Sun, sea, sand, and plenty of cheap alcohol. Sounds like a pretty perfect combination, right? Well, my first ‘proper’ holiday with friends was huge amounts of fun, even if now I am currently nursing a bad throat infection (I had to Google what strep throat was once my doctor had told me). Yay.
Anyhow, I thought I would compose a little day-by-day guide of what we did, and how we made our trip so cheap!
If you know me, you’ll know that flying is my greatest fear. It always has been. So for ease, we flew from London Southend which really is a tiny airport. You literally go from check-in to the boarding gate in ten minutes. I am not joking.
We flew with easyJet to Faro, Portugal and the whole process really was easy. We were in the air ten minutes ahead of schedule and the cabin crew were super friendly, which helped to ease my nerves.
The flight to Faro took 2h45, which flew by when chatting to friends. For three of us, return, the cost came to £120 which I do not think is bad.
On the way back the cabin crew were even more chatty, which was probably because the flight wasn’t full. I cheekily asked a member of the crew if I could go in the cockpit once we had landed. I got a big thumbs up and she went and told the flight crew.
Upon landing, the pilots were expecting my friends and I. In the cockpit they explained some of the key flight instruments and I got to sit in the First Officer’s seat. I felt awesome. Until my friend let it slip that I had watched every single episode of Air Crash Investigation.
There is no way of sugar-coating this: our hotel was basic yet it did the perfect job. We stayed just a two-minute walk away from the famous Albufeira Strip, although had no noise at night. Yes, that may have been because we’d had one too many lemonade and Sambucas to care.
A few weeks before we went away, I emailed the hotel to request a first-floor apartment. I may have also slipped it in that I was going to be blogging about the holiday.
Mercifully, my little email worked and we were given what we had asked for. To make things even better, we had a huge outside terrace, the only one in the complex. This meant that we could sunbathe on the loungers overlooking the sea if we didn’t fancy going down to the pool.
Ouratlantico is a three-star hotel, with a beautiful little pool area and very friendly staff. It is basic, but it had everything you could ever want for a self-catering girl’s holiday. And it was clean, which was my biggest plus point.
A 7-night stay came to £700 for a one-bed apartment.
When we were choosing where to go, we wanted somewhere to ease us into the partying, with the vision of going to Zante or Ibiza next year.
Albufeira really is the perfect destination for this. ‘The Strip’ is a mile of bars, clubs, and restaurants that offer everything you could possibly want for a good night out. The cocktails were fantastic, and it is always a bonus when you get a free glass of Prosecco everywhere you go.
The Strip is also only a five-minute walk away from Praia de Oura, a beautiful beach where there is a whole host of watersports available. I thoroughly recommend the UFO!
Surrounding the hotel are a number of stunning blue-flag beaches. One morning we got up early and walked miles along the coastal paths. It was spectacular, even if there was a lot of steep inclines to negociate.
The food and drink was cheap, with a typical meal out in the evening costing 10 euros for your main meal and a drink.
I thoroughly enjoyed my trip away and have created some life-long memories. It has made me feel more independent and I cannot wait for the next chapter of my journey to begin.
The holiday cost me £500, with spending, and it was worth every penny.