Tag

holidays with kids

Browsing

Stepping off a boat onto Malolo Island, greeted by local staff adorning us with shell necklaces and a Welcome acoustic harmony, set the tone for a fulfilling, relaxing and authentically Fijian island holiday.

Malolo Island is a dream.
It is isolated from the hubbub, noise and energy of daily living, and is an ideal destination for families wanting to spend time together, relax and enjoy a little indulgence.

I visited Malolo recently with my nine-year-old daughter and six-year-old son. While many single parents feel daunted by a trip overseas with young children, we experienced peace, tranquillity and an opening of our senses.

Malolo is a tropical paradise. Unspoilt and sublime – native rainforest and sapphire, pristine waters.

The resort offered many activities to keep the kids entertained; their Kids Club was unlike others; Daily educational programs were run by a highly trained and experienced educator. We could opt for the morning, afternoon and/or evening sets that were engaging and hands-on. It wasn’t just a babysitting club.

Children’s activities included an excursion in a glass-bottom boat to identify fish and coral; fossicking for shells to make bracelets, and finding flowers in the native bush to make a lei.

The accommodation was exceptional – deluxe beach cottages, each with ocean views, hammocks, comfortable beds and furnishings, and all the trimming of a Five Star hotel – meticulous – without the crowds or frenzy.

There is no WiFi, TV or any electrical devices in the chalets, but it is available in the communal areas. After an initial “horror” moment, we quickly melded into this way of life. We really had space and time to just Be, Together.

There is also an adults-only area, which offers movies, books, and a quiet comfort area, as well as a child-free pool.

I also enjoyed a wonderful massage at Leilani’s Spa.

We feasted on fresh local fruit and seafood, as well as the usual western fare, but in gourmet style – even the burgers and chips were delicious! The menu was spot-on – healthy buffet for the children or ala carte and romantic dining options for the adults.

A highlight of our stay was a personal boat trip to the infamous island which was the setting for Tom Hanks’ blockbuster movie, Castaway.

We snorkelled off the boat into the warm, clear waters – no need for wetsuits or towels – admiring the vibrant colours of the colourful fish and intricate, vivid
coral, and crawled onto the shores of this unspoilt island.

It was a unique experience.

Our guide took us on a tour, climbing a coconut palm and shared the flavours of the different coconut types.

When we’d finished frolicking about on the powder white sand, we donned our fins and swam back to the boat to enjoy a tasty breakfast made just for us – juicy, local fruits, Danish pastries, fresh juice and coffee.

Another high point was an island tour with a local Fijian man who explained the healing properties of the native plants: and learnt how the Noni can help cure mouth and gum infections, TB, sprain, rheumatism and stomach ulcers and hypertension, headaches, fever, and malaria; the Beach Mahogany can treat cuts, burns, sunburn, insect bites, scabies, and eye problems.

Malolo Island was really a very special place to stay as a family and somewhere I’d like to revisit soon.

Resorts (or villages, as they like to be called) are located all over the world, ranging from the ski slopes in Europe, to the cultural richness of Mexico, so there really is something for everyone.

Club Med is one of the original “All Inclusive” holiday specialists on the market, which means they include as much as they can in their price.

Out of all the 80 resorts that Club Med has around the world, a whopping 57 of them are family friendly – that’s a lot of holidays to choose from!

The resorts (or villages, as they like to be called) are located all over the world, ranging from the ski slopes in Europe, to the cultural richness of Mexico, so there really is something for everyone.

Major Inclusions:

  • Accommodation
  • All meals (great for budgeting)
  • Sporting activities
  • Shows
  • Evening entertainment

The beauty of this type of holiday is that children are catered for in just about every age group. Club Med have dedicated “Kids Clubs”, ranging from the bubs to the teenagers. If the adults want to have some “grown up” time and take advantage of the Kids Clubs, they may find that their children want to stay all day!

Some villages offer the following care for children:

  • Baby Club Med   – 4 to 23 months
  • Petit Club Med   – 2 to 3 years
  • Mini Club Med   – 4 to 10 years
  • Junior Club Med – 10 to 17 years (some clubs offer 11-13 and 14-17 years)

 Some activities on offer (for everyone, not just the kids!)

  • Tennis
  • Archery
  • Swimming
  • Trapeze
  • Arts and crafts
  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Sailing
  • Cooking
  • Snorkelling
  • Bush Walking

If parents want to stay out for the evening, babysitting is also offered for an additional fee.

One of the villages close to home is the Cherating Beach Resort in Malaysia. It has been voted into the top 10 family resorts in Asia by Trip Advisor for 2013.

Highlights include:

  • Baby gym
  • Circus school
  • Petit Chef Program – a fantastic experience! Children learn to cook local dishes and parents come and taste them…yum!
  • Clean Art Planet – children use objects from the sea to create, tell stories, photograph…the list is endless
  • Hiking
  • Dance

Additional highlights:

  • Baby corner in the main restaurant
  • Spare prams (limited supply)
  • Playground

Top tip: If you have young children, ask for a ‘Club Med Baby Welcome Service.’

It includes:

  • Personal Welcome
  • Cot
  • Change mat
  • Bottle Warmer
  • Baby bath
  • High chair if available

For more information visit

www.clubmed.com.au

Getting there

Club Med can even arrange your flights and transfers to your village of choice if you so desire. Alternatively, you can arrange this yourself through your travel agent or online.

When travelling with children I recommend a direct flight where possible. Both Malaysian Airlines and Air Asia fly directly from Perth.

For more information visit

www.malaysianairlines.com

www.airasia.com

** Please be aware that not all the villages offer all the activities**