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!

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