Why you should prepare for a post-lockdown getaway | Cheryl Gibbs

If you’re a regular reader of mine you’ll know nothing is ever straightforward with me. Almost never. Our girls’ trip to the Balearic party island fast became an organisational nightmare.

Sunday, 17th October 2021, 10:54 pm
Cheryl with her sister and friends on their trip to Ibiza.

It was my sister’s 40th birthday on Wednesday and to celebrate her big day I organised a surprise minibreak to Ibiza for three nights.

Naturally, Covid-19 and the travel restrictions were always going to be an issue, but having spent hours trying to get my head around what we needed to do, I was confident when we arrived at Gatwick four hours ahead of our departure time that we had everything we needed.

We headed to the gate earlier than usual just to be on the safe side, but due to the numerous security checks, by the time our group of seven reached the gate we were the last ones to board the plane, meaning the take off time was looming.

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I whipped my phone out which detailed the passenger location information for our group and handed it to the flight attendant – only to be told we needed one of those forms each.

We didn’t have this. When I filled out the form it asked me if was the lead passenger for everyone and thus speaking on behalf of everyone when I said we were all vaccinated and would provide our NHS Covid passes at the gate – which we did.

I now know that everyone had to have this form, but with the flight about to leave they had no choice but to turn us away – despite several attempts explaining we could sort the forms out at the other end.

We were escorted back through Gatwick with our tails between our legs like naughty school kids.

To add to what was already a stressful ordeal, we had to find an alternative flight to get to Ibiza. This involved getting a Stagecoach bus to London Heathrow, and waiting eight hours for another flight at the cost of another £200 each, needless to say our first day wasn’t ideal.

At last, we arrived at our hotel (about nine hours after we’d anticipated), but we did what any other group of girls would have done in this situation – we laughed our heads off and headed straight to the bar​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

I’ll admit, I’ve really missed the bliss of being child-free

It genuinely felt amazing to be away in the sun for a couple of days even if the weather was intermittent.

We visited the old town, had lunch out, did some shopping (all for Harley) and lazed around the pool. It felt good not to think, not to clock-watch to see where we are with Harley’s routine.

It was so tranquil to just be still for a couple of days, but I still couldn’t wait to get home.

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I was fearful we’d encounter more problems at Ibiza airport, and I wouldn’t be able to come home to her, but thankfully it was smooth sailing and I was thrilled to finally see her. It took a few days of her ignoring me for leaving her, but she’s fine now. I however may need another holiday to get over this one!

Fire crew rescue Harley after locking herself in the car

I was so nervous about leaving Harley I bawled my eyes out before we went – silly perhaps, but I’ve never left her more than one night before.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Luckily, Harley’s dad, Matt, kept me updated with regular videos and photos.

But when I got back he told me he had to call a fire engine out because she had locked herself in the car with the car key and six firemen turned up to try to get her out. Apparently they were so impressed with how calm and well behaved she was they continued trying to get her out without breaking glass – but they couldn’t so the back window in the car was popped out. Luckily she’s fine, and I’m glad I didn’t know at the time because I’d have likely got on the first plane back!

A message from the editor, Mark Waldron.

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