I kept my word too, opting for the traditional “teenager abroad” look of blistering sunburn over bloody road-rash and plaster cast.
But now, returning to the Balearic island at the age of 30, I was determined to see what I missed out on back then.
My wife Morgan and I were on a four-night trip with Jet2 Holidays. Staying on the northeastern coast at the 4H Iberostar Alcudia Park, I swore we would do absolutely nothing while away.
We’d just fly and flop — after we had hired a Vespa, that is. After opting out of the free hotel transfer included with our Jet2 package, which also had a generous 22kg luggage allowance, we headed to Vintage Motors at Palma Marina.
It is easily the best rental location on the island. Vintage has a fleet of new and mostly Italian bikes, from the tiny Piaggio 50cc to the speedy Ducati Multistrada.
I have tackled America’s Route 66 and New Zealand on a motorcycle but my mum’s warnings of broken limbs rang in my ears as I hopped on the Vespa to tour the island.
I needn’t have worried, as our friendly guide Julio led us through tranquil mountain twisties where the only traffic was the odd herd of cyclists in Lycra.
We visited tiny villages and secluded coves, stopping for snaps at viewpoints.
The tours are a fun, safe way to see the island and a great introduction to riding a moped for beginners without the confidence to hire one independently (or the guts to defy their mum).
Following a guide allows you to get your bearings early on and we saw sleepy inland Majorca before heading out to the island’s bustling seaside resorts.
Afterwards, we called a cab and made the mistake of explaining to our excitable driver that we had just been on mopeds.
Our cabbie decided we must be adrenaline junkies in need of another fix and gave us a wild drive to our hotel, headbanging to rockers AC/DC all the while.
By the next morning we had recovered, having settled into our Iberostar room.
Newly refurbished this year, our room was a stylish white and blue, with a huge TV, seaview balcony and modern touches such as USB sockets next to the bed.
Fork out a little extra and you can book a room with access to the adult-only rooftop pool and bar.
That is a good option if you do not have kids in tow, as the rest of the resort is mostly young families.
The main pool area is well designed for little ones, with slides and a shallow paddling pool. In fact, the whole strip has a family-friendly vibe.
The hotel is slap-bang in the middle of four and a half miles of white, sandy beach in the Bay of Alcudia.
The water is shallow for 100 yards — perfect for playing with children (or, as we discovered, “just one more” game of bat and ball).
If you are up for exploring, two and a half miles north lies the beautiful old town of Puerto de Alcudia, with trendy Puerto Pollensa another eight miles up the coast.
But having hit our self-imposed quota for excitement, the furthest we strayed was down the road to Figueret.
At this stylish restaurant serving traditional food, we shared a fish and meat paella featuring langoustines and rabbit, washed down with sangria.
We had opted for a half-board package and enjoyed the rest of our meals at the resort’s fab buffet and two bars.
The 4H hotel often felt like a 5H experience, especially with the surprise extras at breakfast. One morning there was an unlimited cava bar. The next, a chocolate fountain appeared.
At night we enjoyed drinks on our balcony while classic song-and-dance entertainment played on stage.
At the end of our weekend, fully unwound, we boarded the coach for a smooth airport transfer.
With a reassuring lack of headbanging from the driver and the friendly Jet2 staff at check-in, our journey home was a breeze.
It reminded me, not for the first time that weekend, why package holidays are such a great way to unwind.
GETTING/STAYING THERE: Seven nights’ half-board at the 4H Iberostar Alcudia Park is from £499pp based on two people sharing, including flights departing from Stansted Airport on October 15, 22kg baggage allowance and transfers.
- See jet2holidays.com or call free on 0800 408 5599.
OUT & ABOUT: The Vespa Tour with Vintage Motors is from £43.73pp based on a driver and a pillion passenger sharing one bike, including snacks and water. Departures daily.
- See mallorcavintage.com.
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