We will be going on an 8-hour flight to Melbourne in a few days.
What makes it challenging is not the distance of the location, but my wife and I are traveling with two young kids.
Judging from the experience we had some time ago, we must do our best to prevent this incident from recurring – a slightest chance will not be spared.
The following is a list of things we think we should do to make our trip (both 32,000 feet above or on the ground):
- Before the trip, we keep telling our children that any unreasonable meltdown will have a big impact on the trip. We tell them there should be no fighting, quarrelling, etc. When things like this happen, the trip will turn from happy to sad.
- Bring some of their favorite toys for the flight and road trips.
- My daughter likes to draw and paint, bringing along some coloring books is the best bet. As for K, since he’s catching up with some scratchy writing and drawing, he is also drawn to this creative activity. If he is in the mood, he can write for 10 – 15 minutes. Also, bringing some of his coloring books can keep him occupied for some time on the plane.
- Bring some of their favorite snacks on the flight. Plenty of unhealthy ones but when you are in need, these snacks can do wonder!
- We plan not to stretch the day trips too long as J and K have the habits of having a nap in the afternoon. We plan to have our trips end before the sleepiness kicks in.
- As for road trips, we play by ear. Hopefully what we have trained them back home will be handy in Melbourne and they will not create trouble especially on a long stretch like The Great Ocean Road.
- We have printed out directions from Google Maps for all destinations we plan to go. Yes, you guessed it, no GPS will be with us. We are using the good old printed maps to guide us throughout the trip. I get immense satisfaction from getting to an unfamiliar place in a car – by myself (Ladies, contrary to popular myth, being a man, I do get down the car and ask for directions when the need arises).
- Other documents that we will bring are confirmation slips for our accommodation and car rental. This is useful especially when there’s a dispute.
- Make sure my mobile phone’s international roaming is active.
Since the temperature in Melbourne during our trip there is around 10°C, this is considered very cold compared to what we are used to have back home. I hope this temperature will not become an issue to the kids.
Having said that, I still need your input!
On two things…
ONE: If you have experience traveling with young kids on a long haul flight, I welcome you to share with me your best tips. They can be: how to keep the kids happy and occupied on the flight as well as on road trip, tips on making day trips manageable for kids, what to bring for the trip, and so on.
TWO: Also, if you have been to Melbourne, share with me places that you think we must not miss (especially kid-friendly places). And we will make sure to visit them if the schedule allows.
Your input is greatly appreciated and it will definitely help in making sure our trip a pleasant one.
UPDATE – Apr 30: My wife just told me that she bought some small presents and they are properly wrapped. Not for someone we are visiting in Melbourne but for our children. Just in case the kids get bored somewhere in the trip, these presents give us the upper hand when dealing with them.
Since our 6-year old camera is not working properly and it’s time for us to get a new digital camera to capture the interesting moments during our trip. After talking to people and checking out on the Internet, we finally settled on Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS7. This March 2009 model has excellent rave reviews and it’s among the best in under $200 category. We almost didn’t get the camera as it’s selling like hot cakes. Fortunately we found a shop that had just received some new stocks.