Dubai is one of the most fascinating places to visit. It has everything you would expect a popular destination should have, from great amenities, stunning views, and great attractions, to restaurants run by the best chefs from around the world. While we usually see Dubai as a destination for adults, you can actually have a memorable trip to this city with the children too. We can’t wait to visit next Spring!
Visiting Dubai with the kids requires a bit more planning, as our friends who recently moved there experienced. The city has a lot of great attractions that the kids will enjoy, but there are also some challenges you have to overcome first. To help you plan the perfect trip to Dubai with your children, here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind.
Get Them Excited
One of the best ways to get kids ready for a big holiday is by getting them involved in the planning process. There is no doubt that you will love spending time with the kids, making the itinerary for your next trip, choosing the perfect hotel to stay at, and even planning restaurants to try and places to visit along the way.
Getting the kids involved in planning the trip is a great way to get them excited about it. They’ll start mentally preparing as well, which means they will be much easier to handle as you explore the magnificent city of Dubai.
Mind the Airport
The start of your trip with the kids is always very important. You want them to be in a good mood and ready to have a lot of fun rather than frustrated by a long, uncomfortable drive to the airport. The best way to start the trip is by giving yourself enough time.
Leave early and drive to the airport rather than take a taxi. You can pre-book airport parking and have someone meet you at the gate to make driving to the airport more convenient. If you are flying to Dubai from Birmingham, for instance, you can easily pre-arrange parking with the help of birminghamparking.com. One of the reasons to book a meet-and-greet service is that long walk from the airport car park to the gate. Of course, you can park in an off-site car park like Birmingham Airport Car Park 7 and take the free shuttle to the gate.
Prepare for the Weather
As mentioned before, there are a few challenges to overcome when you travel to Dubai with the kids. The weather is one of them. While the overall weather of Dubai is pleasant enough for adults, the heat can be too much for kids.
This is something you need to prepare for in order to have a great vacation. You can start by packing extra sunblock with higher SPF. Make sure you carry a daypack with you too since you’ll need to bring snacks and bottled water as you explore this magical city.
Another thing to do is do some research on the Dubai malls. They are great places to hide from the heat when it gets too much. Dubai malls are also filled with great restaurants and even game centres– or an indoor aquarium like the Underwater Zoo – so the kids will love them too.
Entertainment on the Go
Speaking of packing and preparing for Dubai, you also want to make sure that you pack your iPad as well as other forms of entertainment for the kids. Smartphones and tablets are great for overseas trips since they let you store hundreds of movies and shows that the kids love.
You can also pack your kids’ favouritebooks and still be able to read them bedtime stories without having to bring the actual books that they love. Complete the set by adding a few extra games to keep the kids excited during gaps in your itinerary, such as during the flight from Birmingham to Dubai.
Keeping the kids entertained is a great way to stop them from getting cranky about travelling. Instead of dealing with your children acting up during the flight, you get to enjoy spending time watching a children’s movie with them.
Travelling alone and travelling with the kids are very different. You can’t expect your children to keep up with a packed itinerary. They’ll get tired very quickly and they will act up more when they do. What you need to do is build an itinerary around your children’s daily schedules rather than forcing them to change their routines.
Adding a short break to allow the children to take a nap or limiting your night-outs to 9 pm is always a good idea. The latter also stops children from waking up late and missing the hotel breakfast; you’re avoiding a lot of potential problems this way.
Opt for Comfort
Travelling alone and travelling with kids is also different because you have to put their preferences first. You can’t just choose a budget hotel unless you know it is comfortable enough for the kids. You’ll have to make some adjustments to the way you (usually) travel in order to accommodate the specific needs of your children.
Fortunately, beneath the layer of glamour and luxury, Dubai is incredibly kid-friendly. Most hotels have parks and some even have day care services available on-site. There are plenty of activities for the kids to try without leaving the hotel.
Some hotels even go as far as making certain rooms suitable for kids of different ages. You can book a room with a baby crib or a fully-featured gaming system just as easily. They may be slightly more expensive, but anything that keeps the children happy is worth the extra expenses.
There are a lot of benefits to gain from travelling light, especially when you’re travellingwith the kids. For starters, you don’t have to spend a lot of time to get through security at the airport. Travelling light also lets you keep some conveniences as you travel with children.
Naturally, some items are essential, and you want to have them with you at all times. Some food for the kids, bottled water, their medications, and toys are only the beginning. You may also need to bring a blanket and other accessories, depending on what the children need.
Still, it is always possible to reduce the items you bring on a trip. Instead of packing extra clothes, for example, you can rely on the hotel laundry service and reduce your baggage substantially. Renting a stroller is obviously easier than bringing one yourself.
Do a Test Trip
If you are planning your first trip overseas with the children, doing a test run is also a great idea. You’ll have a better idea of what to expect from the trip, including how your children will behave in different situations.
I recommend going on a staycation (or a weekend getaway) to a nearby destination first. Drive to the destination and make sure you observe how children react to different things along the way. Continue working with the children while staying at the hotel.
The more you observe, the more potential issues you’ll be able to spot, and the more you can prepare for them before your trip to Dubai. Don’t worry too much about the kids not being able to enjoy Dubai or the trip as a whole; with attractions like Kidzania, the Underwater Zoo, and Atlantis The Palm, your kids will have the time of their life.