A couple months ago, after the days in Germany started growing shorter and the summer sun was replaced by the cloudy fall sky, my husband and I decided to book a trip “anywhere to the south”. We played around on Ryan Air to find a destination in southern Europe that would offer some more sun and a fun escape during the long two-week holiday break. Without much research or planning, we booked a trip to Sicily! I mean, who doesn’t want to go to Sicily, right?
Ryan Air Experience
Before we get to Sicily, let me tell you a bit about flying as this was the first time we flew to our destination instead of flying.
In case you’re not familiar, here’s the scoop on Ryan Air. It’s a super budget European airline that makes Southwest Airlines look like a First Class affair. If you get lucky you can find tickets for super, super cheap (like 1 Euro ticket plus fees) but it’s bare bones. You have to pay more for anything beyond your seat on the plane (assigned seat, checked bag, drink, snack, etc). My husband and I flew Ryan Air a TON when we were in Germany before, but that was pre-kids. I was really nervous about how the experience would be traveling as a family of five, but it was great! I was pleasantly surprised by the ease of gate checking a stroller and car seat (though we were charged for the car seat), how smoothly it was to get our seats together and the timeliness of both flights. We will definitely travel Ryan Air again. In fact, we’ve already started searching tickets for our next getaway.
Like I said, we didn’t really do much planning for this trip. Our only goal was to spend time together, explore a bit and enjoy some slightly warmer weather. It was definitely the off-season in Sicily. On the one hand, it’s like we didn’t get to experience all the area really had to offer. On the other, we got to see the “real” Trapani – including everything from a wedding in the center of town to the fish market filled with locals shopping for fresh dinner.
We stayed in Trapani, which was more of a port city than some of the picturesque beach towns we explored. Even though it was a larger city in the area, Trapani was deserted during siesta everyday. There was many times we were the only people on the street – totally surreal. We also had a running joke that we were the first people in every restaurant at dinner when we showed up right when they opened at 6:30 or 7.
We took a boat to nearby island, Favignana, one day. The island was pretty, albeit deserted. I think my kids enjoyed the boat ride the most!
Another day we rented a car and drove to see some other towns. My favorite was San Vito Lo Capo. It was beautiful! I think if we ever return to Sicily we would go to spend time at the beach here. Even with jacket weather, the kids loved playing in the sand.
Family-Friendly Destination Details
- Hotel: Residence Le Chiavi di San Francesco. I can’t say enough good things about our hotel – the staff was amazing and our suite was perfect for our family. We had two separate sleeping areas, a full kitchen and a nice bathroom. The wonderful woman at the front desk did everything from book our airport shuttles to make dinner reservations to recommend places to explore – she was so helpful! We loved having plenty of room to spend time in our hotel room, and Max loved the bidet!
- Favorite Meals: it was all pretty much the same… Let’s just say we will not be having pasta or pizza for a few weeks as we ate it two meals a day for four days. I wish we’d been more brave to eat some of the local fish, but fish is a little intimidating when there’s a language barrier. The food highlight was the lemon sorbet and gelato!
- Must Do Activities: Definitely take a boat to a smaller nearby island.