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Cara G. McIlroy's Tips For Traveling With Young Kids
19 Mar 2019EXPERIENCEBY SweetEscape

If you live in Hong Kong, you might have heard of Cara G. McIlroy. For this edition of SweetEscape's Travel Diary, we had a chat with this Hong Kong-based Australian supermodel, TV presenter, Asia's Next Top Model celebrity judge, and–most importantly–mother of two (and soon-to-be three!), about her latest family trip to Koh Samui, Thailand with The Luxe Nomad.

How was your stay in Koh Samui?

by Anne for SweetEscape in Koh Samui
by Anne for SweetEscape in Koh Samui

Our stay in Koh Samui was lovely! The Baan Asan villa where we were staying was especially amazing, the kids love the pool area, and it was so great because the pool was situated in the middle of the rooms so the kids can just spent the whole day enjoying the pool. The food was wonderful too! They had a good choice between Thai food and Western food, and their service was totally amazing.

What was the highlight of your trip to Koh Samui?

by Anne for SweetEscape in Koh Samui
by Anne for SweetEscape in Koh Samui

We love to swim by the beautiful beaches or at the pool in the resort. That's basically all that we did when we were there: Wake up-Eat-Swim-Repeat, except for the one day that we went to Koh Samui's Elephant Sanctuary, which is a new, cruelty-free elephant sanctuary where you can see the elephants just being--well--elephants! You don't see any saddles on them or the elephants being pulled or pushed around. This is something very important we want to show to our children.

Was it challenging to travel with young kids? Do you have any particular preparations that you did beforehand?

by Anne for SweetEscape in Koh Samui

It's always kind of challenging to travel with kids. I always make sure to bring them a lot of healthy snacks because their eating habits can get a bit chaotic when we go overseas. Of course my husband and I love Thai food and to try new stuffs, and we always encourage our kids to try the food first, but they might not always like it, so we always have a backup plan with our healthy snacks to make sure that they still eat healthily.

by Anne for SweetEscape in Koh Samui

As for toys, now that our kids have grown a little bit older we don't bring too much, just a few night-time toys and books to read at bedtime. We also bring some colouring books and colouring pencils for them to play around with during the flight. We don't want them to use tablets too much as we encourage them to be more creative and active.

by Anne for SweetEscape in Koh Samui

Stroller is always a good idea, especially if you're travelling with really young children between 0-2 years old, so that you can just put the baby there to sleep while you relax. Bring a lightweight one that you can quickly turn into a carrier when it's impossible to push the stroller.

Most importantly, don't forget to bring bug spray when you go to tropical locations! The last thing you wan't is your kids complaining that they fell itchy or they have rashes. Sun screen is also important when you go to sunny destinations.

How long do you think should a family holiday be?

by Anne for SweetEscape in Koh Samui

I think 5 days is a great time to really unwind and relax. Of course with places as beautiful as Koh Samui you'd want to spend a couple weeks, but I think 5 days is just nice for you to settle down and to really enjoy the destination. If you don't have kids, you can stay longer and try the more adventurous activities such as motorbike riding, yoga classes, etc.

What's your biggest concern when travelling with young children?

by Anne for SweetEscape in Koh Samui

I think my biggest concern would be jetlag, especially when you travel to places with such a big time difference from home. Kids can get really cranky when their sleep cycle is messed up. Also, having them eat enough and be settled. Travelling could mean losing your children's eat and sleep routine, but sometimes that's just something you have to sacrifice to create beautiful memories with your children.

by Anne for SweetEscape in Koh Samui

Make your family holiday memorable this Spring with SweetEscape! We connect you to 2000+ professional photographers in more than 400 cities around the world including Koh Samui, so all you and your children have to do is to create memories, while we take great photos of your every moment! For SweetEscape customers staying in The Luxe Nomad like Cara, there is currently a $100 off promotion, with a minimum of $1000 purchase in the resort. Use promo code SWEETESCAPE and let's #MakeLifeMemorable!