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Picture yourself… on the 60th floor of a swanky hotel, gazing across the cityscape of a sprawling metropolis.


Visualize… sitting out in a picture perfect European square, people watching at the end of a long day’s sightseeing.


Imagine…. you and the person you love, perched on a patio, gazing across the ocean at the most orange sunset you’ve ever seen.


What’s the only thing that could make any of these scenarios better than they already are?




Whether it’s a classy cocktail, a cool beer or a simple glass of wine, there’s nothing better than a drink at the end of a long day on the road. When you’re travelling with kids, however, this is easier said than done. If you don’t have access to childcare on the road or feel comfortable leaving your children with a hotel babysitter, there’s no need to miss out.

Here are few tips that will allow you to have a drink or two while travelling:

Pick the right establishment. Hotel bars, club floor bars and beach bars are all quieter more relaxed options. A London pub at 5pm on a Friday… not so much. Sky bars, like Vertigo at the Banyan Tree Hotel in Bangkok, are a tourist attraction in themselves and welcome patrons with children…. though it’s always best to ring ahead and check the policy on bringing children along.

Know what’s appropriate. Use your best judgement to decide whether this situation is an appropriate one in which to place your kids.I shouldn’t need to spell this out but go-go bars, nightclubs and smokey pubs are not the kinds of establishments for a family visit.

Equally so, recognize when other people don’t want your children around. If they lose their shit you’re going to need to chop your drink and make for an exit.

Time it right. Pick a time where patronage is at it’s minimum. Fewer crowds means more space and fewer people for your darling kids to annoy.

Make sure your kids are in the right mood. Not too hot, hungry, tired or irritated. You’ll need them on their best behaviour so stack the odd in your favour. A sunset drink before dinner could be a winner especially if your little ones have just napped and snacked.

Come prepared. Bring an iPad, smart phone, colouring book and crayons… whatever you need to keep your child quiet, happy and entertained while you’re enjoying your drinks.

Know their limits. Don’t plan on lounging about for hours sipping cocktails and discussing world politics. Tailor your night out to your child’s attention span. If 45 minutes is all the good behaviour you can get out of them, then so be it.

Finally… pace yourself. Remember you’re a parent, in a foreign country and that you need to keep your wits about you. Stick to one or two drinks and always act responsibly.


Do you take your kids to bars when you travel? Feel free to share any further tips you might have.


Cover image: Cocktails by ambernambrose on Flickr


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  • Matt

    I don’t have kids but I would take them to a bar, but I wouldn’t take them to a nightclub. Depends on the mood of the bar, really.

  • Annie André

    Yes I would and do take my kids to some bars. It just depends. If it’s a crazy looking bar with wiild twenties NON NON NON. But if it’s a bar where my kids won’t get trampled on and people are sitting drinking quietly than yeah. In France there are lots of places especially in the summer where you see kids in bars. Even in restaurants late at night. (gasp). it goes against the social grain of many people and it took me a while to get over my past beliefs but in the end you just have to use your best judgement. 🙂

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