We’re up and packed early, so we can take our time over breakfast. Around 10am we checked out, the process takes 2 minutes, and then we waited outside reception for our private transfer to Burgas Airport. The Jet2 coach arrives earlier and collects a handful of guests for their return to the airport. Shortly afterwards a 9-seater minibus arrives – a bit overkill for the two of us!

Check-in at Burgas Airport is quick and security is smooth. The whole process takes less than ten minutes – which means we are now really early for our 13:15 flight. The airport is looking pretty busy, so we decide to use my two free Priority Passes to the access the lounge (you get two free every year with an Amex Gold card). The lounge is nothing special, the food choice particularly underwhelming, but it’s a nice quiet space which we have completely to ourselves. It’s also located directly opposite our gate, which makes a pleasant change (looking at you London Heathrow and Berlin).

Unfortunately, the usual Stansted inefficiency and incompetence means that our plane is late to arrive at Burgas airport. In the end we manage to depart just 20 minutes after our scheduled flight time, which is pretty good work by the aircrew.

Top tips

  • A packet of crisps costs €4.50 at Burgas. Buy snacks before arriving at the airport.
  • The Priority Pass lounge is only really good for small snacks, so don’t expect a filling meal before your flight. The beer is cold though. (You get free Priority Pass membership when you apply for an American Express Gold Card, which is nice).
  • Do not leave the lounge until your flight is called – you will just be stuck in a crowd of hot and bothered people creating a traffic jam in the airport.

Final thoughts

In the interests of transparency, it’s important to tell you that Lin won this holiday through a competition run by Jet2. There is almost nothing about this prize that matches our usual travel style – we usually take city breaks and do a lot more sightseeing.

So has this trip changed our mind about resort holidays? Absolutely. We’ve actually enjoyed being able to sit around and do nothing. Lin has even talked about holidaying with our large (and mostly grown-up) family at some point in the future. We’re sure the grandchildren will love the aqua park, pool and the activities laid on by the Aqua Nevis Animations Team. We’re also sure our kids will love the fact that you could conceivably enjoy a whole week away without spending another penny – you get all-inclusive for much less than a week at Centerparcs for instance. 

Sunny Beach and the Aqua Nevis resort are set up in such a way that you can do as much or as little as you want. Taking a bus into Burgas seems relatively straightforward, while UNESCO-listed Nesebar offers plenty of opportunities for traditional sightseeing. Flower Street (the centre of Sunny Beach proper) is a short walk away if you want loud nightlife. Or you can stay on the resort and take part in the many activities that are organised every day. 

We’ve really enjoyed ourselves this week – far more than we ever expected.

Who is this trip for?

  • Cost-conscious families
  • Anyone on a budget
  • Sun worshippers
  • Waterpark thrill-seekers

Who is this trip not for?

  • Snobs
  • Gourmets
  • Heat-haters
  • Non-swimmers

Next stop, Prague.