Published: September 3rd 2011September 3rd 2011
We live in Perth, Western Australia which is a 3.5hr flight to Melbourne, 4.5hr to Sydney, 3 hrs to Bali and 5.5hrs to Singapore....so air travel is lllllooooooonnnnnnggggg. And also a must! There isnt much to do in or around Perth....well there is Margaret River which is 3 hours drive south and is beautiful and a wine region and Lancelin or Two Rocks which are 2 hours north but if i can sit beside my toddler on a plane and keep them entertained that is much much easier than singing songs or listening to crying for 2 or 3 hours... plus of course Perth is built on the mining industry so things cost lots here :( Food in Margaret River would be pushing Aud$30 a meal and a 2 bedroom hotel or house would be over$250 a night...where in bali, where it is always warm, we could get a meal for $3 and a hotel for $50!!! So we travel internationally, heaps :))) But i will add for tourists, Perth is a fantastic, relaxed and beautiful city including its surrounds, but MR is probably more for non-toddler people... heaps of wineries, fantastic fine cuisine and delux romanic chalets etc...not quite made for toddlers ;)
We had been to a fair bit of south east asia before kids (as well as the rest) but since having kids we slowly moved our flights out and discovered 10 hours to Hong Kong was way too long. So now we are sticking to smaller flights with about a 7 hr limit...internally within Australia and the likes of bali, phuket, singapore, kl etc. So what have we discovered flying with kids...here are my top 10 tips :)
1. choose a flight in the middle of the day no matter how much it costs. Kids up at 4am are a disaster and although kids might sleep overnight you wont so you cant be dealing with kids with no sleep over 36 hours.
2. really look at full service flights for any child more than 12 mths and pay for their own seat. You'll need the room for a wiggly child on the move and free food, free blankets and pillows and free entertainment are worth the extra $200!
3. Unless youre by yourself i wouldnt get the baby aisle....the one with the little bed thing. You have to pick them up every time the seat belt sign comes on plus the bub beside might scream their head off and wake up yours :(( Go for a row down the back so you have extra odds of getting spare seats beside yours and youre closer to the toilet and the stewards in cases of emergency!
4. Book a hotel room with a balcony! No point sitting in the dark when bub is asleep at 7.30pm!!! Or if in cold weather get a 1 bedroom or 2 bedroom apartment so you have a seperate room
5. Take extra clothes for bubs/kids no matter how old....and in layers. They might not have worn a nappy in over a year but guess what happens on the plane when youve spend 2 hours telling them they cant get out of their seat :((
6. Ask the stewards for help! They love playing with bubs so wander down, hand over your bub and relax for 10 minutes :))
7. Take double the amount of spares of formula, nappies and food. We have been on full service airlines that advertise baby food when handed over it was out of date - nice!
8. You can get through security with heaps of baby stuff in your backpack if youre carrying the baby. ie. dont get hubby to do one bit and you the other...to get through security make it obvious you are the person with that backpack containing 2 bottles of water for formula for this baby in your arms!
9. prams prams prams...most airlines and airports appear to have spare strollers. Whenever i have asked they have one. But...also if i take mine i can often hand it in as luggage or when i'm by myself i just ask if i can check it now but hand it in at the gate and they say yes...mine carries both kids so there is no arguing with that :))
10. dont bother with a car seat. I think i've tried with 2 airlines and it was all too hard...had to come up with serial numbers etc for their insurance...even when aidan was less than 3 i would ask for a infant seatbelt and hold him on my lap with that for takeoff and landing. And in other countries just hold them in your lap in taxies etc, or maybe try a backpack on your front for small bubs!
hope that helps someone out there!
let me know if you think of anything else