There is no holiday bigger than Christmas. It comes at the end of the year, and I do my best to make it special for my family. Every year, we make at least one family trip to a destination. Basically, this gives us 7 days of uninterrupted family time and a whole lot of fun! Planning the trips is never easy, you have to keep raising the bar to make them even more memorable than the last.
I fancy myself an expert-family-trip-planner by now, so I have gathered a few tips;
Our hotel reservations
There is obviously increased demand for hotel stays during the Christmas period, so I make a point to reserve early, to ensure I get favorable rates and give my family the convenience they need. The first step is picking a destination, and there are many to choose from. This year, my wife and I were thinking of between Lamu, Diani, or Malindi. All these destinations have plenty of hotels, villas, and Airbnbs, but for us as a family, we prefer a hotel stay. After reviewing the options, we settled on Diani, and Baobab Beach Resort & Spa. I mean, it is the best family resort in Kenya, with plenty to do for the family within the resort, and you don’t have to break the bank to book a stay there.
Our travel arrangements
Second, on my list is how to get to Diani. The most convenient mode of travel is flying direct to Diani. When you have kids, you want to spend as little time as possible in transit… parents would understand why! Flight costs tend to be on the higher side, but just like the hotel, your best bet is to book early. There are several airlines that fly to Diani, but I chose Jambojet for various reasons. They have at least two flights per day to Diani, which gives us the convenience to choose the timing that works best for the family. But what sold me completely is the Jaza Pole Pole product, which allows you to pay for flights in installments! So basically, if you’re booking early for a flight in December, you secure the low fare with a deposit of only Kes.2,670 per person, and pay the rest in installments, ensuring I complete the balance at least 21 days before travel. I can simply say we are now sorted for Christmas.
Depending on the family composition, you may want to have just a few activities to indulge in. A favorite for my family each time we go to Diani is a full-day trip to Kisite Mpunguti Marine National Park and Reserve. This is the BEST snorkeling experience along the Kenyan Coast. You can book the experience at the hotel, and the cost is manageable. Some activities might require prior booking and planning. You may also choose a local tour guide to plan the itinerary including logistics.
Let’s be honest, we know of people who pack a whole suitcase for a weekend trip. If you leave it to them, they will pack 2 suitcases for a 1-week trip. Limit it to 1 bag per person, and pre-book check-in luggage prior to travel. Also note the items allowed in the cabin and check-in luggage, lest you face complications during travel.
Now all that is left is to finish paying for the Jaza Pole Pole installments, and we are #NowTravelReady for our Christmas vacation. Oh, did I mention Jambojet has a Loyalty Program, JM Rewards, that earns you points each time you fly? Go on and sign up, if you haven’t already.