Top 5 tips for travelling with kids
The very thought of taking the kids along on a blissful Pacific Island holiday is enough to make any parent break out in a sweat.
But your vacation needn't be trouble in paradise - (Hat tip to Mike Geary House of Travel's Pacific Islands product manager!)... Here are our top 5 tips for travelling with children.
Let's be honest - we have all rolled our eyes disapprovingly at parents who seem to sit back and let their children run amok on airplanes.
But kids will be kids, and there are a few things you can do to ensure your little angels are not the worst offenders.
When booking your flights, strategise with your seating plan. Aisle seats are ideal for children who are old enough to walk around sensibly or who might need to use the toilet often, but not so great for the squirmers (you don't want any little flailing arms when the meals and drinks trolley comes around).
Window seats, on the other hand, provide hours of free entertainment (look at the lovely clouds!) and keep the roamers safely at bay.
In any case, bring plenty of reading material, activities such as travel-size games or colouring books, and maybe a favourite toy - but do think of your fellow passengers, and try to pick one that doesn't make any noise.
Don't forget to order kids' meals when making your booking.
Again, planning ahead will save you the disappointment of arriving at your five-star resort and discovering you'll be spending the whole time top-and-tailing.
Ask about one-bedroom, inter-connecting rooms and two-bedroom accommodation when making your selection. Some resorts offer a second inter-connecting room at half price. The extra space is sure to make a difference to your comfort levels.
The more options there are the more you can accommodate for the needs of different members of the family - a separate room might mean babies and toddlers can have their own space for daytime sleeps while the rest of the family moves about.
Also make sure to request ground room floors and rooms away from noisy stairwells.
Adjusting to the culinary differences of new country takes time for everyone, but especially children. And when you're staying in the middle of a tropical paradise, it might not be so easy to just pop over to old favourite McDonald's.
Consider taking a supply of your own food from home, in particular tins and jars as these can be very expensive in resorts.
Make sure everyone is staying hydrated in the heat, but never drink unboiled water. Bottled water is your safest option - nobody wants to have to deal with upset tummies. Remember access to medical centres is slower on the islands.
Many resorts and hotels contain kids clubs, a luxury daycare option which gives parents some much-needed time out to explore the islands on their
own (conveniently, some even open until late at night, so parents can enjoy a peaceful romantic dinner together). The islands have these clubs down to a fine art, so no need to feel guilty for abandoning the kids.
The clubs enable children to make the most out of their holiday, offering an incredible range of activities, both entertaining and educational.
From snorkelling to adventure tours, to culture and cooking classes, it's likely Mum and Dad will end up wanting to join in on the fun too.
MAKING MEMORIES THERE
Give older kids their own cameras and encourage them to keep a travel diary to document the holiday.
For younger children, we love this idea of keeping a diary of events in the voice of a favourite toy.
Long after the holiday is over, these will remain family treasures.
What are your top tips for travelling with children? Leave a comment below.