Travel

Portugal has right resort for four under-eights, holiday guru advises


Where can you keep four children, quiet? How can you get a free six-day visa for China? And what to do in Jamaica? The holiday guru unravels traveller conundrums

  • Marthinhal Quintal Family Resort in Portugal has something for everyone
  • China offers 144-hour free transit visas to UK passengers arriving by sea or air 
  • Montego Bay offers Dunn’s River Falls and trips to coffee plantations 

Q. My husband and I have booked a cruise from Singapore that ends in Shanghai, where we will stay two nights. I am told there is a 144-hour free transit visa in Shanghai, but the cruise line will not confirm this. Can you help?

Jean Cotterell, by email 

China has a 144-hour visa exemption for UK transit passengers arriving or departing by sea or air and then travelling onwards to a third country (not the country from which your ship or flight originated). This exemption covers those arriving in Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin.

China offers 144-hour free transit visas to UK passengers arriving by sea or air. Shanghai city pictured above

China offers 144-hour free transit visas to UK passengers arriving by sea or air. Shanghai city pictured above

Before boarding, your cruise ship will request proof of your homeward flight. You will then be required to present this to immigration officials when disembarking in Shanghai. It’s a good idea to have to hand a copy of your Shanghai accommodation booking. Visit travelchinaguide.com.

Q. We are travelling to Jamaica in May and want to know if it is better to take Jamaican or U.S. dollars. Also, any ideas for things to do in Montego Bay?

Karen, by email

U.S. dollars are widely accepted in tourist areas, but, off the beaten track, Jamaican dollars are recommended. It is usually better to obtain Jamaican dollars in advance at a bank or your hotel — the current exchange rate is 151.39 Jamaican dollars to the pound (postoffice.co.uk).

There is plenty to do around Montego Bay, including excursions to Dunn’s River Falls (a beautiful terraced waterfall) and the Blue Mountains coffee plantations.

Q. My husband and I would like to take our four children aged one to seven on their first holiday abroad somewhere sunny. We’d like to fly for less than three hours to a resort with plenty to entertain kids, plus a beach. We are happy to save for next year, so should have a decent budget.

Ellen Sheane, by email

Something for everyone: Marthinhal Quintal Family Resort, in the Algarve, Portugal, lives up to its name, with children’s clubs, creches, pools, indoor play areas and villas with private pools

Something for everyone: Marthinhal Quintal Family Resort, in the Algarve, Portugal, lives up to its name, with children’s clubs, creches, pools, indoor play areas and villas with private pools

Marthinhal Quintal Family Resort, in the Algarve in Portugal, lives up to its name, with children’s clubs, creches, pools, indoor play areas and villas with private pools. This is the top tip for children your age from Jane Anderson, editor of Family Traveller magazine, but it’s not cheap: a seven-night self-catering stay starts from £5,840 for your family with Stansted flights and transfers (jet2holidays.com).

If you need advice, the Holiday Guru is here to answer your questions and provide tips on how to make the most of your precious time off. Please send questions to [email protected] or write to Daily Mail Travel, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT — and include your contact details. We will do our best to answer your queries but we can’t reply to every enquiry. Please do not send in any original documents. We look forward to hearing from you. 

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