The largest and most popular Balearic island, Mallorca has gently shelving beaches, lively resorts, diving, boat trips and waterparks. Plus book a late summer holiday or half term break and you’ll still enjoy reliable temperatures of up to 24 degrees. We show you ways to get the most out of your budget family holidays in Mallorca.
Book a shuttle from the airport ahead of time for the cheapest transfer. Holiday Taxis’ prebooked rates from Palma airport to various resorts start from £5.48pp. Private transfers also work out cheaper prebooked – with the option to reserve child or booster seats in these.
If you’re staying in or around Palma then don’t rent a car – they can be expensive and it is a nightmare for parking. If you’re looking for budget family holidays, a better bet – and more fun for older children – are bicycle rentals. The excellent local bike lanes include a route along the ancient city wall. Book online at palmaonbike.com for the cheapest rates – a day’s hire starts from £11. Children’s bikes and babyseats are available.
Consider booking an all-inclusive package if you’re planning on staying in a resort. With current unfavourable exchange rates you can offset some of the effect by paying for meals and drinks in advance. First Choice has a number of all-inclusive hotels in Mallorca.
Mallorca is relatively pricey in Spain for accommodation, even self-catering. To get budget family holidays in Mallorca book direct with property owners, whose rates will be lower – try homeaway.co.uk and spain-holiday.com. And if you’re happy to forgo a pool then you can save up to 40% on rental prices even in high season.
Out and about
Pick your attractions carefully – many are overpriced and highly commercial. Mallorca’s best days out are free – tranquil beaches, history in Palma and festivals throughout the year. Save your money for the narrow gauge train from Palma to Soller past the Sierra de Alfàbia mountains. Include a day in pretty Soller, and the experience is well worth the £15 return per person.
Mallorca has five waterparks with paddling pools to big slides for teens. However, most close at the end of September. If you’re squeezing your holiday in under the wire, then buy tickets online. At El Arenal Aqualand, the largest, save £2.90 on each ticket. Plus there’s a further £1.60 discount if you sign up to its mailing list.
Food and drink
The set lunch, menú del dia, is a great deal. Seek them out just a block or two beyond the main strip or large resort if you’re staying in one. You’ll find cheaper places with better food – and full of locals!
If breakfast isn’t included in your package, save money by going out for coffee and pastry. Breakfast averages £2.50 per person, but avoid ordering fresh orange juice. It’s mysteriously expensive here and will often double your breakfast tab.
Go ‘tapas hopping’ with the locals, especially in Palma. It’s fun – and a great cheap way to avoid an expensive restaurant meal. Enjoy a small beer (caña) and soft drinks, with a tapa (snack) in each place before moving on. There’s no need for a babysitter – the Spanish way is to bring your children, and it’s normal to see babies asleep in prams and children playing outside late at night.
Don’t miss the island’s classic shoe brand, Camper, whose factory outlet in Inca has beautiful adults and children’s shoes up to half price. The Festivalpark outlet mall in Marratxi has brand name shops offering up to 70% off last season’s ranges – plus a bowling alley, IMAX cinema and playground for children bored of shopping.