This November we went on our second family vacay to Hamilton Island. The last holiday we went on was when Myla was 6 months old. The difference between travelling with an infant and a toddler is substantial therefore I thought I’d share some tips for any future travellers…if you dare!
1. Pack smart.
I am not sure about international travel, but when travelling domestically a child under 2 travels free! They don’t occupy a seat therefore it makes sense. The downside? Because you aren’t paying for a seat the child is not allocated a suitcase therefore my husband, myself and Myla were forced to share 2 suitcases with a 46kg limit. This was probably the hardest part of our vacay ( I exaggerate). Every mother knows that with toddlers you have to be prepared for ALL scenarios. What if the weather is colder than anticipated?, what if a poo explosion occurs and you need more outfits?, or; what if like me you are obsessed with dressing up your toddler and need multiple clothing options?! It was effing hard to fit our clothes into 2 suitcases. Virgin is great as they allow porta cots and strollers to be checked in for free, but come on guys, cant you just charge a little extra for an extra suitcase for a child. Some of us don’t know what they are going to wear until the day they are going to wear it. #FirstWorldProblems
2. If possible, book a flight in line with their nap.
The flight to Hamilton Island from Brisbane was around 11.30am which meant it lined up perfectly with her usual nap time. I packed her favourite blanky, prepared a bottle (she doesn’t usually have a bottle pre nap but I knew it’d help knock her out) and prayed she would fall asleep…it worked! She slept for three quarters of the flight only waking up on decent. Phew.
3. Inflight entertainment.
If the flight time doesn’t line up with a nap, then pack as much inflight entertainment as possible. For the flight home I loaded an iPad up with all Myla’s favourite TV shows (Yep, Mother of the Year right here). Whatever, that thing is a life saver. It kept her for busy for a while, and when she got over it I had books, toys and games on standby.
4. Buy a cheap stroller.
For a domestic holiday that lasted a week, a $20 stroller will suffice. If I was going overseas for a month then yes, I would pack my buffalo but for 1 week in Hamilton the $20 Baby Bunting bargain was adequate. I didn’t care if it got thrown around amongst the luggage and it was tiny which meant it was easy to transport.
5. Pack every medicine you can possibly think of!
I always travel with some baby Nurofen and Bonjela (even though she has a near full set of teeth lol) but, I didn’t think to pack Panadol, Fess Little Noses, Gastro Stop and Hydralite. Be prepared for all scenarios!! Myla got a runny nose and the boogies were out of control. In addition 4/8 of the adults caught a vomit bug…BE PREPARED! #HolidayingWithKids
6. Get a house over a hotel room wherever possible.
Both holidays with Myla have been spent in a holiday home and if I have the choice next vacay, it’ll be a house. A house means having a kitchen and not having to eat out for every meal. It means that come nap time, you aren’t stuck in a hotel room waiting for your kids to wake from slumber. It means a laundry – for washing clothes when you inevitably run out. We stayed at the Yacht Club Villas at Hamilton Island and the house was ahhhmazinnggg. Each bedroom had its own bathroom and the central kitchen/living area was huge and overlooked the water…take me back.
7. Accept that fact that a vacation will never be the same again.
My husband and I have been on many holidays together pre baby and boy is there a serious difference. Before going on holiday with your children you need to accept that fact that you never really are on holiday as a parent. Its simply parenting in a beautiful setting without the hubby having to go to work. Every activity was centred around the kids schedule. I have been pretty flexible with Myla since day 1. I didn’t want to be a slave to the routine and end up with a toddler who loses her shit every time we aren’t in the exact same cot to nap, but toddlers need to sleep. I pretty much accepted the fact that going out for dinner after 6pm was a no, no (unless the iPad was fully charged); and that nap time couldn’t be stretched out too far or I would have cranky as fuck child on my hands. Yes, its a hell of a lot different to our pre baby holidays, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.