Thursday, 17 October 2019

Bali Family Holiday. Tips On Taking Small Kids! (Part #1)


It's been an incredible year so far. Our most amazing achievement was making it through our first year as parents to Arlo! We decided to celebrate with a BIG family holiday to Bali! You know the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”? Well this was “Our Big Fat Bali Family Holiday”. We had my brother and his fiancĂ© join us along with their two gorgeous girls and of course, we couldn’t go without mum. 

Bali was the perfect destination for our family vacation. Situated in Indonesia with amazing beaches, beautiful sunsets, fabulous restaurants, spas and welcoming locals, who wouldn’t want to visit Bali! One of the tricks of planning the perfect holiday in Bali with kids, is choosing where to stay. We decided to base our stay in Ubud which is perfect for families looking to truly relax and enjoy the Balinese culture.




Our Bali family friendly Villa 

We stayed in a private villa called Summer Moon at the Desa Bulan resort. Nestled in rice fields, this spacious and tranquil villa was perfect for extended family and only ten minutes from the cultural centre of Ubud. Our stay there went beyond our expectations. It felt like a dream every day waking up in such beautiful surroundings. The design is the perfect marriage of modern luxury and traditional Balinese. The villa offers stunning 360° views of the rice fields and we were greeted with beautiful sunsets every night. The luxury villa has spacious entertaining areas and three bedrooms all with ensuites comprising beautiful outdoor showers and deep baths. We loved having our own private pool and spent hours and hours in it! This place was the perfect oasis for a family holiday.

We made good use of the villa’s fully equipped kitchen. They can also arrange for a chef to come and cook for you, which was a very welcome extra having a friendly local, cook your meals after a busy day exploring. Breakfast was included in our stay and was prepared each morning for us by three lovely ladies, who were so friendly and the kids just loved them! It consisted of omelettes, banana pancakes, toast with condiments, coffee, juice and fresh fruit. They also cleaned the villa every day, did a turn down service at night and arranged to have our washing done daily. Provided with full hotel service while staying in your own private villa we could lay back and enjoy a carefree holiday without the everyday chores. Every detail had been covered, even down to the fresh flowers but it was the smiling professional and friendly staff that couldn’t do enough for us, that made our stay so enjoyable.


On The Plane With Kids

The best thing about flying with little ones is you usually don't have to pay for them if they are under two. All three kids that came on the family holiday were under two, so we definitely saved some money. However, flying with little ones can be testing. Here are a few tips which made flying with little ones easier for us. We split up our flight to Bali with a stopover in Australia for a few days. Not only did this give us a chance to catch up with family but it meant it was only a three hour flight to Australia and then a few days later, a six hour flight to Bali. It was nice to break it up and of course it gave us an excuse to extend our holiday and helped with the time difference and also temperature difference. I also brought a family passport holder so it could hold all our passports together, making it easy to get through security and customs. The passport holder I brought was also lined with RFID-blocking fabric so you know your information will be protected. I made sure Arlo had a pacifier and a bottle handy, as it helps with children's ears during take-off and landing. Another handy item is a travel cup, or a drink bottle with a lid, so you can transfer airline drinks into it to prevent spillage.


Packing 

Make sure you pack super minimal, write yourself a list and tick it off as you go. You don't want to be lugging heaps of bags around the place and also want it to be super easy to transport between your different destinations. We packed two hard cases with 360° turn wheels between the three of us, along with one carry on hard-case and our backpack baby bag (it's so much easier to travel with bags on your back). I used packing cells in our luggage so everything is organised and easy to find. It is a good idea to take packaged baby foods and formula along with other favourite snacks, breakfast cereals and food that your child likes to eat. Imported baby food and formula in Bali is not cheap and the range is limited. Having what you want in your suitcase is more convenient than running to shops, trying to find what your child likes. Also make sure you pack sunscreen and insect repellent!


Additional travel items for small kids

Travel Stroller: We brought the Bugaboo Ant, the lightest, most compact travel stroller yet. Bugaboo Ant is packed full of smart and thoughtful features that make traveling with children so easy and enjoyable. It can even work like a suitcase because you can pull it with the handle just like another piece of luggage. It’s a super convenient solution when you have to move quickly through a crowded airport. Another plus, is that you still have clear access to the storage basket so you can put all your belongings in there. Finally it folds down to a convenient size and meets carry on regulations so that you can actually take it on the plane and put it in the overhead compartment. It came in very handy when we were out exploring Bali as it reclines so Arlo could still nap if we were out and about. You will probably find that a baby backpack or baby pouch would be too hot and stifling in the Bali heat.

Carseat: We brought along our Nuna Myti carseat. We love Nuna as a brand and used their Pippa capsule when Arlo was little. The Nuna Myti will grow with him allowing a smooth transition from a harness to a booster seat. We bought a travel car seat bag off Amazon to protect the car seat while travelling. The travel bag has shoulder straps so you can wear it on your back for easy transport and comes with a secure drawstring closure and adjustable lock for easy opening and closing.

StorkSak Baby Bag: Having a baby bag pre packed ready for your flight is a must. The StorkSak Poppy is a convenient and ideal bag to take with you while exploring Bali, allowing you to have everything your child needs in one place. Mine is always stocked with the essentials like nappies, wet wipes, changing mat and hand sanitizer. It also has room for a change of clothes for Arlo along with his baby formula and bottles. 



Kids Inflight Entertainment: 

We packed Arlo his own bag of toys and snacks to keep him entertained during flights. Airlines don't have a big range of food choices but they do allow you to take food on planes, especially for children. 

Arlo’s backpack: We brought him the monogrammed backpack from “Stuck On You” to put all his stuff into. He loved having his own bag and getting out his toys and snacks during the flight.

Arlo’s lunch box: We packed his “Stuck On You” bento lunch box with all his favourite snacks. He was provided a meal on the flight however, this is a great item to have available at any time especially if they are constantly snacking like Arlo. 

Toys that are suitable for planes and kept Arlo entertained:
  1. Window letters! These are great as they stick to the airplane windows.
  2. Magic Marker Coloring Book – Perfect as its mess free. 
  3. Slinky – Such a basic toy but keeps Arlo entertained for ages. 
  4. Magnetic Drawing Board – Another mess free but creative activity.
  5. Koosh ball - Super basic toy but super fun and Arlo loves playing with them. 
  6. His Lovely - We packed Arlo’s Jellycat which he sleeps with at night for comfort.
  7. Tablet – Let’s get real, we try as hard as we can to keep kids from going crazy on long flights and as prepared as you might be, sometimes it all goes down the drain and it’s time to pull out the iPad.

Our Bali tips for small children:

  • Bali can be super hot during the day so pack lots of light and comfortable clothes. 
  • I’m a planner anyway but with kids, it is best if you plan where you eat and what you do in advance. Just makes it less stressful especially if they are hot and restless. 
  • Try to organise transport in advance. With little kids you can't use the scooters so it's best to book a driver during your stay. 
  • Go Jek is a delivery service like UberEats. Great if you just want to stay in for the evening. 
  • Make sure you always keep a bottle of water handy as it's very easy in the heat for children to get dehydrated. 
  • You can buy nappies there, but I took along our own nappies and wipes as the Bali range is very limited. They also don't sell swimmer nappies so maybe take a few more of those if you need them. 
  • Pack an emergency pack full of first aid essentials. Hydralite tablets, kids and adults panadol, bandaids, nail clippers, after sunburn gel and a thermometer. 
  • Do not drink tap water, and buy bottled water. Try to prevent your child swallowing bath/shower water. It’s also a good idea to have hand sanitizer with you. 
  • Our Bugaboo Ant stroller was a life saver. It was light and easy to use and Arlo could nap in it while we were out exploring. We loved that it compacted down and was easy to take in and out of cars. You won’t regret taking one of these if you have small kids. 
  • We also loved our travel car seat bag as it made it super easy transporting Arlo's carseat in and out of cars and flights  as you could wear it like a backpack. 


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