We made it! The perils of travelling with young kids...


Well I'm pleased to report that we made it to Bali yesterday without any major issues. That is, no major issues in terms of getting here - but of course a six-hour flight with a one-year-old is never going to be easy, and indeed it was not.

I remember travelling with our daughter to Palm Cove in Queensland when she was around four-months-old. It was a three-hour flight and, on the way there, we couldn't believe our luck when she slept half the time. No such luck on the way back! On the return flight, we were one of 'those' families and half the plane stared at us with disgust because she cried and grizzled the whole way, despite our best efforts to calm her.

The only silver lining on that cloud was that we weren't the only ones: we were up the back of the plane with a bunch of other families who had little ones (I suspect that grouping us together was a deliberate manoeuvre by the airline), and at any given time, four or five other bubs and toddlers were screaming their heads off too. 

So at least the looks-to-kill from the rest of the plane were borne equally between us!

Anyhoo. This time around, our daughter (who's fourteen-months-old now) didn't spend the whole time crying or sleeping: instead she made a lot of noise and wasn't happy doing anything. 

We even broke our 'rules' and let her watch cartoons: something we don't normally do because common wisdom says to avoid screens for kids under two, and it's a wisdom we agree with for reasons I won't bore you with now. Unfortunately she wasn't interested in cartoons either, so we spent the whole flight feeling like clowns in a circus act - juggling her and performing every trick in the book - in a desperate attempt to keep her happy.

I don't think we failed miserably because the poor thing was open to being distracted, it's just that she didn't want to sit still and instead wanted to run/crawl around everywhere and explore each nook and cranny of the plane. Understandable of course, but not workable on the red-eye when most passengers want to rest and don't want to be disturbed by a loud toddler who's excited, frustrated and confused in equal measure.

But we made it, arriving at our hotel and feeling like we'd just run at least one marathon each. We haven't explored Bali much yet because we needed to rest yesterday (on top of everything else, we've all had bad colds), but I wanted to write this short post on what it's like to travel with little ones. Consider yourself warned hehe.

I did think of writing a list of tips and tricks for travelling with children, but the truth is, every child is different and what works and doesn't work for one mightn't apply to others. What I will say though is: be prepared. Bring things for them to play with and to do - but don't expect them to be interested in toys and games when there's so much new and interesting stuff for them to look at (like the tray tables on the back of each seat - pushing those up and down was lots of fun for a while). And bring plenty of food. If in doubt, give them another Cruskit to smash up and sprinkle on the floor (sorry, Jetstar, but needs must). 

Finally, bringing a sense of calm and patience is almost more important than bringing your passport. Because you're definitely going to need that... ; )

Speak soon x

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