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Uncovering the best family holidays

Will Toddlers Enjoy Barbados?

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Josh and I are headed to Barbados at the end of the month as part of our cruise. We are super excited to hear Simon tell us about his experience with his son, Jack. I love when families bond over new destinations. 

As a father in my 20s, I sometimes think that life can be divided into two periods: BK and AK (Before Kids and After Kids). If K is a variable in your equation, you might share a certain misguided opinion I held until a month ago: I used to think travel was kind of a BK thing.

One of the reasons was money. If you’re a young family you’ll know the stresses and strains it causes, but after Christmas we decided the family needed a get-away regardless. Flicking through brochures almost at random, we found the most awesome cheap holidays to Barbados. Who are we to turn down a bargain when there are palm trees involved?

Photo: Carol Munro

We booked for early March, and I’m pleased to report that after seven nights on the south side of the island, my AK delusion is well and truly over. Travel is not just possible with one two-year old and another on the way – it’s fun.

The absolute highlight of my trip was just splashing about with our son Jack, seeing his delight and the fun of discovery. You might think we could do that at home, but the warm and crystalline Caribbean is a whole different kettle of fish – if you’ll excuse the expression. Our resort was a beachfront complex with access to two incredible white-sanded paradise beaches, and after a leisurely breakfast the three of us would head down there together. Jack’s a big fan of Pirates of the Caribbean and most of our games revolved around this.

One of my biggest worries was that Jack would get bored on holiday, but from my experience you shouldn’t worry. Little things like the sand curling between his toes fascinated Jack – he was quite happy to sit on the beach between us, playing happily and giving the two of us some welcome down-time to read and listen to music. In fact the entire resort – and Barbados in general – was really child-friendly. There are high chairs at restaurants and the fruit-centric diet was spot on Jack’s tastes.

We hired a car for a couple of days and explored the rest of the island, taking in the sights of Bridgetown and the old colonial sugar plantations. As a special treat for Jack, one day I took him out on a schooner rigged up like an old pirate ship, ‘the Jolly Roger’, while Sharon unwound with massages and scrubs at a spa.

My only complaint was that the seven days passed too quickly. But will we go back to Barbados when the next K comes? You bet!

Simon Clark is an accomplished travel writer with over five years of experience. He focuses on holiday destinations in Egypt, Turkey and the Mediterranean and also loves to travel further afield to Central and South America.

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