FUSS-FREE FAMILY HOLIDAYS
With clever planning and the right preparation, travelling with your loved ones can lead to a dream vacation.
The best family holidays are fantastic opportunities to bond and get back in touch with loved ones, but without proper planning, these can turn into logistical nightmares, unnecessary stress and even constant bickering during trips. To help navigate around these (highly) possible pain points, follow our tips for a better experience when you next travel with your family.
As your home-away-from home for the next few days or weeks, choose from the best family destinations that will give you peace of mind. From family resorts to kid-friendly hotels and facilities to places of attraction, bear in mind that the younger the family members, the greater the attention to ensure minimal health-related inconveniences.
Bear in mind that information stated on travel booking sites can be misleading, so do check location maps and find out the hotel’s proximity to various attractions and amenities. Better still, check the official website of the accommodation, where chances are there’s more accurate information regarding all the above and more.
This distinguishes an amazing family holiday from any other. Check if there are special child-friendly amenities. These can range from rooms decked in kid-friendly décor with child-friendly toiletries and more.
Ensure that everyone has enough space for a good rest. A National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (NATAS) spokesman advises: “check with a travel agent or the hotel if arrangements can be made to provide extra beds for children or connecting rooms.”
Value-wise, hotels offering family packages are probably your best bet for a hassle-free holiday. For instance, Park Hotel Group’s Family Moments package (available at selected Park Hotel and Grand Park properties) allows children to stay and dine for free. This is accompanied by perks like a 50% discount on your second room, complimentary kids meals, weekend upgrades at no additional charge and complimentary in-room amenities that are specially tailored for your tots. Click here for more details.
To reduce the hassle of getting around, choose hotels that offer airport pickups and group transportation.
FUN ACTIVITIES FOR ALL
Holidays with children should be enjoyable for all! Check if your hotel and resort of choice offers kid-friendly activities, or kids’ club. If they do, the little ones will be happily occupied with fun programmes guided by trained facilitators who might be able to take them off your hands while you relax with a much-deserved spa treatment, discover the locale or simply unwind. The Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives, for example, has a well-stocked family & kids room with games and toys that will keep adults and kids entertained, while Park Hotel Nusa Dua, Bali, is the perfect grounds for beach activities that will keep all happy.
BE PREPARED BEFORE TAKE-OFF
It takes prudence, not a crystal ball, to battle potential trip dampeners like health scares and lost property. “Singaporeans who get e-registered with the Ministry of Foreign affairs are kept contactable in the event of a crisis. Always carry photocopies of your passports and travel insurance policies, along with contact details of your bank and embassy,” says the NATAS spokesman.
Just in case, consult your General practitioner for necessary vaccinations and pack some essential medication for tummy upsets and common colds. If your elderly travel companions have mobility issues, check on wheelchair accessibility at the various attractions, so that they won’t get left out.
If staycationing, it won’t hurt to be aware of neighbouring chemists, clinics or hospitals. Just in case.
CALM DOWN RESTLESS KIDS
Rowdy kids on board a packed flight spell a recipe for disaster, so be ready to deal with situations where they are tired, hungry or anxious. According to Daniel Koh, psychologist, Insights Mind centre, talking to your children about the new environments they are about to encounter will help dispel any apprehension they may feel.
For long journeys, he suggests: “prepare some simple snacks or sweets. These serve as enjoyable distractions and can also help with air pressure during flights.” He adds: “Keep them stimulated with music, songs, magic boards, card games and their comfort toys.”
Another tip: Some airports, like Changi Airport, has playgrounds within the departure area where kids can have all the fun prior to the flight, and hopefully, will be in need of some rest during the actual travel on-board the plane.
Don’t be afraid to venture out of your hotel for meals. There are many websites/apps like Tripadvisor providing information and reviews of various restaurants and cafes overseas. If overspending is your concern, use an app like Budgetyourtrip to track expenses while on the go. Instead of trying to visit as many attractions as possible, check how much time is needed for each place and draw up a list of priority attractions together. This way, everyone’s needs are met, and you can all enjoy your vacation together without rushing everywhere.
CAPTURE THOSE MOMENTS
Precious family moments should be treasured for a lifetime. Snap away using your smartphone or camera for more conversations and reflections post trip. This will also be great resources for family scrapbooking moments or reminiscing shared experiences together, which helps everyone bond even more. Upload them too to share with close family and friends on your social media account if you’re comfortable with that!
Family Moments is available at:
Grand Park Cityhall
Grand Park Kunming
Grand Park Orchard
Grand Park Otaru
Grand Park Wuxi
Grand Park Xian
Park Hotel Alexandra
Park Hotel Clarke Quay
Park Hotel Farrer Park
Park Hotel Hong Kong
Park Hotel Nusa Dua, Bali