Take the Kids

Three’s a crowd

Issue 6 - 2017
Words by Graham Horner · Images Getty Images, Alamy

Scott Dunn’s Graham Horner answers one reader’s family travel conundrum

Issue 6 - 2017
By Graham Horner · Images Getty Images, Alamy

Scott Dunn’s Graham Horner answers one reader’s family travel conundrum

Q

Our family – we have three children, Alice, two, Artie, six, and Matt, nine – love travelling. But I’ve noticed that being five really pushes up the price, and creates all kinds of logistical problems – from where we can sit on the plane to finding the right accommodation. Then we have to find different activities for the kids, at different times. Does Scott Dunn have any solutions?

Zip-wiring is one of the activities on offer at Scott Dunn Explorers kids clubs

Zip-wiring is one of the activities on offer at Scott Dunn Explorers kids clubs

A

I sympathise. As a father of three myself, I know a lot of family travel – from family hotel rooms with a double and a sofa bed to airplane seat configurations – is designed to accommodate a unit of four. With added complications like the price of hiring a people carrier (not to mention the time spent hunting one down), the incremental cost of that third child can be huge.

Fortunately, Scott Dunn has lots of ways around this. Taking charge of your needs right from the start, we leave nothing to chance. We will pre-book flight seats for you to get the optimum arrangement: two seats for one parent and one child; three seats for the other parent and two children. The furthest you’ll be apart from each other is across the aisle or a row in front/behind. Transit can be arranged to and from the airport, tailor-made for five. Then, once you’re at your resort, a concierge or – if you’re staying at one of our exclusive Explorers resorts, a guest-relations manager – can arrange other transport.

Getting the right place to stay is all-important because booking multiple hotel rooms is the biggest expense. Our favourite family resorts offer residence-style or villa accommodation for bigger families, with space for a third bed in the second bedroom and kitchenette. If you choose a villa with kitchen facilities (available at many of our family-friendly resorts), you can cater for an impromptu feeding frenzy and leave snacks in the fridge. Feeding a toddler early evening, then arranging a babysitting service, means parents can eat later with the older two.

If you want to book one of our hotels, it’s always best to do this through a Scott Dunn consultant, as this is where our expertise and local knowledge comes into its own. We have specialist knowledge of each of our hotels, so while it might state on their website that only rooms-for-four are available, we will know if they are able to put in an extra bed or transform a day bed into a night bed. If you were booking the same hotel through booking.com, for example, you might end up paying for two rooms.

Keeping children happy on holiday is something we do best. Seven resorts in the Med have Scott Dunn Explorers kids clubs. These offer dedicated programmes for 4 months-2 years old; 3-4; 5-7; 8-11; and 11-plus. Older kids can enjoy more adventurous sports (zip-wiring, snorkelling, rock-climbing); while the younger ones can play games and be taken to the beach/pool, paint, etc. There are activities to suit everyone: making T-shirts, learning to cook, tennis lessons, or taking a swing at golf. It’s a winning combination of physical fun, creativity and relaxation, available from 10am-6pm every day. If you opt for one of our villas or chalets you can also get a private nanny to look after your youngest, freeing up the rest of you to head out on an excursion. Many of our ski chalets are perfect for larger families, with options sleeping up to 10, 12, even 14 people, a driver service to shuttle you around in an eight-passenger vehicle, and childcare on tap.

So yes, there’s a lot of arranging and planning to do for a family of five, but it’s worth it. There’s a joy in travelling with kids; it brings out the best in them. What I’ve often seen happen is them forming their own little gang, bonding more because they’re forced to spend time together. They might all run off to kids club after breakfast, and you won’t see them until early evening, giving you and your husband a chance to relax with a glass of wine. It’s also great to experience a new destination through their eyes – a two-year-old, six-year-old and nine-year-old will each have their own perspective and have an amazing holiday for different reasons.

With our help, and being savvy from the start, you can save a lot of money and have a fantastic time.

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Take the Kids · Issue 5 - 2016

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