Kids are naturally young explorer and most of them get really excited on the chance of seeing the dinosaur-looking Komodo Dragons. It’s like walking into their awe-inspiring Dinosaur encyclopaedia, with the prehistoric giant lizard, Komodo’s spectacular savannah topography and all. However, the trip to the Komodo Island itself could be quite challenging. You see, the Komodo Island is located in the far east of Indonesia, a tropical country in South East Asia. If you are coming from other continent, it’s going to be a long haul flight. Here’s why and how you can get to Komodo Island safely with your little travelers tagging along.
How to Get to Komodo Island from Your Country
The Komodo International Airport in Labuan Bajo, Flores, has not yet operating as a real international airport. It currently serves domestic routes only to big cities of Indonesia. So if you are not from Indonesia, how you can get to Komodo Island then?
Well, there are two common way for international travelers to reach the Komodo airport; from Bali or the capital city Jakarta. If you already need to take a connecting flight to either Bali or Jakarta, this is going to be a really long flight.
Getting to Komodo Island from Bali
A lot of international travelers find that getting to Komodo from Bali is their favourite. Half of the tourists know Komodo during their vacation in Bali, while other choose to spend a week or two in this island before continuing the journey to Komodo. After all, you and the kids will need a rest after the long journey. It’s also good for the kids to have enough break from flying before continuing the journey to Komodo.
Once you land on Komodo Airport in Flores, you will need to embark on a Komodo liveaboard for 4 hours before reaching the Komodo Island. There are four airlines to choose for Bali – Labuan Bajo flight; two budget airlines Batik Air, Nam Air and Air Asia, and the premium one Garuda Indonesia. While Batik and Air Asia are usually the cheapest, they are known for the infamous delay. Garuda is more expensive but it rarely delay unless for major issues and it gives in-meal snacks which is not included in three other airlines.
Budgeting: Transportation Could be Quite Expensive
Now we are talking about the budget; how to get to Komodo Island with kids without breaking your bank. Komodo Island needs serious planning as it can get quite complicated with the transportation. First, you need to arrange your flight to Indonesia. Then, you need to arrange a flight from either Jakarta or Bali to the Komodo International Airport. Lastly, you have to book a liveaboard to explore the Komodo National Park itself. It seems to be expensive, especially as the kids need their own seat as well. However, once you book the liveaboard in Komodo you are done. You no longer need to book a hotel or thinking about eating out. The liveaboard will be your hotel and restaurant all at once. With so many things to see and raw adventures to do, all the journey is totally worth it! To minimise the spending, you could consider booking economy-class flight (and deal with the delays) and not spending time too much in Bali. You might also want to fly to Labuan Bajo first in the morning, so you can sail right afterwards. No need to spend more money on additional accommodation in Labuan Bajo.
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Preparing the Kids for Long Journey
Like we said before, reaching Komodo National Park is going to be a long journey. It can be quite challenging for young travelers to overcome. You can do your best to make the long trip more comfortable by preparing creature comforts for them. Kids-sized travel bag which allow kids to sit there during queue is brilliant. Inside, you can pack lots of healthy kids snacks to distract their attentions, some board games to play in the plane, some delicious bribes and toys (silent one, please) to keep them well-behaved, and comfy a pillow to sleep. Think everything through to make your kids comfortable during the journey to Komodo.