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Leave the kids at home, take an OTT adult-only vacation

An adult-only section at a Club Med resort in Bali. Picture: Club Med.

An adult-only section at a Club Med resort in Bali. Picture: Club Med.

Published Aug 9, 2021


Due to the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions families have been brought together more and more.

Adults started to work remotely, children attended classes virtually from the comfort of their homes and, well, everyone was pretty much spending hours with each other.

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As the world of travel opens up, adults yearn for an escape, away from the hustle and bustle of their stressful lifestyle and demands of children.

Travel experts say that adult-only vacations have seen a rise of late, with more people opting for over-the-top holidays. According to, adult-only trips target couples and groups who want a romantic or relaxing holiday. They usually check into properties with an over 18 clientele.

These properties usually create experiences with adults in mind, with wellness programmes being a common request by guests.

Laura Hendel, the marketing manager for Club Med Southern Africa, said adult-only resorts and trips allowed people to recharge in a serene environment without the lively bustle that comes with the little ones playing around.

Helen Untiedt, the co-founder and curator of Perfect Hideaways, said there was no better time than now for travellers to spoil themselves with an adult-only trip.

“With the year and a half many people have endured, those who can afford lavish trips want all the creature comforts of a stunning break. They want to be spoiled, pampered and waited on hand and foot,” she said.

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She advised travellers to research a few places, whether it’s a local or international escape, and seek out attractions that offer adult-only experiences.


“An adult-only trip can mean a 5-star safari at a private game reserve, spending the night under the stars or a retreat. It all depends on the individual and their preferences,” Untiedt said.

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Hendel said the adult-only market also enjoyed beach destinations like Cancun, Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, Mauritius, France, Brazil, Spain, Bali, and the Maldives.

Kelly Jackson, managing director of The Travel Corporation, said river cruising was also popular.

“River cruises have always been popular, and we expect to see this demand increase as more South Africans are allowed to travel globally.

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“River cruises host a small number of passengers on board, perfect for a social distance trip. It also has the most beautiful decks for passengers to enjoy the outdoors and dock in cities where they can explore to their heart’s content,” said Jackson.

Some cruise liners also offer adult-only attractions onboard.

Jackson foresaw Contiki, usually trips for people aged 18 to 35 years, making a comeback.

"We expect to see more young adults choosing to take these kinds of trips to focus on their personal development and experience new things to challenge and build their own individual growth,” she said.


For people who have guilt over leaving families, Untiedt recommends planning a three or four-day trip.

“If you can’t be away for that long, plan an overnight trip close to home.

“You can leave in the afternoon and return home the next day.

“That way, you are taking a much-needed break without stressing about your family back home,” she said.

If you have to bring your kids along, then opt for accommodation that offers “adult only” sections.

Hendel said Club Med’s adult-only areas, or Zen Oasis as they aptly called it, boasted spacious spa-like rooms and suites, picturesque lounge spaces, dedicated pools and beach areas, and full-service poolside wellness bars.

“These adult-only section means a family can go on holiday and spend quality time together, and as a bonus, the adults can also enjoy alone time in tranquil spaces.

“Adults can relax and kick back without having to worry about what their little ones are doing, and the children themselves have the time of their lives making new friends and trying new experiences with age-appropriate activities,” Hendel said.


Untiedt said trips start at R3 000 and can go up to R11 000 per person a night. The cost of more indulgent stays depends on the amenities and experiences included.

Related Topics:

Luxury travelCovid-19