Holidays For Active Kids – Club Med Bali Review

Day Beds by the Pool – heaven!

Holidays For Active Kids – When The Parents Are In Need Of A Lie Down

I’m sure I’m not the only mother who feels she needs to lie down and have a little rest.

Excuse me whilst I fall around laughing!

Who amongst us doesn’t need, and deserve, a little break? A real holiday even?

All too often on holidays, I haven’t had much of a break at all. It’s because I took the children with me. What an error!

No seriously, I have very active children, super super active in fact. The two teenage boys have slowed down a bit, but the twin terrors are still up and at it at a cracking pace from dawn until dusk.

We’ve had some real  holiday horrors, in the past. But I think we’ve cracked it. My hubby and I had a taste of relaxation in Fiji last year, when we went to a very family-friendly resort called “The Outrigger.’

Beach and Bar Area

Then recently, I reached family holiday nirvana in Bali… and there was no meditation or chanting involved.

Myself and the twins went to stay at Club Med Bali. The sheer range of kids’ activities, plus the quality of the staff meant that even my turbo-charged twosome were kept joyfully occupied.

And I could chill out by the pool. With a book. And a coffee or even a cocktail or mocktail. It was bliss.  And I’m telling you, I totally deserved it.

So what were the kids up to whilst I was lounging around?

Well, for the first time ever they were actually demanding to go to kids’ club.  The twins are six and they went along to Mini Club which caters for kids aged four – ten years.

Younger children can have nannies up to the age of two, or go to Petit Club when they are between two – four years. These care options are not covered in the Club Med all-inclusive costs however.

Trapeze was great for kids and adults

There’s also Junior Club Med for offspring aged 11 – 18 years.

Mini Club Med is also open for two sessions 9am – 5.30pm and 7pm – 9pm.

Our previous kids clubs had always had a lunchtime break and it felt hard to get anything done in the morning or afternoon short blocks.

At Club Med Bali it felt good to know that the kids were busy and engaged all day. A rare sense of freedom!

Here’s a list of the sorts of things the twins got up to: archery, circus, pool games, yoga, pirate arts and crafts, show time, fun with nature, beach exploration, art and crafts, baking, games and races.

No wonder they were happy to stay at the kids club for most of the day for three of the four days we were there.  Astounding!

Cooking Activities

I think part of the reason they loved it so much was because of the energy and dedication of the staff.  The people who care for the kids are known in Club Med speak as GOs which stands for gentiles organisateurs.  There is a very high staff/kids ratio and the exuberance of the GOs is infectious.

Actually I didn’t spend ALL my time by the pool. It was a semi-work trip for me so I took loads of photos, also did some swimming at the beach, joined the kids for some death-defying leaps on the flying trapeze, played in the pool and checked out the facilities.

If my older boys and hubby had come along they’d have spent lots of time on the golf course and tennis courts.

I also fearlessly investigated the spa there, enjoying a very relaxing pedicure. Well, one must.

A long walk along the seashore was great too, going through many other resorts that line the beaches of Nusa Dua.

For myself and my husband, who used to be quite lively, holidays with a bit of lying down time are more than welcome, they’re essential.

These kids have knocked the stuffing out of us over the past 16 years.  I’m not saying we will lounge about all the time, we won’t.  But we love not to have to keep up with those crazy kids ALL the time!

Seana’s first book was ‘Sydney For Under Fives’ now in its third edition. Seana blogs at: Sydney, Kids, Food + Travel.Her latest book is ‘Sydney’s Best Beaches For Kids.’ Seana loves sharing her knowledge of family travel and Sydney’s best places for families. Drop in anytime!

Archery
Kids Steps


Kids Pool

Top Places to Visit When Travelling to Japan with Children

Japan is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, as it has so many tourist spots that cannot be seen anywhere else. Japanese people happen to also be highly friendly and welcoming to all races that they may come to meet. If you are one of many people that wants to experience a new culture as well as see such beautiful attractions, then you may want to consider a visit Japan. Before going to Japan, it is important that you plan out all of the places you will visit so that you won’t waste any time. By knowing exactly where to visit when in Japan, you will be able to make the most out of your vacation to this wonderful country.

Disneyland

Tokyo Disneyland is one of the top hotspots in all of Japan. It is the place where thousands of people visit on a daily basis to get the feel of Disney in a place outside of the Anaheim Disneyland, in California. Tokyo Disneyland currently has two theme parks just like the Disneyland in California; Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea. Tokyo has implemented the Tower of Terror which has become quite a hit in Tokyo and all over the globe in the other Disney theme parks out there.

Universal Studios

There are many Universal Studios theme parks, and one of them is in Japan (Universal Studios Japan). Watch the movies come to life as you ride with the Dinosaurs in Jurassic Park or Shrek in the famous Shrek 4-D Show. Universal Studios Japan is definitely worth the look if you want to enjoy a great theme park where films and movies come to life.

Nagano’s White Ring Arena

The world famous White Ring Arena in Nagano is where the 1998 Olympic Figure Skating and Speed Skating event was held. It is mostly known for its circle shaped overall look from the outside, and it became quite a famous arena once Tara Lipinski beat Michelle Kwan for the Olympic Gold Medal in 1998. If you want to visit a great historic attraction in Japan, consider the White Ring Arena.

Niseko, Japan

Niseko is home for its beautiful and natural settings that can be seen. It is one of the biggest assets of Niseko since there are so many natural wonders to experience in this area. There are forests, rivers, and stunning mountains to see, and each place has remained to be a few of the best tourist attractions in all of Japan. Niseko is home to many beautiful hotels as well and great resorts worth staying in.

As you can see, Japan has a wide range of attractions, theme parks, and relaxing places to visit.  If you are looking for an overseas holiday that will have something for the whole family to enjoy, consider a holiday in Japan!

This blog post was submitted by Natasha on behalf of WanTo Travel

 

Vietnam as a family holiday destination – review

Hoi An Old Town

Vietnam is not an obvious destination for a family holiday – especially when that family includes a fourteen-month old child. But as my sister and I found when travelling there with my son, it’s a wonderfully welcoming place to travel with children.

Indeed, having a small child with us quite literally opened doors. The Vietnamese are a friendly, family-minded people, and as one tour guide explained to us, while they’re accustomed to foreign backpackers, it’s still a relative novelty to see very young foreign tourists in Vietnam.

Despite the rarity of younger tourists, the three hotels we stayed in were well equipped for young children: cots and high chairs were available upon request, and the resort we stayed in – the Palm Garden Resort, Hoi An – also had a wading pool, a kids menu, and a kids club.

Palm Garden Resort Beach

Hotel staff were indulgent to the point of it almost being embarrassing – we frequently returned to our room to find handfuls of chocolates stashed on my son’s pillow, and we were always greeted with wide, friendly smiles wherever we went. I can only remember a handful of occasions when my son ate with us – waiters and waitresses whisked him away to play while we ate in peace!

The culture is foreign enough that stepping out into the streets of Ho Chi Minh is an exciting and colourful experience in itself: motorcycles whip past on the roads, while the pavements are alive with street vendors selling everything from tea and hot pho to hats and sandals. Happily the hustle and bustle is easily escapable; the city is full of green, open spaces, little mini oases where people gather to play badminton, fly kites and simply relax. Eduardo loved the colours and movement of the Ben Thanh market, and I highly recommend the Cu Chi tunnels for tourists of all ages.

Hanoi retains a distinct identity from HCM, with its beautiful old French quarter, and again a focus on mini oases to escape the frenetic roads. Hoan Kiem Lake forms the focal point of the city, and across the ‘Rising Sun’ bridge Ngoc Son Temple greets you with its dragons and lush gardens. Water puppetry is a must-see: kids will enjoy the often chaotic music and the way the puppets seem to dance across the water. No trip to Hanoi is complete without a trip to beautiful Halong Bay, with its junks, 3000 islands and emerald green waters.

Thu Bon River to Hoi An Old Town

Hoi An was easily the highlight for us. Far removed from the hustle-bustle of HCH and Hanoi, Hoi An’s Old Town is closed to traffic: it’s all foot and cyclo. The entire town has been heritage listed, and provides an insight into what an old South East Asian trading port would have looked like some 400 years ago, with its paved streets and colonial-style buildings influenced by Japanese, Chinese, French and Dutch settlers. By day visit for the arts, crafts and tailors, by night visit for the lantern-lit streets and outstanding dining along the river.

Further afield, you can visit Hoi An’s numerous beaches, or head inland to visit My Son, a cluster of long abandoned Hindu temples recognised as a world heritage site. The area is strikingly beautiful: nestled in a valley, you need to trek up a gentle hill for approximately 20 minutes to reach the site of the temple, lending a bit of an ‘off the beaten path’ feel to the trip, reinforced by the relative lack of tourists. Local performers demonstrate traditional dances and songs throughout the day, and the drive out takes you past rice paddies where water buffalo work alongside men and women wearing traditional conical hats.

My Son

I really can’t fault our experiences in Vietnam. To be honest, Vietnam is no Disney resort. You’ll find very little in Vietnam that has been designed specifically with touring children in mind. But if your kids are the sort that are happy to simply bask in new experiences, new sights and sounds, and are adventurous enough to try new foods and talk to people with totally different backgrounds, as an exotic adventure that’s slightly off the beaten path, I can’t recommend Vietnam highly enough.

The above post is courtesy of Jasmine Norrie. Jasmine is a full time single-mum, sometime freelance writer, and just to mix things up, occasional burlesque dancer. She loves getting away from home, even if it’s just a trip to the playground.

Visiting Singapore with Kids – Review

Sam with the giraffes at Singapore Zoo

Travelling from London to Australia recently we decided to stop in Singapore for a few days of sunshine.

We hadn’t been to Singapore before so weren’t sure how child friendly it would be, but found it a brilliant place to take our 2 year old son Sam and 2 month old baby Max.

The highlight of the trip had to be Singapore Zoo:

– There were a huge variety of animals, all in lush green open wide spaces. Sam’s favourite were the giraffes, mine were the giant tortoises.

–  Lots of activities to keep the kids entertained

–  Train and boat rides

–  Kids area with rides (there was so much else to do we didn’t even get here)

Mike and Sam riding an elephant

–  Elephant rides

–  Animal feeding (giraffes, tortoises, monkeys, birds) the list went on and on

–  Animal shows and talks

We went on a few shopping trips, the air-conditioned shopping centres were a relief from the hot, humid temperatures outside. While shopping isn’t really Sam’s favourite pastime (or my husband’s) the shopping centres have great indoor play areas with slides, swings and climbing frames to keep the kids entertained.

Sam trying out the chopsticks!

For dinners we tended to head out early to hawker centres (also called coffee shops). Lots of stalls selling local food, each plate for only a couple of dollars each. Sam loved looking at all the food stalls and deciding where to eat, and of course he was happy eating fried rice with chopsticks.

We will definitely be returning to Singapore, there were many things that sounded great for kids we just didn’t get time to do (after spending much of the time in the hotel swimming pool).

Next time we will get to Sentosa Island, the bird park, night zoo and underwater world.

We found a great website with lots of information on Singapore for kids…. http://www.singaporeforkids.com

This post is courtesy of my sister Angela who has spent 8 years living in London.

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