The decision has been made. We are going to Seychelles, but this time not alone. Our family has been enriched with one more member, Vito. Our plus one, baby Vito. Without giving it much taught, we bought tickets with Qatar airways at a great price. And what now? The tickets are ready, but are we? We have a month to prepare for the trip, the trip with a BABY!!!
Days went by and panic grew. Thoughts started chasing through my mind: what were we thinking; Vito will be only nine months old. How will he feel and behave during the flight (not just Vito, but daddy too)? What will he eat during the flight and the trip? Will he cry on the flight? Oh, the overwhelming fear of others people judgmental and nervous looks on the plane. The number of tariffing questions just grew…And additional worries of my family just made it worst. Grandparents, friends, they all asked where are we going with such a young child, what if he get sick, scared, kidnapped even?! “You are crazy, you can’t be still even for a second”, they said. Yes, we don’t have time to wait. Time goes by so fast and we should make the most of it! We are going on the trip. It’s now or never!
Two days before the trip, we finally started packing. But, what to bring? How much baby food is too much? How many diapers should we take? Clothes, bottles, stroller, toys, candy? Best we bring everything. My baby boy finally got his first suitcase. And not just any suitcase, but the biggest. We brought everything. When you are traveling with a baby you must think even about the smallest thing. Among the most important things are the following: If you are going to tropical areas a good hat and a sunscreen 50+ are a must have. If the baby is still small and does not eat solid food, you must bring different kinds of blended baby food. Then diapers, wipes, some inflatable toys (although we ended up not using them), a few favorite toys, a tablet with some cartoons for the plane (and for house peace), medicines, a thermometer just in case, some additional medicines and you’re ready! We kissed our loved ones goodbye, and started the trip. We took one picture to capture the memory of Vito’s first journey.
Tri flight went surprisingly well. We flew from Zagreb to Doha for about 5 and a half hours where we had a two hour break. Then we continued our trip to Mahe which lasted for additional 5 and a half hours. Vito behaved great, he laughed and waved the passengers from the excitement. Fortunately, when traveling with a baby, you get a baby crib which is installed in front of the parents and a baby can sleep in it. Vito started the trip with some cartons, after which he ate and slept all the way to Doha. The only thing I didn’t like on the plane is when the mandatory seatbelt sign is turned on, you must take the baby from the crib and secure it in your lap. This may be a problem if the baby is asleep and if the turbulence is common, you must constantly move the baby. We were lucky because the turbulence wasn’t frequent, but we had to move Vito a few times which was a bit inconvenient.
When we landed in Doha, Vito was well rested and happy, and then came a shock – a wave of heat and moisture hit us when leaving the plane. I have never felt such heat even though I already visited many tropical countries. Waiting the connection flight for Mahé went relatively good, even though it way past midnight. Vito was becoming more nervous and had a mini crying tantrum, but soon fell asleep in a crib which all major airports provide. We then sneaked quietly into the plane carrying Vito into our arms and he didn’t wake up. But as soon as the mandatory seatbelt sign turned on, he woke up. This lasted only for a few minutes and soon he slept like a log.
We finally touched the ground of Seychelles. The airport was small, very small, an a number of people on the airport enormous. I thought to myself this is going to take hours and we have a sleepy baby in our hands. But no worries, when you are with a baby they escort you to the front of the line. Victory! Or so we thought… It all went smoothly until the time we took our baggage. It is our suitcase but two wheels missing! A great start. Well, we still had two wheels left so we took it and went to report the damage. And then starts an hour and a half hassle (there goes that hour advantage we got at the start). Now we were all nervous, mommy, daddy and the baby. The problem was that we had a rental car waiting for us which we organized from Croatia. I think rental car is a must have when visiting Seychelles, especially if you are with a baby and want to see more than one beach, which I honestly recommend. We rented a car simply by e-mail, payed a small amount in advance and it was supposed to wait for us at the airport. And it really did, for hours since we were the last one getting out of the airport. The poor man has almost given up probably thinking we hadn’t even boarded the plane. In the meantime, Vlado, my husband, bought us a sim card so we could use the internet. And it was a smart move since we could use the google maps at any time.
Finally, we had the keys in our hand, got to the car, put Vitek in the baby car seat and started our journey. The rent isn’t cheap. We payed about 300 kn per day and for a total of ten day we payed 3000 kn. We easily found the hotel. We were situated in Berjaya resort, a solid three star hotel. We took the deluxe room where we had our own house with a gorgeous terrace in the garden. The half board room price is about 1800 kn per night and it is one of the cheaper ones in Seychelles if you want to stay in the resort.
Seychelles are also known for so-called self catering accommodations, or apartments. They are affordable and practical because you can cook your own meals. It depends on what you prefer but we took the hotel to rest our body and soul. We planned out our itinerary a head, in Zagreb. It included 4 night in Mahe, then 3 nights on Praslin where we explored La Digue island and then back to Mahe for two more nights.
There is a ferry connecting Mahe and Praslin. We booked and payed the tickets in advance from Croatia. The price of a two way ticket is about 100 euros per person. Here you can order and pay for the tickets: https://www.seychellesbookings.com/cat-cocos. It is also important to note that we arranged rent a car in advance for exact dates and time, in Praslin and in Mahe. It seems complicated, but you just need to exchange a few e-mails and it’s done!
But, let’s get back to Mahe. We heard stories to avoid Mahe because it’s nothing special compared to Praslin and La Digue. Oh, what shame would it be if we had listened to the rumors. Mahe is beautiful. It is the largest Island in the heart of the archipelago – Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. 80 % of the population lives in the capital city Voctoria. Driving along the Mahe we’ve seen beautiful beaches. Every now and then we stopped and took a picture or a swim. The trip wasn’t a problem for Vito. We had a stroller and he would take a nap in them or on a towel on the beach. One day, while looking for one beach, we ended up meeting a local family who were incredibly nice invited us for a lunch in a few days – a grill on the beach. Only one condition, to bring our own drinks!
Like I said, you should definitely visit Mahe because it has so much to offer, and most importantly beautiful beaches. Feel free to take at least five days to explore and enjoy yourself, you won’t regret it! Our hotel Berjaja was really amazing and the service was very friendly.
We checked out from the hotel and head out to Praslin. Packing and unpacking has always been the hardest for me and we had to do it three times on this trip and with a baby. But…I regret nothing and would do it all over again.
So, as I already mentioned, we had ticket for the ferry, a car dropped us in Mahe harbor and another car was arranged in Praslin harbor.
And now, this ferry connecting Mahe and Praslin… The ferry looks really good, the inside of the boat is great and there is a small bar where you can buy something to drink and eat. We heard that the ride could be disastrous if the weather is bad because if the waves are big and the sea is shaky, people could be sick. And they were, barf everywhere. The sea was really shaky and we got sickness bags. The chaos started after about a half an hour. I was scared for Vito, how he would take a two hour ride. I was also scared for myself, what if I get sick? Vlado immediately ordered a beer to forget about the swinging. I was holding Vito in my arms and trying to stand still. All this worrying and what happened? Vito slept like a log after just 20 minutes. Vlado was drinking his beer and I was looking at the chaos. Literally chaos. Half of the people were puking looking like it was the last day of their life. The husbands were trying to help them and some were trying to get to the toilet. Some would get to the toilet in time and wouldn’t…Chaos. We were ok and Vito woke up when we arrived. Honestly, for us, it wasn’t that pleasant, but bearable. There is an option to take a small plane from Mahe to Praslin instead of the ferry and the price is pretty similar so this can be a good alternative for some.
We finally arrived at Praslin and everything was going smooth. The car was waiting for us and we headed for the hotel. We had chosen the same hotel chain as in Mahe, the Berjaya Praslin resort. The gardens surrounding the resort live you breathless. The hotel is situated near the beach. There is also u pool in the hotel and the rooms are solid. We also requested a craterl for Vito in Mahe and Praslin and that proved to be quite practical. We didn’t have any problems with that because the hotels are well equipped.
Praslin is significantly smaller than Mahe. It takes about 45 minutes by car to get from one end to another. It is literally a tropical island of dreams. The island is covered by untouched forest and there is a national park Valle de Mai which is under UNESCO protection!
The first beach we visited called Anse Lazio is the most famous in Praslin and it really lives you breathless! Vito really enjoyed it. With calm sea, plenty of palm shades and warm sand, the beach is perfect for kids. There is also a beach bar where you can buy a coconut to drink and various kinds of fruit. A restaurant is also nearby.
We had dinner at the hotel which was served in the restaurant on the beach. Food was ok, but there was a buffet so I think everyone can find something for himself. Vito had mostly ate the blended food we brought from Zagreb but I had also asked the hotel staff to cook something for him a couple of times. You can ask them too cook anything you want. Where it is for a baby they really don’t mind. I asked them to cook us some chicken, potato, carrots and onions and then blended it for Vito.
The prices on Praslin and Mahe are quite high. For example the most expensive shop at Mahe was Špar supermarket. You can get a much better deal if you go to local shops along the road which have everything. One day we bought there a tuna can and a bagel to treat ourselves. Small shops with fresh fruit are everywhere. You can bargen for the price a little and bananas are delicious.
If you can rent a car on Praslin, you should explore each part of the island, it is divine. In my opinion, 4 days are enough to see the island end fully enjoy it.
Let’s talk a little about Vito now. He was great. He had a good appetite, although I overdid it one time because I was afraid he was hungry and we had a vomit incident. I know…I’m awful. Anyway, Vito was sleeping on the beach, playing with the sand, absorbing new smells and discovering new tastes. He enjoyed spending the time with his parents. Car rides weren’t a problem for him, on the contrary, he would usually fall asleep after 5 minutes of driving. We created our little routine and he enjoyed it.
Then came the day we decided to visit La Digue, an island known as the most beautiful island of the archipelago. The drive from Praslin to La Digue lasted about 15 minutes and the tickets are not that expensive. La Digue is the smallest of those three islands I the easiest way to get around is with a bike.
There are no cars, just a few small trucks that transport building materials since there are many building sites. At first, we couldn’t decide if we should bring the stroller but knowing that we would be biking we decided to leave them in the car. We brought a baby carrier and backpacks with Vito’s food. This was Vito’s first bike ride and it went great. He even took a little nap during the ride.
You can rent a bike directly on the harbor and they have child seats, which we really needed! We immediately went to the most beautiful beach – Anse source d argent. The beach was woow, the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. Vito, blinded by its beauty soon fell asleep.
What I said at the beginning that we didn’t have a second to a ourselves came to light on this island. We went to check out the beach on the other side of the island. A mistake number one! We didn’t know that it is a half hour bike ride to that beach, partly uphill. We were exhausted. When we finally arrived we were expecting a nice reword for our trouble, but than – nothing. Huge waves and a sign saying swimming at your own responsibility. Of course we didn’t go swimming, we sat down to rest and Vito had something to eat. Soon it was time to leave because the ferry was waiting to take as back to Praslin. I need to point out that not all beaches on Seychelles are safe for swimming. On some, the waves are huge and you can often see a warning sign.
I must admit that La Digue made the biggest impression on me. It is remarkable, an endless sight of palm trees, the most beautiful beach in the world and bikes everywhere. Pure tropical paradise! If I could go back..no, no, when I go back to Seychelles, I will choose La Digue as a destination where we will spend at least a couple of days, it is definitely worth it! We returned to Praslin where we spend the night and went back to Mahe in the morning. This time the weather was nice and I knew everything would go great. And so it was. The car was waiting for us at Mahe and, since we got familiar with the island, we knew are way around without navigation.
I would also like to point out that Seychelles, like most tropical countries, belong to Dengue area. A good mosquito repellent is u must have. We didn’t get in touch with any mosquitoes, but there is never enough protection, especially when you are traveling with kids.
Two more days of rest and we needed to head back to Croatia. The last day we spend resting in the pool and gathering strength for the flight home. Vito loved it. He enjoys swimming and was great during the hole trip. He didn’t get sick or kidnapped. The flight home went great. I carried him out from the plane and could hear the passengers commenting: there’s that baby, still sleeping peacefully.
I would also like to mention that the Seychelles do not need to be expensive, the plane ticket can be found at a price of 400-500 euros. You can also find an apartment at an acceptable price. My recommendation is to book at least 10 days so you can explore and enjoy all the beauty it offers.
Lastly, I would like to mention that traveling with a baby isn’t easy, but it can be beautiful. You need do adapt to baby’s needs, relax and enjoy yourselves. You need to overcome your fears and let go. Your baby will enjoy it, you maybe a little less, but all in all it will be a great experience. We are already planning our second trip, mommy has some crazy ideas in her head! I’m thing about tropical islands again, but on that topic in the next blog!