Another useful Mumsnet tip is to take a lightweight 4 way adaptor - useful when everyone wants to charge their phones and kindles at the same time.

You have also got EHICs and travel insurance haven't you?

BarbarianMum Tue 15-May-18 16:23:04

Don’t forget your EHIC cards. And travel insurance.

No knives or scissors in your hand luggage. And no tubes/jars of liquid/cream/paste of more than 100ml in hand luggage either.

You can't buy drinks and take them through security. You can buy drinks after security though.

Be at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight.

It will be hot. You will have fun!

Pinkbutton85 Tue 15-May-18 16:27:55

Thank you for all the suggestions and tips! Very much appreciated.

My EHIC card has expired. My OH dealt with it last time we we're supposed to go abroad (holiday booked before I fell pregnant, ended up not going) - Can I do this online an is it likely to arrive in time?

@YetAnotherSpartacus You mentioned a knife, am I allowed to bring this in luggage or do you mean buy out there?

@ISeeTheLight - The car company we have gone with suggested buying a bubble bum car seat, which I had never head of! It blows up.. My 4.5 year old is within the weight limits for it, so that will save us £80. My youngest however will be £80 for the 2 weeks for a 3 point car seat.

So 100ml in hand luggage. But others is fine in other luggage, so I can take things like nail varnish remover, nail polish, all other toiletries? Is it cheaper to take them or buy them out there?

Are there any restrictions on taking medication? Myself and OH are both on sertraline and he has some meds for colitis.

Would you take a small rucksack through check in and put a handbag in luggage to take once out there? Or the other way round?

I've already got plug adapters and locks for the suitcases (bought today)

We're borrowing suitcases from my inlaws but they're quite heavy. Has anyone tried the 'worlds lightest cases' from matalan/argos? Are they worth the investment?

bunce Tue 15-May-18 16:28:23

Dont forget your passports !

Vodafone do not charge extra in Europe.

Take some plain white t shirts for the kids that they can wear in the pool - the intensity of the sun can burn even with suncream.

Enjoy !

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