My first all-inclusive holiday experience with Jet2Holidays
Ah, summer! I always look forward to spending this quality time with the family when we can detach from work, school and other commitments for a few days, explore new destinations together and engage and reconnect with each other. But planning the perfect holiday can be quite daunting – budgeting, organising meals, finding activities everyone can enjoy, arranging commutes, etc. So, this year, I was overjoyed when Jet2Holidays invited us on an all-inclusive holiday. This was my first package holiday experience, and I was so impressed with the entire process from start to end. The brand offers multiple options for all kinds of travellers, and planning a family holiday with Jet2Holidays was an absolute breeze.
Through the platform, I found multiple destinations they cater to across Europe and a few more in other parts of the world. All information, suggested itineraries and packages are so well organised, easily accessible and comprehensible it made the planning process very simple for me.
Turkey was a destination I had heard so much about from those who had visited, and its history and culture always intrigued me. When I came across holidays to Turkey with Jet2Holidays I was pleasantly surprised to find resort destinations in abundance to choose from. We finally settled on visiting Bodrum during this trip, with plans to visit other destinations in the future.
Flipping through magazines and blogs and listening to travellers recount their experiences, I learned that Bodrum was a classic European city – it is a new-age city teeming with all things modern luxury, but its character and essence still stem from its glorious ancient history and culture. It is the perfect holiday destination for anyone – stretches of golden sand beaches are surrounded by ancient castles and remains that date back to Crusades.
We booked cost-effective flights to Bodrum via Jet2, a comfortable four-hour journey from Manchester with a 22kg baggage allowance bonus per traveller. The check-in facilities were flexible, with the option of completing the task between 28 days to six hours before our departure via the app. It had to be the least stressful I have ever been about getting to the airport in time. The brand’s app and customer service were also impeccable, paying attention to every detail that would help us plan the perfect holiday for our taste and comfort. With their help, we could plan enjoyable activities and did not have to worry about the usual hiccups, like arranging our commute to our hotel from the airport – it was all taken care of! Finding your way around a new city can be stressful when you have just landed, so this was useful. Their services even helped us find the best accommodation that fit our budget and provided many options for eating, relaxing and entertainment. We made Aquasis Deluxe Resort & Spa our home during these five nights.
Located approximately an hour and 45 minutes from the airport, this property is a sprawling haven tucked along the Turkish coastline. It features stunning architecture, plenty of rooms, five animated bars and seven exquisite restaurants, each offering specialised cuisines, including local Turkish, Japanese, Mexican, Indian and more. Our package included buffet-style breakfast, lunch and dinner in the main restaurant and one dining experience at any of the a la carte restaurants.
The hotel has four outdoor pools, including two for children, complete with sun beds to bask in the summer glory, an indoor pool to cool off during warmer days, and an aqua park. And if that is not enough for the water babies, the hotel also offers access to its private strip of the beach and private pier stretching over the pristine sea. Other activities and plans for children are well thought out, with a Children’s Club offering movie nights, story time, indoor games and arts and crafts, and a playground.
As for the adults, the spa is a great place for one to unwind after a long flight or sightseeing and truly relaxing on holiday. The beach bars and disco offer wonderful local and international wines, beers, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages so everyone can party! The hotel is truly a destination in its own right, with something for everyone…
… This is exactly how we began our little vacation. We arrived quite late at Bodrum and hit the sack as soon as we reached our room that night, wanting to recharge and not waste a minute of holiday fun over the next few days.
On our first morning, we decided to enjoy some of the facilities at the hotel. While my son had the time of his life on the slides at the Aqua Park, I went straight to the spa for my first-ever Turkish hammam. What an experience it was – I felt that the stresses of life back home were leaving my body. I felt truly relaxed and restored, a great note to start my vacation on.
Later that day, we ventured to Altinkum Beach, around 4.5 km from the resort. Although a short coastline, it constantly buzzes with locals and tourists and is lined with bars, restaurants, shops and coastal markets. It deserves at least a whole day to itself. We also spent a few hours browsing through the wonderful stalls at Mavişehir bazaar. It offers plenty of options in local handicrafts, clothes and accessories, fresh local produce of fruits, cheese, herbs and spices. I shopped to my heart’s content to go home with a piece (or quite a few in my case) of Turkey. We wound up our first night at the dinner buffet at the hotel, which was made even more spectacular with the evening entertainment. It was indeed an exuberant first day in Bodrum!
The next day, we explored the local culture and its historical points, starting with a visit to the Temple of Apollo. The brilliance of ancient architecture can be felt even in the ruins of this historic place of importance. As if to say that the Sun God was truly with us, this visit in the open proved quite taxing, as the temperature of the day was soaring to nearly 40°C, beating down upon us. We returned to the hotel and took advantage of the indoor pool. We were still just getting used to the weather. But had we had more energy, I would have loved to visit the ancient city of Ephesus, steeped in history since ancient Greek times and the Middle Ages. The town of Pamukkale and its travertine terraces of mineral water would have also made a great day trip and are definitely on my bucket list.
We rented a car to drive down to the old city of Bodrum the next day. The drive is ever so scenic, as is the city’s beautiful bays and yacht-filled marinas. We had some local delicacies for lunch at one of the quaint markets and then decided to explore the Bodrum Castle, the ancient fortress that stood proud with its history in the modern city, now also housing the Museum of Underwater Archaeology with stories from shipwrecks and sea crusades in the Aegean. If we had more time on our hands, we would have also taken the ferry to the Greek island of Kos – imagine! Visiting another country was but a ferry ride away. One can also visit several other smaller islands by ferry from Bodrum. Outdoor enthusiasts can hire quad bikes for off-roading fun along dedicated mud tracks.
On our second last day in Turkey, we visited the small fishing village of Gümüşlük, a quieter cultural alternative to the rumbling bustle of Bodrum city. It is famous for its gastronomic scene, with several seaside restaurants offering local cuisine and picturesque backdrops and settings. While we were here, we decided to eat at the Melengeç Balik, one of the most popular restaurants in the area with yet more Instagram-worthy memories to capture. We ran out of time again, but I would have loved to visit Rabbit Island, a short walk through the village where one can spot more ruins and sites, and of course fuzzy rabbits! We decided to end our day with an à la carte dinner at one of the speciality cuisines of the restaurant.
Unfortunately, this marked our last day out and about, as I met with a minor accident and injured my foot. But that only meant spending more time back at the resort in Didim the next day, enjoying the aqua park and even visiting the games arcade for indoor games and fun with the family. And then, all too soon, it was time to fly back home.
Barring my little accident, Bodrum was a wonderful experience, and the stress-free, all-inclusive package with Jet2Holidays was the cherry on the cake. It was a holiday in its true sense without the fuss and worry of planning too many things. Although there were not enough days to explore the beautiful destination, returning is as easy as booking the next adventure with Jet2Holidays.