Written by Kat Mackintosh
The age old cliché ‘Are we there yet’ drifts forward to me in the economy priced airline seat in front of the devil incarnate and I wonder, like so many before me if there is any airspace in which it is acceptable to slip a shot of brandy into a child’s drink and knock them out… or at least tie their legs to their chair so they’ll STOP KICKING ME!
Children are a gift but if you feel like you’re getting too much of a good thing and would prefer to eat a quiet dinner uninterrupted by tantrums or see the sights without a possible chorus of whining, you may want to go on holiday without them. The term ‘Adults Only Resort’ conjures up hedonistic wife swappers and naked beach volley ball, but there are other kinds of child-free escapes. The key is in knowing that when it comes down to it a lot of people want to spend their leisure time somewhere they have control over the volume, and many children, though perfectly charming, don’t come with an off switch.
One way to avoid the family crowds is to try something that kids aren’t going to be interested in, and I mean more than just visiting museums and art galleries, where children are brought anyway, often against their will… If you’ve always dreamed of having your own secret recipe that will have your dinner guests clambering for a return invitation, try learning Tuscan style cooking in Tuscany; wander the markets in the morning and the quiet, vineyard lined hills in the afternoon, then reap the rewards over dinner. If Italian isn’t spicy enough how about Indian Cookery in Kerala? The classes are held on a remote plantation and again the secret herbs and spices are all locally sourced. Or take time out to learn something for yourself – Italian at its lilting, passionate heart at the Venice Opera House? Painting in the Pyreneese? If you’re feeling guilty already opt for a chocolate making course from l’Elcole Chocolat in Brussels and you’ll be able to make it up to your kids on your return.
Another way to avoid kids is to think exclusive. Quite a few resorts in the Caribbean or South Pacific are too tiny to house kids, the island of Cousine in the Seychelles only has room for eight guests, and if you want to bring your kids you may need to book out the whole island, and Fiji’s Yasawa Islands (where the ‘Blue Lagoon’ films were shot.) are littered with few-roomed luxury resorts. Or create a floating island fantasy sans kids on a sailing trip for two round Tahiti or the equally remote and romantic Whitsunday Islands. A cheaper ‘own island’ alternative would be a narrow boating holiday along the Loire River, whose vineyard laden banks also suggest a minimum age to enjoy.
There are plenty of adventures that are just plain unsuitable for families. A dramatic Ballooning adventure over Costa Rica, will have you hovering over this beautiful landscape in nothing but serene air, and is something kids would probably love but just aren’t welcome on. But it doesn’t have to be that serious an adventure for kids to be excluded, there is a lower age limit on diving so Scuba diving in Palau is in, as is Horse Riding in the Okavango Delta, children are deemed too unpredictable.
The ‘Adults Only’ experience doesn’t just happen in Caribbean and Jamaican resorts, but also on cruises, the Classic Malts Cruise around Scotland’s coastline is another example of alcohol restrictions creating an age limit on your behalf, so maybe a quiet vineyard break is something to consider in one of the world’s top wine regions?
Roll all that into one and you get a cruise to one of the world’s most remote and exclusive destinations where you’re also learning something…? So the ultimate kid-free trip must be an Antarctic Astronomy Cruise! As long as you go out of school holidays… Now where’s that hostess with the brandy?
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