Holiday kids clubs rant

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My husband and I were staying at a fairly posh resort in Mexico, and we noticed these kids at the beach. They were obviously brother and sister, and they looked miserable as they half-heartedly made sandcastles with the bored-looking teenaged kid’s club employee.

We saw them every day, and every day my we’d turn to each other and ask “Why bring your kids?” and wonder which drunken yahoos by the pool were their parents.

Sound harsh? It was meant to. As honeymooners more than 2 years away from parenthood, we uttered that daily with as much judgement and disdain as we could muster. Of course we would never take our future kids on holiday and dump them.

It’s now 6 years later and we’re parents of two. I’ve softened my stance, but not by much. We don’t go away with the hope of sending our kids off to a kids club, but it took just one rainy afternoon at a bare bones resort in Cuba for me to realise the importance of having at least a few amenities for children.

Under normal circumstances, the beach, a pool, and each other are all our family needs to have a good time. This was our pre-portable DVD player period, so having nothing around to keep our almost-two-year-old busy was only made manageable with the controlled consumption of mojito. Even in escorted tours of Switzerland or joined torus, you should always consider your kids, their safety and their travel experience as well.

An indoor play area would have been much appreciated.

Your kids are worth the effort

The place in Mexico where we honeymooned was a lovely resort that did not exclude children but did not actively market itself towards families either.

I think if you are going away with the intention of enrolling your children in what is essentially full-time day-care it’s worth the effort to select accommodation that targets itself to families. When a kid’s club is clearly an afterthought, a bored caregiver is the least of your concerns.

There are numerous resort and hotel chains that feature wonderful children’s programs. If it’s an amenity that you’re planning on using it’s worth the effort and/or extra expense to choose somewhere your child will be well looked after and happy.

Never say never

Years later, at another resort in Mexico, we witnessed children reluctant to return to their parents after a day at the kids’ club. The children could not stop raving about how much fun they were having. Should the time come when we do want to ship the kids off, we’re going back there.

Thanks to Corinne McDermott of Have Baby will Travel for writing today’s post. I would like to know your thoughts on holiday kids clubs. Have you had a negative experience with one? Why would you take kids on holiday and then leave them in the care of strangers.

• Add more fun and culture to your next family holiday

• Holidays need to be made more educational for children

• See The World With Your Kids

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Carlo

About Post Author

Carlo

Carlo Ybarra is an entrepreneur, writer and photographer. He has been working for Pad Mare Sort Bali for 5 years and counting as the senior content editor.
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