Meltdowns in museums and tantrums in temples—yes, there are some pretty good reasons to never to take a holiday again once you have children…
…until you have our ‘Holidaying with kids tips’ stored safely in your overhead locker – or take the family to a place where life’s just one big, stress-free, jumping castle of fun…New Zealand!
8 tips for holidaying with kids
Whether you’re heading overseas or up the coast, here are some Supernanny-like tips so no-one ends up in the naughty corner:
Don’t pack in too much sightseeing
Children get bored in places that you don’t. While you might notice the difference between Caravaggio and Michelangelo, to your kids they’re just another big classroom with fingerpaintings on the wall – surrounded by ropes that say, “You know, I’m so much more interesting on the other side”.
Have a warm-up act
Get them excited about the holiday. Encourage pre-trip projects like cutting out pictures, or if they’re old enough, researching on the web for things they want to do.
Meet you in front of the man with the face
At each new location, designate a meeting point in case the kids get lost. Make it one that’s easy for them to find, and not too crowded so you can spot each other.
Prepare for the air
Remember, the 100mls of liquid rule won’t be completely phased out until 2013. So, if you have a baby, bring powdered milk and add boiling water on the plane. Also, give toddlers and babies something to suck or drink during take off or landing to stop their ear drums from hurting.
Technology is your friend
There are plenty of entertainment options these days that you can be run from the car cigarette lighter (who would have thought they’d end up being a parents best friend?), like back seat DVD players with screen and headphones. If all else fails, buy them Angry Bird.
Protect them from electricity and hot water
Take your own covers or wide tape for power outlets. Always double check the temperature of water coming out of hotel taps to make sure it’s not scalding.
Hire kids chairs and wheels
In most major cities and towns you can rent prams and high chairs, rather than have to lug around your own.
Prevent blahhh in the car
Eat light meals before travel, let some fresh air enter the car, and make the kids look out the window frequently (anyone for I Spy?!)
4 New Zealand family-friendly hotels
Near the super pretty Albert Park, adventurous Sky Tower and other inner city attractions is Bianco Off Queen Apartments Auckland. Get some space-sanity in the 3 bedroom apartment with its 2 queen beds, sofa bed and fully equipped kitchen.
The Mercure Hotel Dunedin creates happy families. They have a babysitting service in case you want to pop out for a romantic dinner, 24-hour room service if you’re all too tired for a night out, and it’s smoke-free too. Plus, Dunedin has plenty of fun-for-all activities like the Merlin-worthy Larnach Castle.
Older kids love to do their own thing, so where better to stay than the Brylin Motel Rotorua? They can use the free internet access to update their status and let everyone know about the mud pools and Maori cultural events around town. The two bedroom units even have a TV in the second bedroom to prevent fights over the remote.
The Colonial Lodge Motel Napier is the perfect place to come back to after a day of activity in the Hawkes Bay region, such as rafting, cycling, and taking a helicopter ride above the scenery. Spacious two-bedroom modern apartments have a full kitchen, while outside your door is a heated pool, spa, games room and trampoline.
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