Soon after our baby Relja was born, when we had our assurances that he is healthy, strong and developing well, we decided to take our first trip with him once he turns three months and to make it somewhere “local” meaning in South Europe. Our decision felt on Cyprus and for the end of October. We picked that location for two reasons: 1) it has the longest season in the Med 2) We found extremely low prices on Wizzair website. End of October was the choice because what we researched online is that there are no rules regarding when is the baby “too small” for the plane. Some companies don’t have regulations some require it to be at least two weeks old. But there is another problem: newborns have very fragile immunity and in airplanes the a/c has the same air circulating from all parts of the plane into single system meaning that everyone is breathing what other people exhale, therefore a lot of babies get various sorts of infections form the flight itself. We know of a baby that was on a plane when she was three weeks old and she got a conjunctivitis. Advise is that baby should be at least three months old before she gets on a plane (for car trip there are no such issues). Relja is very strong for his age (7.7 kilos at 3 months) and he is breastfed exclusively but we still didn’t wanted to risk it.
Before we write about the trip itself we wanted to make couple of comments about the purchasing of tickets and about booking accommodation. Before we planed a baby we thought that children under 2 y/o don’t pay any ticketfare. Well, it turned out not to be true. All babies pay ticket fares, sometimes its 10% sometimes its more. In our dear Wizzair additional payment for the baby is 27 Euros per flight that turned out to be as same as our individual tickets. Of course the price for babies is flat and we “caught” our good prices. Total amount that we payed is 180 Euros for two of us, baby and additional large cabin baggage, which means that without the baby fare we would pay everything 30% less. Of course if you compare that with airserbia price in August at 350 eur per person this comes as bargain so our comment is just related to the fact at what amount trip with the baby becomes more expensive. On the positive side we got two useful things: we got to board our pram for no additional cost and we got one more bag to board the plane (40×30×18 cm)
As for the accommodation we always book through one of the two websites: airbnb and booking. We were really surprised how many accommodation on airbnb doesn’t allow babies, not even kids younger than 15. For some reason hosts just don’t want to bother with it, like its is a pet. With booking its a different story but there are also accommodations that would rather request for additional payments than to reject a couple with a baby. The one thing that should be looked into first is the section on the bottom of first page in good to know section. Our accommodation stated that all children are welcome and that one child under 12 years stays free of charge when using existing beds. The landlord lady actually offered baby crib free of a charge which we gladly accepted. We would just wanted to say that major influence on election of accommodation wasn’t the price or location but the cleanliness as we heard that a lot of Ayia Nappa accommodations have such filthy rooms full of vomit stains that smell like train station toilets.
Flight Belgrade – Larnaca was at 6:30am. We woke up at 4:50am (barley I might add) as we were all packed and checked in, but we came minutes from closing the gate so we should have woke at least 30 minutes before. From home to the plane baby was in a sling. Advantage of a sling against the kangaroo (we have both) is that in sling you don’t have to take the baby out on metal detector (which they require you to do in a kangaroo) and also its better for a sitting position. It can be problematic if baby is sleeping which was our case since it was very early in the morning. That way its not moved and disturbed. In the plane baby was mostly sleeping but I had to take him out of the sling because stewardess insisted that I tie him with the belt addition. During descending and ascending of the plane I breastfed him for couple of minutes so he can equalize the pressure in his ears (if baby is not breastfed you should give him a bottle or at least a pacifier). Failing to do so can cause that baby to cry during whole flight that you occasionally can hear 🙂 We took our pram just to the door of the plane which was useful as we used it to carry our cabin bags on it. We picked it up at baggage collect.
In front on Larnaca airport we took a bus to the city center (bus no 424) on the same station there is a intercity bus to Ayia Nappa. Ride takes around 20 minutes, its frequent every 30 minutes and it costs 1.5 eur. The intercity bus goes around every hour or two and we had enough time for a quick dip as the station is just alongside the beach! Biggest hassle on our whole vacation was that intercity bus because instead of the bus a minivan showed up. The driver was the worst type of Cypriot guy, very lazy, grumpy and impatient. Mini bus didn’t have any trunk (or the driver was too lazy to open it, he just took a look at us and our stuff and said: “you can try to fit all those inside or you can take a taxi, its up to you”. So we took our three bags and a pram and occupied all corridor and partially sat on some of our stuff, and the other passengers didn’t seem interested to help just instead started nagging and giving us the looks. And the baby was crying as he picked up argument and negative atmosphere and all hell broke loose. Driver didn’t wanted to stand up from his seat to collect the money so Bojan had to climb all over our stuff to give him the money. So we were on our way and we somehow came to Ayia Napa, we left that van and probably the only negative thing we had experienced on Cyprus. That bus price was 4 euros and drive time around 50 minutes.
Since this was our first trip with the baby we had a good research on what is necessary to take on the trip but since all the posts are related to the medicines and cosmetics, we took as many clothes as we would need back home for around 10 days
-6 short sleeve bodysuits
-2 long sleeve bodysuits
-4 pairs of pants
-2 bathing towels
-1 beach towel
-6 tetra diapers (useful for all sorts of things)
-3 pairs of socks
-2 favourite toys
All packed in one bag 🙂
As for regular diapers we took enough for 2-3 days as they take a lot of space in the bag. In Ayia Napa we found Pampers but they were very pricey and we bought other brand in Lidl in Protaras, they are called Toujours. We had good experience with them, they are in some things better than Pampers, design is not much and the price is twice the less that Pampers in Nappa. Lidl is in Protaras, you can take bus 101 there, we went two times for groceries as its very cheap considering how things cost on Cyprus. You can go there on the end of the beach day visiting Fig Three Bay
Cyprus itself has very baby friendly infrastructure. From Protaras to the Nissi Beach there is more or less a continuous bike track and pedestrian zone. All the beaches are accessible with pram. Protaras has a long promenade that stretches till Paralimni and Agia Napa has some kind of path that connects all the beaches. Restaurants, bars and coffee shops are all over the place as well as supermarkets (which are actually convenience stores) that have everything you need for you and for your baby. As for temperature we didn’t know what to expect, I mean we can see the forecast but how windy and how cool are the nights we didn’t know. In Belgrade it was 7c and when we came to pleasant 28c we were overwhelmed. Water temperature was 25c so it was ideal time for parents with young kids. At nights it was also very warm, no need for a long sleeve. There wasn’t a single rainy day, there were two partially cloudy days and that was it. There weren’t any excessive wind nor waves, water is very calm, only one day eastern wind was blowing so there were some waves on eastern part of the Island (waves around 1 meter). As for crowd in October we thought the place will be empty but we were wrong, the place is packed with couples with children, it looks that the only thing that is missing are “party animals” as clubs are mostly empty what you can’t say for restaurants and coffee shops. Generally it looks like Cypriots consider “hing season” period till November 1st.
Our original plan was to rend a car and visit Turkish par of the Cyprus – Kirenia, Famagusta and Nicosia, but we dropped it because our fellow countryman that works for a rentacar compay advised not to, as there is no valid car insurance over there that can be accepted on the Greek side. When I mentioned that we heard that insurance can be bought on the border he said that Greek side doesn’t acknowledge it and they demand full payment of the damage and that you should recall any damage you have in Turkish side which can be a nightmare. What is really worth having rentacar for is a tour on Cape Greco. It looks we were only idiots to go there and take the whole tour with a baby and on foot. Whole tour starts from bus station to a little church Ayii Anargyri, passing through blue lagoon, viewpoint ending on sea caves and back to the station road is mostly dirt track and if you want to do this prepare your back and get a pram with good set of wheels 🙂
Beaches in Agia Napa/Protaras aria are plenty, you can easily have one beach per day for 10 days vacation. Relya was mostly calm and he really enjoyed to be at the beach. Biggest drama happened on the first day when he out of the blue started crying really loud on full Nissi Beach. In radius of 30 meters everyone was turning to us with that look that expect you to take care of it as soon as possible so everyone can get back to zen mode. Therefore its best that you can isolate yourselves a bit, find and empty spot without a lot of people around so you and everyone else can relax. One more advise we can give is that you can try to stay as close to water as possible, Relya was very excited about the water and he kept on staring all the time. We only gave him one dip on the last day because we know a lot of couples that spent their holidays at ER with kids with urinal infections so didn’t wanted to risk it.
Price wise Cyprus is expensive. I mean its not Monte Carlo but comparing it with Greek islands its 20-30% more expensive on average. There is always stuff for us that travel on a budget (yes we are always on budget :D) like you can find espresso coffee for 1 eur in coffee island, there is gyro/doner kebab for 3/3.5eur, always a place for towel on a beach and so on. Of course there is a lot more places where meal for two with drinks costs aroud 40-50 euros. Like always on our trips couple of times we give ourselves a treat so we have picked couple of best rated on gour square, and to be honest we were quite disappointed especially with “authentic Cypriot tavernas”. Frankly the best of Cyprus is not as half as good as average taverna in Serbia and the prices are triple as much. When I see comments like “this place is so amazing and the food is co delicious” I just feel sorry for those people and I can imagine what kind of food they usually eat, so foreigners come to Serbia, try our food and shift your food criteria upward 😀
As for returning home, we decided to skip the bus. Biggest problem was that it was Sunday and flight around noon, byt the only intercity bus that we can catch is 8am one and thats it. Since we know what happened when we came we just took a shared taxi for 14.2 eur per person but it takes you from accommodation straight to the airport departure. If you have some information about that Sunday bus Ayia Napa – Larnaca send us so we can update our post. Flight went smooth, only difference was that baby was in Kangaroo and we had to take it out when we passed the metal detector. Thats about it for now, our next trip – Thailand – 35 days, follow us and our baby boy on our blog and/or on instagram.
Thanks for reading!