Monday, December 16, 2013

Bintan December 2013 - Part 1. Getting and staying there.

Every traveller's dilemma - to explore a new place, or to revisit an old?
That was what was on our minds when planning a family trip with the family during this December school holidays.
Eventually, we decided on Bintan. Even though Andy and I have been to Bintan several times during our courtship, we decided to bring my in-laws and children there as it would be a first for them.
We stayed at the Indra Maya Villa and the entire family thought it was perfect!
We had monkeys, squirrels and birds as visitors every morning.
As it was only a short weekend trip and just an hour's ferry ride away, dealing with the kids was easy peasy.
The troopers after the ferry ride and finally reaching our resort.

Our villa.

It was magnificent with 2 large rooms and comes with an equipped kitchen for cooking.

The boys were up bright and early the next morning and immediately demanded some action!

Bed-head look.

First things first- we go for breakfast!!

Hubby drove us everywhere within the resort in his new wheels, hah!

After breakfast, the boys went to the beach for some sun, sand and sea. 

Loved the serenity and tranquillity of our villa stay.
So close to nature, unpopulated beaches, the boys were free to run wild and be boys.
Sometime last week, one of my readers asked what tips do I have for travelling with kids.
As I was too busy with the kids during the holidays and only had sporadic moments to go online on my iPhone, I did not have time to reply you, so sorry Vanessa!
I've compiled some tips here that are really no-brainer but I hope you find them helpful in your vacation planning :)
Overpack. Kids are messy. They need backups for everything from extra change of clothes to wet wipes and if you're worried about the availability of clean drinking water (depending on where you're going), you even bring your own distilled / mineral water.
Ziplocks, wet wipes, band aids, antiseptic and medications for diarrhoea/ fever.
You name it. Over lunch, my colleague told me she even brings her own bed linen and towels on trips because she cannot stand the thought of "sharing skin contact and dried body fluids" with strangers.
Bottom line - with kids, you can never overpack.
thankfully, I'm not fussy. The kids drank boiled tap water.
Airlines are important if you're flying to your destination. So far, my vote goes to Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific if travelling with infants because you only need to pay 10% of the adult fare per child (under 2 years) if they are sitting on your lap.
For SIA, the friendly stewardesses give out toys and serve children meals first. Upon booking, you can also opt to reserve bassinets for your infants on long flights for them to sleep in.
Also, find out beforehand the airline policy of bringing water and milk when boarding.
If you're going to countries like Australia, they have stringent policies about bringing in food and consumables into their country so please check with them as well.
Timing of your flight is also crucial. If you are going to be flying for more than 2 hours, then it is advisable to choose timings which coincide with their naps or bedtime.
When we flew to Melbourne with Adam, we chose a night flight because the journey was easily 9 hours with waiting and taxi-ing etc. Being confined in a tiny space for several hours can be a nightmare for any child and parent.
Short flights to KL, Bali, Philippines and other nearby places are generally quite easy. So are ferry rides to Batam and Bintan.
However, if you're planning road trips to parts of Malaysia which will take 3-4 hours, better plan according to nap times and make time for food and toilet breaks.
Research on the Country you're visiting. How child-friendly is it? The most stroller- and child-unfriendly countries I have been to would be Bangkok and Hong Kong (except Disneyland).
Pollution, uneven and narrow pavements, nooks and crannies, flights and flights of stairs with no elevators, not very enjoyable if you are bringing young children and strollers and a heavy diaper bag.
I like Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand and family themed resorts in Asia.

** Do stay tuned for Day 2 instalment of our vacay :)

1 comment:

  1. The villa looks beautiful :) looking forward to your Day 2 :)


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