x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Travelling with Kids: being ill isn't the end of a Fujairah holiday

When it comes to sick kids, it's better for the entire family to nurse them back to health while holed up in a luxury hotel than at home.

As we drove towards our hotel in Fujairah, it was clear that all was not well on the back seat. I could see the luggage, scooters, beach bag and everything else you could possibly need for a weekend away with children, piled high in the boot. But rather than being forced to listen to my offspring's constant calls of "Are we there yet?" all I could hear was the gentle rumble of snoring.

My five-year-old daughter, who sadly gave up afternoon napping some time ago, was comatose on the back seat, having passed out within seconds of driving off. My two-year-old, son, who still indulges in a nap every so often, was also in a deep slumber and so, for once, we drove in blissful silence. But we knew what was to come.

Because, for some unknown reason, every time my family goes away for a weekend, it magically ties in with the children picking up the latest virus circling the UAE. This time, as we were to discover later, they were suffering from "silent tonsillitis", a nasty illness with high temperatures, vomiting and an endless desire for sleep.

But rather than turn the car around and head straight home, we drove on, safe in the knowledge that the Calpol and anti-sickness medication were already packed in preparation for such an occurrence.

Although being away from home with a sick child might panic some parents, we find it easier. We discovered this four years ago when, during a weekend break, our daughter picked up a stomach bug and we called out a doctor. Rather than tell us to head home, the doctor encouraged us to stay on at the hotel. "It will be easier for you," she said.

And she was right. When the vomiting stopped, we headed out for a revitalising walk along the beach. My husband and I took it in turns to swim in the pool while the other rested inside with the poorly one and we ordered room service for dinner and went to bed early. By the end of the trip we were incredibly well rested; the hotel kitchen cooked all our meals and the room attendant cleaned the room. With the domestic duties taken care of, we had nothing to do apart from relax and nurse our sickly daughter, who delighted in having both her parents doting on her every need.

Back in Fujairah last month, we followed the same routine. The children picked at their food, ran around on the beach when they felt up to it and slept for hours on end. Once again, with everything done for us, all we had to worry about was looking after them and indulging in some much-needed rest ourselves. As any permanently exhausted parent will appreciate, it doesn't take much to encourage us to indulge in a daytime nap. That's something I would pay for over and over again.

arayer@thenational.ae