Our Family Holiday in Bali

When it comes to holidays, I’m normally a do it yourself kind of guy.

I’m big on exploration, activity, and getting off the beaten track. I want to go my own way. For me it’s all about discovery; trying new things. I want transformative.

At my wife’s insistence we decided to try something new for our most recent family holiday.

“We really just need a break”, Kylie had insisted. “A real break. Where we do nothing.”

Me: “Boring.”

Nevertheless, after some more back-and-forth, our negotiation ended with a compromise. We were going to a resort where there was nothing to do but lay by the pool.

 

To be clear, that’s not how I roll. But I had to concede that Kylie was right. There are times when you really need a break. Family life can leave you feeling flogged, and we were exhausted by it. Frantic paced deadlines and commitments, kids creating chaos… there’s something special about taking some time away from it all to replenish, rejuvenate, and to literally re-create our lives.

Plus, the idea of not having to plan or cook a meal for a week while spending quality time on amazing family activities sounded like it was worth trying. Logistics-free meant I wouldn’t have to look at google maps. I figured it was worth a try.

The break hardly began in a rejuvenating way.

Our best efforts to pack and prep the night before we left meant we were up late. Rousing six daughters from slumber and herding them to the car at 4:00am was challenging. The youngest were compliant. Our eldest ones truly believed that the plane would wait because they needed another 30 minutes of sleep. My lost wallet didn’t help in reducing the stress.

By the time we arrived at Brisbane International Airport, it felt as though the holiday might be about to begin. Meals were eaten, apps were downloaded, devices were charged, and all was well – until our names were called over the airport speakers. The flight was closing. We’d missed our cue. A short sprint with six kids chasing me, and my wife nowhere to be seen (she subsequently caught up), and we were welcomed aboard our flight – just in the nick of time. All was well with the world.

 

Landing in Bali in May is a treat.

Rather than the suffocating summer humidity, a pleasant tropical warmth enveloped us as we cast aside the extra layers that had been necessary for warmth on a cold Brisbane morning. ClubMed transferred us to the Nusa Dua resort and our week as #ClubMedinsiders began.

Straight away I knew this was not going to be my usual kind of break. And straight away I was excited.

At the resort, five of our six kids were ushered off to kids club by staff (known as G.O.’s) who had become their instant best friends. (Our 6th is nearly 20, and her best efforts to sneak in for all the fun with the kids were unsuccessful.) For the next 5 days our daughters met new friends from all over the world, played sports, swung on the insanely high trapeze – even the 5 year-old! – and swam, snorkelled, crafted, and more. They literally begged to leave before us each morning so they could get to Kids Club, and they wanted to stay longer each night. They wanted to stay at Club Med forever.

Club Med’s G.O.’s were incredible with the kids.

We watched our children and others stimulated to try new things. It was transformative for them. Swinging on the trapeze, improving social skills interacting with kids from other cultures; the kids club brought them alive, and taught them new skills. They tried things they’ve never done before and played with kids from different nationalities and cultures.

We love our kids and enjoy being with them.

We love adventures together. But they loved the independence, so we embraced the downtime. The adults only “zen pool” became a retreat each day, away from the noise and activity of the resort’s main pool.

Club Med has just launched a range of family activities which meant that we weren’t separated from the children all day. Games on the grass, a family cooking class, slip ‘n slide, and a colour party meant we got to play together each day. We had the chance to genuinely enjoy a holiday together, with some downtime for us as well.

The other thing that made this holiday great was the food.

I never knew Club Med was all-inclusive! Activities and meals are included, and while Kylie and I don’t drink, those who like a drop now and then might be pleased to know that most drinks are also part of your package. This was something I appreciated. A break where family can be together or the kids can have fun while the parents get some down time; a getaway where you don’t have to keep dipping your hand into your pocket to pay exorbitant prices for food or activities because it’s all included*; a chance to really recover (or get off the resort and speed things up if you feel the need)… and all in one of the most picturesque places you can imagine. Morning sunrise over the ocean at Nusa Dua is something special.

This was not the holiday I would have chosen before…

But after a week here, I’m sold. By providing quality time away from the stresses of daily life, in a kind, multicultural, relaxed environment, offering a wide range of activities, Club Med gave our family an inspiring break. My kids are calling it our best ever holiday. One thing is certain: we’re heading home with amazing memories, a refreshed mindset, and plans to book in for another break with Club Med soon!

*SPONSORED POST: Dr Justin Coulson and his family travelled to Club Med Bali as #ClubMedInsiders

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