I must admit: it’s very hard to travel with a kid. It’s waaaaay harder than traveling with your barkada. You have to make sure they eat on time, they feel well, and of course, they don’t get cranky.
I usually bring my 9-year old brother to the office or to events, but bringing him abroad and making him go on tours is a completely different story.
I recently took my family to Hong Kong. I think that’s the most family-friendly country aside from the Philippines. The two countries are quite similar. They are both fast-paced. They have kid-friendly tourist spots. And of course, they have amazing food. So, as soon as we landed in Hong Kong, I knew we would all have a great time. Boy, was it a struggle!
Here are some tips to help make traveling easier with the kiddos!
When planning your trip, make sure to check the weather. It can be really hot or rainy, so it’s better if you travel around November (it’s usually cooler then). From there, you can prepare the clothes you need to bring.
Since we traveled in June, it was mostly sunny and the weather was pretty similar to the Philippines. There wasn’t any need to bring coats or jackets, but it’s still better to be prepared and bring one. My brother brought one, which he wore to and from the airport. When it started raining, we bought him a raincoat which cost 50HKD. You can bring your own or maybe bring an umbrella.
Though you want to look good in your travel OOTDs, it’s still important to be comfortable, especially the kids! Make sure they wear running shoes or comfortable sneakers. Hong Kong entails lots of walking. Though there are lots of MTR stations, the distances between where you are going and the MTR exits can be a little far. Walking inside Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park can be pretty tiring, too.
Get Everything You Need in One Place
As soon as you land at the airport, you HAVE to get all of the things that you need. You can’t drag around a kid back and forth because their patience levels can be pretty low. Fortunately, you can get your MTR card, WiFi, discounted Disneyland and Ocean Park tickets, airport express tickets, and Hong Kong dollars at the airport. We pre-booked all the tickets that we needed from Klook (it’s way cheaper and so convenient!).
Book Kid-Friendly Accommodations
A cheap Airbnb can be inviting, but most of the apartments in Hong Kong are small and in buildings that may not be safe for kids. If you find hotels too expensive, there are 2-3 star hotels in Hong Kong that can provide just the right comfort, especially for traveling families. We stayed at Hotel Jen Hong Kong, which we completely vouch for because it has the comforts of home, an MTR station right outside, and fast food places downstairs.
Choose Kid-Friendly Restaurants
This is the hardest part of traveling. Though there are kids who don’t have any dietary restrictions, it is very important to know that some kids are harder to feed abroad. My brother LOVES eating, but he had a hard time wrapping his head around some of the food that we had there. Of course, fast food will be your saving grace here. There are KFCs, McDonald’s and even Jollibees in Hong kong. If all else fail, you can always get them some Chicken Joy.
Food inside the theme parks is REALLY expensive, so I suggest you get online vouchers for them to save you time and money. During our trip to Hong Kong Disneyland, we got a 2-in-1 voucher which provided a snack (ice cream or popcorn) and a full meal at any of their restaurants. You can choose from a variety of restaurants, depending on what type of cuisine you prefer. They’ve got Chinese, Japanese, Western, and even halal.
Visit Various Theme Parks
One of the biggest reasons why families love traveling to Hong Kong is because of the theme parks. I personally love Ocean Park and my family loves Disneyland. The tickets there can be expensive, though, so it’s better to book ahead of time.
There are 1- and 2-day passes, so you can decide depending on how many days you are staying there. We got a 1-day pass for each theme park. I think it’s enough if the kids you are with are little and won’t be able to ride a lot of attractions anyway.
Disneyland is for the kids and kids at heart. You can mingle with your favorite cartoon characters and even immerse yourself in their universe. You have to try Hyperspace Mountain, Star Wars fans!
Ocean Park is perfect for traveling families because it’s a theme park and an educational space in one. Kids and adults can learn about different kinds of animals and how to preserve natural resources.
Find Other Types of Night Life
If you are traveling with kids and have no one to leave them with, you might want to cross out your bar crawl plans. Instead, you can go to the night markets. You can score some pretty cheap stuff there! Kids can also get some toys. ;) You can also check out the Symphony of Lights by Central Pier. I suggest you don’t ride the boat, though, in case your kids get sea-sick. Chill by the pier instead.
Side notes: Always bring your own bags. Always stroll around Hong Kong with water, an MTR card, and your passport (just in case). This will make traveling wayyyyy faster and easier. Enjoy!