Monday, February 21, 2011

Need a bit of luxury..?

Not sure where to head on your next family holiday? Need some pampering, but want to make sure the 'hips' are well looked after too?

We've just stumbled across a fabulous and very luxurious family escape, and we feel the need to share. Even better, they have a very hip family escape package on offer at the moment too.

The Ayana Resort and Spa in Bali is set on 77 hectares of tropical gardens on Jimbaran Bay. It has 290 hotel rooms and 78 freestanding villas, however the resort is spread over 1.3 km's hence feels private and very spacious.

Amongst the choice of fabulous restaurants and leisure facilities, there's an award winning spa where you can indulge in a huge range of spectacular treatments. There are also numerous swimming pools, an 18 hole golf course, and plenty of activities from mountain biking to cooking schools.

The current family holiday package includes; daily breakfast, evening meal offer, a Balinese Massage and Aquatonic Seawater Therapy pool session, kids club, kids yoga, kids welcome amenities, babysitting available, and return transfers.

Sounds good? Head to for more info.

If only they made them for adults...

With the huge amount of unseasonal rain at the moment, the only way the 'hips' can get out and about is if we dress them in anoraks. Anoraks can be nasty. This one is delicious. I need it. Oobi - we love you.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Very hip & multi functional Tumbling Animals

As promised, the next few instalments of The Little Hip Traveller are all about our truly hip finds at the recent Kids Instyle trade fair in Sydney. 

And here's something extremely hip and funky. Not strictly for travel use, but you can use these out and about in the park, garden or just at home, as either toys, climbing accessories, furniture, or for whatever purpose you wish.These multifunctional tumbling animals were designed by two clever sisters from Denmark, and bObles, as they are named, are the latest addition to Exquira's baby & kids range in Australia.

Essentially used to develop the child's gross motor skills and stimulate their imagination, they can tumble, roll, build or even use as a table and chairs. The popular fish (below in green) is fabulous as a booster seat at the table. 

Available through Exquira

We just love hip innovation such as this.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Lucky us...we are being showered with fabulous very hip products to review. With a list as long as my arm, please don't panic - we shall get to your item as soon as we can. Just like our new up and coming and very hip website, its all work in progress.

In the meantime, I have to tell you about this very cute Bucky Woopsie Buckwheat Sack, sent to us by our friends at Bamboo Village.

When our adventurous out and about little 'hips' have a tumble, or even have a little headache, you can just reach for a Woopsie to provide a natural first aid / pain relief.

Made from sustainable bamboo fabric and filled with natural buckwheat seeds, the Woopsie has multiple uses. Pop it in the microwave for assistance with headaches, tummy aches, or aches or pains, OR chill it in the freezer for insect bites, bumps, bruises, fever, sunburn or the like.

Use it time and time again (and just machine wash the cover if necessary). Its also hypoallergenic, and non toxic. Plus my little hips adore just playing with our little purple Woopsie too!

Don't forget our current giveaway...the fabulous green Travel Pillow from Bamboo Village.

All you have to do is make sure you 'like' both 'Bamboo Village' and 'The Little Hip Traveller' on Facebook.

We would also like you to tell us "how you ensure your kids are environmentally aware?". Send your answers to with BAMBOO in the subject line

If you already 'like' us, then make sure you forward this to your friends, and let them know all about us...we love to share!

Good luck!

Entries must 'like' BOTH 'The Little Hip Traveller' and 'Bamboo Village' on Facebook
If they already like, they must suggest both The Little Hip Traveller' and 'Bamboo Village' to friends 
The question 'Tell us how you ensure your kids are environmentally aware?' must be answered by emailing with BAMBOO in the subject line.
Open to both Australian and international 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 Monday 28th February AEST 5pm.

A hip bit of Fluf...

We are completely in love with these delicious lunch bags from FLUF. Two clever Canadian ladies with bags of style, and four children between them, created these eco friendly lunch bags (alongside some other very fabulous bits and bobs). Not only are they washable, wipeable, rinse able, and have loads of room, you'll be happy to know that there are no toxins, phthalates, waste and are BPA free, plus are 100% certified organic cotton.

Available in Australia very soon through Kindred Gifts, they are so unbelievably hip - why would you not want one for your little hips - or maybe one for each of the family!

A hip ride..

We just brought our little hips a Lascal mini Buggy Board. It clips onto our Maclaren with ease and who knows why we waited so long. Mr left hip loves it...and I love that he loves it. When he wants to walk, I can just clip it up and away, but when he's exhausted, it just pops down, and off we go. Fabulous for being out and about with the hips, and the bigger kid feels like they are in control and driving! Love it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A golden coast, and a horror flight!

Now then, we are going to be starting to look at child friendly airlines in a bit more detail, but before we do, lets have a little quick read about a friends experience travelling to the Gold Coast, Australia on a budget airline. Prue, a friend, and fellow blogger - The Nestlings Blog (please do have a read - its terrific) took a holiday from Melbourne to the Gold Coast towards the end of 2010 and travelled with Jetstar.

So, now the introductions are out of the we go;

Prue, tell us a bit about you and your family?
"So we are made up of Dave, little Oscar (almost 2 at the time of travels), and our beautiful girls, Einstein (the cat) and Indiana (the girl).

And where have you been of late with your little ‘hip’?
We've been staying on the Gold Coast.
How did you get there?
Unfortunately Qantas no longer flies directly from Melbourne to the Gold Coast, so we flew with Jetstar.  As Oscar is a whisker under 2 we decided to not buy him his own seat. The jury is still out on the wisdom of that decision. Sadly we found the staff of Jetstar somewhat lacking in customer service. Oscar suffers severely with the change in pressure of take off and touchdown. During the landing he began to scream uncontrollably and scratching and punching me. During this our seatbelts came undone (unnoticed by me as I was simply trying to tend to Oscar)...the nasty Jetstar women whilst ignoring the tears streaming down my face from the stressful situation coldly reprimanded me several times for not having my seat belt done up. During another trip with Qantas, a similar situation occurred, however in that time the staff could not have been any more helpful. Therefore if possible I'll try to fly Qantas in the future and if they don't service the destination I'll try Virgin Blue.
Where did you stay?
We stayed in Broadbeach at the Mantra Phoenician. I would highly recommend staying in Broadbeach over staying in central Surfers. There are great cafes for your early morning coffee, you're close to supermarkets and shopping centres, as well as the beach which had great parks every 100m or so. The Mantra was good - Great indoor and outdoor pool areas with BBQ's. The apartment was a fantastic size and the kitchen well equipped. My only annoyance was the rock hard bed and the lacklustre service of the staff on the front.
Your biggest challenge?
Getting Oscar to sleep in a new place. He has suddenly decided he doesn't like his Kindercot and so slept in bed with Dave most nights.
Any big recommendations?
We all loved Seaworld. The expression on Oscar's face when the dolphins started to perform was priceless. There is also a great range of rides for the little kids too.  I would recommend taking your own food as it's expensive and there's not a lot of range. We also loved Wet N Wild, and it's a great day if your have children of different ages too. Movieworld is looking a little tired and unless you're children are old enough to go on the rides it can be skipped. We got the VIP pass which worked well. It gives unlimited access to the 3 theme parks until June 2011. This meant if Oscar had had enough, we just went home to come again another day.
What are your main tips for travelling with kids?

Always take gaffa tape with you! All the hotel rooms have balconies - Oscar figured out how to open the door in the first few minutes. Gaffa tape over the door meant he couldn't open it...clever!

What would you not have left home without?
As above - the gaffa tape and probably our trusty stroller.
And finally, anything else you want to add?
Consider staying in Coolongatta area as well. If you're going up for theme parks you'll have to drive to them wherever you stay so you may as well stay at a beautiful beach and these areas have the best."

Thanks Prue for that very truthful insight into Jetstar, and the Gold Coast theme parks...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Hip tongue-in-cheek packing tips...

Budget Airline Ryan Air has been in the news recently (again), and this time its due to their stringent luggage rules.

Over 100 Belgian students were thrown off a Ryan Air flight as they had refused to pay for oversized luggage at the gate when boarding.

Adding insult to injury, Ryan Air then provided them with a rather funny You Tube clip of a young man fitting a weeks worth of clothes into his carry on luggage...

Have a look. A few tips to be learnt methinks!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A hip rainy afternoon...

My little hips and I are sick of all this rain. Its non stop, and makes it rather difficult to get out and about.

This afternoon, we had a little bit of fun at home and pretended to go camping. We packed our suitcases, and headed off into the big tent aka a sheet over the kitchen table.

Once afternoon tea had been consumed, we were getting a little bit cold in our tent.

Thankfully my big box of delights from Lark arrived today so we had our campfire and even a TV to watch! Phew...

Love a bit of imaginative play on a rainy afternoon...

Hip friday arvo find...

We had a little 'Friday Find' today.

Simone from Monkey Caboose recommended this to me, as she used it on her family trip to Bali recently.

A clever little product called an Airplane Organiser by Go Go Mumma. You just pop it on the back of the seat in front and keeps everything super organised and within reach for your little hips. It comes in a couple of very hip colours, and is just perfect for long haul travel especially.

Little hip Bali from the eyes of a very hip monkey...

Bali sunset -


That old Aussie favourite destination.

Its creeping back up and up again and is securing itself once more as a true blue Aussie favourite. So many people I know seem to have headed her way of late. Brilliant, considering she's had such a dramatic few years.

We at The Little Hip Traveller are so happy to support a place where until fairly recently visitor numbers were dwindling. And of course, it is such a fabulous destination to visit with the little 'hips'. They are made to feel so special by the locals, and wow, there are so many fabulous places that are oh, so child friendly. Love it...

Simone, the clever and uber busy owner of not just one, but two businesses, (Monkey Caboose, and Outer Edge Business Coaching) took a well earned break at the end of 2010 with her little family, and she was rather happy to share her experiences with us all.

So, over to Simone...

"We travelled to Bali with Virgin Pacific in October 2010. Absolutely no complaints with the airline - they were great.

We stayed at in a 1 bedroom villa at the Vila Bali AsriSari Dewi in Seminyak, which is 5 minutes walk to the beach and 5 minutes drive to Laksmana. Each villa has their own wonderful swimming pool, and indoor / outdoor living. All the villas are fully decked out with cooking facilities which is perfect for travelling with children, however breakfast is provided each morning. The villas were fabulous. We also had a great babysitter, so its worth asking about that service and they only charge around 5AUD an hour.

Vila Bali Asri

We also stayed in Villa Sarna just outside Ubud for several nights which was magical as its set in the forest, surrounded by rice paddy fields. The scenery, service and food were fantastic! Ubud itself has a great range of shops with locally made products. There are 4 different cafes that sit on the edge of the rice shelves so you can enjoy the amazing view whilst eating lunch. My husband also participated in a cooking school at Bumi Bali which was great.

Bali rice shelves

Eating out;
Watching the sunset whilst having a couple of cocktails at Ku De Ta is a must - dinner was lovely too (but rather expensive). There are lots of great little cafes and restaurants on Laksmana Road, Seminyak, such as Chandi - high end, air con, non smoking - and also Cafe Bali which is great for little kids as they have lots of toys and an uncomplicated menu. A great place for a romantic dinner (this is when you need the babysitter) is Sardine in Kerobakan. Beautifully set amongst the rice fields.

One thing to remember when travelling with kids, is that people can still smoke in restaurants and cafe's so for those who are now used to a smoke free environment, its a bit of an adjustment.

Eating in;
There is a gourmet supermarket in Seminyak square that has freshly sliced meat, fruit and veg, and even some very overpriced Rafferty's Garden baby food. There is also the Bintang supermarket, where you can buy very cheap nappies, and a good range of milk, fruit, veg, chocolate etc.

Mummy time;
Opposite Bintang supermarket is a place called Bali Spa that does superbly cheap manicures and pedicures. You just sit back and pop a pair of earphones on, listening to music. Perfect mummy time!

Getting out and about;
We took a Deuter II backpack with us for our son and he loved it. It was easy to get around on the uneven sidewalks of Bali, and even though it did get a bit hot at times, it was so easy to jump in a taxi with him. It has a space for a water bladder and tube, so he sucked on that most of the time therefore we were confident he was well hydrated.

Overall, Bali is a fabulous place for a family holiday. Eating and drinking is very cheap and there are a lot of things to do and places to see. Our son was only 14 months at the time, so he was a bit little to do much more than walk and swim in the pool or ocean, however for older kids, there is the zoo, guided bike rides, volcano walks and much more. The accommodation is spectacular and highly affordable. We shall be back - I highly recommend it."

Wow, Simone, thanks so much for those brilliant travel makes me want to go now! One thing I highly recommend you all do is head over to Monkey Caboose right now for a wee bit of shopping. There are some very hip bits and bobs, and also some very cool products for heading out and about too.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

We love Cath Kidston...thanks Lark x

We love the beautiful ever faithful Cath Kidston. When I left the UK I was unsure how I would cope in Australia without trusty 'Cath' ....she's just always there when you need her. 

Fear no more, as Lark have brought Cath Kidston to Australia. We love Lark!

Have a look below at some of the 2011 range. I've chosen some 'hip' friendly out and about products for you to check out, but of course, head over to Lark for some of the more grown up products.

Thankfully my order is already in, and I think I am going to hang out on my doorstep until it arrives. Yes, told you, I love Cath Kidston. Once again, thanks Lark x

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hip London finds...

Anyone visiting London with their little hips cannot leave without a visit to the London Transport Museum. We visited last time we were there, and even though my little hips were a little bit young, my 7 year old brother (long story..don't ask!), was in love with the place, especially as he is an avid transport fan. The museum is in the ideal location - Covent Garden - so those who may just want to take part in some retail therapy (me) can do so, whilst those keen on transport can head on over to have a good look at those big red double decker buses, and the like.

Naturally ideal for transport enthusiasts, and those who want to see the famous black cabs and red buses up close and personal, the London Transport Museum is often overlooked. Don't! Even if you just meet your up with your little family afterwards (hiding your shopping bags), and head to the very child friendly but also rather swanky Upper Deck Cafe, its worth it.

The museum shop is also well worth a visit. Have a look at these gorgeous finds!

Images: London Transport Museum

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Banning the kids...again?

Once again, the argument of "adult only flights" has raised its ugly head again. Of course, we've discussed this before, but now, according to a recent Daily Mail article, travel journalist Dave Richardson is urging major players such as British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Emirates to create an adults only section of the main long haul travel routes. 

Should children be segregated from business and first class passengers, or even normal cattle class members, and have their own section (or perhaps even level) of the plane? Or is this taking segregation to the extreme? Does that mean we can also create a section for those with nasty body odour, smelly breath, or a tendency to snore, or even those carrying excess body weight? 

Business class passengers as we know, do traditionally travel for business, and generally a large proportion of their time aboard a long haul flight may be taken up actually 'working' or sleeping to be in a fit shape for a business meeting. We all know how hard it is to work or even sleep surrounded by energetic little 'hips'? So do business and first class passengers actually have the right to have a 'quiet zone' just because they, or their company or even their frequent flyers scheme, have paid a little bit extra? Admittedly, It is somewhat unusual to see a 6 month old child in first or business class, but then, if mum or dad want to travel at the front of the plane, then who are we to stop them?

Many people on long haul flights are plugged into ipods, absorbed in a film, or just snoozing, and even have the choice of using ear plugs should they really want to. Therefore its possible to block out any noise should you wish to. We all have the right to travel, and families are spread so far apart these days, travelling is just a normal part of life.

And are all kids really feral on flights? Some are rather good and sitting watching a few good kids flicks for several hours.

Most airlines have failed to comment, or believe segregation of passengers on an aircraft is a bad idea. Airlines rely on the family traveller especially during peak season, and some airlines, such as Air New Zealand have gone one step further and introduced the Sky Couch, which has been designed particularly for families in mind. Have a read of our Sky Couch post to learn more about it.

So, the argument continues to crops up, and once again it seems that those kids only sections on planes are still only a dream for some. Its a tricky question - on one hand, a ball bit, a kids cinema, and a nanny at the back of the plane would be wonderful, but on the other hand, would we, as parents end up paying a premium to use these facilities? Is it all really worth it? 
What do you think?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I LOVE Bamboo...want some? hip are you? I am not sure what planet I've been on, but, I am only just getting to grips with how efficient, versatile and clever you really are. Not only are you strong and sustainable, you grow super swiftly without the need of any chemicals and pesticides, require hardly any water to grow, and best of all, you release oxygen into the air thus increasing the air quality, making you super eco friendly. Oh, and did I mention you are also 100% biodegradable?

Bamboo, I love you. But wait....what am I on about? What significance does bamboo have to travelling with little 'hips'?

Well, we all know bamboo is clever and has a large number of uses, from hardwood to charcoal, but its the fabric side of bamboo that I am interested in. And those clever clogs from Bamboo Village got in touch with me and sent me some delicious Bamboo products that are so practical and perfect for travelling with little people. Bamboo Village is a very hip online store who by embracing sustainability with style and have sourced Bamboo products from around the world, and are now introducing them to all of us. Fabulous.

So, Bamboo Village sent us the Junior Natural Travel Pillow which I have to say straight away, my little hips absolutely adore. The colours are brilliantly funky, and the pillow just feels so soft, that you immediately just want to place your head on it, and have a quick 40 winks. The bamboo blended fabric really is as soft as silk, and the inside, filled with natural millet hulls, has just a touch of a faint smell which could only be described as a mildly woody camomile tea flavour. Delicious...and it didn't seem to distract the kids. The pillow cradles around the neck and is suitable for all ages from 3 to 103! We road tested it on a trip to the countryside over the summer, and even Mr 3 year old fell asleep with it (and he never falls asleep!). After a long journey in the car, or stroller, or anywhere in fact, you can simply zip the cover off and pop it in the washing machine, so perfect those for those inevitable spills.

Love this product - thanks Bamboo Village.

Oh, and before I sign off, those lovely peeps at Bamboo Village have given us a fabulous green Travel Pillow to give away.

All you have to do is make sure you 'like' both 'Bamboo Village' and 'The Little Hip Traveller' on Facebook.

We would also like you to tell us "how you ensure your kids are environmentally aware?". Send your answers to with BAMBOO in the subject line

If you already 'like' us, then make sure you forward this to your friends, and let them know all about us...we love to share!

Good luck!

Entries must 'like' BOTH 'The Little Hip Traveller' and 'Bamboo Village' on Facebook
If they already like, they must suggest both The Little Hip Traveller' and 'Bamboo Village' to friends 
The question 'Tell us how you ensure your kids are environmentally aware?' must be answered by emailing with BAMBOO in the subject line.
Open to both Australian and international 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 Monday 28th February AEST 5pm.

IMAGE: Branches of a Bamboo:

All was quiet in the deep dark wood..

Now, I know that we've talked about this particular book many a time, but, you see, its the most read book, and most watched film in our house. My little hips even practice walking like 'The Gruffalo' when we are out and about (such a fabulous sight).

So I am not going to talk about it again, but I am going to share the most exciting news with you that 'The Gruffalo' animation has been nominated for an Oscar in the 'Best Animated Short Film' category!

"Astounding", said the Gruffalo.

Go, go, go Gruffalo!


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