Tonga Family Holiday Tips
Tonga is not your average family holiday. Forget kids’ clubs and all day every day by the pool. Tonga is a destination for the adventurous family who wants to discover a unique culture, breathtaking island landscapes and majestic marine wildlife. To help you along with your out-of-the-ordinary vacation, we’ve put together a few essential tips for travelling in Tonga with children.
Before we go through the essential tips for travelling in Tonga with children, be sure to bookmark The Travel Guide to Tonga for Families and the 10 Things to Do in Tonga with Kids for more holiday inspiration!
1. Book Early!
Tonga is possibly going to be one of the quietest holiday destinations you’ve been to – that’s the glory of it. However, families especially will still want to book their accommodation early due to the fact that almost all of the accommodation in Tonga is boutique, i.e. very small! Most resorts, guest houses, villas, etc. usually have two to seven rooms and among that, usually only one or two family rooms. Needless to say, family rooms get snapped up quickly, so try to book your family room as early as possible.
2. Look Out For “Children Stay For Free Deals”
Some hotels and resorts offer children to stay for free, as long as they use existing bedding in their parents’ room. This usually applies to children under 12 years old and is a good way to save a little on accommodation. Admittedly, this deal isn’t as abundant as in other Pacific Islands, but you can still find a few hidden gems, especially when travelling in the low season.
3. Use Sunscreen and Insect Repellent That Will Protect Them, Not Hurt Them
High-factor sunscreen and precautions against mosquito bites is a must for children. However, regular sunscreens and insect repellents are renowned for their harmful chemicals on sensitive young skin – especially if used together. On top of that, it’s sure that you’ll be doing a bit of swimming in waters shared with fragile coral, so skin protection needs to be “reef safe” too. Check out some of our recommendations in 5 Best Natural Sunscreens for Kids & Babies and 10 Best Natural Mosquito Repellents for Tonga.
4. Pack Medication and a First Aid Kit
What’s a holiday without a few cuts and bruises? Be prepared for any minor injuries or illnesses by putting together an appropriate first aid kit for your family. When buying medication, check the dosage for children and ask a pharmacist if you are unsure of what you can give to your kids. Your medication kit should include a pain and fever reducer, such as ibuprofen and/or acetaminophen, steroid cream for itching, antihistamine for allergic reactions, cough and cold medicine for older children, and a regular first aid kit with plasters/band-aids, antiseptic cream, etc. Check out our recommendations in What Medication to Pack in Your First Aid Kit for Tonga.
5. Pack Some Games
There’s always some downtime when travelling, from taking your flight to Tonga to perhaps travelling to one of Tonga’s amazing outer islands. Games are an essential boredom-buster while getting the whole family bonding. That’s what a holiday is all about! Needless to say, you’ll want to pack something that is travel-size. Some of our favourites are Uno and Connect 4 Grab & Go!
6. Educate Them About Tonga
Tonga is your dream destination, not theirs, so be sure to teach them about Tonga and get them excited for their trip. There are fascinating things to learn, from the number of islands Tonga has to facts about amazing Humpback Whales. In fact, we’ve put together a few Fun Facts About Tonga for Kids. You can also pull out a map and show them where they’re going to go!
7. Stay Hydrated
With playing out in the sun possibly much more than usual, kids need to stay hydrated much more than usual! Tonga is one of those countries with questionable water, at least on visitor’s stomachs, so do remember to take precautions when it comes to drinking water in Tonga, as we outline in 5 Ways to Make Sure the Water is Safe to Drink in Tonga. One of the easiest methods we’ve found for families on-the-go is water purification bottles, such as the Lifestraw Filter Bottle. Plus, they come in lots of child-friendly colours. See more 10 Must-Have Kids Gadgets for a Trip to Tonga.
8. Bring Your Own Snorkel Gear and Lifejacket
Snorkelling and being out on the water is a huge part of anyone’s trip to Tonga. While snorkelling masks, snorkels, fins and lifejackets are a standard on most tours in Tonga where you’ll need them, the same cannot be said for child-size snorkel gear and lifejackets. Ask the tour operators if they provided appropriate gear for children before you arrive in Tonga. If they don’t (or you don’t know which operators you’ll be using yet), then it’s best to bring your own snorkelling gear and lifejackets for the kids. See more things to pack in The Complete Packing List for Tonga.
9. Pick a Child-Friendly Accommodation
Sure, it’s an obvious one, but you’re going to not only pick an accommodation that have the layout which you prefer but also has things to do for the kids. That’s why resorts are so popular with families, usually providing plenty of entertainment between building sandcastles on the beach, having a place to snorkel and kayaks to hire (usually free of charge). Check out all of our articles on Family-Friendly Accommodation in Tonga here.
10. Pick Child-Friendly Activities
It’s their holiday too, so be sure to pick activities that are suitable for your whole tribe. Most of the time, kids are happy to swim, snorkel and get dad to paddle them around in a kayak, but when you decide to get out and about as a family, pick tours and activities that all the family will be able to participate in and enjoy. Check out our “Things to Do with Kids” articles for each destination in Tonga in our Family-Friendly Destination Guides.