My husband was sent to Sydney for business and what better way to “save” money! We can go there too and not pay for hotel fees. Yay!
So, we applied for the visa, got approved, booked tickets and flew to Sydney.
To save money, I decided not to fly Cathay Pacific and use staff tickets because it was term break in Australia which looked like it would be difficult for us to get a seat to return to HK. So I did the next best thing. I got on Skyscanner and found Philippine Airlines as one of the cheapest options. I’ve always like the service of PAL – except for being delayed sometimes but their flight attendants are way better than Cebu Pacific (trust me, we used to fly cebu pac so often before having children!). There was a stop over in Manila but that was okay, they had a breastfeeding room and a playground.
We had about 3 days before we fly to Sydney after having our visas approved. I had to plan what I need to bring for Baby Tony. What if he stays up the entire flight?
My friend who lived in Sydney reminded me to bring winter clothes for Baby Tony because it was supposedly the coldest weekend this winter. Also, before we fly long haul, to change his clothes to pyjamas.
Okay so I got his winter clothes and even got 2 more jackets from Baby-swap-it. I bought a trunki so he could be pre-occupied with his luggage. I bought a magic magnetic writer, stickers and LEGO duplo. I read that new toys would be very fascinating to toddlersso I made sure I had some.
For food, I was so ready for his snacks but all he wanted was my milk and he slept almost the entire way to Sydney because we got the overnight flights.I prepared a banana, grapes, oranges, nutella sandwich, grilled banana-nutella sandwich and pepperidge farm fish-shaped crackers. When we got to Sydney, everything was put in the trash except the fish-shaped crackers.
On the first day that we were there, we had lunch at a greek restaurant where he ate some pita bread, for dinner he had some fish shaped crackers.
On the second day, he had some more fish shaped crackers and some french fries while in the zoo.
On the third day, thank God we had time to go to coles and I got him some fruits and bread. I think he missed real food so he sat down and ate almost an entire mandarin in one sitting – oh wow! the mandarin we bought tasted so good!!!
On the fourth day, he had a lot of bread and some mandarin. The flight back was pretty good even when he was awake. I got to use the new toys and we had some room on the MNL-HKG flight and had 3 seats just for the two of us.
Thank God I survived travelling alone with our little boy. I will NEVER do that again though, once is enough. I’ve told my husband that the next time we fly, it should be as a family and not just mother & son. 😛
Here are my top 3 tips when travelling [alone] with a toddler:
- Get an bulkhead +aisle seat. If possible get the G instead of the D seat. D seats cannot lift up the arm rest while the G one can (in the airplane that I boarded). There’s extra leg room and I could easily stand up and sway my nursing toddler to sleep. There’s also extra space for the toddler to play in, if needed.
- Plan a grocery run on the first day of arriving another country (especially Australia!!!). This is my advice to those parents with picky eaters. My son will not eat everything we eat so I always had to have bread and fruits around. If I’d plan this on our first day, he wouldn’t have had fish shaped crackers for more than 2 days (Yikes! I feel like an awful mother!)
- Get flights that coincide with your toddler’s sleeping time. This way, they are really sleepy and expecting to get some sleep. I’ve flown a couple of times that are around his sleeping time and it always work out well. It’s also nice that they are changed into their pyjamas, read a story and put to sleep the usual way (bedtime routine).
Here are my top 3 must-haves when travelling with a toddler:
- Baby bag + Trunki (or other kiddie luggage bags) for storing everything you need on the flight(s). Containing these other two below. 🙂 A couple of sets of clothes and one for you (the parent)! I also put one set of clothes in one ziploc. A set would include a top, bottom, disposable diaper and socks. For adults, it’s mostly just a top.
- ezpz Mini mat + Baby Bjorn bibs for eating.
- New toys (or “new” anything!) for distraction.
What are your top tips and must-haves when travelling with your little ones?