Would you like to go to an exotic destination with your family? Pre-school years can be a the best time to take advantage of off-peak rates for a tropical holiday, before you’re tied in to travelling only during school holidays. The only challenge may be taking a longer flight with younger children. However, provided you are well prepared, there shouldn’t be any problems and you can enjoy a holiday of a lifetime, at a better rate.
To help, we have put together some advice for travelling with pre-school children, together with our favourite exotic destinations:
- Prepare for the flight
Travelling with babies and small children isn’t an easy task, but if you’re equipped with the right tools and entertainment, you’ll definitely avoid a lot of tears and tantrums. Firstly, make sure you bring an extra change of clothes for you and your kids – accidents happen! Pack extra nappies, as you never know when you’re flight will be delayed. Have ‘chewy food’ at hand, it helps with ear-pressure and you can use them as a bribe. Finally, have plenty of entertainment: colouring books, their favourite toy and a tablet with games and their favourite cartoons.
Where to stay: The Caribbean is great for an exotic family holiday and Antigua is a popular island choice because there is so much to do. Verandah Resort and Spa is a family-friendly luxurious resort that has many amenities to keep the whole family busy and happy. They offer a children’s club, water activities such as sailing or snorkelling, and even art classes for the little ones! Their Splash pool offers kids hours of entertainment in a controlled environment, supervised by trained staff, while you can relax at their lavish spa.
- Pick the right room type
As it takes time for babies, toddlers and younger children to accommodate to a new environment, we suggest picking a room type with lots of space for them to fill with familiar items such as teddies and toys.
Another popular choice for families travelling with children is interconnecting rooms. These are rooms that are next to each other but with a door connecting the two. They will offer you privacy, while still being able to keep an eye on the little ones. A balcony can be a good idea too, you can enjoy a few drinks and time together while the children are sleeping in the room.
Where to stay: Thailand, in the Far East is becoming more and more popular every year, and it comes as no surprise given its beauty, fine white beaches and superb accommodation. Centara Grand Beach Resort in Koh Samui is an excellent place to stay with your family. With 6 different room types, including waterfront suites, two-bedroom villas and hillside suites, there is plenty of choice!
- Child-care facilities
Probably the most important aspect when booking a holiday with the kids is the resort’s child-care facilities. Kids clubs, crèches and baby-sitting facilities are an absolute must-have in order for parents to relax and have a great time. They also offer kids activities to keep them busy, such as games, fun classes or outdoor/ water activities. Moreover, you can enjoy time off parenting, knowing they are well looked-after by professionals.
Where to stay: A beautiful destination in the Indian Ocean is the Maldives, described by those who visited as ‘Heaven on Earth’. Atmosphere Kanifushi offers a daily activity schedule for children of all ages. For children younger than 4, they even have paid nanny-hire. Some of their kids’ club activities include arts and crafts, sand painting, banana boat rides, crab races or treasure hunts. For the adults, tennis courts, yoga and diving are also available.
If babies haven’t been weaned yet, their eating habits are fairly straight-forward, but for those travelling with babies 6 – 12 months old, baby food is a must-have at the resort.
Family-focussed hotels offer you the option to order freshly made purees in their restaurants. More exclusive ones even have a fresh baby-food station.
If you’re thinking of weaning your baby, then the resort buffet breakfasts are great to try. They have a large variety of finger foods for them to test, and the added bonus of someone to clean up the mess at the end.
Where to stay: For a relaxing break in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is definitely in our top 3 destinations. Dinarobin Beachcomber Golf Resort and Spa offers excellent child-care facilities, such as kids club, teenagers’ club, and private baby-sitters. You get complimentary baby cots and high-chairs in their restaurants and they offer pureed infants’ food and a kids’ menu.
- Book a Hotel with Entertainment
While the tiniest of babies will be content with rolling about on a play mat, slightly older children will require a little more entertainment-wise, especially once they’re on the move. Most family-friendly hotels will provide age-appropriate toys and books in your room when asked for.
It’s also a good idea to look for entertainment and activities outside the hotel as well, so that there’s something for you to do with your kids.
Children’s pools provide great entertainment, but make sure there is plenty of shade, as children’s skin is sensitive and can burn easily.
Where to stay: If you would like to opt for a holiday in the Middle-East, then we recommend Jumeirah Beach Resort in Dubai. They have plenty of entertainment available for the entire family. For children, there is Sinbad’s Kids club, where they can play games, supervised by trained staff. For teens, there is an exciting activities club called the Hub where they can play sports such as volleyball, football, they can play music, watch movies, or play video games. For an amazing family fun day, there is Wild Wadi Water Park, where guests have free private access from the hotel’s grounds.
This post has been created in collaboration with The Family Holidays Company. If you’d like to contact them to discuss any of the options here is as easy form.
Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!
Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.