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OS holiday - but not too far away

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#1 LouwithTwo

Posted 03 January 2013 - 03:58 PM

Planning our first family overseas.
I have traveled extensively in Europe and a little in Asia (over 30 countries in total), my partner has been to Fiji.
We have two small children (will be nearly 2 and nearly 4).

I am after any tips or recommendations for where to go? (including budgets, things to do, ways to travel, etc)
We will be doing it as budget as possible and will travel for about 4 weeks.

I have looked in to (and am torn between) -

New Zealand
and PNG.

Any thoughts?
Thanks guys!!!!

#2 unicycle

Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:00 PM

Budget Bali is totally doable, but you need to be brave and not believe people that accommodation can't possibly cost $30 -40 night for four with breakfast. It can, but some bargaining is necessary. The Balinese are great with young ones and the island is relatively small, so travel times can be kept down. We have no troubles at all keeping to less than $100 a day there when we choose and are still comfortable with air con, pools etc. just keep in mind the time of year can make the experience more or less expensive and the weather can make visiting some parts of the island problematic in the rainy season. I am happy to pm you with suggestions, tips etc.

#3 Kalota

Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:51 PM

I'd definitely pick New Zealand! Preferably, in springtime - you will be blown away by the scenery and lots of fun activities suitable for all ages!

You can get really cheap flights if you fly in and out of Christchurch (last few times DF and I have gone we've gotten less than $300 return each) and just hire a car and drive down to the touristy attractions (e.g. Queenstown, Lake Tekapo, Fox Glacier...) These are all in the South Island, which I think is the most spectacular, but the North Island is also great in the warmer months.

I used to live in New Zealand and now my fiancé and I travel back there all the time to visit friends. We always find it really cheap, not just flights but everything else when you arrive there, too! original.gif

#4 smithsholidayroad

Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:36 AM

From your list I would choose Malaysia.

It is very diverse beach/city/islands/ jungle.

It is different enough to explore new cultures but also modern enough for some luxuries and health care.

Domestic flights are affordable once in KL

Easy bus trip up from Kl to Penang( great food/history)

Hop over to Langkawi for island experience.

Cameron Highlands for jungle/cooler weather.

On a side note we loved Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand.
Vietnam and Cambodia.

On my blog below you can find our travels.


#5 Elizabethandfriend

Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:43 AM

We love Vanuatu with kids and it can be very affordable.

#6 Bel Rowley

Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:48 AM

I think Malaysia and Singapore would be good. I did it with my family when I was 16 (my siblings were all younger), we only travelled for 2 weeks which was a good length of time, covered lots of more out of the way places in Malaysia, beautiful island relaxation, big cities (KL and Singapore), great shopping, new food experiences etc.

#7 AntiBourgeoisie

Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:55 AM

I second Singapore/Malaysia. You can plan any sort of holiday you want - whether it's beaches/lazing, big city sightseeing etc. Lots to interest that age group too.

#8 GreenCabbage

Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:41 AM

I tooky 2.5yr old to Bali for 10.5 days in 201. Cost us $2200 for flights, accom with breaky, transfers and insurance. Dd lived it and the Balinese doted on her.

We went to Hong kong last year in Sept. more expensive but DD loved Disneyland.

I went to NZ South Island before having dd and its very beautiful.

Depends what sort of holiday you want and what budget.

#9 Burro

Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:54 AM

Have you considered the philippines? Internal flights are cheap, everyone speaks english, 7000 islands and plenty of variety.

If i went back with children i would fly direct to manila or cebu and hop between resorts and islands visiting waterfalls, caves and snorkling. Palawan us a really beautiful island but the small airoplanes are a bit terrifying. My husband wouldnt return with a 2 yr old but i see you have PNG on your list which i would think was more adventurous (risky) than the philippines.

Sri lanka is first on my fantasy wish list. Id get a driver and travel round the island staying at amazing hotels and eating delicious food.

Anyway, you didnt ask about any of that. This is my ranking of your suggestions;

Bali - id love to go, i would include lombok and the gilli islands

Malaysia & Singapore - like pps i would lump these two together. I loved singapore, especially the zoo and temples. Malaysia has plenty of variety and very beautiful but how will you move around? Ive only done it by bus and train. I got sick once in KL and walked into a fantastic private hospital and was seen and treated straight away.

New Zealand - ive never been. Everyone seems to love it, but it doesnt really excite me. I suppose it would be very safe and  easy to travel with young children.

PNG - too risky id have thought.

Im so jealous OP, im way over due an exotic travel experience.

#10 Fabulous

Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:26 AM

Personally I wouldn't go to Bali with little kids. It's almost impossible to push a pram around with all of the hazards, open drains, non existant foot paths etc. Plus Bali Belly is no fun, especially when you are travelling with little kids.

I love Singapore, it's nice and clean with great medical facilities and plenty of fabulous tourist attractions. 4 weeks would be too long in Singapore so you would need to combine it with something else, perhaps Malaysia.

New Zealand would be amazing and you could easily occupy yourself for 4 weeks.

#11 unicycle

Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:34 AM

I love this topic! Beware that Singapore accommodation is massively expensive. Cheaper hotels are gross and the hostels often don't allow children under 12 and they can be very pokey. I just wanted to reiterate how much the Balinese love young children and they will help you out with them. What I forgot to add, is that we only stay in the touristy part for two nights on our trips. This is to be close to the airport to avoid the traffic jams and to go to Waterbom Park.
We love Malaysia, particularly Borneo, but the distances are much greater to get places. The national parks are superb, but entry is now expensive for foreigners. The cost of living is cheap. The weather is quite unusual in Malaysia. The east and west coast have wet season at different times. Also, beware, the low cost and other airport in KL are quite a distance apart if making flights that need connections.
Let us know what you decide. Thanks to all the others who are contributing, it is giving me ideas.

#12 unicycle

Posted 04 January 2013 - 11:03 AM

Check out hostelworld for accommodation. Fantastic site, I've never gone wrong with it. All recommendations are from people who stayed at the place having booked from the website.

#13 kandj

Posted 04 January 2013 - 01:05 PM

I'd vote Malaysia or Bali (if it included lombok and surrounding islands). We just stayed in Singapore for a few nights on the way back from Europe and it was far more expensive then Italy for accomm which came as a bit of a shock...and it didnt really feel much like the rest of se asia - it was just too bland for us original.gif
Bali is cheap and Malaysia is still quite affordable - in our experience only a little more then thailand per day.

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