Saturday, April 30, 2011

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

Ah, well, the time has come to announce the winner of the Totseat competition. I have to say, I am a really big fan of the Totseat, so its really exciting to be able to pick a winner. You all must be big fans too, as this has been a hugely popular giveaway.

So without much further ado, and without wanting to take up too much of your time, (big things on TV tonight...Biggest Looser final, the latest Masterchef starts and of course I have to hop on over to the Logies in the ad breaks), lets get to it.

First of all, I just want to thanks Hello Charlie for providing the Totseat (do I sound like a Logies winner?). If you missed the review, please have a read here.

So, the winner chosen by is.......

Belinda Burton.

Congratulations Belinda. Please email me at with your postal details.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A fairytale

My little hip family are fortunate enough to have an iPad, and I have to say, on our recent road trip (which I shall write about soon), its been worth its weight in gold. 

Not only are they are brilliant learning tool (particularly for master hip who, as many of you are aware, has recently been diagnosed with autism), they are also a lot of fun, and have some brilliant apps for both young and old alike. 

But its not all about the little hips. Here's a fabulous app just for me (well and my little hips) and my current obsession with the Royal Wedding. 

Will and Kate - a love story is an interactive experience leading us through the romantic Kenyan savannah, to getting dressed for the wedding, through to honeymoon photos. Its a quirky little tale depicting Kate and Will's romantic adventures and I love it! 

Available through itunes, its just a fabulous way to let your imagination go wild, and share in a lovely real life fairy tale.

Now, I am heading off to watch the Royal Wedding. And then I promise, no more talk of it...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A hip family holiday to Club Med, Malaysia...

We at 'the little hip traveller' love chatting to fabulous mums about their recent holiday experiences. This particular mum, Belinda and her very gorgeous little family have just returned from a holiday to Club Med, Cherating Beach, Malaysia. Having not yet been a guest at a Club Med resort, we are particularly intrigued to hear all about this, so lets delay no longer. 
Thanks Belinda x

So, tell us a bit about you and your family?
We are a family of four, myself Belinda, hubby Seth, son Oliver 3.5 yrs and daughter Isla 6 months.

And where have you been of late with your little ‘hips’?
We Travelled to Cherating Beach, Malaysia for 7 nights.

How did you get there?

We flew with Malaysian Airlines from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur, staying overnight at the Pan Pacific Airport hotel. The next morning we took the short flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kuantan. We were able to use our stroller right up to the gate which was very handy indeed and they specifically pulled us out of the queue and let us board first which was great. The crew were very friendly, the baby meal was not fantastic but Isla had only just started on solids so wasn't a huge deal. They gave both kids a toy pack to keep them occupied. The bassinette for Isla was just long enough for her so keep that in mind. Ollie didn't like using the headphones so maybe a good idea to practice using them at home before you go. Would definitely fly with them again.
Where did you stay?

We stayed at the Club Med Cherating BeachWe stayed in interconnecting rooms. That worked really well as we all piled into the one room while Isla had her sleeps during the day. We stayed in Block E which was quite close to the main bulding but far enough away from all the night activity and noise.
Rooms: I was disappointed in the rooms themselves. The shower had mould in alot of places and I felt dirty having to look at it as with the toilet. If they had done a basic refurb on the bathroom and toilet I would have been pretty happy. The beds were very comfy and had lots of wardrobe space.
The aircon did not work very well in our room but in the other room it did.
Food: Was lovely, loads of choice and there was always something I liked. The one frustrating thing was they had set meal times for the main restaurant and dinner did not start until 7.15pm. This was tricky for Ollie as he has dinner at 5pm and is in bed by 7pm at home. The only option was to take him to the snacking restaurant (open till 6pm) which was pretty much chips and nuggets. We got a spare stroller from the resort and put Ollie in that when we went to have dinner so he could go to sleep.
Kids Club: We did not make use of the kids club as I had my mother in law with us. But personally would have only felt comfortable putting Ollie in it if he had been maybe 4 or 5 yrs old. They did look like they were very well run and had loads of things going on all day long.

I would not stay at this particular Club Med again unless they refurbished the rooms, but I would definitely stay at another one that was in better condition and probably once kids were a bit older.
Your biggest challenge?
Working around Isla's sleep times
Restaurant not starting dinner until 7pm
Trying to keep Ollie calm as he did not want to wear his seatbelt on take off and was screaming to get it off. 
Any big recommendations?
I looked alot at Tripadvisor when researching our trip
What are your main tips for travelling with kids?
Lots of snacks, few toys/comforters from home, something new ie. sticker book kept Ollie occupied. If possible try and go on an overnight flight as they hopefully would sleep most of it and don't have to worry about keeping them entertained. Try and pack everything into one bag for the carry on bag so you're not searching around for ages particularly when you need something straight away which is always with kids!
What would you not have left home without?
Wipes & Ollie's Rug
And finally, anything else you want to add?
Try not to stress about the kids eating food. I found myself doing that and decided I had to let go as it's only a week in Ollie's life that he will be living on nuggets and it won't kill him ;) Have fun and enjoy the precious time with your kids and as a family.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


My little hip family just spent a lovely morning at the flicks watching Rio. Whilst the little hips delighted in the rather hilarious adventures of Blu, and his fellow macaw Jewel, in Rio de Janerio, Mr hip traveller and I sat back and watched the images with much sentiment! We now both want to go back to Brazil once more! Could this be the next big trip, with the little hips in tow?

A fabulous little movie, incorporating the rain forest and many of Rio's main attractions (and dark sides), including the Rio Carnival and the infamous spectacular Sambadrome.

A lovely little family flick, which any little (and big) hip traveller would enjoy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

this is our world...

This little hip family loves a rainy afternoon. A chance to cuddle up at home and flick through some of our favourite books. And one of my favourite books right now are any of the 'This is...' series of children's books by Miroslav Sasek.

He first published This is Paris in 1958, and over the next 50 years went on to produce many more of pictures of some of the world's greatest cities, delighting grown ups and children alike. A fabulous way to encourage little (and big) hip travellers all over the world.

Monday, April 11, 2011

One Mumpreneurs brilliant travel tips...

Our Totseat giveaway is on fire...but no panic, there's still time to enter - but before you do, lets just behind the scenes at Totseat and have a little chat with Vanessa Layton, the manager of the Australian distribution company for Totseat - Hello Charlie! / Ethman. Vanessa has a young family and has travelled a fair bit. As you all know, we love talking to well travelled families, as there's always a chance to learn a thing or two. Vanessa has some particulary good travel tips, so do have a read (and don't forget to enter the Totseat giveaway...)

So Vanessa, tell us a bit about you and your family?

I’m married to an Englishman, and we have two sons who are seven and four. We share our house with our mad Jack Russell Terrier, and two very friendly cats.

And where have you been of late with your little ‘hips’?

We have recently returned from a buying trip to Europe with our two children. We had a stopover in Dubai for two days, which completely amazed the boys, and then flew into Paris, from where we made our way up through France, Germany, quick stops in Amsterdam and Brussels, then on to Yorkshire where my husband’s parents live.

How did you get there?

We flew Emirates. They were great. The food was pretty good, the children loved their toys and snack packs, and the inflight entertainment was great. So much choice, and it really kept all of us entertained for the duration of the flight. I think it was especially exciting for my children, as they are usually very limited in their television watching. The thought of being allowed to watch television for more than an hour was a bonus!

Emirates were great, but our children are pretty low maintenance now. I’ve flown Qantas many times when my children were tiny, and I’ve always found Qantas staff to be brilliant, too.

Where did you stay?

As we were moving around so much, we stayed in loads of different places. I have to say, though, that there was one particularly useful accommodation website, called This was the only website I found that allowed you to put in how many people you had in your party. It’s really difficult trying to find family rooms when you have two adults and two children!

Your biggest challenge?

Image: chrisroll /
Jetlag! We couldn’t keep the children awake in Dubai – they were face down on the dinner table at 6.00pm. In Paris, they were awake on the first morning at 3.30am. We ended up getting up and going for a walk around the Bastille at 5.30, and having early morning coffee and hot chocolates in a small café. Everyone else was coming off night shift, and we were sitting with two very wide eyed, wide awake and raring to go children! There’s nothing you can do about it, just try to keep to your routine and eventually you adjust.

Any big recommendations?

We did a ‘greatest hits’ tour of Paris, which kept our children entertained. I made sure that they already knew what we were going to see, the Eiffel Tower, Arc De Triomph, etc., so it was exciting for them to see it up close. They thoroughly enjoyed it.

Realistically, though, the thing that my two enjoyed the most were parks. Any sized park, anywhere. We managed to find a ball on our first day in Paris, and we dragged it with us all the way through to Amsterdam, where we finally left it on a park bench for another child to find and enjoy. Children are children everywhere, and it was amazing to watch mine playing in a park in Strasbourg with other French children, even though they had no common language. Fantastic stuff.

What are your main tips for travelling with kids?

Get organized. Travelling with kids is so different from backpacking, where you never know where you’ll be staying that night. Children, especially small ones, need predictability. My seven year old really needed to know our itinerary, and what to expect. I think it’s the comfort of routine for them, even when they are on holidays. Unfamiliarity is not exciting for them, it’s upsetting and uncertain. But don’t worry, you can still have a good time even though you know where you’ll be staying that night, and the next, and the next!

What would you not have left home without?

For me the question is more like what should we have left at home? We’ve travelled a lot with our children, and I’ve got our packing down to a fine art. We only take three days worth of clothes, and we make sure that everything is either a favourite, or an absolute essential. It’s too hard travelling with children when you have heaps of stuff! If we do need anything, we tend to buy it as we go. We had to buy a raincoat for our youngest son on a particularly wet day in Germany, and when he pulled it out of the cupboard again the other day, there was a serviette in his pocket from a café that we’d loved. We had a great time remembering why we’d bought the raincoat and where, and what we did while he was wearing it.

Having said that, my children are that bit older now and don’t need all the baby kit. We could definitely have used a Hipseat (more on that to come) for carrying my four year old when he was tired, as he no longer has a pram.

And finally, anything else you want to add?

I know a lot of people who are worried about travelling with their children. Don’t be! It’s so much fun, children are the best icebreakers. You get talking to so many different people when you have children.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wow, 3 generations travel together to Hawaii...

Wow, its not often that you get 3 generations travelling together - 3 ladies in fact (well 2 and a very little lady). Emma travelled with her daughter and her mother to Hawaii, and from the sounds of things, had a brilliant trip. Fabulous Emma was kind enough to tell us about her travels, and has some brilliant tips to share with us all. Take it away Emma....

So, tell us a bit about you and your family?
There is me, Emma and my beautiful 21month old daughter Piper.
Piper is a very sweet little girl who knows what she wants and will kick and scream to get it.
My mum Pirjo also came on holiday with us, or Mummi (grandma) in Finnish.
And where have you been of late with your little ‘hip’?
We went to Hawaii for 9 nights in March 2011, myself, Piper and Mummi.
How did you get there? 
We flew there with Jetstar - flying out of Melbourne at 10:30am to Sydney and then flying from Sydney to Hawaii at 6pm that evening. The wait at Sydney airport actually worked out to be a good thing as it got Piper prepared for the long flight that evening. She ran around the airport, had a nap in her pram and ate some lunch.  
The hardest part would have to be collecting our luggage from our first flight, catching a bus from the domestic to the international terminal and then having to re check in.  The bus cost $5.50 for no more that a 10min ride, it was hard to get the suitcases, stroller and toddler on and off the bus and there was not enough room everyone’s suitcases to be stored on the bus as well. I would just catch a taxi next time.
The actual flight turned out to be much better than expected.  I had booked the bassinet when I had first booked the tickets, and although Piper was a tad small for it, it was a life saver for the trip.  Not only did Piper sleep for about 5hours in it, when she was awake she could sit and play in it as well as eat.
The hostess were great (we ended up having the same lady on the way back as well), very friendly and helpful.  I also paid to have the entertainment unit which Piper loved to watch (even if only for 15min).
The menu had limited choice but what we ate was lovely.

The flight back was a little more difficult as it was during the day rather than overnight, so keeping little miss entertained for longer periods was challenging but she did pretty good considering.  Again the bassinet was great, it also gave us more leg room, and there were other little ones close by in the other bassinets for Piper to play with.
The worst part of the trip back would have to be again trying to collect and then get our luggage from the international terminal to domestic and re check it in.  Other than that I was very happy with the airline and staff that worked there.
Where did you stay?
We stayed at The courtyard by Marriott in a one bedroom room.  
The separate bedroom was great as I was able to put Piper to sleep and then relax/watch tv without waking her.  We also had a kitchenette with a bar fridge, sink, microwave and coffee maker.  This proved handy as we were able to have breakfast in our room each morning.
All the staff were extremely lovely, they had two pools, one of which, although smaller was heated and used more than the other one by us.
There were 3 computers and a printer in the foyer, a travel desk where we booked all of our tours and a bar.
With restaurants and shops across the road or no more that a 5min stroll away, and the beach only 10min walk away it was the perfect spot for us.  
Your biggest challenge?
  • Picking up and then rechecking baggage at Sydney airport, as well as the bus journey to the other terminal.
  • Trying to keep Piper sitting still on the bus journeys we did, and by the end while eating out at restaurants.

Any big recommendations?
  • I was very impressed with my maclaren stroller.  It lay back if Piper fell asleep in it, was lightweight and very easy to fold and put over my shoulder when getting on and off buses.  
  • Playdough, would bring it out at some dinners to keep Piper amused while we were waiting for our food.
  • We ate at Chillies restaurant and The Cheesecake Factory several times and they were very kid friendly, always with plenty of highchairs.  Chillies gave crayons and activity book on arrival and the Cheesecake Factory gave children a plate of bread and banana on arrival as well.
  • Swim Vest for Piper, especially when at the beach.  Was easier to grab her when she fell over in the water and was that extra bit of piece of mind.
What are your main tips for travelling with kids?
  • Always have a variety of snacks on hand as well as a packet of wipes to clean up sticky fingers and any mess made along the way.
  • Don’t pack to many toys but pack a variety and bring them out and varying times.  This way they don’t get bored of all their toys by the 2nd day of the holiday.
  • A little bit of screaming from your kids is ok, most passengers won’t mind, and it is more stressful trying to keep them quiet for 10hours straight. 
  • Always ask for directions so your child doesn’t have to sit in there pram longer than needed.
  • Try to pack everything into the least amount of bags as possible, as trying to push a stroller and carry the bags isn’t always easy.
  • Zip lock bags - so many uses. Perfect for snacks for Piper, use them as a toiletry bag as they take up less space and are water proof, or even for packing some jewellery for example.
What would you not have left home without?
Dummies, snacks and wipes for Piper.

And finally, anything else you want to add?
Enjoy your holiday, if your little one eats chips everyday of their holiday and hasn’t seen a green veggie in a few days it is ok, whatever keeps them happy and the healthy eating will return once returning home.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Its compact, washable and squashable...want one?

Its lunch time. You are in a busy shopping centre and there are no highchairs (or they are all super dirty). Or, perhaps you are travelling, and the super super efficient yummy mummy that you are, has packed effectively, and lightly. No room for big bulky highchairs or booster seats in your luggage. What to do?

Simply take out your brilliantly compact Totseat travel highchair, unfold it from its cute little drawstring bag, and fit it on to ANY chair with a back rest. Its so easy to attach and with its adjustable length and support, is totally flexible to a range of different styles of chairs.

Totseat comes in a range of hip colours and designs, and of course we love it's washable, squashable robust and very comfortable fabric. 

My little madam, who traditionally isn't a huge fan of highchairs, rather likes the Totseat. She's super happy when I whip it out of my handbag (or perhaps its means its food time!), but nevertheless, she's super happy sitting securely inside the Totseat, and is even keen enough to sit and do a bit of drawing too.

This is a definite must have item, whether you are travelling overseas or on a road trip, camping, or even just visiting grandma's house. In fact, why not leave one at grandma's house....easy.

Totseat is available in Australia from Hello Charlie, and thanks to those wonderful bods at Hello Charlie, we have one to give away! Hoorah! 

And entering to win is super easy...all you need to do is make sure that you are followers or friends of 'The Little Hip Traveller' and 'Hello Charlie' on Facebook and / or Twitter and / or on the RSS feed of this very blog. If you already follow all of these, then simply suggest this giveaway to all your friends?  The more places you 'follow' us, the more entries into the competition you get!  

Email us at with 'Totseat' in the subject line, and let us know how you follow us (Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Suggest to friends or ALL of the above)....It really is that easy!

Find The Little Hip Traveller on Facebook and Twitter
Find Hello Charlie on Facebook and Twitter

Easy. Good luck x

Entries must 'like' BOTH 'The Little Hip Traveller' and 'Hello Charlie' on Facebook, Twitter, Blog
If they already like, they must suggest both The Little Hip Traveller' and 'Hello Charlie' to friends 
The entrant must email with 'TOTSEAT' in the subject line and advise where they follow. The more places they follow, the more entries into the competition.
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 22nd April AEST 5pm.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Oh exciting, more winners.......

The lovely people of Bubshoes have just informed me that we now have our two winners! Hoorah...

Thank you to you all for your entries however someone (well, two of you) have to win.

Picked by - our two winners are:

Maria Pizzirusso & Rebecca Bissett

Please contact Bubshoes on to make your selection!

Thanks Bubshoes!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Its finally happening...child free flights!

They've threatened this before, but now, they've actually done it. From October 2011, Ryan Air are introducing child free flights!

A recent survey carried out by Ryan Air portrayed that 36% of the 1000 interviewed, advised their flights were ruined by other peoples screaming children.

Is this a sign of things to come - will other airlines follow suit, or is this all an April Fools Day joke?

Have a read of Ryan Air's Press Release here.


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