Today, I am once again, going to hand over to one of Melbourne's fabulous Mumpreneurs. I am hugely excited to be chatting to the wonderful Jemma from Little Eats. Not only is Jemma and her little clan in love with frequenting Melbourne's child friendly coffee spots, and then sharing her brilliant tips with us all, but she is also a big fan of Bali. Jemma has kindly agreed to spill the beans on her favourite spots in Bali, and share her tips and tricks on travelling with very young kids to Bali.
Here we go...over to you Jemma;
So, tell us a bit about you and your family?
My name is Jemma and I am a mamma to two gorgeous little girls India (21 months) and Aurora (4 months). I am also the creator of Little Eats - we are all about cafe culture for Melbourne’s little ones and we review the best kid-friendly cafes around town. Oh and of course there’s my darling hubby too. And Ketut the cat.
And where have you been of late with your little ‘hips’?
We have just come back from Bali, the beautiful island of the Gods. We love Bali and have been many many times over the years.This time we met up with my parents (who live in Switzerland) for a family holiday.
How did you get there?
We flew with Jetstar. Now I must stress that we only flew with them because we used our Qantas Frequent Flyer points...we would not have flown them by choice!
Our flight leaving Melbourne was delayed by an hour and we were stuck on the tarmac for that time. Also when we arrived at check-in they had not booked a bassinet for us, and weren’t seating us all together even though we had confirmed everything in advance. After another long wait queuing up to speak to the guy at the service desk, we finally worked it out, or we thought we did. Then when we got on the plane we had been seated on the two side seats, which is very squashy when there’s two adults, a toddler, a baby and a whole lotta hand luggage! And then sitting in the middle row of four seats were two guys! That’s right, two guys! With four seats, two bassinet's, plenty of room... but no babies. Doesn’t seem very fair does it?
Then coming home we had to come via Sydney and clear customs and then hop on a domestic Qantas flight home. A similar thing happened - we were seated separately and in a normal row with no bassinet's, yet up the front where the bassinet's were, were business men flying solo ‘sans’ babies. Not fair again! I asked one of the flight attendants why this was the case as it didn’t seem fair, and she was very rude and told me that obviously they had requested them and I hadn’t. What the??!! Of course I requested a bassinet. And then I questioned why on earth the businessmen would have requested a seat with a bassinet, and she said “for extra leg room”. So their legs are obviously more important than my babies!
Just on a side note, last year we flew to Europe with Singapore Airlines and they were simply fantastic. Very reliable, and also very sweet, polite and helpful staff. With 9 month old India we were treated liked royalty. I highly recommend them.
Where did you stay?
We stayed in a stunning 4 bedroom villa with in Canggu, which is a popular surfie beach and about a 20 minute drive from trendy Seminyak. You still have all the cool Seminyak restaurants and shops close by, however the beaches are much quieter, and you are surrounded by rice paddies and in the heart of traditional Balinese village life.
We usually stay in a villa, as we prefer that style of accommodation to a hotel, as we are in our own house with a kitchen, lounge area with TV and DVD, separate air conditioned bedrooms, our own private swimming pool and... wait for it... they are fully staffed with cooks, maids and this one even came with a driver! It really is a perfect option when you are traveling with little ones as it means that you can put them down for a nap in the bedroom, while you can still read, swim and relax right next to them. It also means that in the evening once the baby is tucked up asleep in their portacot in the cool bedroom, you can still hang out in the lounge area, have a nightcap, watch a DVD or even have a midnight swim. It sure beats being stuck in a hotel room.
Your biggest challenge?
Probably the flight over. India was not as well-behaved as normal (to say the least), and didn’t sleep at all (despite leaving Melbourne at 7.45pm at night which is her normal bedtime). She was so over-tired by the end of it that she was delirious! Apart from that, luckily, there weren’t really many other challenges or issues at all.
Any big recommendations?
Ok, places to go, things to do... where do I start. Well if it’s your first time in Bali then I think some of the “must do’s” are:
- Treat yourself to a massage (or two, or a few!) - my favourite places are Jari Menari and Bodyworks
- Enjoy a Bintang beer on the beach whilst you watch an amazing sunset
- Eat lots of yummy, super cheap Indonesian food - nothing beats a good Nasi Goreng
- Stock up on DVD’s - they have all the latest movies and TV series
My favourite places to eat are:
Lunch - Trattoria Pizza, Cafe Moka, Grocer & Grind, Bali Buddha
Dinner - Kuni’s, Trattoria, Osteria Telese, Cafe Bali, The Beach House at Echo Beach and a little warung on Seminyak Beach called “Juice Park” where you can get a mean Nasi Goreng for just a couple of dollars.
Or for somewhere very special if you have hired a nanny for the night and are dining ‘a deux’, then try Ku De Ta, Metis, Sentosa, Sarong, the restaurant at the Tugu Hotel, La Lucciola and the new Cocoon. These places are pretty pricey, so they can also be nice to just visit for a cocktail and dessert.
If you are traveling to Bali with your little ones, then you definitely need to check out Bali Baby. You can hire playpens, highchairs, cots, car-seats, booster seats, monitors, prams, strollers, toys, rockers and play-mats. You name it they’ve got it! The hire prices are very reasonable, and it is all so convenient as Gabi will liaise on your behalf with your accommodation, and will arrange to have everything set up in your villa or hotel for when you arrive. You can also order and purchase Huggies nappies and wipes, Heinz baby food, and Johnson and Johnson bath and body products. So you can really save on excess luggage!
What are your main tips for travelling with kids?
1. Be organised. And make lists. Lots of them!
2. Call ahead, confirm and double check.
3. Take more than what you think you will need, but don’t go too overboard
4. Don’t pack too many toys.
5. Prepare for take off.
6. Don’t worry about what other people think.
7. Don’t take it, hire it!
8. Expect the unexpected.
9. Throw your normal routine out the window.
10. Enjoy. Relax. Have fun. You are on holidays after all! Although holidays as you know it (ie: pre-bubba) will never be the same again, you are still up for an incredible journey with lots of special memories, happiness and laughter.
What would you not have left home without?
Lola, India’s baby, I mean dolly. And also her bunny Kaloo that she sleeps with. Lola comes pretty much everywhere with us including most cafes we review for Little Eats. She is pretty much part of the family now!
Seriously though, there is not that much that I wouldn’t have left home with out. You really don’t need all that much for Bali as it is so warm and you just live in your bathers and a sarong most of the time. And if there is anything you desperately need or you have forgotten then you can pretty much buy it all there.
And finally, anything else you want to add?
Trunki’s rock! Such a great idea for little hip travellers! Our’s is pink and her name is Trixie. India had great fun riding her and pulling her around at the airport... as well as riding her around the garden at the villa. She was also the make-shift “toy-box” when we were at the villa.
We took lots of little things to keep India occupied on the plane and on holidays. She loves drawing (well, scribbling) so we took a little bag of Crayon rocks, a container of ‘Big Pencils for Little Hands’ and colouring-in books, drawing pads as well as stickers and the latest In the Night Garden mag.
We also took our iPod, and there were sound-docks at the villa, so it was great to have familiar tunes, including the CD from India’s music class.
Wow, thanks so much Jemma. I just want to go there now! If you want to read more about Jemma's top tips on travelling to Bali, plus of course, have a good look at Little Eats, please click here. Thanks so much Jemma. We love Little Eats and are really excited about sharing this fabulous website with everyone.