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Want to know how to really spoil your kids on holiday? Let them play

While affluent CEOs think nothing of hopping on a private jet to arrive at their favourite secluded holiday destination, have they forgotten the fun factor for their children?


Where do CEOs and their children go on holiday? It varies, of course, but it’s probably safe to say the world’s top earners probably don’t head for the nearest Club Med or Big4 Holiday Park. And why head on a cruise with the rest of us when only a private yacht will do?

In search of privacy and luxury, the wealthy elite lean more towards private islands often accessed by private jets, or the shelter of five-star plus hotels and resorts. While many do head for popular swanky destinations, they opt for private accommodation boasting butlers, chefs, gyms, entertainment rooms and infinity pools, a perfect paradise, with no need to venture outside. Have you noticed how private it all is?

But where do these secluded havens leave the kids? How do butlers, exclusive lifts, grand pianos and vintage chandeliers fit into their ideas of fun?

There are companies, so exclusive they are password protected, offering tailor-made luxury vacations for discerning clientele who routinely spend around US$500,000 on a single family holiday. The companies create personalised itineraries and service to travel the world incorporating private yachts, jets, hotels, resorts and restaurants.

Meticulous research, including comprehensive visits, is carried out to ensure each experience is one the average person can’t buy with everything personally vetted to ensure exceptional service and standards are up to scratch.

Itineraries for families with children of varying ages can range from cruising Italy’s wineries in antique cars to enjoying exclusive outdoor cooking classes in the Atlas Mountains. Private visits to historical districts, museums and markets can also be arranged.

It’s all very educational and, yes, dripping in privilege and exclusivity, but where’s the fun factor, the scope for imagination, adventure and play?

Compare a holiday, micromanaged and hassle free, to the action offered at much cheaper family resorts, caravan parks and cruises. Who cares about a personal chef, when you can stack your plates with fries and burgers at Club Med? And why tour underground archaeology sites when you can see the world from above, zip-lining over the deck on a P&O cruise?

Where do the kids holidaying in bubbles of luxury learn resilience, to problem solve and negotiate?

At Club Med, with more than 70 resorts worldwide, kids clubs cater for babies through to teens, offering activities that naturally promote inclusion. Different languages, cultures and food are best learned through playing a game, not from personally guided tours.

Sure, if you must take your luxury motorhome with its rooftop seating, marble benches and wooden floorboards, pull into one of Australia’s Big4 caravan parks, where your children can make new mates hurtling down a water slide or having a shot at volleyball.

Prefer the water? Forget the yacht and hop on a P&O cruise. Muck in with everyone at lunch and head for the buffet, there’s time for finer dining in the evening, after a game in the pool, or flying through the air on that hairy zip-line.

So what if there is no valet, personal chef or private cinema room? The kids can only benefit from learning how to queue, take their turn and share… and so will their parents.

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