Tuesday, March 29, 2011

This little hip travelling family needs this...

My little hip travellers need one of these. Fancy storing all your belongings somewhere that constantly reminds you of travelling....Amsterdam to be exact.

We are loving these wonderful multifunctional storage cabinets from Tulp Kids. Inspired by traditional seventeenth / eighteenth century Dutch canal houses, and perfect for clothes, books, toys...a perfect place to hide the kiddie clutter, plus give your little hip some global inspiration and education!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Flying with alone with two under two? Think again......

Travelling with babies. Its hard work. We all know that. But for some, sometimes in life, its necessary to fly somewhere as a lone adult with two little hips under two, right?  I mean, with the increase in twins, and larger families, its rather important to be able to get from a to b with very little children, especially in an emergency. Well think again.

Some airlines allow a parent to fly with two under two if you buy an adult seat, a child seat and one of the infants sits on your lap (yes, it all seems rather expensive, but its allowed). But beware, not all airlines abide by these rules.

A young mother of nine month old twin boys was planning a flight with Jetstar, and had phoned up Jetstar offices at least five times when making the booking. The mother believes she was advised throughout the whole booking process, that travelling alone with twins was absolutely fine - she just needed to purchase an adult and child seat, and one of the twins would be on her lap. She was even bringing a car seat for the other twin in the child seat.

It wasn't until she got to the airport to check in, that she was denied access to fly. The airline would defer her flight if she could find an adult to fly with her.

Jetstar's response was to offer a full refund on the child seat, and ensure an extra low fare was provided for the extra adult flying.

What are your thoughts on this? 

Please note: At the time of writing both Qantas and Virgin Blue advise that each child under two must be accompanied by an adult, however Air New Zealand and Emirates allow a single adult to travel with two infants as long as one infant in restrained in a separate seat.

For the full article, read here.

New buggy board enters the market...

Baby Jogger are introducing a brand new buggy board - the Baby Jogger Glider Board - made specifically for Baby Jogger.

Holding up to 20KG's, this glider board is perfect for the older 'hip' to jump onto when their little legs get a bit tired, and can be stowed away easily when not in use.

Great to see pram companies catching on and making their own specific accessories. I personally will have a few friends that will be very pleased.

Good one Baby Jogger.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sending postcards....no need to even pick up a pen!

When I am on holiday, I am one of those people who either write postcards and then forget to send them (and kind of sneak them off from home a month later), or just don't even bother at all...naughty really.

So when I heard about these iphone/ipad apps where you can actually convert a holiday snap that you have taken into a postcard and then get it delivered by either email or snail mail, I am in awe!

Or how about you've just had a new bubba. You could send out new baby announcements from the comfort of your hospital bed (mmmm, because you'll have nothing else to do at all!)

So here are a couple that I like;

Postcard express lets you make a postcard out of your digital photos. You add a message, and then they are sent via email so they can be viewed on smartphones, MACs or PCs. Then they can be shared on Facebook, Twitter etc. Perfect.

Or if you are after the snail mail option (we all love getting anything other than bills!), then another option is Simply Postcards where the digital photos and message are created into postcards and sent on your behalf to where ever you want!

And the winner is..........

We had lots of fabulous entries for our SnoozeShade competition, but there can only be one winner.

And the winner of the SnoozeShade, picked by Random.org is.................

........drum roll.............

Jo Roy

Jo correctly guessed that the new SnoozeShade product for 2011 is the SnoozeShade for infants carseat, as pictured above. Jo, please get in touch asap so we can arrange delivery.

Many thanks to all those who entered, and also of course to the lovely people from SnoozeShade.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

We love kid friendly airports

Anyone heading in or out of Auckland International airport with kids are in for a treat. Am loving the new Kids Corner and parents room making travel that bit more family friendly. Aimed at pre-schoolers, its a place where families can head away from the crowds and be perfectly comfortable in the fully enclosed playground.

The area is also complimented with a fabulous new parents' room with feeding cubicles, changing tables, and microwaves.

With more refurbishments imminent, those New Zealanders are keeping up with demands and bringing facilities up to scratch. Why can't all airports have these arrangements for tired families?

Don't forget the fabulous Skycouch from Air New Zealand too....can't wait to nab one of those on our next flight over the ditch!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

2 destinations, 2 little hips, 2 very long journeys, 1 mum!

Now, here's a fabulous little family with a very brave mum. Kaz knew she needed to take her little hips on a trip from Australia back to Scotland to see the family, and plucking up the courage, she decided to go it alone - over 24 hours flying, with her 3 and 20 month old girls. Wow!

So, with all that now behind her, she now has a few fabulous tips to share (and perhaps some, not what to do tips too!)
Hubby joined them on a trip to Bali too, so she decided to share their Bali tips too.
Thanks Kaz....we love a good honest raw travel review (and are very proud of you for surviving the journey!)

So tell us a bit about your family...
We are a little Family of 4.
Mother: Kaz, Scottish born, been in Oz for 13 years, 
Father: Nick from Melbourne, 
2 gorgeous Girls, Teyah aged 20 months & Jordis aged 3 & 9 months! 
The girls are quite different in personality, Jordis is gentle and caring & Teyah is a real tom boy, with a bashful personality!

And where have you been of late with your little ‘hips’?
We went to Bali in February 2010 as a family for 11 nights, then to the UK in July 2010 just myself & the girls to see my family for a month (Scotland & London).

How did you get there?
Bali - We flew Melbourne to Denpasar with Garuda Airlines. It was a 7 hr flight, and we had bulk head seats with a bassinette for Teyah. The staff were very helpful, it was hassle free & we would definitely fly with them again.

UK - We flew Melbourne to Dubai and then onwards to Glasgow with Emirates. It was a 14 hour flight to Dubai, and then a 7 hour flight to Glasgow. The Staff were helpful on the Melbourne to Dubai leg, however I was not at all impressed from Dubai to Glasgow! It was a very full flight & the staff were run of their feet, however as a mum travelling with two little ones by herself, I would have expected a little more help when required. Thankfully I met lovely people on the flight & asked them to watch the girls whilst I went to the toilet etc... Secondly, on the Dubai to Glasgow leg, we were not given bulkhead seats, so we were in a row of 3 with a large gentleman at the window, Jordis had the seat in the middle & Teyah was on my knee. It was rather frustrating, and when I looked on to see older people sitting in the bulk head seats not making use of the bassinettes!!!! For convenience sake I would fly with them again, however was not overly happy with the help they provided!!

Where did you stay?
In Bali, we stayed at the Legian Beach Hotel in Legian in a Deluxe Family Room. It was family friendly, great pools, buffet breakfast each morning with lots of variety for the kids. Lots of shopping, and family restaurants at your doorstep. Would highly recommend it!

In Scotland, myself & the girls stayed at my parents place in Angus, very easy & pleasant stay.
We also took a 7 hour train ride from Dundee to London to stay with my Sister & Family in London, Wandsworth Common. This was good fun as the girls were staying with their little cousin, & my sisters house being directly across from the common, there were lots of ponds with ducklings, nice parks & space to run around.
Your biggest challenge?
  • When Jordis was sick all over herself, her blankie, dolly & me on landing in Dubai due to particularly bad turbulence!
  • Teyah screaming for the first 3 hours of our Melbourne to Dubai leg due to pain in her ears.
  • Plus the transit in Dubai - Such a mission to get from A to B as described below!
  • Preventing Jordis from being bashed by other travelers bags etc... particularly at Heathrow, where it is sooooo busy & it's every man for himself!

What are your main tips for travelling with kids?
  • Take Phenergan as a back up for very unsettled babies
  • Lots of little Snacks : sultanas, shapes, fruit lollies etc... 
  • Continuously apply hand sanitizer.
  • Pack the little cartons of formula if possible. The airports were very lenient with what I was carrying on board for the girls drink & food wise!
  • Patience & lots of It
  • In airports, use disabled toilets as pram & all of us could go in together!
  • If the airline crew won't help, ask for help from someone that looks nice sitting near by.
  • When checking in at airports & getting out of taxis in the rain with a pram, nappy bag, handbag, 2 suitcases & 2 children, grab a police man to help you into the airport!!! That's what I did!
  • I'd say pack as light as you can, but as a lover of shopping, that doesn't apply to me!!!!

What would you not have left home without?
Dummies for Teyah, hand sanitizer, Milton Tablets & Valium for myself!!!!! (as a sufferer of anxiety, it was a really big mission I undertook)
And finally, anything else you want to add?
Beware if you are travelling via Dubai! We had to walk down the steps of the aircraft (two little ones, nappy bag, pram & handbag in tow), take a 20 minute bus ride to the terminal, then had to walk for at least 15 minutes to get to our departure gate!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Travelling with Tintin?

Image: On the go Tours

Now, here's a blast from the past. I was a huge Tintin fan as a child, so this really excites me. The clever peeps at On the Go tours have created Tintin family holidays. Families with children aged 7 - 12 can indulge in specific Tintin adventures, discovering pyramids and tombs, ride camels and elephants, decipher hieroglyphics, sail down the Nile and camp in remote deserts! All this with a specialist Tintin expert who no doubt will delight and enthral the little hips in Tintin mysteries and activities in either Egypt, Jordon or India! Don't forget little Snowy too.

If Tintin is not quite to your families taste, but you are still looking for a holiday with a difference, On the go tours also have a variety of family adventures for hips as young as 5 up to 16 all over the globe.

Image: On the go tours

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Better out than in...

You know, being the mum of the little hip travelling family is lots of fun. Life is super busy. Every day is jam packed with fun activities, and we are really lucky to have a brilliant circle of very hip friends, both young and old, to share copious amounts of good times with.

But sometimes, all that is just not enough.

Living so far away from your immediate family is sometimes just really hard. Our family all live in the UK, Switzerland and other far flung places. This means, we can't just pop over for a cup of tea, phone them up whenever we choose to, send the kids to their grandparents for a sleepover, or perhaps indulge in a random night out as husband and wife. I hate to say it, but I do envy those people who have family to rely upon for childcare and the occasional helping hand. Just sometimes, it would be nice.

Holidays are often planned around family visits, and even though we can't wait to spend time with family, its, like my mum says "all or nothing". Its brilliant, but there's always that one big argument that you know you're going to have, and you're always waiting for it to happen!

Oh, and not to mention that sense of guilt that we depriving our children of a fabulous grandparent, uncle, aunt, relationship, and denying our parents and siblings of free access to their grandchildren, nieces and nephews....Sad.

And yes, I'm hearing you - I know this is all our choice. You follow life's paths and end up settling in places you never thought you would. It happens, and I wouldn't change it for the world. But sometimes, I'd just like to pop round to mums house for a good old natter.

Apologies for the rant. Better out than in I always say.

what a hip & versatile friday find....

Wow, those Kiwi's - they certainly are a clever bunch (good job I'm married to one really!)

But I suppose its really those New Zealand Merino sheep, that live in happy abundance on the land of the long white cloud, that are the clever ones. They're the ones that create the fabulous Merino wool in order to dress us in the finest attire. 

My lucky little hips were sent some fabulous Mokopuna merino wool garments to test out from our lovely friends at Phil & Teds. And wow, how they love them (and so do I). I have been a big fan of merino wool for a while, but have only ever used it in the sleeping bag form for bedtime (which by the way, I swear by).

I am not sure why I was hesitant about using merino as everyday wear - I mean Mokupuna is machine washable, 100% natural and 100% New Zealand, soft and safe against young one's skin, and best of all, its breathable, and warm when in the winter, and cool in the summer. Absolutely perfect for Melbourne weather, which as we all know is four seasons in one day! Plus, a big plus from my little ones who both suffer a bit of mild eczema (and perhaps a common myth), it doesn't itch against the skin!

Everytime my little hips have worn their Mokupuna clothes, we've had compliments galore. I am a huge fan of bright classic attire, and as I have a boy and a girl, the colours seem to compliment them both. This winters colour palette sound delicious; mist - a grey marl, vibrant leaf, ember stripe (ruby, mist and lily) and, get this one...warming cocoa. There is also a beautiful pleat neck pinafore in a thicker warmer weight for the little madams. Lovely! Most garments go up to a size 4.

Thank you so much Mokupuna and of course Phil & Teds for introducing us. I am a huge fan of many NZ products and both your products are without a doubt at the top of the list x


A hip relocation tale

Relocating with little people is often a real struggle. Whether you are heading overseas, or merely to a new city a few hours away, getting used to a brand new life can be somewhat trying for all. A good friend of mine has just made the move from Melbourne to Canberra. Not too far away, but far enough to make a huge difference to the family life, (plus sadly I no longer have my partner in crime just round the corner). My lovely friend (and now pen pal) has written an account of what its really like relocating somewhere new, including the packing, the journey and the inevitable impact on the family. This is well worth a read if you are considering something similar....
Image: nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The story
" It has been two months since we moved and I can hardly believe I am now sitting at my dining table with a cup of tea to my right and my laptop happily functioning with wireless.  It has been a challenging interstate move for the family.  Miss 2 and Master 4 are generally good, healthy and happy specimens but this move took it out of them.  
My husband was relocating for work.  He had been working interstate three days a week for the past 5 months and I was working full time as well.  Miss and Master were in full time day care at a great centre and they enjoyed their days.  I always collected them by 5pm and we had a happy dinner and bed routine.  Both children slept well and ate well. 
Our lives however, were too busy and spiralling out of control.  We had very little time for each other and our patience was at a threshold, so the move would allow me to stop working for the time being and for the family to be together during the week.  It was all definitely for the best but the challenge was how to make it all happen!
The move
Of course, we decided to move between Christmas and New Year (we like to make things complicated) and for the first time in our lives we actually had removalists.  David at Fairway Removals VIC was great.  He was friendly, helpful and reliable.  We also used a packing service.   I have never seen such a fabulous service.  Miss and Master went with me to the park while efficient, neat, black clad ladies wrapped, packed, labelled and sorted all my cupboards into cardboard boxes.  I have moved with Master once before and it took days.  My “helpful” son unpacking boxes as fast as I could pack them and “accidently” dropping odd items into packed boxes – a piece of cheese, a pear with one bite out of it....  you name it....  
This service was gold to me.  It did not stop in my home for the pack, but amazingly another set of almost identical ladies appeared at the other end only a few hours after the truck had unloaded at the other end.  By the kids bed time at the end of day 1 we had a fully functioning kitchen and 2 children’s bedrooms that were very similar to the ones they had before.  Magic.  The company is called Finishing Touch.  It is reasonable, flexible and fabulous.  

The Journey
It was not all plain sailing however.  My husband needed to stay behind to tidy up the house and tie up loose ends. He was to join me three days after the move.  Originally he was to have Miss 2 and I was to have Master 4 however due to circumstances beyond our control both Miss and Master came in the car with me for the 10 hour drive to the new home.  
Travelling with children in the car is difficult.  Food, toilet stops and trying to explain the concept of “if I can just keep driving we will be there faster”...  is challenging.  
For entertainment I recommend talking books on the CD player and the occasional ABC nursery rhyme CD (until you can’t stand it any more),  There are great colouring books with a magic pen that only writes on the page and is invisible on any other surface.   The pen can be secured to the book with a string.  Things like cars and other smaller toys always seem to be dropped I end up with a howling child in the back seat until I can pull the car over on the highway and retrieve the item whilst massive trucks zoom past ....  Books are also good – I have a stack in the middle of the back seat in a basket.   I use a DVD player as a last resort.  DVD’s always work but they can change my son’s behaviour.  He goes all squiggly if he watches too much TV.  When Miss was asleep, bless her, and we were over ¾ of the way there, then and only then, was able to watch Thomas.
Food is another good entertainment item in the car.  I find Rafferty’s Garden squeezy bags of food great.  They are a good way of including veges and fruit in the snacks and both kids love them.  The yoghurt squeezy packs are also great.  On a road trip, I hang out for McDonalds.  I am waiting for thunderbolt to strike me down but that play equipment is a stroke of genius!  
I have also learnt to keep a potty accessible at all times and extra plastic bags for anything unexpected.  I have heard of a special travel potty (My Carry Potty) that keeps deposits secure and spill free – that sounds great. 

Image: dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The Arrival

We had to stay in a hotel the first night as the truck was not arriving until the next day.  I made the mistake of trying to make the hotel venue exciting.  I called it the “party house”.  This was a big mistake because the kids arrived and wanted to party.  I was tired; you can picture the rest.....
We arrived the next day – me, sleepless; them, as fresh as daisy’s.  Went to breakfast in the hotel and luckily we had a little suitcase with toys; a selection of cars, a Woody character from Toy Story and a hedgehog.   I chose a table in the window and the kids sat under the table and created a mini world while I drank as much coffee as I could.  
We arrived at the new house.  The truck was on time, all the services were on.  It all worked really well.   I was so glad to know that the Finishing Touch ladies were coming.  I was able to unpack the bathroom and my bedroom with the children’s help knowing that that was “my job” and the load was to be shared.   Once again, magic!
My husband arrived to a clean and set up house.  I don’t think he has much of an idea of the challenges we faced.  He did a great job at the other end however so I am thankful.

The little hips
The main challenge with the move however was that with all these changes the children’s behaviour altered.  They became closer and more demanding.  It took me a while to work it out, maybe a week, but it seems that their way of coping with the change was to take control of me.  They started running rings around me and I was too tired to react appropriately.  The more I let it go the worse it got.  I found myself in a situation where my children were throwing peas at my head and laughing like pirates while I crawled around under the table picking up after them.  At that point I realised things had to change and I needed to take charge!
I set reasonable rules and consequences such as “We all stay in our seats when we eat dinner.  If we leave the table, our dinner will be taken away”.  I was strong and uncompromising.  It took a week of a few tears and tantrums for the rules to become learned behaviours but now I have two children who are back to sleeping, eating and playing well (most of the time) and after two months I am beginning to feel like myself again – I must finally be catching up on that sleep!"

Thanks very much my fabulous friend - we miss you here in Melbourne, and hope to make a car journey with our little hips very soon x

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Need to entertain the hips when travelling?

A good friend recently asked me what I would recommend to entertain her little one on a fairly short domestic flight. I immediately thought of the travel range within the fabulous Tiger Tribe products.

Highly recommended is the Magna Play Book - An A2 fold out book with a collection of themed magnetic pieces. There are a number of different books ranging from fairies to dinosaurs.

The Magna Play Activity Set will entertain the little hips for hours by using the magnetic pieces to create their own stories. Again, a variety of themes are available.

For the budding artists out there, these Wipe Away Activity Books can be used again and again and again. Simply wipe away the artwork, and start again.

And finally, some fabulous creativity required for this Sticker Set - decorate to your hearts content.

Definitely enough to keep the little hips occupied on the plane, and well into the holiday too. 
Thanks Tiger Tribe.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

{Giveaway} Need some new shoes?

My daughters' first word was "shoe". Her shoe collection now is one to be very jealous of - and she's not even 2 yet! It therefore feels very appropriate that we were recently sent a fabulous pair of soft leather shoes from the lovely people at Bubshoes. "Wow", were her words when she saw these ones, and we popped them on to try out straight away. 

Now, you can tell when something is not to my little madam's liking - she still likes to hurl certain items / food across the room, however these little hip shoes stayed firmly on her feet all day. And that is one of the joys of these shoes - the fact that they do stay on bubbas feet (and we all know how they like to take their shoes / socks off all the time), plus the fact that the leather is super soft and just moulds around the littles ones little feet perfectly.

Bubshoes have been imported into Australia from South Africa and are relatively new to Australian shores. There is an array of different hip designs to choose from, and sizes range from newborn to 24 months. All shoes are handmade from genuine leather, and are just perfect for the crawler and then ultimately, the early walker.

My little lady is now a proficient walker / runner, and of course, is already is quite happy toddling around in normal shoes, however she seemed to rather like the comfort of these shoes, especially around the house. Also a perfect option when travelling - perhaps on board a long haul flight when one would normally shuffle about in socks. Bubshoes are a perfect compromise. 

The Bubshoes website is simple and clean looking and therefore a joy to navigate through...plus, they currently offer free delivery within Australia.

One last word (and rather an important word)...We are delighted to announce that the lovely people at Bubshoes are giving away two pairs of adorable Bubshoes! Check out the conditions below for the very easy entry details, and good luck! 

Entries must 'like' BOTH 'The Little Hip Traveller' and 'BubShoes' on Facebook and be subscribed to both mailing lists. To then enter the giveaway, enter your details on the contact page on the Bubshoes website, and state which shoes you would like to win (and size, colour and style from the website, for you or as a gift for a friend)
Bubshoes on facebook
The little hip traveller on facebook
Open within Australia only.
The winners will be drawn at random and announced on the little hip traveller blog and BubShoes newsletter. If they do not contact us within 7 days, the prize will be redrawn
Competition closes 31 March 2011 AEST 5pm. Winners will be advised by email on 5 April 2011.

Cars...need I say more?

So, my little man is totally and utterly in love with Cars, and has been for a long time. Of course, this little hip travelling family  is obsessed anything to do with travel and transport, so naturally Lightening McQueen and Mater are almost like members of our family (for those who don't know what I am on about, I suggest you sit down and watch Cars...it is actually a really good flick).

I am not sure what planet we have been living on, but we just stumbled upon the fact that Cars 2 is being released in a few months (from June 24 depending on where you live!)

How excited are we...And to top it all off, it looks like there is even more of a travel theme in Cars 2, as they travel round the world meeting some new characters along the way. A perfect way to educate the little hips!

Check out a teaser below - it looks ace.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Singapore for little hip traveller

Heading to Singapore with the little hips? Or stopping over in Singapore on your way to another destination? Then you cannot go without consulting the fabulous and very informative website; Singapore for Kids.

There are many facts on where to go, what to do, where to stay, where to shop, and even what the airport is like plus much, much, more. Its definitely a necessity when travelling with the little hips to Singapore.

chilly nights...

Its Autumn. The nights are getting darker and a little bit chilly. But fear not. Snuggle up with these brilliant (and very hip) boots by EMU Australia.

We adore them, in fact so much, that we wouldn't hesitate heading out and about in these. Check out those ladybird boots. 

Love them. Want them. Need them. (well, for my little hips anyway)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A right Royal collection

For those of you, like me, who are super exciting about the forthcoming Royal Wedding, here's a bit of a treat for you. I know that I go on about this a bit about it, but I am from the UK and now live in Australia (and do a fair bit of travel between the two) hence the formation of The Little Hip Traveller. I cannot ignore my roots, so to speak.

Anyway, in true British style, there are some fabulous Royal Wedding memorabilia flooding the media at the moment, so I thought I had better share my somewhat quirky personal favourites.

Feel free to let me know about your favourite Royal finds...

Beautiful woollen dolls knitted by a very imaginative nana! 

Little Miss Princess - totally need one of these...

Fancy a cuppa with Will and Kate?

Just a bit freaky really...

And my personal favourite (I actually really do want this T towel)


What a hip donkey...

So, we've chatted about the new Bugaboo Donkey several times (we love it), however you've got to have a quick gander at the new Bugaboo campaign page which is super exciting.

Have a look at the very hip donkey movie below, but promise me you'll also check out the Bugaboo Daily Life video too.....

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sharks on the go

My 3 year old aka Mr right hip, adores sea life. He actively seeks out anything to do with sharks and whales, and we can't get to the Melbourne Aquarium fast enough. But great news, we can now access the aquarium from home with the highly exciting Melbourne Aquarium iPhone and iPad app! It guides you through a host of underwater facts and images, leading you through the aquarium's four exciting worlds: Antarctica, Weird and Wonderful, River to Reef and wait for it...Sharks Alive!

I am waiting for an opportune moment to show him, and I cannot wait for his reaction!

Good work Melbourne Aquarium!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Some very hip SnoozeShade travel tips..

I love our latest giveaway, the SnoozeShade. And the main reason why I love it, is because its a product designed by a mum who decided to follow her dreams and launch her product to the world! Cara Sayer, the creator of SnoozeShade, has tested her own product out on a few trips overseas, and as she is a mother of a little 'hip', we are honoured to hear a few of her own travel tips...

Just a reminder, details of the giveaway are at the bottom. Its SO easy to enter....

Oh, and for those readers in Australia and New Zealand, check out this very special link for more product details. 

So over to you Cara...

So, tell us a bit about you and your family?
I am 39 (gulp) and live in Surrey, just outside London. I live with my husband and we have one 'hip' - our 3 year old daughter Holly.
And where have you been of late with your little ‘hips’?
We've not done much long distance travelling with Holly recently but she's quite well-travelled and has been to Crete, Portugal, and Spain a couple of times already. In a few months we plan to go to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. We have, however, travelled quite a bit in the UK, and I am getting braver about doing more with her as she understands now what's going on, so it's more of an adventure for her. My father just retired to Spain so we'll be popping over to see him a fair bit from now on.
How did you get there? 
When we flew to Portugal and Crete we used Monarch and Easyjet - no frills airlines - which can be challenging when you have a child under 2 as it can be a bit of a bunfight to get a seat at the best of times. When we flew to Crete we were quite lucky as there were quite a few spare seats and the person who was supposed to be sitting next to us looked at Holly who was a bit wired and tired and then moved to another seat so we got more room. 
I used some air miles when we flew to Spain on British Airways and upgraded to Business Class which I've never done before - that was great we had lots of room and it was a small plane and Holly wandered around with me a bit and we each had a seat. I now have no more miles ;-)
Where did you stay? 
         We've generally stayed in rented villas with other friends or we've been lucky enough to be able to       stay at friend's places. I don't find hotels with a small child very easy when we have done them in the UK, it's much better to have space where we can sit outside while she naps or we can go out for dinner early and then sit and chill when we get back and she's in bed. The great thing about the SnoozeShade is you can use it day or night when it's naptime.  On holiday your routine can go out the window and we've sometimes overstayed in one place and the SnoozeShade has meant Holly can sleep and we can relax rather than panicking about getting back for sleep or worrying about how grumpy  she'll be later.  
Your biggest challenge?
Keeping a small child in her seat on a plane and entertaining her whilst not annoying other passengers, especially when it's an early morning flight and we've all been up since 4am and she hasn't slept .
Any big recommendations?
I think I am going to buy a CARES harness for our next airplane trip as they make the airplane's seat into a 5 point harness which makes children feel secure as if they were in their car seat. I also like the Snack and Play tray for long car journeys so Holly can have all her things together and draw and eat on her tray. Of course I have to recommend SnoozeShade as it is the ideal travelling companion - I took my prototype to Crete and it was excellent, Holly napped in the pram during which time we had a relaxed lunch and then she was a happy bunny and we could play with her. We then used it in restaurants too when she nodded off - all in all it was great.
What are your main tips for travelling with kids?
Be prepared for everything, food, crayons, paper, tissues, wipes, nappy bags (so useful for wet clothes, accidents and other occasions).
What would you not have left home without?
My husband - without him I'd not be able to enjoy a break. We take it in turns to look after Holly so we each get some real down time, otherwise we'd both be working all holiday.
And finally, anything else you want to add?
          I'm looking forward to our next holiday as we're going away with family and Holly will have her cousins to play with. 

Fortunately for us, Cara has given me one to giveaway, so here's how to win one for yourself (or to giveaway to a friend!)

Just make sure you are followers / friends of both The Little Hip Traveller and SnoozeShade on either Facebook and/or Twitter, (and spread the word to your hip friends) and then answer this very simple question:

What is brand new in 2011 for SnoozeShade? (you'll need to head to the bottom of the SnoozeShade homepage for the answer but this image is a very large clue!)

Email your answer to info@thelittlehiptraveller.com.au with 'Snooze' in the title.

Find The Little Hip Traveller on Facebook and Twitter
Find Snooze Shade on Facebook and Twitter

Easy. Good luck, and happy snoozing x

Entries must 'like' BOTH 'The Little Hip Traveller' and 'SnoozeShade' on Facebook or Twitter
If they already like, they must suggest both The Little Hip Traveller' and 'SnoozeShade' to friends 
The question 'What is brand new for Snooze Shade in 2011?' must be answered by emailing info@thelittlehiptraveller.com.au with SNOOZE in the subject line.
Open to both Australian and NZl readers
The winner will be drawn at random and announced on the little hip traveller blog. If they do not contact me within 7 days, the prize will be redrawn
Competition closes Friday 26th March AEST 5pm.


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