The popular quote ‘travel is the best education’ is less a profound amalgamation of words and more a second religion in my house. It’s the quote that gets my juices flowing. For my children, the education it offers is what I find most intriguing. After a decade of travelling with children under my belt, here are my top suggestions on travelling with the brood. Bon Voyage!

Less is more!

Remember, when it comes to packing for a family holiday, less is truly more. Try to abstain from packing everything and the kitchen sink, for now even the most celebrated bastions of coupledom offer everything from cots to bottle sterilisers, diapers, swimming gear, and toys.

Help at hand

Many luxury hotels and resorts offer complimentary unpacking and packing assistance, a God sent service when travelling with tots in tow. Just ask.

The ‘one’ rule

One-flight holidays work best with children. Throw in that connecting flight and watch big smiles turn into big sighs.

Babysitter bliss

The minute you’ve enjoyed your first midnight stroll under the stars because the babysitter was diligently watching over your sleeping cherubs back in the hotel room, you’re hooked for life! Babysitters on holiday are a serious game changer. Most hotels either have their own team or out source them from reliable agencies, so it is definitely an option worth exploring.

Where there is a water slide, there will be fun!
Where there is a water slide, there will be fun!
Mandira Rai

Beach bums

I have yet to meet a child that didn’t enjoy an active holiday. Weather it is cruising down ski slopes or jet skiing strapped firmly on to daddy’s back, children love things to do. And when in doubt, just book that beach holiday.

Chemist a go-go

The only exception to the ‘Less is More’ rule. In fact, the more medicines the better. From fever to fractures–be prepared for everything.

The suite life

Budget permitting, of course, suites (or even interconnecting rooms) are the way to go. It gives you the option to catch a late night flick or a long awaited chat once the tykes doze off to la la land.

Movie it right

Movie nights are a long-standing tradition at our family holidays and more often than not, we try and make time for them. However, we also make it a point to carry along DVDs that we want to watch, so that we are not left at the mercy of the entertainment the hotels provide.


Involve the children when planning your next family holiday, or at least listen to what they have to say, for they might have interesting inputs too. My younger one once said that he was tired of travelling by plane and was ready to live in one. I have now sussed out four hotels actually housed in aeroplanes, which we are very excited about checking out soon.

A view of the Soneva Jani Villa where the author went with her children
A view of the Soneva Jani Villa where the author went with her children
Mandira Rai

Vacation for all

Just like you’re hoping to catch a wee more shut eye than usual or scull an extra margarita (perhaps two?), your children are hoping to push their luck with extra iPad time or ice cream servings. Let them. As long as you’re clear that holiday rules do not equate to home rules, you are good to go!

The writer’s coffee table book Playing in Luxury is available exclusively on