Europe & Britain | People & Stories

Team Trafalgar Diaries: 'I went to Spain this summer, and this is what it was like…'

This summer when the borders opened up some of our team at Trafalgar HQ took to the skies for a long-awaited vacation or trip home to visit loved ones. We asked them to share their experiences travelling in summer 2021 – the good, the bad, and what it was like on the ground. 

Meet Steve, our Head of DIgital Engagement and a father of three. This summer the born-and-bred Londoner packed up his family and skipped over to Spain for a classic holiday with plenty of sunshine, sand and sangria.

Here’s what his journey to gorgeous Majorca was like.

Where did you go?

This year I was lucky enough to have two holidays. One to Greece and one to Spain. I’m going to share my trip to Muro, which is south of Port d’Alcudia in Majorca, Spain. 

Who did you travel with?

My family. There’s 5 of us, so we travel-en-masse!  It was a classic family holiday. Beach, food, drink, repeat. 

Why did you choose to travel to Majorca?

I love Spain, particularly the Balearics. It’s so chic and chilled – I adore Ibiza. The Spanish are such wonderful, warm and friendly people too. We’ve spent so many of our family holidays on the Greek islands, so this time we wanted to see more of Spain. We chose to go to Majorca as I’d only ever been to Palma, which is the most amazing cosmopolitan city, so it was great to go to a different side of the island and enjoy the quieter beach life for a change.

How was it travelling there?

We travelled by air from London. We’d flown back from Greece only a couple of weeks earlier, so we knew what to expect. Our experience of flying and airports this summer was extremely positive – we found airports emptier, much more organised and in general far less stressful than usual. There were less people around, there were no major queues, the health and safety protocols were really efficient and of course everything felt so clean and safe. There were less restaurants to choose from at the London airports as a lot were still closed (travelling with three children means food is always top of the airport agenda), but that was a very minor negative. I think the airports and airline industries have done a brilliant job bouncing back from the most terrible two years. 

Do you think it was easier to travel now than before the pandemic?

I think it’s a smoother process. Things certainly felt less stressful than previously. Although I will say pre-departure is definitely more stressful – there are more forms, more tests etc. But once you’re at the airport I found it easy. I would recommend anyone to travel and feel safe doing it. 

What was your favourite thing about travelling again?

It was SO GOOD TO BE AWAY! I’m quite easily pleased so give me some sun, a great beach, amazing food and good wine and I’m happy! That feeling of complete ease and relaxation you only get from holidays… I’d missed that so much. And the thrill of meeting new people and experiencing new cultures, trying new foods, seeing new sights… it was just so great.

What was it like in Majorca after the pandemic? 

Majorca definitely felt quieter than I’m sure it usually is in August, but there were still a lot of people out and about. Of course, there was a really happy, positive vibe around. It was so nice to see local restaurants, cafes and shops busy with customers – these businesses have had the most terrible two years so to see them full of customers and seeing people eating, drinking and laughing again felt quite emotional to watch! 

Did you feel like you could enjoy travel to the fullest? 

Nothing could dampen my joy! I certainly enjoyed every second to the fullest. You just adapt and feel so happy to be away again that even the small changes – things like wearing masks and gloves to get your food in hotel restaurants are mandatory in Spain – aren’t an issue. If wearing a mask to choose my food at a hotel buffet is all I have to do to enjoy the thrill of travelling again… it’s a very small price to pay! 

RELATED BLOG: Team Trafalgar Diaries: ‘I went to Switzerland and Bulgaria this summer, and this is what it was like…’

Did you feel safe? 

I felt completely safe. I think because the airport and aeroplane experience had been so easy, that I immediately felt confident for the rest of the trip. 

What was your favourite moment or highlight of your trip?

Just to feel the sun on your skin, enjoy the beach, be in the Mediterranean Sea, see the look of sheer joy on my kids’ faces running to the beach everyday… you forget how much a holiday means to people. It is so good for your mental health and wellbeing, just to be able to get away and switch off for a week or two or even just a few days.  

Did you feel like you were able to connect with the local culture and people? 

We found the most amazing family-run tapas restaurant that was hidden away down a back street in Port D’Alcudia. It was traditional tapas and totally authentic… a complete hidden gem. Eating out is my favourite part of being on holiday, so that was definitely a highlight. Wine, mussels, patatas bravas… what more could you ask for?!

Tapas in Spain

GET INSPIRED BY: Treasures of Spain & Portugal

If you could do it again next week, what would you change about your trip?

I wouldn’t come home. Haha! 

What was the most enjoyable or relaxing part of your trip?

I’d actually completely undervalued how incredible the Mediterranean Sea is. It’s warm, not too deep, the most amazing waves… and the beaches are just beautiful. The finest, most golden sand. So, to be able to enjoy that every day was definitely a highlight. 

What surprised you about travelling again?

Definitely how much easier the airport was than I was expecting. And that applies to both the English and Spanish sides. 

How did you feel after returning home?

We felt incredibly lucky to have been able to experience travel again as a family. I was definitely refreshed and reenergised… once I’d gotten over the holiday blues of course!

GET INSPIRED BY: Best of Spain

Anything else eager travellers should know?

Just that I would encourage anyone thinking about travelling to do it. It’s such a great time to travel and so much less hassle than you are expecting. Take time to plan before you go – spend time making sure you’ve got all your tests and forms and vaccines right – as that is definitely the most stressful part (but a million times worth it). Once you get to that airport and on the plane… you won’t regret it for a second! 

Did you travel this summer or are you waiting for 2022? Let us know where you want to go and how you feel in the comments below…

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