Top tips for what to pack when travelling with children

We recently ran a competition asking what item you always take with you when travelling with children.

Kids Club at Constance Hotels Experience

Kids Club with Constance

You sent in some great ideas. We’ve selected some of the best, both serious and funny.

All are guaranteed to help any parent when travelling with children. And some might also act a reminder to pack our sense of humour when travelling with little ones!

The winning entry came from Roleen McNeilage:

  • Balloons and pens to draw faces on them to keep them amused.

And here are some of the other great entries we received through the Constance Facebook page and our Twitter account @constancehotels. Enjoy!

  • Favourite cuddly toy and blanket, with an address around the toy’s neck in case it gets lost!
  • Calpol – you never know when you might need it
  • Their favourite toys
  • A lot of patience
  • Duck Tape – works everytime
  • A portable DVD player
  • A Harry Potter CD
  • Baby wipes
  • Their own pillow
  • Sun cream
  • Crayons and drawing pad, or mini whiteboard and pen
  • Lots of activities and nibbles or alternatively… the grandparents!
  • Plasticine
  • Food - my son can’t go for more than 5 mins without eating something
  • The ultimate kid toy (for boys) for a nice vacation in a Constance beach resort is a small Hot Wheels pick-up truck on large wheels. Perfect to play in the sand. Create a crazy race track in the sand with your son, use shells, stones to decorate the roads, build bridges, tunnels… and you’re all set to enjoy a good book for a few hours.
  • Babysitter or nanny
  • Nightlight – turns a scary new bedroom into a pleasurable experience!
  • New books we know they’ll like
  • Nintendo ds and electronic games

Travelling with children? Don’t miss these articles:

Last minute deals for Christmas and New Year at Constance Ephelia

Senior Suite at Constance Ephelia Resort, Seychelles

Senior Suite at Constance Ephelia Resort, Seychelles

Pack your bags and jet off to Constance Ephelia, Seychelles this Christmas and New Year.

Our last minute deal means you could be lounging by the pool and sipping cocktails on Christmas Eve.

  • Offer applicable to junior and senior suites.
  • Valid from 23 December 2011 to 3 January 2012, minimum of 7 nights stay.
  • Last departure date from hotel is 4 January 2012.

Don’t miss out on this great deal – find out more, including rates and terms & conditions -on the Constance Ephelia website.

Celebrate Christmas with Constance Hotels

Christmas tree at Constance

Christmas tree at Constance

There’ll be a crackle in the air across the Indian Ocean this Christmas as Constance lays on some fabulous celebrations at its 7 resorts in the Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius and Madagascar. 

Here’s a glimpse of some of the special events we have in store if you’re trading a white Christmas for tropical warmth.

Each Constance hotel is offering a mix of international and locally influenced celebrations, and many run from mid-December to early-January.

Maldives

Where: Constance Halaveli Resort

What’s there to do: photo safari, fruit carving, partner massage class, Indian cookery class, beach cinema night, live Boduberu dancers, Jetty marathon on the longest jetty in the Maldives, visit from Father Christmas.

 

 

Children’s activities: let’s get making – crowns, masks, kites, lanterns, binoculars, face puzzles, candles and more; water balloon fight, crab race and star gazing, pirate sunset walk, table tennis.

Culinary delights: Christmas Day international menu, Tandoori under the stars, Lobster and caviar menu, Paella on the beach, Middle Eastern buffet, Champagne picnic, Chocolate fountain brunch, New Year Gala Dinner, New Year’s Day brunch, Wines of the world, Champagne.

Seychelles

1. Where: Constance Lémuria Resort

Spa de Constance at Lemuria
Spa de Constance at Lemuria

What’s there to do: spa – complimentary classes, scenic photography walk, introductory scuba diving, paddle boat tournament, walks to Anse Georgette, golf contests, bike ride round Praslin, daily spa treatments including Ancient Greek Therapy, Balinese Boreh Wrap, Arabic Sultan Therapy, Old China Empress’ Treatment.

Children’s activities: hair braiding, fishermen’s game, Mowtya Dance, Creole games, volleyball, scavengers’ hunt.

Culinary delights: Martini and Jazz evening, Lobster Feast, Champagne on the beach, Indian Food evening, White evening – dress in white and dance under the stars with resident DJ.

2. Where: Constance Ephélia Resort

What’s there to do: yoga, bike ride, nature walk and talk, Christmas tree decorations, tennis social, volleyball, cocktail making, kayak tour to Port Launay Marine Park, Christmas morning mass, New Year – disco, black and white evening, cocktails with hotel management.

Children’s activities: pizza making, rugby on the beach, bocce ball, treasure hunt, mangrove walking, badminton, table tennis.

Culinary delights: Creole bouillabaisse, Fisherman’s night, Lobster menu, Little Italy evening, Creole grill and BBQ, Couscous night, Oyster bar.

Mauritius

1. Where: Constance Le Prince Maurice

Christmas at Le Prince Maurice

Christmas at Le Prince Maurice

What’s there to do: scuba diving, bike rides, watersports, tennis social, special spa treatments, yoga, fitness, Christmas carols on Christmas Eve, free shuttle to Christmas Day mass, live music, fireworks on New Year’s Eve and DJ music til dawn.

Children’s activities: scuba diving, pool treasure hunt, kite flying, craft making, family soccer, karate, frog hunt, mother and daughter make up demo, foam pool party, fishing, henna tattoos, visit to tortoise park, evening beach BBQ.

Culinary delights: cocktails by pool on Christmas Eve, gala dinner, New Year’s Eve gala buffet and cocktails.

2. Where: Constance Belle Mare Plage

What’s there to do: cookery lessons, beach party with cocktails, golf and fun, musical entertainment every night, tropical night, disco.

Children’s activities: special cinema party and popcorn, cookery lessons, beach disco, BBQ night, pyjama party, craft making, lunch with Father Christmas.

Teen activities: snokelling, mini golf tournament, kung fu, table tennis tournament, boccia ball, water ski initiation, beach football, bike tours, yoga, salsa, glass bottom boat trips.

Culinary delights: Pearl and seashells evening with jazz, Iberique with Latino band, Steak House evening with New Orleans menu, From Provence to Italy wine dinner, Mauritian Street Food evening, Lobster menu, Christmas Day buffet, Seafood grill on the beach, New Year’s Eve buffet or Wine dinner at Blue Penny.

Christmas gifts for Constance holidays

Are you or loved ones travelling to a Constance hotel for Christmas or New Year? Our spa, golf and dining vouchers make perfect Christmas gifts, and you can buy them online now. Find out more from the Constance Hotels Experience website. Select the hotel of your choice, then go to ‘online concierge’.

And if you want to know more about what it’s like to stay at Constance Hotels, don’t miss our article about The essence of the Constance Hotels Experience.

Top 5 Seychelles islands for bird lovers

Well known as a haven for honeymooners, the stunning islands of the Seychelles archipelago are also a magnet for ornithologists the world over.

Constance Lemuria Resort, Seychelles

Constance Lemuria

The 155 granite and coral islands are home to 12 endemic bird species, and the largest sea bird colonies in the world.

For all bird enthusiasts out there, here’s our top 5 run down of must-see Seychelles’ islands.

1. Praslin Island

The rare endemic Seychelles Black Parrot is the national bird. Visitors to the exotic Vallée de Mai on Praslin Island, are likely to see the Black Parrot as well as the Seychelles Bulbul, Seychelles Swiflet and Fruit Pigeon.

2. Mahé

Seychelles Kestrel

Seychelles Kestrel

Mahé is the largest of the islands, and there are a number of beautiful walks you can take into the tropical hills to spot the Seychelles Kestrel, Seychelles White-eye and Seychelles Scops-owl.

3. Bird Island

Bird Island is situated some 60 miles north of Mahé.  It’s a tiny flat coralline island where over 400,000 pairs of Sooty Terns breed every year between May – November.

There are viewing platforms where you can enjoy the sight of the terns incubating their eggs and caring for newborn chicks. Other birds found on the island include Curlew Sandpipers, Fairy Terns and Turnstones.

4. Cousin Island

Seychelles Magpie Robin

Seychelles Magpie Robin

Cousin Island, just 2km from Praslin Island, is home to a bird and marine sanctuary that has won several awards for conservation and ecotourism.

The endangered Seychelles Magpie Robin was successfully reintroduced on the island. You’ll also find other endemic birds including the Seychelles Sunbird, Seychelles Fody and Seychelles Blue Pigeon.

There’s also a massive seabird colony here with 7 different species nesting at different times of year. Expect to see Fairy Terns, Bridled Terns, Lesser Noddies, Audubon’s Shearwater and the Wedge-tailed Shearwater.

5. Aride Island

Close to Cousin Island, Aride is the only place in the archipelago where you’ll find Red-tailed Tropicbirds. The world’s only hilltop colony of Sooty Terns are also found here, living alongside White-tailed Tropicbirds, Roseate Terns, Seychelles Sunbird and the Seychelles Fody.

When to visit

Sooty terns

Sooty terns

The main breeding season for birds in the Seychelles is April, while Sooty Terns nest from May-September.

October is migration time, where numbers peak across the islands. Visitors at this time of year can expect some stunning sights across the sky.

Where to stay

Combine all this with a wonderfully relaxing holiday at one of our luxury 5* resorts in the Seychelles.

And for more wildlife inspiration, don’t miss these articles:

Top 5 natural wonders of the Seychelles

Beach at Constance Lemuria

Beach at Constance Lemuria

One of the most alluring features of the Seychelles as a holiday destination is its geographical isolation.

Perched in the middle of the Indian Ocean, some 1000 miles off the east coast of Africa, this archipelago of 155 islands has managed to maintain its ecological credibility - protecting the rich endemic flora and fauna that its famous for.

Here’s a run-down of our top 5 must-see natural wonders of the Seychelles.

1. The atoll of Aldabra

Giant land tortoise

Giant land tortoise

The Aldabra atoll is situated in the most remote part of the Seychelles. Made up of 4 main islands, it’s here that you’ll find the largest raised coral atoll in the world – now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

With a pristine coral reef and over 100,000 giant land tortoises, it’s a must-see for anyone interested in ecology. Other wildlife on the islands include frigate birds, giant crabs and the white throated rail, the only flightless bird left in the Indian Ocean.

Find out more from the UNESCO website.

2. Sainte Anne Marine National Park

An easily accessible boat-ride away from Victoria Harbour, this marine park is made up of 6 islands. Being close to Victoria, Ste Anne is well within the tourist trail but still worth a visit.

The marine park offers superb snorkelling conditions in clear waters. Here, you’ll see many of the 900 species of fish found in the Seychelles.

Hawskbill Turtles are another big draw for visitors to these islands.

3. Vallée de Mai on Praslin Island

Coco de Mer

Coco de Mer

Lying in the heart of Praslin Island, Seychelles, is Vallée de Mai  –  a national park, UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the highly revered Coco de Mer seed.

Vallée de Mai is the only place in the world where you’ll find Coco de Mer. Visitors can wander through the national park, beneath giant palm trees. And keep your eyes open for the rare Seychelles Black Parrot. Read our article about the Coco de Mer.

4. Bird Island

Bird Island is situated some 60 miles north of Mahé.  It’s a tiny flat coralline island where over 400,000 pairs of sooty terns breed every year between May – November.

There are viewing platforms where keen ornithologists can enjoy the sight of the terns incubating their eggs and caring for newborn chicks. Other birds found on the island include curlew sandpipers, fairy terns and turnstones.

5. Beaches, beaches, beaches

North Beach at Constance Ephelia

North Beach at Constance Ephelia

Across the Seychelles, you’ll find stunning beaches complete with huge granite boulders, soft white sand and breathtaking views across the calm turquoise waters.

These islands look like paradise on earth, and you’ll feel you’ve been whisked far away from the mêlée and humdrum of daily life.

Find out more about our 2 resorts in the Seychelles:

 

VIP treatment – presidential villas at Constance

Presidential villa and beach at Lemuria

Presidential villa and beach at Lemuria

If you’re looking for somewhere truly special to take your clan, our presidential villas are just the ticket.

Nestled away in a quiet corner of our resorts, each unique villa offers total privacy and seclusion.

They’re the deluxe option if you’re looking for grown-up loveliness in a self-contained setting.

Looking out across the Indian Ocean, each villa is set in its own garden with at least one private pool or in the case of the villa at Constance Lémuria, 3 swimming pools situated at different levels.

Beautiful interiors

Princely suite at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Princely suite at Constance Le Prince Maurice

The villas come with several bedrooms or suites, lounge, dining room, outside dining area, kitchen, private terraces, in some cases a gym, and lots of space, space, space.

The interiors are wonderfully luxurious, with huge comfy beds, polished wood or tiled floors, oversized sofas and enormous windows for enjoying unbroken views of the ocean.

Villa masters

Each villa comes with a dedicated villa master to look after you during your stay, making sure your holiday is tailor-made to your desires.

Presidential villas at each resort

Constance Belle Mare Plage

The villa comes with lounge, dining room, kitchen, private pool, large veranda and two villa masters.

Constance Le Prince Maurice

The Princely Suite is made up of 2 junior and 1 senior suite, and comes with 2 pools and 3 private terraces each with a different view across the quiet lagoon. 

Constance Lemuria

This one offers all-out privacy and indulgence, more akin to staying in your own private hotel than a villa within a resort. It comes with 3 suites, an outside jacuzzi, study and dining room. And don’t forget, the 3 swimming pools all leading to a private beach.

Constance Ephelia

Nestled in the hills, the villa comes with breathtaking views across the sea, 3 bedrooms, a gym, private spa, pool and outdoor lounge and dining area.

Constance Halaveli Presidential Villa

Constance Halaveli Presidential Villa

Constance Halaveli

The ultimate in get-away-from-it-all luxury this villa has a larger than-average plunge pool, dining room and private gym.

Read about all our styles of villas in our article Luxe accommodation for the holiday of a lifetime.