“It is not the destination where you end up but the mishaps and memories you create along the way.” It’s one of those quotes you see on Pinterest, and while it’s likely to be referring to life in general, I like to think it can be applied literally to travel too.
How you get to your destination can often be make or break – a long, stressful car journey (I still haven’t forgotten an eight hour drive to Wales with a toddler in the back) or a six hour delay in an airport might send you over the edge before your holiday has even started.
So when we travelled to Universal Resort Orlando recently, as a family, I was VERY EXCITED to be travelling with Virgin Holidays and going on a Virgin Atlantic flight.
Virgin Atlantic has always been my number one choice of airline, when flying to the US. In my experience, it’s just the best way to get across the pond. The food seems to be a notch above other airlines, the staff are super helpful, the in-flight entertainment is second-to-none and even little touches like handing out menu cards at the start of the flight, and having a comedy safety video shows they go above and beyond to make you feel comfortable.
When we’ve flown to the States in the past, I’ve invariably spent hours comparing flight prices and ended up booking a non Virgin flight that connects somewhere random (because, you know, I’m Scottish and like to get a bargain) so flying direct to Orlando with Virgin was SUCH a treat.
It sounds crazy but just getting a direct flight, when you’re used to connecting (last time we flew to Orlando, we went via Toronto!) meant that we were looking forward to the trip even more. Mr P did his usual trick of looking online, in advance, to see what the in-flight entertainment options would be. And as soon as we boarded, the headphones went on and we all started watching something – Captain Underpants The Movie for the seven-year-old and Mr P and I both watched Baby Driver (excellent movie!) But there were so many more options – whole seasons of TV shows like Divorce, and YouTube videos from people like Mother Pukka.
As well as our meal being tasty (which can’t often be said for airline meals…), Virgin Atlantic also give you the option to pre-book a kids’ meal, which is genius. The seven-year-old had cheesy pasta, cake and apple juice while we had chicken pesto pasta – and later on, a FAB lolly!
Granted, travelling with one seven-year-old isn’t as tricky as flying with a baby, or multiple children, but when the seven-year-old wasn’t watching movies, she played games on the in-flight entertainment system (she’s playing Solitaire in that photo of my ice lolly, above!). At one point she turned to me and said “I JUST don’t know what to do!” which was definitely a reaction to having TOO MANY brilliant options. I could tell she was thinking “Should I watch a movie, read my Harry Potter book, play a game, do some puzzles or do some colouring?”
Throughout the flight, the airline crew were happy to bring us extra bottles of water, a cheeky G&T or two, and generally look after us well. It was the perfect start to our holiday. On the way back, we caught a night flight and received the same brilliant service, including a fab breakfast just before we landed.
Flying Virgin Atlantic felt, to me, a cut above the other airlines we’ve flown with, and I’ll always have a little check to see if we can afford to fly with them before looking at other options from now on. So there were – thankfully – no mishaps on the way, but there were definitely some memories made on our journey.
This trip was kindly arranged by Mumsnet, Universal Orlando Resort and Virgin Holidays. I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the holiday featured above and I wasn’t paid to write about it. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. For more information on how I work with brands, see my Work With Me page.