Travel Planning for Parents: 7 Secrets to a Fun and Educational Trip to Abu Dhabi

As a parent, you’re probably looking for something enjoyable and educational for your next trip with your kids. Fortunately, there are plenty of places offering stimulating experiences in Abu Dhabi.

Besides being the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is home to many exciting places, including a Formula 1 racetrack, an Arab-inspired water park, the world’s fastest roller coaster, and the only Batman-themed park in the Middle East.

If you’re planning a family getaway to this city, consider the following pieces of advice to ensure that your trip is both fun and educational:

1. Keep everyone’s individual preferences in mind

When planning a family trip, you need to keep everyone’s personalities and preferences in mind.

Is your partner a history buff? Are your older kids the adventurous bunch? Perhaps you prefer something more relaxing and peaceful?

While you may not be able to give everyone what they want, you can meet in the middle and compromise. To do so, you must find a place that offers something everyone can enjoy.

Abu Dhabi is one such place.

Of course, you’ll still have to narrow down your destination to a specific area (unless you’re staying long enough to tour all or most of Abu Dhabi).

Discuss the possible areas you can visit in Abu Dhabi and write them down. Then, consider what attractions your family can enjoy there.

As for the educational part of this experience, you can take this opportunity to learn about Abu Dhabi together before your trip. Although English is widely spoken in the UAE, it will be helpful to learn some basic Arabic phrases and greetings together.

Don’t forget to study the proper etiquette in the area, especially if you’re planning to visit religious sites like the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. And remember to dress modestly for your trip.

2. Choose the perfect travel date

Summer is the first choice when it comes to vacation time for the family since it is when students get an extended break from school. However, it’s not the only good option, especially if you’re visiting a desert city like Abu Dhabi.

Winter and spring break are also great, mainly because the temperature is cooler in the UAE. Winter occurs around December to mid-March, followed by spring that lasts until May.

Try to plan your visit around the peak season. This will allow you to get better-value offerings and also help you avoid crowds and maximize your time in Abu Dhabi.

3.   Plan your activities ahead

When planning your activities, incorporate a diverse set of destinations for your family to enjoy.

This is where the bulk of the learning and fun can happen.

Visit a public library in Abu Dhabi to learn about the history, society, and culture in the UAE. You can also head to Louvre Abu Dhabi to appreciate some ancient and modern art showing the evolution of different civilizations around the world.

After that, you can teach your kids some physics with the help of the fastest roller coaster on the planet and other speedy rides in Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. You can also do this with water-based attractions in Yas Waterworld.

If they’re into extreme sports, you can also let them learn the ropes of indoor wall climbing and try freefalling inside a massive flight chamber at CLYMB Abu Dhabi.

If your family is outdoorsy, try to explore the vast Abu Dhabi desert during day trips and tours.

The point is to align your family’s interests with your itinerary. And don’t forget to include experiences that offer learning opportunities for you and your children.

4. Book the essentials in advance

If you’re traveling by air, book your plane tickets online as soon as you finalize the date for your trip. If possible, plan your route before you arrive as well. You can use Google Maps or other similar navigation tools to make the task easier.

Besides transportation, you also need to reserve hotel rooms (or any other form of the accommodation) ahead of your vacation.

Some providers have accommodation and experience packages that will get you more value for your money, not to mention the convenience of having a ready-made itinerary. Of course, you can tailor the trip better if you do the planning yourself.

Whatever you decide, you must tick off the essentials ahead of your scheduled family trip.

5. Don’t forget to plan for food

Eating out can’t be helped when you’re on vacation, so make sure you also plan for food ahead of your trip.

There are plenty of family-friendly dining spots in Abu Dhabi, so you won’t have a hard time finding somewhere to eat on your vacation. If concierge service is available at your hotel, take advantage of it.

Some tourist spots also have dining areas or establishments unique to the place, like Warner Bros. World and their Hollywood- and Warner-themed cafes and restaurants.

More importantly, you can learn about new flavors and local dishes when visiting Abu Dhabi.

Pro Tip: If your family has food allergies or other dietary restrictions, look for restaurants that accommodate such preferences before your trip.

6. Leave room for rest and flexibility

You may be tempted to plan all the details of your trip, but believe it or not, doing so can make your vacation more challenging.

Planning down to the hour can make it difficult for you to adjust in case something unexpected happens. Things like a delayed flight or failure to wake the kids up early enough to prepare for the day ahead can ruin your trip.

Consider your children’s temperament, particularly younger ones. Set aside enough rest time for each day.

Don’t forget to bring items that can comfort them, like a favorite stuffed animal or a book. Also, make sure they take naps as the excitement can leave them exhausted, cranky, or both.

7. Pack according to your purpose and destination

When packing for an Abu Dhabi trip, always plan around warm weather. It can get cool inside air-conditioned spots, but you’ll still need to go out at some point during your vacation.

In this case, it would be better to wear several layers of lightweight clothing that you can remove if you feel too warm.

Don’t forget to bring refillable drinking bottles and have your family drink plenty of water.

Meanwhile, you can foster learning during the trip by including educational materials in your packing lists, such as journals, glue, pens, and pencils. Use these items for end-of-day activities, like making postcards for loved ones back home or writing journal entries about the most interesting things learned during the trip.

Make Your Trip Fun and Educational

Family trips to Abu Dhabi can be both fun and educational when planned the right way.

Follow the advice presented here and enjoy everything the UAE capital can offer while keeping your kids physically and mentally stimulated during their school break.


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