By Jessica Jane Sammut
When it comes to going overseas with a young fam, it’s not unreasonable to think ‘no freakin’ way’ and sideline the idea to the ‘we’ll do that when the kids are not throwing food up the wall/not poking each other’s eyes out/have left home’ basket.
However, you no longer have to feel like you have a weight attached to your foot for the forseeable as you lock yourself in the toilet and dream of a child-free island all to yourself.
Because, thank god, it is getting easier to travel with kiddos. In fact, I have just returned from JW Marriott Phuket Resort and Spa with my boys, and it was INSANE (in a good way). Never thought I would say it, but I left Thailand feeling truly rested, revived, chilled, centred, calm, and in love with my husband and children all over again. And the rug rats and the baby-daddy were happy too. It’s like a little miracle of bliss descended on Team Sammo. When we got back, my friends looked at us funny, and waited for the crazy to resume at full pelt. But I gotta admit, these sweet holidays vibes are still lingering.
And the reason for this wine-free induced feeling of wellbeing? The JW Marriott have launched an epic new program, Family by JW, in the Asia-Pacific region for kids aged 5 to 12, and it is NEXT LEVEL.
In fact, a pass to the Family by JW program is what every mama should be given after labour (now there’s a government initiative). Whether you want to get amongst it in a bustling city or chillax on a tranquil beach, it is designed to look after you, help you chill your beans and you know, actually enjoy life.
With a load of curated experiences unique to each destination including cooking, painting and fitness masterclasses, there is something for every little and big person. In Phuket, Zac (my 10 year old) and I did a cooking class, and the kids also had a ball in the kids club with judo lessons, for example. We were truly spoilt.
Why we are in love with the new FAMILY by JW program run by JW Marriott:
1 // It’s stress-free
You’d think that taking a holiday with the whole fam would be a giant headache, but quite the opposite. JW Marriott has simplified the journey, so you as a family can do less and enjoy more. Read: an actual holiday for mama, not just the same sh*t, different place. Great holidays begin with easy touches such as an in-room check-in Kolkata and Phuket, and VIP kids check-in at Shanghai Changfeng Park.
2 // You can take guilt-free ‘me’ time while the kids are entertained
Mamas and papas are encouraged to take some well-deserved me time at the spa, while your bebes are looked after at the epic Kids’ Clubs. Minis can take behind-the-scenes hotel tours at Mumbai Sahar, and Shanghai Changfeng Park hooks you up with kids-only weekend stays with a trip to the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre (your man-child will be jealous!). The fun continues for kids and parents with in-room tents in Macau and Shanghai Pudong. How cool is that?!
3 // There are activities your whole brood will enjoy (including you)
Hop on yer bike with cycling tours for all ages at Phu Quoc Emerald Bay. Hotels at Mumbai and Kolkata can tee up city tours and heritage walks. And in Phuket you can enjoy family Shibori tie-dying, fish feeding, an on-site turtle shelter and educational centre, and you can also pitch in with local beach clean-up activities to teach your kids about looking after our world.
4 // You’ll nourish your soul
Your bebes can even get involved in the creation of their own meals, with cooking classes for the whole fam where you are able to discover new taste sensations with local flavours. At Kolkata, Mumbai, Seoul and Jaipur destinations, kids can make their own cupcakes and pizzas. Other charming hotel-specific programs include a picnic on the lawn in Macau, costumed Travel Through Time family high teas in Qufu, and Kukas ki Chaupar high teas and elephant rides in Jaipur.
So, yes it is possible to travel with your minis without losing your mind! Check out the JW Marriott packages and activities here.