Most of you are already back from your mid year family holidays, and either they were a big success or they were a living nightmare having to deal with the logistics of kids! I don’t know about you but i always come back from holiday with our boys feeling like i need a proper holiday to recover! Here we hear from Nicholas Barenblatt, Group Marketing manager for Protea Hotels, as he gives some tips on choosing places to go with your kids!
By Bonny Feldman
Since you’ve had kids, you haven’t been able to enjoy a great mid or year-end break – a relaxing Mauritius holiday or a jaunt at a great South African natural spot. And that’s probably because you’re terrified of suffering a repeat of that tale of Baby Amy screaming her head off at breakfast at an upmarket lodge, horribly embarrassing the entire family! How would you cope if something similar happened with your little one?
For many parents of young children, it’s intimidating to go away on holiday considering the shenanigans these youngsters can get up to.
However, this doesn’t have to be the case, as Nicholas Barenblatt, Group Marketing Manager for Protea Hotels – himself the father of young children – knows. Nicholas shares some of his own experiences.
1. Choose the place you’re going to very carefully. Look for a place that’s child-friendly. In other words, it must offer activities that suit everyone . not just yourself, says Nicholas. So, if you loved visiting the art galleries of Europe in the past, remember that this isn’t likely to be a good option for the young â€˜uns.
In addition to seeing what’s suitable for children in the area where you want to visit . such as a game reserve or a beach . check up on what kiddies’ activities are on offer at the accommodation you’re considering. A place with a well-structured children’s activity program and/or facilities such as a games room, or a table tennis or tennis court that’s open to children, is ideal since you get to enjoy some free time when your progeny are out playing and making new friends.
If you are travelling by air to get to your destination, be cognisant of your travel times based on the routine (feed and sleep times) of your children, especially when travelling with babies. It’s easy to get caught out searching by price as opposed to time of departure and time of arrival.
2. Self-catering is definitely an option to consider, especially if your children are toddlers or babies. You don’t have to worry about those disapproving looks from other diners at an upmarket hotel restaurant, or run the risk of being asked (diplomatically, of course) to remove your toddler from the tank where the fresh crayfish may be viewed by more discerning diners! With self-catering, you can heat up the child’s favourite Woolies spaghetti meal at 6pm, leaving the eating and sleeping routine intact, and allowing you to enjoy gourmet cuisine from the hotel restaurant at a later time while your kids are cared for by the hotel’s baby-sitter.
Requesting a room close to the public areas and facilities is also something to remember as it makes one’s life easy when going back and forth with your kids or when needing to check up on them whilst they are under the care of the hotel’s baby-sitter.
You’ll find many options in the self-catering category, suitable for a variety of pockets. There are some great choices situated in wonderful spots perfect for a break with children: the Protea Hotel Kruger Gate, with its serviced fully equipped chalets, is a stone’s throw from the Kruger National Park, and you can enjoy a great beach holiday at the Protea Hotel Mossel Bay in a luxury self-catering suite.
3. You should think carefully about how to engage with your children so that you spend quality time together, Nicholas advises. It’s about a family holiday, not your holiday, so make sure you do things together as a family. Show the children you care by demonstrating an interest in what they do, and let them tell you all about their day before they drift off to sleep in the evening. It’ll deepen your relationship with them, and you’ll probably return home with an even more close-knit family than before you left.
What is crucial is planning well in advance. Research the options thoroughly, and give yourself enough time to discuss them and to be sure that you’ll be able to get the booking that the whole family really wants.
Most importantly, Nicholas concludes, enjoy!
I love this and couldn’t agree more. If you are already planning your end of year holiday with the family these are some very good things to consider. If this last one was a disaster, you can rest assured knowing these guidelines will help turn that around.