Ad
Tag

Travelling

Browsing

We took our five-year-old twins to Perth in Western Australia recently. Many people tend to pass over it as a vacation destination, preferring the bigger and hipper Australian cities of Sydney and Melbourne. Yet, Perth, with its wide open spaces and laid-back vibe is a great holiday choice if traveling with kids aged five and under. Let me share with you why, and also how to make the most of a trip there.

1. Making the Right Travel Choices

Weather

Perth’s moderate Mediterranean weather means you can visit all year round. We visited last October during Spring (September to November); a really lovely time as the average daily temperatures range from 12 to 16OC. Autumn (March to May) is another good season to go too. Imagine having natural “air-conditioning” around you, everywhere. Cooler temperatures hopefully mean cooler temperaments!

Airlines

Many families usually opt for budget airlines, but the awkward timings would mean leaving and arriving at odd hours of the day. This will usually lead to time wasted taking naps to rest and recover. We often use Skyscanner to make comparisons with full-service airlines. You’d be surprised, sometimes the price difference is not as hefty as you think but timings are a lot more child-friendly. In the end, we went with Malaysian Airlines.

Accommodation

Hotels are great, but service apartments with a kitchen and washing machine are usually more family-friendly and cost-effective. This is especially advantageous if you have active kids who are early risers or fussy eaters. We chose to stay at the Mounts Bay Waters Service Apartments. It was centrally located, on the free Perth City CAT bus route and close to the scenic Swan River. For a change of scenery, we also travelled down to Dunsborough, south of Perth about 3 hours away. There, we stayed at the gorgeous Whalers’ Cove. We polled friends and family, searched Trip Advisor, and then booked all our accommodation on Hotels.com. The site offers free nights stay for every ten nights booked through them.

Car rentals

Perth and its surroundings are relatively easy to navigate by car. We chose Aries Car Rental as they offer affordable family-friendly options and excellent service. It has many safe, reliable and almost brand new (purchased new and replaced within 24 months) SUVs and MPVs in their fleet. Selected vehicles can be fitted with child seats to cater to young families of up to 12 people.

2. Keeping Kids Busy at the Airport and Mid-Flight

Perth is only 5 hours away by flight. Still, some planning is needed. This was where we found our new Trunkis very useful. In these fun cases, my twins managed to fit in their favourite markers and crayons, doodle pads, travel games (Snap and magnetic Tic-Tac-Toe), Kumon workbooks and volume-limiting headphones. We also managed to fit in a “Busy Box” filled with cool little science activities that Atom and the Dot kindly passed to us to test. Between these things, watching animated movies and munching on airline meals, the kids were kept busy throughout the flight.

The Trunkis stowed away easily under the front seats during take-off and landing and were great for the kids to rest their otherwise dangling feet on. We believe that children become good travellers through a mix of nature and nurture. We plan for things they innately enjoy but also try to help them grow more independent (walk more!) and adaptable (whine less!). We’ve been training our little ones to travel stroller-free for the past year, so the Trunkis were useful distractions especially at the airport (helping us avoid the ultimate nightmare of carrying everything and everyone!). They kept our twins happy as we pulled them along to the boarding gates. In long immigration queues, they served as seats to rest tired little feet. Even this mummy could straddle on the sturdy case while toting a sleeping (and heavy!) five-year-old.

3. An Open Space to Play Once a Day Keeps the Cranky Away

 When building an itinerary for kids aged five and under, leave plenty of time for them to unleash their energy and unwind in between places. Work in an open space for them to play in each day. Perth has so many great parks, playgrounds as well as breathtaking beaches and bays that you’ll be spoilt for choice.

We loved watching our children chase birds or just run around at the many playgrounds and parks in local neighbourhoods like College Park, as well as those close to nice restaurants that we lunched at like JoJo’s and Bayside Kitchen in Mathilda Bay. We visited the fantastic Rio Tinto Naturescape and the Lottery West Family Area in King’s Park.

In tourist hotspot Fremantle, we rode a ferris wheel and then watched my son climb to the top of a rope pyramid. We caught a stunning sunset with my cousins and their dogs on Perth’s iconic Cottesloe Beach. Another highlight was feeding kangaroos which were roaming freely at Caversham Wildlife Park.

Down south, we climbed to the top of the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, then tasted craft beers over lunch at the Eagle Bay Brewing Co. while our kids played in a large outdoor sandpit set against gorgeous vistas. The kids had ice cream, played mini golf and rolled down the little hillocks at Simmos Ice Creamery. We went whale watching (ten whale sightings in one morning!) off the Indian Ocean with Jet Adventures. We also built many sand castles on the quiet beach off Whalers’ Cove.

4. Work in Treats for the Big People

 Remember to work in some treats for yourselves too to keep up your own holiday enthusiasm that can quickly descend into exhaustion if you do not refuel. We enjoy walking tours and were thankful our twins kept up with us when we took one with Two Feet and a Heartbeat. Our guide Tim made my cheese-toastie-loving husband’s day when he led us to Toastface Grillah for lunch. I was thrilled we caught Sidney Nolan’s Ned Kelly series at the Art Gallery of Western Australia. Perth also has many fabulous restaurants like those at the refurbished State Buildings for a child-free date night. Our cousins took us to The Hummus Club in the Northbridge bar and restaurant strip, where we also found some lovely Australian picture book souvenirs for the children at the cool Planet Books.

5. Have a Daily Itinerary but Prepare to Let It Go Where Needed

With kids, it is essential to have a plan but to pace yourselves. Don’t overload each day with insane amounts of activity. Packing in one big thing each day is plenty; consider anything extra you manage to do a bonus. We planned for but missed many recommended sights. Hopefully, we can save these for our next trip to Perth in the near future!

If you are interested in our full itinerary, email me at [email protected].

All photos are from Li-Hsian’s personal collection.

Trunki’s master distributor in Malaysia, Bloom and Grow Asia would like to gift two jet setting Makchic readers with Trunkis, one featuring the limited edition Flossi the Flamingo design, as pictured. Just post a snapshot of your favourite holiday moment with your family on your Instagram account and tell us the reason that made it memorable. Remember to put your post on public, tag us @makchic and use the hashtag #makchicxtrunkigiveaway. All posts must be done before 5 pm on 11 February 2019 to be eligible for selection.

If you’ve ever been on a road trip with little ones, you’d know packing can be a bit stressful. From baby’s necessities to toddler’s food supplies, one may end up drastically overpacking or worse, forgetting some essentials for your holiday!

With current rising costs, you also want to spend wisely on anything for your babies or kids. If you are always writing reminders for what you need to bring for your family, here is a makchic-approved checklist to tick off for a great road-tripping adventure.

happy little girl with family sitting in the car

 

Baby/Toddler Must-Have Items

travel-checklist-must-have-items-family-road-trip-2-01

  • Diaper bag, changing mat and diapers

What can we say, will there ever be enough? They say 7 diapers per day is a good number, but extras will always be welcome for emergencies. Get some pull-up diapers like diaper pants for more active toddlers, which are a breeze to get on and off. Preferable when your little ones are mobile and active, and imperative when there aren’t suitable changing facilities around.

  • Muslin cloths and wipes, wipes, wipes!

Muslins will come in handy, and wipes will be absolutely indispensable. Use wipes on your babies, and let’s face it – on seats, tables and anything that can get dirty!

  • Reusable shopping bag and a few plastic bags

While we would prefer reusable bags to store our things, you might want to keep a few plastic bags handy for soiled diapers and just-in-case emergencies and accidents.

 

Must-Have Toiletries for the Family

travel-checklist-must-have-items-family-road-trip-1

  • Family toiletries

Don’t forget your toothbrushes and bathroom necessities! Either get small refillable bottles with your family’s favourite suds, or do as we do and get an all-in-one child-friendly body wash and shampoo.

  • Disinfecting hand gel

One for the handbag or diaper bag, this will keep your hands as sanitised as you can when dealing with little ones.

  • Tissues

A no-brainer essential! Get a box or two for the car, and some smaller packets for your handbag or diaper bag.

 

Kids’ Must-Haves for Fun and Sun

  • Toys and books

Bring a small rucksack of your child’s favourites. For a smooth ride, you can also encourage your little ones to entertain themselves with removable window decals to peel on and off during the car trip, liquid motion/timer toys or a Rubik’s Cube.

  • Clothes, shoes or sandals, bathing suit and a hat!

Pack outfits that take the weather into account. Dark colours can hide a multitude of stains. Remember to be equipped with swim wear, so you and your kids can have a splash about anytime!

  • Sun hat and sunscreen

Get some needed sun protection for the family, with the highest SPF you can find for the babies.

 

Must-Haves for Family Feeding

travel-checklist-must-have-items-family-road-trip-3

  • Baby/Toddler Formula Milk and related necessities

Make sure you remember to bring the necessary bottles, sterilisers and milk powder for baby or toddler if formula feeding.

  • Water bottles, sippy cups and drinks for adults

Make sure your children has easy access to water, and while you are at it, have a drink or two ready for mum and dad too. Instant coffee in a can for the driver, perhaps?

  • Some non-perishable foods

Sometimes you will feel like eating in, or having something light for a meal during a holiday. Bring some easy to prep non-perishables, like instant noodles or pasta and pasta sauce.

  • Snacks

Last but not least, what are road trips without snacks for the family! With plenty of naughtier treats for adults to choose (and hide from the kids), it will be good to have some healthier options for the little ones.

travel-checklist-must-have-items-family-road-trip-4

 

Adults should also remember their important travel documents, first-aid essentials, phone chargers and a good music playlist for the journey!

And there you have it folks, a road trip check list for champions and their littler champs. Plan ahead, stock the essentials, take a deep breath, and then go with the flow – a recipe for good holiday fun.

By Nellie Liang

+++

Parents can make their way to Giant hypermarkets for all these items and over 500 other products, 250 of which are specifically dedicated to babies and children. They now also have a dedicated Baby World corner which stocks everything parents need for a hassle-free shopping experience.

Those shopping for their children or for upcoming road trips can take advantage of Giant’s current Lock-On-Low campaign which started on the 8th of August. Over 500 product lines – from groceries to household items – have low prices locked in for the whole year. With the LOL campaign, parents no longer need not purchase in bulk to take advantage of great prices. For more information, head over to your local Giant outlet, click here or visit giant.com.my.

 

This is a sponsored post presented by Giant.

We often hear people talk about their travel bucket list, but what about ultimate must-sees for kids? Want to make some incredible family memories? Makchic puts together a list to get you planning a holiday that’s full of thrills for your little ones. You know that just means plenty of smiles for you too!

Kids and Nature

G

#1 – Yellowstone National Park, USA

America’s very first national park is a stunner, and a great place to take in nature and wildlife. Children will love exploring the park’s many trails and marvel at its hot springs and geysers – it has the highest concentration of geysers in the world! They can spot wild animals like bison, wolves, moose, elk and even bears. You’d be going off the grid, which means plenty of quality time with the children and nature. Children who are four and up can partake in their excellent Junior Ranger Programme, and those five and up have the option of joining their Young Scientist Programme. Both offer patches to young participants who complete the required tasks. With plenty of kid-friendly activities such as hiking, boat rides and rafting, it will be a family getaway to remember.

Kids and Those Fun Rides

Mary Poppins dances at Disneyland

#2 – Walt Disney World, Florida, USA

It wouldn’t be a ‘bucket list of sorts for kids’ without “The Happiest Place on Earth.” Whether for a chance to meet Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck or for its seemingly endless number of fun rides and activities for children, Disney World will not fail to impress. With four huge parks – Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and the Magic Kingdom, every age group is spoilt for choice. Water play area in Storybook Circus? Check. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train? Done. Meet Buzz Lightyear or Elsa from Frozen? ZOMG. With so much to do, you will most likely have to dial down activities to avoid getting overstimulated children melting down from all the excitement.

Fantasy themed amusement park Efteling in Kaatsheuvel, Holland, Netherlands, Europe.

#3 – Efteling, Netherlands

Netherland’s largest theme park Efteling is rated highly by family travel experts, and there are plenty of reasons why. This 180-acre, award-winning park boasts thrilling rides in an enchanting world of princesses, fairies, pixies and trolls. There’s an old steam engine kids can ride on, a Fairytale forest, water rides and six roller coasters. The park’s pièce de résistance is Aquanura, one of the grandest performance water fountains in the world. Built for the park’s 60th anniversary, the water show is a spectacle of water, light and fire that will wow the whole family.

 

Kids and Museums

Photo: Shootfactory.co.uk
Photo: Shootfactory.co.uk

#4 – Natural History Museum & Science Museum, London, UK

The Natural History Museum is one of the world’s most renowned museums, its beautiful building instantly recognisable in the UK. It may not have its iconic Dippy the Diplodocus anymore, but this museum has set the standards for natural history exhibits for centuries. Opened since 1881, the museum has plenty of highlights – the excellent Dinosaurs gallery with its animatronic T-Rex, and its Investigate Centre, where kids can examine hundreds of real natural history specimens. Just right next to it is the equally fantastic Science Museum, which boasts fun galleries for kids under five, the Pattern Pod for kids up to eight, and the hands-on and educational Launchpad, which is popular with older kids. Be warned if you want to try and do two museums in a day – there is so much to see and you may tire your kids (and yourself) out!

 

Photo: pequeviajes.com
Photo: pequeviajes.com

#5 – Hakone Open Air Museum, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan

This one-of-a-kind art museum, located about two hours from Tokyo, is bound to inspire both parents and children. Popular for its harmonious balance of art and nature, it is known for its outdoor sculptures and pieces specifically included for children. These include the famous ‘Woods of Net’, a giant structure featuring knitted play nets which children can climb onto and swing from. Apart from many other sculptures kids can interact with, there is also a garden maze, a Picasso Pavilion and a steaming foot bath for all to enjoy. With such care and thought going to an art museum, Hakone is the perfect introduction to modern art for children.

Kids and Animals

Large turtle at sea edge on background of tropical landscape

#6 – The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

It might cost quite a bit to get you there, but once you arrive, it is the ultimate place to let your children see animals at their most natural. It’s where Charles Darwin developed his theory of evolution! Located off Ecuador, the islands are isolated and its animals harbour no fear of humans. This means your curious children will get to get real close to all sorts of animals – from snorkelling with sea lions and swimming with dolphins, to watching rare birds and giant tortoises. Certainly beats any zoo with caged animals! Best for when your children are a little older – great for tweens or teenagers – you can start saving up now for a trip to this gorgeous ecological wonder.

Kids and Celebrations

songkran festival

#7 – Songkran, Thailand

Celebrated in mid April, Songkran is Thailand’s New Year, and it goes on for three full days. One of the most unique new year celebrations in the world, it is a legendary water festival that sees thousands of people throwing water on each other with gusto. All about making a fresh start, this festival is a hoot for children, who get to indulge in water spraying, water guns, hoses, buckets and anything else they can get their hands on to make a splash!

Two little kids playing with gulal on holi.

#8 – Holi Festival, India

While Songkran celebrates with water, the Hindu spring festival of Holi celebrates with plenty of colourful lurid gulal (powder) and coloured water. Also known as the Festival of Colours, the event sees kids and grown-ups gleefully running through the streets and throwing powder of all hues on each other. This ancient tradition marks the end of winter and celebrates the triumph of good over evil. With plenty of bonfires, sweets and dancing, this festival is a lovely one to enjoy with your children.

Kids and the Great Outdoors

Family with children riding husky dogs sledge in Lapland

#9 – Lapland, Finland

Take in the Northern Lights and enjoy a snowmobile safari in this winter wonderland. Your children will have to bundle up, but there will be all sorts of activities to warm them right up. From snow castles to sled trips and ski runs to meeting reindeers and huskies, there is plenty to do in Lapland that will appeal to all members of the family. You can also visit the region’s most famous resident, Santa.

Boogie board Waikiki

#10 – Oahu, Hawaii

Want to give your children the opportunity to learn to surf the great waves? There may be no place better than to do it than in gorgeous Hawaii. In Oahu, surfing’s a way of life and there is no shortage of kid-friendly beaches there for some good old swimming and sandcastle making too. The waves off Waikiki are said to be the perfect spot for kids to learn how to surf, but if yours are not interested, they can still have plenty of fun in Oahu with big tide pools, snorkelling and a chance to spot green sea turtles or monk seals. If your children love the sun and sand, this is beach life at its best.

By Nellie Liang

+++

Looking for somewhere closer? Check out 5 Family-Friendly Holiday Resorts in MalaysiaBangkok with Kids: An Insider’s Guide to Thailand’s Capital, or 8 Best Family Day Trips From Kuala Lumpur for some ideas.