Hong Kong Escapades: Island of Disneyland and dim sum
Travelers: Bronde from Hong Kong and Tan Chwee Teck from Singapore, and their children Jeremy (13), Jocelyn (11), and Juliet (6).
Destination: Hong Kong, China
The Plan: The family flew to Hong Kong on Dragonair, a branch of Cathay Pacific based in Hong Kong. While on holiday, they also visited relatives at the Hong Kong Gold Coast, a private beach-themed resort and residential area north of Kowloon.
Best Part of Trip: The kids liked Disneyland but Ocean Park, a marine-themed amusement park with rollercoasters as well as aquariums, was their favorite spot. It has recently been redeveloped and is now bigger than before with more attractions and fun things to do.
Favorite Local Food: Hong Kong is all about food. The family enjoyed eating Cantonese fare like wonton noodles and beef brisket noodles. Another favorite is egg waffles (鸡蛋仔, gei dan jai in Cantonese). They are sold by street vendors and are crispy on the outside but have a soft, doughy inside and a hollow center. A must-eat in Hong Kong!
Travel Tip: Bronde advises planning ahead to accommodate Hong Kong’s varying temperatures. It may be hot and humid outside but malls will crank up their air conditioning; be sure to bring a light jacket.
Australia Adventures: Exploring idyllic nature
Travelers: Amy Yeung from New Jersey and her daughter Grace (6)
Destination: Melbourne and Tasmania, Australia
The Plan: Since there are no direct flights from Beijing, the mother-daughter duo flew on Qantas Airlines from Hong Kong to Melbourne, where they stayed for a couple of days and then headed to Tasmania.
Best Part of Trip: Amy and Grace both loved Tasmania’s tranquility and beautiful scenery. They stayed at a resort close to the national parks and followed hiking trails into densely forested areas and around pristine lakes. Seeing Tasmania’s unique wildlife was the highlight of the trip and the family particularly enjoyed watching little fairy penguins by the coast.
Favorite Local Food: Seafood is very good and fresh, although Melbourne is a better place for it than Tasmania.
Travel Tip: The lack of direct flights from Beijing should not be a deterrent because there is plenty of information on traveling to Australia to facilitate your planning. Melbourne and Tasmania are both kid-friendly places so it is well worth the trip. Also, Amy suggests bringing layers of clothing because even though they went during Australia’s summer, it does get chilly in Tasmania.
Hainan Paradise: Beach fun in hot weather
Travelers: Erik and Judie from Sweden, and their son Markus (10)
Destination: Hainan, China
The Plan: The family flew Air China to Sanya, Hainan. They stayed at the Sheraton Hotel in Yalong Bay, located on the southeast coast of Sanya which is dotted with other five-star resort hotels.
What To Do: Relax on the beach. Compared to other resorts in Southeast Asia, beaches in Hainan are less crowded and just as beautiful. The family enjoyed swimming in the ocean and building sand castles. For the beach-wary, the Sheraton swimming pool is a sand-free alternative and has fun water slides.
Best Part of the Trip: Markus had so much fun on the beach he didn’t even want to play video games!
Unique Aspect: The family liked being able to go to a nice beach without leaving China. Sanya has the familiarity of home but the feel of any Southeast Asian resort.
Favorite Local Food: The family recommends having seafood at a dapaidang (大排档, food cooked in outdoor stalls), specifically at Sanya Chunyuan Seafood Plaza (三亚春园海鲜广场). It’s so well-known that every taxi driver knows the way. The plaza is bustling with rows of makeshift kitchens where your order is cooked on the spot. Although an incredibly fun experience, it may be a little overwhelming for young children, so keep an eye on the little ones and your belongings as well. Ask the chefs for recommendations – they are very friendly.
Travel Tip: According to this family, Yalong Bay is the only place to go in Hainan. They like it there so much, they go back twice a year.
Holiday in Hakone, Japan: Fresh seafood and hot springs
Travelers: Paul Xu and An Li from Taiwan, and their son Joseph (4),
Destination: Hakone, Japan
The Plan: The family flew to Tokyo and then took the train to Hakone, which was an about an hour away.
Best Part of Trip: The family relaxed in Hakone’s famous hot springs. They marveled at how polite and helpful the local Japanese were to tourists. Because of that, they never got lost. Also, transportation was always on time, even buses!
Favorite Local Food: The family loved the seafood because it was so fresh.
Most Unusual Part: Having hot springs on the hotel premises – it was very luxurious to walk around the hotel in a bathrobe on the way to the springs.
Travel Tip: Hakone is a great place to go with the kids because everyone is so friendly and helpful. Don’t worry about not being able to speak Japanese because you will still be able to get around easily.
Family Travel Tips
These websites give useful advice to families traveling with young children and tips on where to go. They are UK-based, so disregard the British Airways recommendations. These sites are packed with good information on trips worldwide:
Real parents contribute to the website so you know it’s trustworthy. The travel
section has general advice as well as specific details on a list of locations.
Take the Family:
Fun reads on a very long list of destinations touching every point of the globe. Advice on what to do, where to stay, and what to eat will help you find your dream destination.