I believe one of the best gifts you can do for yourself and the family is the experience of an adventure! Our Komodo trip in July was everything and more; living on a boat, with no hot water, no wifi and a very unique toilet situation..
Our trip was inspired by our friend Julie Greene who lives in Sydney and visited Flores in the beginning of the year. After seeing photos of her trip, Jared and I decided to make the trip 2 weeks before the kid's summer holidays commenced, which gave us (I really mean yours truly) very little time to plan and book the entire holiday.
To cut a long story short, we managed to book The Aboya, it wasn't our top choice but we decided to go with it given the short time frame we had. We made our booking through Barefoot Yatch, a young cruising company based in Indonesia.
To get to Komodo Islands, one has to fly from Bali to Labuan Bajo. There are plenty of domestic flights from Bali but I would advise to book ahead especially if you plan on visiting between June to Sept. We had to stay a night in Labuan Bajo to board the Aboya the next morning so the accommodation situation was another adventure altogether. (Labuan Bajo can get really busy and most of the nice hotels are booked out.)
We really wanted to stay at the Plataran Komodo but it was booked out for the whole month of July so we ended up in Golo Hilltop. It's right in town and is really good value for money as well as being the only hotel in Labuan Bajo that had 2 rooms to accommodate our family. Golo was basic (I mean basic) and clean and is about a 5-7 minute drive to town. The other place I would highly recommend to stay is