THE CLUB 100 • October 2021
It’s surprising how many of you recommended leaving the kids behind! But those brave enough to travel with small people advise researching the right hotel and bringing along plenty of distractions and snacks and (our favourite) a sense of humour
Pack little surprises in your kids’ carry-ons for them to discover during flights, such as lollies for take-off and landing (to stop ears from popping), tray table-friendly games and puzzles to keep them entertained and a book/magazine. They’re always handy when you feel that “Are we nearly there?” about to creep in.
Claire Palmer, UK, Silver
A mixture of together time and alone time has struck me as the key to a successful family holidays. Doing activities together means we can create enjoyable memories, while some time apart allows everyone to recuperate and relax while away.
Tom Rees, London, Blue
Remember the joy of advent calendars? Well, apply that same logic to long-haul flights with little ones! Every one hour that passes is marked by a small gift to entertain until the next – I like to choose mini-puzzles, colouring pads and pens and pocket-sized dollies and cars. Kids will be on best behaviour awaiting their next present!
Jennifer Brown, London
iPads, iPads and iPads!
Luke, London, Blue
Always chat with the BA Holidays team as they have first-hand experience of resorts which are family friendly. And always book well in advance as the best places can be fully booked in high season.
Janing Shenoy, Gerrards Cross, Bronze
Go all inclusive! With kids that might be picky when it comes to food and drink, making sure they have plentiful opportunities to eat makes the holiday stress-free! And with unlimited soft drinks and ice cream, you’re never saying “No” – well, it is a holiday, after all!
John Morley, UK, Blue
Choose a destination that has something for everyone: diving, swimming, beaches, history, shopping, great food. Try new experiences. Eleven years ago we travelled as a family to Menorca, where the boys tried a scuba diving experience – one son is now a diving instructor!
Mandy Coe, Hampshire, Bronze
Spend some time listening to some things each family member would like to do. Then you can plan in activities for everyone and give the family all something to look forward to.
Richard Hickman, Cheshire, Bronze
Download music and movies onto iPads. Don’t assume there will be Wi-Fi to stream.
A Dubya, London, Gold
Rent a villa in the countryside with a pool that’s not too far from a major town to mix home dining with days/evenings out.
John Marsden, London, Silver
Get the kids excited by giving them each control of their airplane backpack. They can fill it with stickers, snacks, their favourite toys, activities and reading books to give them a good variety in case of delays or long flights... Also make sure you put a bit of everyone’s clothing in each suitcase. That way if one person’s luggage is delayed they still have clothing in someone else’s.
Charlotte Howe, Jersey, Silver
Get the kids interested in where you are travelling to before you fly. They then look to discover things once they arrive. Reward them if they participate.
Graham White, Manchester, Bronze
My family still moans about us looking at a restaurant in Nerja and then walking the entire length of the front and then back to the first one. So for a happy holiday, if the first place looks OK, go for it. Or, better still, research and plan. In Barcelona I researched a place that we would never go in but the reviews were excellent so we visited and had one of the best family meals ever.
Andy Maxwell, Cheltenham, Gold
Beach/pool holidays are the best. We tend to choose hotels with adjoining rooms and kids clubs. The St Regis in Abu Dhabi is an incredible holiday destination with amazing service.
Sheila, London, Blue
Even when the children are all grown up, it is still nice to go on a family holiday. Spend time together reconnecting but also make sure to have some time apart so you can each appreciate your destination the way you want. It can be lovely to say, “See you at dinner!” in the morning and then regroup that evening and hear each other’s stories. Mlini, Croatia (pictured above), is great for adult families as it has something for everyone within easy reach: pools, beaches, walks and boat or bus rides to Dubrovnik and other towns in the area.
Anonymous, UK, Blue
Having the right kit deffo makes life easier holidaying with the family. Having, for example, a BabyZen YoYo pushchair that you can take on board means you can use your pushchair in the airport and right up to the plane door. Equally, when you arrive, you can put baby straight into the buggy. Having iPads, devices and snacks helps, but the main thing to do is have fun and enjoy the experience.
Conor McCully, London, Silver
Tell everyone to get ready for a house departure 30 minutes before you need to.
David, Durham, Blue
You can’t beat Disney World Resort hotels for children and the young at heart – there’s everything for a magical experience. It’s the little things like riding up front with the driver on the monorail (pictured above) that make a child’s day feel special. There is so much to delight and enjoy.
Mary Dempsey, Corby, Silver
Just remember to pack your sense of humour. It’s easy to pack and comes in very handy.
Tracy Kenny, Harrogate, Silver
I learned the hard way – when flying with a baby, always make sure to take a change of clothes for yourself on the flight, as well as for the baby. A three-hour flight with baby puke down the inside of your top and all over your bra is not nice for you or the people sitting close by.