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Unread 10 Apr 18, 12:48 PM  
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HEMANCLOFTY
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More (Port)Adventures in Salou - May 18

More (Port)Adventures in Salou - May 18

Hello again. It's time for another pre-trippie, and it's another non-Florida one. Although that's not how it started, but I'll get to that in a minute...

So, in case you haven't stumbled upon my ramblings before, we are Ems (37), Rich (37-ish) and Tom (13) - also known as the Huxwolds...



I'm the planner and the one that's usually in charge of the itinerary / spreadsheet, the camera and the trippie notes.

Rich is the financier (I take care of the boring bills, he takes care of the fun stuff) and chief researcher.

Tom is the the greatful teenager who gets to come along for the ride. He enjoys our trips and appreciates how lucky he is, but is quite laid back, so I often describe him as "whelmed" (i.e. neither overwhelmed or underwhelmed, he just takes things in his stride).

We have always been a "Florida or nothing" kind of family, and with the exception of a few short breaks in Blackpool / Alton Towers / Butlins, until last year we had never holidayed anywhere else as a couple / family. Even having up to 4 year gaps between our Floziday fixes on more than one occasion.

Last year was our 6th family visit to our happy place. We went in Feb / March and loved it as much as ever. During the trip, conversation inevitably turned to options for a possible return. We love Feb / March, but decided to give May a go for 2018, as this could be tagged onto half term, as well as giving us a taster of warmer weather, as term time trips in 2019/20 and 2020/21 will be off the cards as Tom will be in GCSE mode by then.

Skip to the Free DDP offer being released last year - I was on the train coming back from a work trip to London, and doing our final calculations. We'd originally wanted 10 days at CBR plus 4 days at Cabana Bay, but there were only 8 nights coming up available for a standard room at CBR. We could live with an 8 / 6 split, so I booked the Disney stay - 150 deposit, but getting 105 Cashback from Quidco and a 12 month subscription to Disney Life worth 50 (so effectively a free deposit), travelling on 17th May 2018. That was it and our plans were car parked until it was time for flights to be released.

Then we decided to take a break from our routine and started looking into a cheeky October 18 half term mini trip to Port Aventura in Salou. Rich did all the research, found the flights (Ryan Air), found the hotel (Dorada Palace) and sorted the 2 day park tickets (ATD). I pretty much just packed, turned up and wrote the trippie (which you can read here).

We had a brilliant time...



The parks were fantastic, the weather was lovely, the hotel was great and we loved the ease of the whole thing only being a 2 hour flight away! In short - we were hooked, and knew we'd be back for more.

Meanwhile, I was keeping an eye on Florida flight prices for May (for us, it has to be direct, from MCR to MCO and preferably Virgin - we are creatures of habit and indirect doesn't appeal at all). For most of June-December they were sticking at around the 600 mark, and we were struggling to justify the cost.

We also started to look into other European destinations that could be combined with a some Theme Park time. We found plenty, with Europa Park topping the wishlist, but we didn't really fancy doing a road trip as Rich has a 4 hour round trip to work. So, over the Christmas break, we decided that we'd officially give our 2018 Floziday a miss and would do 3 mini trips instead: DLP in Feb half term, Salou in May half term and Tenerife (For Siam Park) at the end of August.

We also agreed that, instead of looking further afield into Europe, there are lots of great UK theme parks that we should explore first - especially now that Tom is up for the majority of coasters. This has since evolved into a "13 parks in 1 year" challenge, which I'm writing another trippie for - you can follow along with that one here if theme park days are your thing .

The Salou part was easy. I found a great deal via onthebeach.com - 1200 for Ryan Air flights plus 7 nights half-board at the Dorada Palace, and we booked in January for about 150 deposit.

Rich had been doing the DLP research, this was coming in at about 1500 for 5 nights / 4 days at Hotel Santa Fe with flights from Birmingham to CDG. Fairly pricy we thought. Rich also suggested that perhaps our first DLP experience shouldn't be a cold and busy half term - and so our DLP plans were now off the table too, and 2018 is now officially a non-Disney year .

We had a plan for Tenerife, until it came in at 2600 for a week by the time we had the hotel we wanted! So we thought we'd just see how much California and New York were, to compare. New York won, we haven't booked yet, buy we are looking about 2100 so we'll have some budget left over for excursions (including a day trip to Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey) - but I digress, and that is a story for the next pre-trippie 😀

ETA - the New York plans also got car parked as we ended up doing a Europe road trip after all

So, back to this trip...

Our flights are with Ryan Air, from East Midlands to Reus, flying out at 6:10pm on Monday 27th May (bank holiday)...





This is the same outbound flight as our October trip, and will get us into Reus just after 9pm local time. It's just a short taxi ride to the hotel, so we should be all checked in my 10pm. We are on the return flight back the next Monday, leaving at 9:30pm, so we get pretty much a full 7th day. The only downside is that we land at 23:30 and we'll all have school / work the next morning. We've paid for 1 case each way, which will be more than enough.

We are looking forward to returning to the Dorada Palace...





It's a great value hotel In a great location for us (20 mins walk to PortAventura and 12 mins to the beach). The breakfast buffet, whilst not amazing, had plenty of options to set us up for the day - so there will be plenty more of this...







It was only 84 extra to add half-board for the week. Evening meal is also served buffet style, and we reckon that even if we only eat there 3 nights, it will help us to keep the spending money down. We are looking forward to a few more restaurant options being open as its in season, but know we'll return to Roadhouse and Goretti as we enjoyed our meals there (even though service in Goretti wasn't amazing)...











I bought an annual Travel Insurance policy for our October trip, so that's covered. We just need to set out airport parking, which will be long stay at East Mids.

For tickets, we are looking at 7 day tickets (99 each from ATD). These give us daily access to PortAventura inc 1 visit to Ferrari Land and 2 visits to Caribe Aquatic Waterpark...















The plan is to do lots of short visits throughout the week, so that we can fit in some other things too, including:

Aquapolis Waterpark...



A day trip to Barcelona (probably combined with the Zoo)...





A morning trek in the mountains, where we get to visit these fabulous waterfalls...



A morning or two at the beach - we loved the pedalos last time...







So, that's the plan so far. Just under 7 weeks to go - and we can't wait!
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Index | The Huxwolds Vacations - All Our Trippies In One Place
Index | An Adults Only (Port)Adventure (July 19) - Complete
WIP | Europa Park(s): Planes, Coaster-Trains & Autobahns (Aug 19)
We still love Florida but have caught the European theme park bug

Edited at 09:15 PM.
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Unread 10 Apr 18, 01:25 PM  
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margyloveswdw
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Having read your trip report to Salou last week I suggested this to DH for a weeks leave we have at the end of this month (we were actively looking for last minute breaks) and by Friday it was booked so thank you we are staying in H10 Mediterranean Village in Cap Salou though (in between Salou and La Pineda) sort of by mistake but I'm sure it wil be fine!

Excited to go to Port Aventura - do you think 2 days is enough time? We will go on most rides. Any other tips?
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Unread 10 Apr 18, 01:33 PM  
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Originally Posted by margyloveswdw View Post
Having read your trip report to Salou last week I suggested this to DH for a weeks leave we have at the end of this month (we were actively looking for last minute breaks) and by Friday it was booked so thank you we are staying in H10 Mediterranean Village in Cap Salou though (in between Salou and La Pineda) sort of by mistake but I'm sure it wil be fine!

Excited to go to Port Aventura - do you think 2 days is enough time? We will go on most rides. Any other tips?
The H10 med village is fantastic, we loved it there, the entertainment team are brilliant
We've been to Salou 3 times & stayed at the dorada palace last time, it's lovely, looking forward to reading more
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Unread 10 Apr 18, 03:20 PM  
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HEMANCLOFTY
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Originally Posted by margyloveswdw View Post
Having read your trip report to Salou last week I suggested this to DH for a weeks leave we have at the end of this month (we were actively looking for last minute breaks) and by Friday it was booked so thank you we are staying in H10 Mediterranean Village in Cap Salou though (in between Salou and La Pineda) sort of by mistake but I'm sure it wil be fine!

Excited to go to Port Aventura - do you think 2 days is enough time? We will go on most rides. Any other tips?
Oh, how exciting! We've looked at a few of the H10 hotels and they all look nice

Yes, 2 day tickets are enough. Even with Ferrari Land (if you have that included). You can easily do FL in 3 hours, which leaves a day and a half for PA.

Have a brilliant time
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Ems
Index | The Huxwolds Vacations - All Our Trippies In One Place
Index | An Adults Only (Port)Adventure (July 19) - Complete
WIP | Europa Park(s): Planes, Coaster-Trains & Autobahns (Aug 19)
We still love Florida but have caught the European theme park bug
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Unread 10 Apr 18, 03:21 PM  
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HEMANCLOFTY
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Originally Posted by keeley78 View Post
The H10 med village is fantastic, we loved it there, the entertainment team are brilliant
We've been to Salou 3 times & stayed at the dorada palace last time, it's lovely, looking forward to reading more
Thanks
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Ems
Index | The Huxwolds Vacations - All Our Trippies In One Place
Index | An Adults Only (Port)Adventure (July 19) - Complete
WIP | Europa Park(s): Planes, Coaster-Trains & Autobahns (Aug 19)
We still love Florida but have caught the European theme park bug
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Unread 11 Apr 18, 10:25 PM  
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Looking forward to the trip report. I've stayed in Dorada Palace 5 times and love it so glad you enjoyed it last time. The Caribe Waterpark is also brilliant, you'll really enjoy it.
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Unread 13 Apr 18, 03:20 PM  
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Originally Posted by keeley78 View Post
The H10 med village is fantastic, we loved it there, the entertainment team are brilliant
We've been to Salou 3 times & stayed at the dorada palace last time, it's lovely, looking forward to reading more
Originally Posted by HEMANCLOFTY View Post
Oh, how exciting! We've looked at a few of the H10 hotels and they all look nice

Yes, 2 day tickets are enough. Even with Ferrari Land (if you have that included). You can easily do FL in 3 hours, which leaves a day and a half for PA.

Have a brilliant time
Thank you both very much!
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