Family support, favourite snacks and loads of activity books and toys—these are the secret weapons couples deploy when it comes to taking their children on family holidays.

While such travels involve much advance planning to avoid hassles during the trip—villas with butler services and resorts with children’s activities are favourites—the joy of creating memories together more than make up for it.

We speak to three couples on how they make their family vacations work.

John Lim and Tjin Lee with Tyler, 4, and Jake, 2

John Lim and Tjin Lee with Tyler, 4, and Jake, 2

What are your favourite places to stay in?
John Lim & Tjin Lee We love destinations with villa or family-living accommodations, as there is more room for the kids to play. The boys also love soaking in the bathtub, so we always look out for hotels with nice bathrooms!

Share a funny holiday memory.
John Lim & Tjin Lee We once brought Tyler to a big toy store in Melbourne. There was a huge 3D robotic dinosaur that could roar and move its head. He took one look at it and ran screaming out of the toy department and almost entirely out of the store!


Jake Lim

What do you always bring with you?
John Lim & Tjin Lee My kids travel with their toy airplanes and whales everywhere they go! The boys are going through an obsession with whales at the moment. I make sure there is always a little backpack filled with their favourite toys. We also bring along a foldable hand-carry stroller, especially for Jake. With time differences and disrupted schedules, you never know when the little jetsetter wants to take a nap. Our GB Pockit+, which is the smallest pram in the world, goes right onto an airplane (you don’t want to be waiting for a pram at the side of the plane after disembarkation). 


Tyler Lim

Why is it worth travelling with the children even when they are so young?
John Lim & Tjin LeeWe travel to bond with the children. Perhaps it’s more for the parents than the kids at a very early age. But you will be surprised at what kids do remember! Photographs and videos help trigger their memories—the boys remember very well when shown photos of their travel adventures and chat excitedly of their memories. 

What do you hope your children will take away from these trips?
John Lim & Tjin Lee That these memories made while travelling are their “happy place”, and that they have enjoyed seeing the world with papa and mama. 


Andre and Belinda Huber with Hayley, 41/2, Ashley, 3, and Hunter, 6 months

Andre and Belinda Huber with Hayley, 41/2, Ashley, 3, and Hunter, 6 months

Which is your favourite destination?
Andre & Belinda Huber Australia, as both Andre and I are familiar with Melbourne and I have family there to help with the children. We also love beach or resort destinations such as Bali or Vietnam, and we try to do a golf-cum-family holiday so that Daddy can take a break on the golf course, while Mummy relaxes with the children by the pool or beach. We usually choose family-friendly villas where there are open spaces, pool and entertainment room for the children, and butler services that make it comfortable to stay in and not venture out.


Hayley Huber

How do you make the holiday more manageable?
Andre & Belinda Huber If it is a long-haul flight, we try to book a red-eye one as our children sleep long hours (7pm-7am) and it is a lot easier for us if they sleep through most of the flight. Food usually occupies the kids so we bring or buy lots of snacks during the trip. We also let them bring activity or colouring books as well as their favourite books or toys. Our daily programme always include kid activities, such as going to zoos, farms, playgrounds or any experiences that are different from what they would have at home here in Singapore.


Ashley Huber

What do you hope your children will take away from these trips?
Andre & Belinda Huber We hope that our children will remember places and the memories that are attached to them. It is nice when they ask to go back because they remember the place as being so fun. Just the other day, we were talking to our eldest daughter, Hayley, about our trip back to Melbourne next year. She was so excited that she said, “I’m so excited, I need to go to the toilet.” I guess that’s what butterflies in your tummy make you feel like!


Choo Ken-Yi and Stephanie Lee with 18-month-old Max

Choo Ken-Yi and Stephanie Lee with 18-month-old Max

When was the first time you brought Max on holiday?
Choo Ken-Yi and Stephanie Lee We brought Max on his first holiday to Phuket when he was 6 months old. We decided to take the plunge since we were travelling with my in-laws and Max’s cousins. My mother-in-law is extremely hands-on with Max, and one sister-in-law has kids of her own while another is a doctor. So if there were any emergencies, we could get immediate advice. I cannot imagine travelling alone with Ken-Yi and Max!  


Max Choo

How do you keep Max in good spirits during the holiday?
Choo Ken-Yi and Stephanie Lee We usually try to take mid-morning short-haul flights so that Max can nap on the plane and save his energy in the afternoon for more activities. We bring along fresh fruits like blueberries, which he can munch on to reduce the air pressure within his ears and his favourite books and toys to occupy his time. Strictly no TV, iPad and iPhone. 


Stephanie Lee and Choo Ken-Yi with Max

What are your favourite destinations?
Choo Ken-Yi and Stephanie Lee Resort destinations like Phuket and Bali with spacious villas and a fully equipped kitchen so we can cook for Max. Most villas come with 24-hour butler services and in-house chefs—this give us the flexibility to eat in or dine out. 

Why is it worth bringing Max along even though he is so young?
Choo Ken-Yi and Stephanie Lee He may not remember anything but we do, and that makes it meaningful. Such moments of bonding and seeing our child laugh and making new discoveries are priceless. As parents, we too learn from them.  



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