1. LOCATION OF THE RESORT
When children come into your world, the surf trip takes on a whole new dynamic. Instead of throwing in your boards, leggies, surf wax and a passport, you’re packing a month’s worth of baby wipes, Huggies, veggies that can be squeezed easily out of a tube and the ‘blankie’ that can never be lost or no one will survive the fallout. And if they’re still wrapped in muslin or you’re carting around multiple prams, a remote island in Western Sumatra may seem a little less appealing for the family surf trip.
This is why location is everything when it comes to planning the perfect family surf trip.
How long is the overall travel time? How many flights do you need to take? Think about the distance between the airport and the resort and how long the transfers take if it’s more than just a flight away. Consider whether you need to stay overnight in transit to break up the journey or whether to power through.
Other factors are more personal and based on your travel style. How well do your children travel? Do they have any medical issues that you need to handle with care? Are you a diehard adventurer with a keen interest in remote locales? Or do you want to be surrounded by shops where you can duck out and grab some extra nappies if you need them?
As far as locations go, Fiji is a lot more manageable with little ones. You’ll be more likely to disembark the plane with your sanity intact (think: 3 to 4 hours from Australia) than tackling a trip to the Maldives which is at least two flights plus a boat. Add another internal flight and a possible night in Male if your resort is in one of the outer Atolls!
Every family and child is different so jot down a list of what is really important to you and balance out the pros and cons. In the end, the journey is half the adventure – the stress of the 24-hour transit is definitely worth it when you arrive in #paradise.
2. WAVES NEARBY
As a wife of a surfer, I know first hand how surf holidays end up revolving around waves, waves and more waves. Since having children, my ‘reading and lazing by the pool’ days are limited, so I want to make sure that there are incredible waves on the doorstep of the resort. That way, my husband can maximise his surf time and balance that out with family time. It gives me some much-needed downtime too.
There are loads of stunning hotels in inspiring locations where you can simply roll out of bed and dive into the foamy embrace of the surf without an hour-long boat ride out to a distant reef or intrepid destination. All our resorts have surf within reach, only a paddle or short boat trip away, allowing for plenty of time with your little Wayfarers when you’re not in the water. Check out our collection of resorts with Waves Out The Front here.
3. SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
So you’re married to a surfer, but surfing is not your thing. You love sunshine and sand and tropical paradises, but you’re just into riding waves. You’re sitting on the sandy beach, taking care of the kids all on your own while your partner chases waves, day in day out. Or you’re stuck in a remote location with little to do while they’re paddling out to reef breaks. The struggle is real! I’ve been there.
Here’s the thing: as surf lovers, you’re lucky enough to find places you’d never otherwise go to. The search for waves gets you off the beaten track and allows you to sample a slice of heaven along the way. The challenge is finding amazing accommodation that offers something for everyone.
Make sure you think about the ‘non-surfing’ activities and facilities available when you’re picking a location and a resort. Being able to snorkel, do yoga, go to the gym, stand up paddle board, swim or indulge in day spa serenity while your partner plays in the big blue will make that family surf holiday a whole lot more enjoyable. The quality of the kids’ club, babysitting and cuisine are a big factor too. When there’s incredible food and activities on offer, everyone is happy!
* All our Wayfarer resorts offer something for everyone including those left on the shore.
4. KIDS CLUBS AND BABYSITTING
Let’s chat about a little unspoken fact we all know but don’t like to admit: parents don’t get a whole lot of downtime on holidays. The parenting stuff still continues – finding snacks every two hours, changing nappies, tending to sick children, dealing with the barrage of requests (Moooommm, Daaaaddd) and keeping them generally entertained.
That’s why finding a resort or hotel with a superb kids’ club can be so important. The kind of place that’s so incredible your kids would rather go there than hang out with you! So you laze around on a hammock reading the book you started devouring when your first born arrived (the last time you remember doing this, you had no eye wrinkles). Or you paddle out into glistening surf and enjoy some waves all to yourself.
When you pick them up, you feel revived, relaxed and excited to spend an afternoon together collecting shells, snorkelling to your hearts’ content and sipping yummy coconut drinks.
We pick all of our premium Wayfarers resorts carefully with the comfort, relaxation and enjoyment of families in mind. Most, have well-designed programs and facilities for kids that include lots of fun activities, night and day.
Even if there’s no kids’ club on site, we make sure experienced babysitters are on offer to provide that extra set of hands or eyes and generally just make things easier!
Once your fun family time has drawn to a close, the parents can play with the peace of mind that the kids are happily wrapped up in their cots/beds/daybeds, with an experienced babysitter by their side.
When you’re young, footloose and fancy-free, your accommodation is simply a place to rest your head at 2 am. And store your suitcase while you flit about soaking up the holiday vibes. You’re up for adventure. You’re pumped for exploration. You’re ready to get uncomfortable. The family surf trip, however, is a little more complex than an epic boys’ trip to the Mentawais or an exotic honeymoon trip to the rugged hills of Borneo.
Things like the quality of the cuisine, the choice of non-surfing activities, the day spa menu and the layout of the rooms matter. If you have young children, you want to know that they are happy and safe, with access to medical facilities a short distance away if things were to go wrong.
For families with 3 kids or more, or if you simply want a spacious set-up, many hotels and resorts are graced with family, triple rooms or interconnecting rooms. Extra beds can be added, baby cots or high chairs upon request and don’t forget that children’s seats in cars and cabs are rare so you’ll usually need to order one beforehand.
At Wayfarers, our family-friendly collection selects beautiful spaces where guests of all ages are encouraged to rest, play and grow. All of our hotels have carefully thought-out facilities from kid’s clubs to teen adrenaline kicks to spacious villas and suites with room enough for all. We also book and arrange everything for you so that when you arrive, you only have to worry about is checking out the surf, popping on your bathers and selecting the perfect cocktail.
6. BEAUTIFUL DESIGN, SUSTAINABLE STYLE AND CONSCIOUS CHOICES
Making conscious decisions about where to stay once we arrive at a destination helps us tread a little more lightly on the planet. Many of our Wayfarers resorts and hotels have been selected for their sustainable style, nature-friendly design or commitment to giving back.
If you’re like us and you’re partial to eco-friendly resorts, look out for places that have integrated the resort int0 the surrounding environment, have considered their use of sustainable materials and are focused on looking after the natural habitat. They are conscious of supporting the local communities, use renewable energy, recycling and using organic produce plucked straight from the garden.
The final factor that’s always on my mind (especially as an interior designer) is the decor, design and layout of the hotel or resort. From the cool Cali vibes and postcard-pretty aesthetics of Australia’s Halcyon House to the spiritual sustainability, and rough luxury of Suarga Padang Padang in Bali, all of our hotels have that extra special ‘wow’ factor when it comes to interiors. If you haven’t been blown away by the soaring rafters, bamboo grace and handcrafted beauty of Suarga, head here to find out more. #swoon
And that’s a wrap! Remember: It’s all about mapping out a surf trip that combines world-class waves with the luxuries you need to keep the whole family happy. Stellar surf. A beautiful place to stay. An exotic vibe that transports you light years away from the daily routines. Memories to last a lifetime. What more could you want?
Where will your next amazing surf holiday be? If you want to know all the Bali hot spots for families, head here to download our exclusive FREE Wayfarers Bali Guide now. Let us know what you think!