Mumsnet Logo
Please
or
to access all these features

Welcome to Mumsnet's holiday forum. Discuss all international travel here, including both shorthaul and longhaul trips. Related topics: UK holidays & day trips, skiing, camping & campervans.

Holidays

First flight and trip to Europe-Tips please!

18 replies

HollysBush · 04/03/2020 14:44

My dh and I (early 40s) have just got passports and want to go away for a city break at the end of March/ early April, somewhere in Europe. He’s literally never left the UK or flown, I went to France with school and have flown internally once. So where would you recommend and do you have any tips or advice? He’s a bit nervous of crowds and flying and now I’m getting a bit anxious too!

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

GCAcademic · 04/03/2020 15:59

This year? Frankly I wouldn’t be booking any international travel at the moment, the situation with Coronavirus is evolving rapidly. Or, if you do, make sure your flights and accommodation are all cancellable.

Please
or
to access all these features

Serenschintte · 04/03/2020 16:05

Zurich Switzerland is lovely. English widely spoken. Possible to see the mountains from the town centre on a clear day.
Easy to get from airport to Zurich by train.
Very pretty.

Please
or
to access all these features

crapette · 04/03/2020 16:07

Zurich is also eye wateringly expensive.

Please
or
to access all these features

Witchofzog · 04/03/2020 16:15

Porto or Lisbon would be lovely. Short flight. Hopefully warm weather. Reasonable prices too. Lisbon is on my list but Porto didn't feel too crowded and it was so easy to get from the airport into the city as it is so compact.

Please
or
to access all these features

Witchofzog · 04/03/2020 16:17

Or Amsterdam. 45 min flight only.From Schipol airport it so easy to get into the city. Everyone speaks English and it is beautiful city

Please
or
to access all these features

HappyHammy · 04/03/2020 16:22

I would wait. The airlines are cancelling a lot of flights in March. The UK is lovely to visit and you wont catch any inflight bugs.

Please
or
to access all these features

Witchofzog · 04/03/2020 16:23

My tips for the flight would be to arrive early- allow at least 2 hours with luggage. It makes the experience so much nicer
Sort your liquids before you go through security and have your electronics accessible. Wear shoes that are easy to take off when at the airport. Ensure you are aware if the weight limits and baggage policy. So for example most airlines have a weight limit but allow a small handbag. EasyJet have no weight limit but no handbag- everything must fit in your suitcase. Oh and buy food before you get on the plane - you can bring most food through security or buy it airside. Plane food is extortionate and not nice. Enjoy!

Please
or
to access all these features

HollysBush · 04/03/2020 16:26

Thank-you for the suggestions. I was thinking about Amsterdam too. Definitely need somewhere easy to navigate for novices without the language. Got an A in GCSE French but that was a while ago!!
I know it might not seam the best time to fly but I’ve never been one to be put off easily. All the government advice only says to avoid areas of Italy. I can’t see we’re anymore at risk in Europe than the UK.

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

HollysBush · 04/03/2020 16:29

whitchifzog great tips, thankyou.
And HappyHammy I know it’s rubbish timing but it’s the flight we’re we’re looking forward to really!
Maybe we’ll postpone and do something more local.

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

mencken · 04/03/2020 16:57

Lisbon is lovely and really easy to get around, weather should be good in April.

remember the hand luggage restrictions are not just liquids, also gels and pastes. All clearly explained on airport websites.

and you need to buy travel insurance as soon as you book. It isn't pricey for a trip to Europe. EHICs are still needed too, they are free as long as you don't go to the scam sites so get those too.

Please
or
to access all these features

Leflic · 04/03/2020 17:29

I wouldn’t worry about English. If you are going to any of the major airports they have signs in English and Europe has famously high standards of spoken English. No reason not to practice your French, but it shouldn’t be a deciding factor.

Amsterdam feels incredibly busy - lots of bikes, trams and people in all directions. I’d go to Palma. Easy, pretty and warm.

Don’t pick the first flight out. Airport is busy, It’s always rammed, you’ll be knocked and stressed.
Last flight back is always delayed ( knock on effect). Pick an afternoon flight for after you check out of the hotel or buy an extra night so you can check out at 7pm.. Even if you leave bags at the hotel it’s a pain walking round all day with no base. Airport lounges have free food and drink and are much quieter. Good to do if you want to get to the airport early.
Don’t wear belts or boots to the airport.
Buy a meal deal at the airport before getting on the plane
The airport gates can be a VERY long walk away. Wear comfy shoes.

Please
or
to access all these features

MiaowMix · 04/03/2020 17:40

Bad timing Grin but still... if you are going to eg Amsterdam, why not take Eurostar rather than fly? Depends what kind of break you want really...

But at that time of year I'd be looking at Lisbon, Porto, Palma, Barcelona type places that are warmer than the uk.

No mention of children, so if I were you I'd avoid the Easter holidays which start around 5th April as you'll obv be charged much more.

Please
or
to access all these features

BritWifeinUSA · 05/03/2020 03:49

Berlin.

Please
or
to access all these features

HeartsTrumpDiamonds · 05/03/2020 04:02

I was going to say Berlin too! Love that city. Amsterdam would be great too.

Please
or
to access all these features

crazydiamond222 · 05/03/2020 04:14

'I can’t see we’re anymore at risk in Europe than the UK'

Possibly but you need to consider the risk that if the virus takes off in the uk other countries may ban you from entering as they are currently doing with italian citizens.

Please
or
to access all these features

Funf · 05/03/2020 10:16

Another vote for Amsterdam, nice place also worth getting the Bus to Edam, Volendam and Marken, makes a nice day out and you would feel more adventurous.

Please
or
to access all these features

Lippy1234 · 06/03/2020 16:38

I think my favourite mini break was to Prague.

Please
or
to access all these features

helpfulperson · 06/03/2020 21:59

For a starter trip abroad I agree with Amsterdam. Depending on how long you go for there are loads of places within easy train ride. Delft is a nice little town to explore as are many other nearby places.

Please
or
to access all these features
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?