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Vacation with Toddler and baby - more work than staying home?

  1. #9
    yonge is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Hong Kong
    It is definitely more work than staying at home. Yes, everyone else in the world can do it, but the reality is that travelling with children is more work than staying put. Children can get sick when travelling, be jetlagged (as can adults), have difficulty sleeping in new environments, etc. There are plenty of ways to enjoy some holiday time locally. If you get out early enough in the morning or late afternoon, it's actually not too hot and you can escape back home within a couple of hours if the children get too fussy. Oh, and airfare is getting more expensive, not less. Now that we have three, we're staying put for the summer, too. We just visited the Hong Kong Wetlands Park, which had a surprising amount of things to do with little kids in indoor spaces. We can swap ideas on what to do over the summer!

  2. #10
    Honkyblues is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    We don't call it holidaying or vacationing - we call it "parenting in a different location"! ;-)
    Yes, it can be more tiring than staying put, but it's still enjoyable being in a new environment. We have 3 little boys (5, 3, 10mths) and they are haaaard work. None of them are good sleepers. The two eldest are picky eaters.
    We try to make things easier by staying in hotels, or villas that have hotel facilities (eg, room service). But looking after kids while on holiday (and at home) is called 'real life'.

    If you need more help, tell your husband to step up his game.
    Or give in and take your helper.
    Do what works best for you!

  3. #11
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Happy Valley
    Are you going on vacation for yourself or for your kids?
    If you are going for yourself, then why not leave the kids at home. When our kids were at that age, we *never* took them on vacation. Its a waste of money taking kids of that age as they dont understand, appreciate nor will they even remember it.

    When we wanted to have a family vacation with our young kids, we stayed in Hong Kong. Renting a holiday home in one of the islands can be done very reasonably. Bring along a helper and all the necessities and you can have a relaxing time without all the hassles. The kids wont know (nor care about) the difference between Phuket or PengChau. Give them a bit of sand, some sea and/or nice pool and they are happy as clams.

    I've never understood the desire of parents bringing 1-3 year old kids to far off places. Where is the enjoyment and relaxation?


  4. #12
    Frenchy is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Ap Lei Chau
    Wouldn't you consider going to a place like the Club Med ? It's a great place in Phuket, just close to the shopping streets and to the beach, and both your kids are old enough to go to the mini and baby club. Don't have to leave them all day long, but half a day sometimes to get some real rest ! and kids loooove it, they have friends to play with, lots of games...

  5. #13
    Biggie is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Hong kong island
    Thanks for the suggestions and tips. I'd try them out. Taking a shorter break at Macau as a test run is also a great idea.
    We go to Phuket cos we have a place to stay (though might try clubmed one time if they actually have kids club we can drop off at such young age), and we can meet relatives and friends there.
    Daddy did help when we are on vacation, and he wanted to help. Just that sometimes, our older boy is just cranky and only wants mommy. And Daddy really isn't that good regarding soothing baby.
    Good point re whether vacation is for us or for the kids. I think it's both. We enjoy having time away from home and a change of scenery, while my older boy certainly enjoys going to new places and seeing new things, and younger one has no choice but to come along =)

    On the point that all the hassle are just part of "parenthood", it's true but we have the means and opportunity to get help here (some people in other part of the world also have other forms of help, like daycare, nannies, cleaners) and I am not sure if I would do this if I cannot get any help. It's probably a controversial topic, best leave for another thread!

  6. #14
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung
    sorry, i wasn't being mean or nasty in my post. i was merely pointing out that people all over the world "vacation" with their kids and no help. it might be a good time for daddy to 'become good at soothing the baby'? he can't get good at it if he doesn't get practice and vacationing without a helper is the best way to get practice.

    i'm sorry if i caused offence, it wasn't intended. it might actually feel good to take care of them yourself, without outside help. a feeling of accomplishment if you know what i mean?

    i took my son to bangkok last year for 11 days, just the two of us. granted it wasn't the holiday i would have had without him, but we had a great time. we were both in bed early most nights (except when we went to the night safari) and up early (his hours, not mine!) but i was able to have ladies from the spa come to our room so that i could still indulge in the foot/body massages in the evening when he was getting ready to sleep (i did it EVERY NIGHT!). I didn't get to do the shopping i would have done if i was with hubby or friends, but i did get to read my book while he played at FUNARIUM (indoor playground). we didn't go out to fancy restaurants, but i did get to order in with foodbyphone (different meal every night!).

    so, what i'm trying to say is that while it's not the same as before you had young kids, that doesn't make it bad. can be tiring, yes, but it can still be greatly enjoyable.

    good luck!

  7. #15
    komo is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    We have taken our 2 children away regularly, both from birth (they are now 2 and 3).

    For us, we love being a family and going away together, even when our daughter was 18 months (with attitude) and a newborn. A vacation for us is all about family. But we do try to keep things simple (especially when they were younger). For example, short plane flights, direct flights only, minimal time differences (if any), we often stay in one place (like a resort) where there are pools, play rooms, activities, and restaurants/room service.

    Admitedly, I have a very hands on husband/daddy who is often pushing me out the door to the day spa so he can have one on one time with the kids - he loves it. My husbands work hours means he only sees his children for 5 minutes in the morning and they are in bed before he gets home, so he loves being able to do bath time with them, enjoy meals together, and just bond.

    I look back on photos today and love seeing my daughter paddling in the sand bar at the pool in Sanya, my son rolling in the grass in Kota Kinabalu, and lying on banana lounges on the beaches in Thailand. The joys and smiles of the kids, even at such a young age, makes it a wonderful experience for us all. Make sure you do kid friendly activities too like going to zoos, or playing a sport or activity in the resort, go to local markets etc.

    My husband and I also try and have some down time too. Admittedly not together but we take it in turns to do our own thing while the other looks after the two kids. Whether it be a massage or facial in the day spa, or my husband loves scuba diving, it also allow us to have some time out too.

    For us, the hardest part is often we are all sleeping in the same room, if not, then still in close proximity. And as our kids are often light sleepers we are often limited to what we can do in the evenings. So we try and get rooms with a balacony or outdoor area so we can at least sit outside, enjoy some wine, and adult time.

    It will be as hard or as easy as you make it. Go, enjoy your family time, and relax. If it doesn't work, leave it a little more time before you try again. They get easier as they get older.

    Oh, and don't listen to howardcoombes, he/she is clearly not very family orientated. I get plenty of enjoyment and relaxation, much more than if I was to just dump them back at home like they were the family dog.

  8. #16
    AngieO is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Tai Po
    We always take our kids with us on holiday, with no helper. It is harder than staying at home with them, but otherwise we would stay home all the time. I think it is good for the kids to experience different things/ places/ routines (even if they won't remember it later - we lived in Shanghai for the first 4 years of my daughters life - she won't remember it, but that doesn't mean it won't have influenced her as a person.) But we don't stay in expensive hotels anymore, we go for the serviced apartment option (trying to find cheaper ones) because we would prefer to stay somewhere less posh with with a space we can sit once the kids are asleep. We did the hotel room with balcony once, which also worked fine, but the weather wasn't good and we did feel a bit cooped up! As others have said, you can do it, or not do it, it totally depends on what you think is important, and how you cope. Try it once, maybe somewhere not too far for a long weekend - if you have a miserable time then don't do it again for a year or two. It gets easier as the kids get older.

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