On your way to Africa? Here are 3 family-friendly layovers we love
The thought of a long flight to Africa can be daunting, especially for those traveling with kids. But as we tell so many of our clients, there are wonderful layover options in Istanbul, Doha and Dubai that can turn a quick stay into a trip highlight.
We highly recommend flying with Turkish Airways, Qatar or Emirates. In our experience, their fleets are new, and these airlines continue to be reliable with minimal delays and cancellations. For business class travelers on Qatar airways, the Q-suites make the journey part of the adventure. These seats are great for singles, couples and families with 1, 2 and 4 seat configurations. We also love that Qatar is a mileage partner with Alaska Airlines for our west coast clients.
Flying via Istanbul
The new Istanbul Airport (IST) has been operational for the last four years and is located north-west of central Istanbul, in the Arnavutkoy district.
We love how family-friendly it is:
- They have valets on hand as you arrive to assist you in checking in all of your bags for a flat fee of $15 or $1 per bag.
- If you’re traveling with kids under five, there is a special departures fast track line for families.
- There are kid’s playgrounds and strollers free of charge.
When in Istanbul, Karakoy, which is a 40-minute drive by taxi from the new airport, is high on our hot list. A new Peninsula Hotel is about to open in the area, right on the Bosphorus Strait, and there’s also a fabulous Four Seasons that our YPA families love. The area is very walkable and there are lots of restaurants and coffee shops to enjoy at leisure.
Flying via Dubai
Many of our clients choose to fly with Emirates and Dubai is a great layover destination, particularly during the winter months in North America when Dubai is a welcome warm and sunny relief.
The Atlantis Hotel at The Palm in Dubai is getting a lot of buzz. Their onsite waterpark is a big hit for families.
Anyone who watched Beyoncé recently light up the stage at the brand new Atlantis The Royal will recognize Dubai’s newest hotel icon that was unveiled to the world in an exclusive star-studded affair with global celebrities.
Dubai is a favorite stop for multi-day layovers. Helicopters, private boat tours and a long list of options exist for those looking to discover this exciting city.
Flying via Doha
Flying through Doha with Qatar Airlines is another popular choice for layovers, and even more so with the much-anticipated opening of the all-new Four Seasons Resort and Residences at The Pearl-Qatar in June 2023. It offers you luxury dining, world-class spa experiences and sweeping Gulf views, while the complimentary sea-inspired Kids For All Seasons program, overseen by a dedicated team of childcare experts, will keep your kids happily entertained for hours on end.
Luxury layovers that are as convenient as they are memorable are a great way to break up the long journey to Africa. Chat to us about what family-friendly options will work best to break up the trip.