Luxury Travellers, you may think that once you start a family, your travelling days are over, at least for now. This is most certainly not true! Having lived in Hong Kong when my babies were very young, I can assure you that this is the easiest time to fly with little ones. Babies can be put in the cots, called bassinets, right in front of you and they usually sleep like, well, babies! They might need a little help on take-off and landing, but a feed usually works a treat. Once they start walking, you might find yourself pacing up and down the aisles for a while before they tire themselves out and fall asleep, but most people love a baby or toddler and I always received a lot of help from the flight attendants and encouraging smiles from fellow passengers. Many airlines offer activity packs for children, with puzzles and things to colour in and inflight entertainment for those old enough to enjoy it.
Once you get to your resort, things are much the same as being at home, especially if you opt for a villa or apartment with plenty of space. You might want to think about a one or two bedroom hotel suite if you’d like a bit of peace in the evenings. Or a large room with a balcony, so you can enjoy a drink and a bit of adult conversation once the little ones are down. The difference is, though, that you can enjoy the warm weather during the daytime and maybe take the little ones to family restaurants in the evenings. You can get your baby swimming with flotation aids from just a few months old and you and your travelling companion can take it in turns to watch the kids while the other one does a few lengths of the pool or has a snooze in the sunshine. If you feel comfortable doing it, there are many hotels that offer babysitting both during the day and the evening and the nannies are trained to a very high standard. Once they are old enough, the children can make new friends in the kids clubs and this is, apparently, very good for their social skills.
As far as safety is concerned, you should always opt for a swimming pool with an alarm or one that is totally enclosed by a fence, especially once the little darlings are more mobile. Many hotels have fantastic playgrounds these days. So good you will want to join in yourselves! You also need to be mindful of the potential danger of balconies. Make sure your balcony doors are child proof and NEVER let the kids out there on their own! All common sense precautions that you would take at home. Lots of hotels also provide all the equipment you need, so you do not have to lug it with you on the plane. I’m talking bottle sterilizers, blenders, cots, etc. Good hotels will be happy to blend up delicious fruit and vegetables for your little ones, too.
One hotel I stayed at which offers amazing baby and children’s facilities is the Almyra Hotel in Paphos, Cyprus. Take a look at all they can provide and their warm baby pool is lovely, too.
If you are nervous about travelling with the offspring, start with short haul holidays to mainland Europe. Then maybe branch out to the Caribbean, the Middle East and even Mauritius and the Maldives. True, you may not be ready to trek around South East Asia yet, but there are options in most countries for parents who do not want to give up their love of travelling. In general , everyone loves babies and children and you will see babies being pushed around in their prams late into the night, something you would not find here in the UK.
I have either visited child friendly hotels myself or have clients who have been to them, so I have a list of the best hotels to travel with your precious little ones. Oh, and babies travel free on airlines up to the age of two years old! Then you have another ten years until you pay a full adult fare on most airlines, so take advantage of these savings while you can!