People often wonder : Is Martinique a dream destination when travelling with kids ? My answer is definitely YES! No need to mention that thousands of children live here and that women (including me 😉 give birth everyday here ! Of course, it’s hot and there are mosquitos but is it really a reason to miss all the treasures Martinique offers ? Believe me, it’s truly a paradise for adults as well as children !
Martinique is a French Caribbean Island where you will find hospitals, doctors and pharmacies, which does not prevent you from taking a first-aid kit with the key medicines for kids and your prescriptions as well if your children have specific medical needs. You will also find everything you need for babies and children at the supermarket.
Depending on the accommodation you choose on the island, feel free to ask if it is possible to get a cot or a highchair for instance. If not, you can always rent childcare equipment on site, which can be useful.
In this case, I recommend you get in touch with :
Bébé Vadrouille – Sainte Luce
Please note that you can order online and be delivered directly at the airport or at your holiday home.
Regarding the car seat, be aware that most of the Car Rental Companies offer this service, but do not forget to mention it when booking.
IT’S JUST A MATTER OF ORGANIZATION
Many parents worry about the restrictions for liquids on an airplane. Note
that Baby food, milk and water needed on board are allowed when travelling with children.
My advice :
Get extra clothes for ALL the family ! Again, I am talking about what I already experienced 😉 You never know what can happen.
Get extra diapers and baby wipes (it’s better to be safe than sorry) and a towel to put on the changing table in the airplane as well. Even if toilets in the airplane have special arrangements for babies, I recommend you prefer the airport toilets until the final boarding! Much more comfortable.
Last but not least, get your firstaid kit on board (thermometer, paracetamol, physiological serum, nasal aspirator,…)
If you are travelling with a little baby, lucky you, it is often much easier. Trust me, as soon as your child is able to walk, the only thing he will have on his mind is exploring the airplane to its most remote corners. Unless you have something much more interesting to offer!
First step: When you are at the check-in desk, do not hesitate to ask the hostess/stewart about the flight load – and if you are lucky enough – ask her/him to save a seat for you. You will never have too much room in an airplane, especially when travelling with a kid.
Second step: How to distract a chid during the flight?Children under 24 months old are not entitled to a seat. I recommend you book an infant bassinet (a tiny bed that connects to the wall of the aircraft, designed just for babies) as soon as possible because there are only a limited numbers available. And once you’ve booked it, do not hesitate to call the airline company to make sure your request has been registered. Be aware that in case of turbulence, the crew may ask you to take your chid in your arms which means taking the risk to wake him up but… safety first!
Keep a bottle or a dummy handy during take off and landing. Best way to avoid earache due to a drop in cabin pressure.
Do not forget to bring a baby sleep bag or a soft and warm blanket. Nights are often really cold in an airplane. And if not, you’ll just have to take it off.
For older children (15 months and +), I suggest you bring some new toys that might distract them, at least for a few moments. (Forget the noisy ones if you want other passengers to have a little empathy for you) :
• Coloring book, coloured pencils, felts,..
• Finger puppets
• Magic Slate
• little secret boxes
• Video game Console
Do not give them all at once, save some !
If your child is 2 years old or more, he will have his own seat and his own tv screen! Good news, yes, but, most of the time, headphones are standard-size and a bit too large for young children.
The solution ? Get headphones for kids (volume limited). You can find nice ones on the internet for less than 20 dollars.
What to do on site with children?
Martinique offers dozens and dozens of amazing beaches but some some of them are more adapted to babies or young children with calm sea and easy access.
1 / Beaches I would recommend with kids (non-exhaustive list) are : Sainte Anne, Pointe Marin, Anse Mitan, Pointe Faula, Grande Anse, Anse d’Arlet, Anse Dufour, Plage du bourg de Tartane, Salines, Anse Figuier, Anse Michel, Cap Chevalier, Ilet Chevalier, Anse à l’âne… Note that beaches in « Le Diamant » are beautiful but there are dangerous sea currents there. So you should be very careful.
2 / Sea excursions: Go off to explore the island seen from the sea, meet dolphins and Iagunas, experience the famous « fonds blancs » and so much more. If your kids are comfortable in the water, you might think about snorkeling! (In this case, go around « les Anses d’Arlet », Grande Anse, Anse Dufour, Anse noire,…
3 / Amusement park or ou recreational activities:
Mangofil – http://www.mangofil.eu
Acro’kids – http://acrokids.fr
Acro’kart – https://www.acrokart.com
Le Maya Beach Club (Anse Caritan) : http://www.mayabeachclub.com
Radonnées en buggy – http://www.randobuggymartinique.com
Aquabulle – https://www.tripadvisor.fr/Attraction_Review-g776151-d4450645-Reviews-Aquabulle-Le_Marin_Arrondissement_of_Le_Marin_Martinique.html
Other excursions :
The Zoo – http://www.zoodemartinique.com
Balata Garden – http://www.jardindebalata.fr
Le domaine d’émeraude (Morne Rouge) – http://pnr-martinique.com/visiter/domaine-demeraude/
L’habitation Belfort – http://www.visitebelfort.com
Distillery JM and its trip en 4X4 au coeur de l’habitation – http://www.rhum-jm.com/fr/
Le saut du gendarme waterfall
« Coeur Bouliki » Forest
Precautions that must be taken
I would definitely point out 4 main risks when travelling to Martinique with (or without) kids : Sun, Mosquitoes, dehydration et Manchineel trees.
• Apply high protection sunscreen on your kids, a lycra and a hat.
• Encourage him to drink water regularly
• When the sun goes down, apply « special kids » insect repellent lotion. Personnaly, I use the « MoustiCologne » sold in pharmacies for my daughter and it is a very good one.
• Be aware that trees with a red ring on their trunk (called Manchineel trees) can be very toxic, especially when it is raining. Discourage your children from picking and eating fruits, hanging clothes, climbing or even touching them.
• At least, sandal jellyfish can be a good option to go skippping on the beach or on the rocks.