Your guide to the perfect child friendly beach holiday

What better way to end off the year with some well-deserved family time. Just make sure that this Includes some me-time too.
By Child magazine

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With the stresses and strains of day-to-day activities, a much deserved holiday is important for parents and children alike. And while a quick weekend away here and there might just do the trick, a proper break from the hustle and bustle does wonders. In fact, new studies are showing that the benefits of going on holiday as a family, especially outdoor and beach holidays, are said to improve children’s learning, as well as their emotional and intelligence quotient.
 
Taking your children on a beach holiday may be a little daunting (especially for new parents) but according to Ramesh Jeenarain, Managing Director at World Leisure Holidays South Africa it needn't be a hassle at all. Here are four tips to taking your children on a beach holiday neither of you will ever want to forget.
 
1. Travel far enough to be away, but close enough to be home
While it’s no secret that children get fidgety after a few hours of being strapped into a seat, there is no reason why you cannot still take them overseas. Travelling to Mauritius for example is approximately a four hour flight from Johannesburg or Durban and five hour flight from Cape Town, just enough time to complete a puzzle, have a nap or a meal and get excited for the arrival.
 
2. Opt for easy travel planning
There’s nothing worse than planning a holiday that includes visas, interviews, inoculations and a list of can dos and can’t dos. You want a destination you can book, get on a plane and arrive without weeks of admin.
 
3. Find a resort that makes children a priority
Yes, there are many resorts that are kid friendly, offering daily entertainment and activities, but many are not fitting for all ages and do not understand that the little ones need a holiday too. Look for resorts that offer a variety of unique and child appropriate adventures such as crab fishing, dolphin watching and supervised stand up paddle boarding to windsurfing. As well as fun activities such as kiddies’ spa experiences or movies on the beach, and arts and crafts catering from toddlers to teens, so nobody has to spend their holiday not learning, exploring and making memories.
 
In addition, choosing a resort with sandy beaches instead of pebble beaches, shallow and calm water and room accommodation that is close to the beach, will go a long way to making your holiday more comfortable.
 
4. Plan for me-time
Don’t feel guilty for wanting to go for a massage or yoga on the beach or a cocktail at the bar, having a family holiday with children does not mean that you cannot take a little time out to relax alone. The right resort will have it all covered, while you’re being pampered, your kids are being entertained, it’s a no-brainer.
 
5. Explore
There’s nothing that spells memories quite like exploration, whether it be of the taste buds, culture, talents or activities, try to set aside some time for learning about the country’s customs together. Learn a craft, enjoy a local meal or traditional dance, but do it together. It will change the way you see the world.
 
So, whether you are taking an annual family break or planning your first family-moon, you don’t need to feel stressed about the ins and outs of the perfect holiday, all you need to do is plan your naps between relaxing and relaxing between exploring. Simple.

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