So I am back with another post from our weekend trip to Sydney, with some traveling (with kids) tips at the end as promised. We started our days each morning with a big, lavish breakfast each morning at the hotel. Since we have recently started renting places on Airbnb whenever we travel rather than staying at a hotel, so hotel breakfast seemed like a welcome indulgence this trip. We decided for this trip so late that we couldn’t find an appropriate Airbnb at the last moment, but Airbnb will always be my first choice in future as well. There is something so comfortable and exciting in staying in a local’s home with all the amenities of a proper house and not be confined to a small room with a kettle and minibar. Nonetheless the breakfasts were great (and the view from our room was even better which i think i have mentioned in my last post) even when Azaan made sure to trip a glass full of juice or water all over our table everyday. We were greeted by a live Easter Bunny distributing chocolate eggs one morning while munching on our pancakes and it made the kids so happy. And when strangers at the next table leave as friends hoping to meet again some day, it definitely adds to the experience and fond memories.
I feel lucky that our kids are great little travelers and enjoy the new experiences even more than us. Of course there are meltdowns, tantrums, and times when i think why did we ever think it was good idea, but those moments are so short lived in front of all the joy they experience and bring us with it that it doesn’t matter. Some of my fondest memories of my kids are definitely made during our travels. Azaan attracts a lot of attention these days anywhere he goes, people are amused and intrigued by his hyper-ness and quirkiness. And it was hilarious how Hamza kept saying that he wants to stay in Sydney and the hotel forever and ever and doesn’t want to go back home, but as soon as he reached home and saw his toys and things, he goes like, ” I always wanted to come back! I don’t know why we stayed there so long?” with an eye-roll and a sheepish smile on his face.
I would like to pen down a few things that work for us while traveling with kids, specially on long road trips and while being out and about in big cities with them. (Also you can read Traveling with Littles)
- When we are renting homes while traveling, we shop for groceries and make easy meals at least once a day. This way we save up on not eating out for every meal, and somehow my kids eat better at home and the meals they are comfortable with. So works for us. We always make and have breakfast before setting out for the day too. This way, even if kids don’t eat much while being out, i know they are getting at least two solid meals a day.
- For long drives, i know from experience that bringing out the iPad and screens early on will have a detrimental effect, kids will become cranky and bored very quickly. So we keep them deprived for as long as we can and only bring out the gadgets much later on as a reward or emergency measures.
- I have written before about packing light while traveling before. We don’t bring a lot of clothes and save up space. We do laundry at our rental when needed.
- We love exploring a new city as a family. We do the kids stuff and activities and we do the grown up things too. Everyone has to be supportive of the other person’s choice. So if the kids behave nicely while we check out laneways, cafes or a gallery, the chance for them to get ice cream or goto a playground later increases manifold.
- In the car, we sometime invent games and play with the kids. Like this all time favorite Can You See? Daddy will spot a yellow sign board and ask the kids, “do you see a yellow board?” the kids will look for it and yell, ” I SEE, I SEE!” … something like that. When all else fails, SIRI comes to our rescue, and hamza like chatting with her and making her want to blow her brains out, haha.
- Lastly … snacks, snacks and more snacks! You can never have too many.
Our photos from Bondi Beach below. As well as some of the Opera House and Harbor Bridge from a different spot.
See Sydney Part I here.