When our youngest was born, he was an extremely hard baby. I think the first month he just cried pretty much all day long. So 2018 wasn’t a big year of traveling for us. But we decided that in July 2019 we’d do a big trip back to Australia to see some friends and show off the babies that were the reason we left Australia. We were well aware that it would be ‘winter’ in Australia but for us ‘Finns’ that wasn’t a big deal. Planning was essential to this trip because you can’t just hop on a plane with kids and hope that things go well. I think we planned a good year for this trip. We chose to visit Perth because our friends had moved there and we’d never seen Perth before. We always like to add a bit of new to our holidays. Also Perth is closer than Sydney to Finland so we could cut up some of the flight time into different days. I cannot stress a good plan because there’s always variables when traveling with kids. Great plan explained to children keeps them a lot more focused through the rough times. What to pack was interesting as well. Obviously we had a lot of friends in Australia so a lot candy and alcohol took space in our suitcases. We chose two huge suitcases with 4 wheels because those would be easy to roll to airports and to destinations whilst pushing a pram. One of our hand luggages was pretty much filled with new colouring books, snacks, important toys etc.. We wanted to travel light regarding all kids stuff so we updated our pram to Babyzen’s YOYO. For us this makes sense since we travel a lot and it’s truly been used a lot. Most airlines accept yoyos in the cabin so you can easily move around airports with kids. We also packed a Baby Tula baby carrier. This is a hit with smaller kids and they love exploring either in the front or back. Also another thing I need to stress in planning: A good insurance. Me and Mr Merry have stupidly travelled without travel insurance throughout our youth but with kids it is essential and paid itself back on just this one trip to Australia and back!! More on that to come..
We decided to fly in one go to Perth and chose Finnair/Qantas combo because it was the most direct flights and doable flying times with kids: We would leave with a late evening flight to Singapore. We had a very short layover in Singapore and kept on flying to Perth. So we left at night and arrived at night to Perth and the plan was to keep the kids awake on the Perth flight. After 4 days in Perth we’d fly to Sydney (I’ll write about Sydney and Singapore part of the journey on another post). Kids were super tired in the night time heading to Helsinki-Vantaa Airport but they stayed up and passed out immediately when we got to the aeroplane. WIN! We had bought this Fly Legs Up Flight Hammock and Finnair was fine for us to set it up after take off. So both kids tucked up onto one seat (our youngest was almost 1.5 years so we didn’t have a seat for him) and slept a good portion of this flight. Unfortunately the lights were on quite a long time when we set off because of food service and all. It was really inconvenient with all the noise specially in the middle of the night. But lucky our kids slept through everything so parents got to eat in peace. Breakfast though was essential for our kids and we hadn’t realised we needed to order kids meals separate!! So all the kids on board had delicious eggs and sausages (which our kids would have loved to eat) but we had to do with spinach eggs and kids ate really bad. So check your menu choices before flying!! A little layover in Singapore and on to our flight to Perth. We were basically flying during ‘daytime’ but it was actually getting towards the evening because of time difference. So on board Qantas they dimmed the lights pretty much right after the meal and we had to try and entertain the kids in the dark. The cabin crew quick understood our mission and helped us out with tours for the kids to the kitchen etc. The kids absolutely loved the iPads on Qantas and stayed up the flight through. Obviously they were super tired by the time we arrived but this was all good because we were heading for bed straight from the airport. So planning worked out great and neither of our kids didn’t have jet lag from the travel to Australia. Parents on the other hand were a bit tired but we’re used to it.
We had planned 4 days in Perth. We had requested from our friends activities that are kiddie friendly, so our friends had chosen a wild life centre and a marine life centre for two days. Mr Merry wanted to taste some beers and I wanted to have some wine tasting time. Perth’s got it all! So on the first day we kept it quite light; driving around Perth and visiting Little Creatures Brewery. You might think visiting a brewery with kids is not a good idea, but you’re wrong. They serve food and they’ve got a great sand pit for the kids to play in! We’d lived in Sydney before and we were so surprised how different Perth felt. Sydney’s CBD is like a no go zone with a car and overall buses and trams and whatnots work so well in Sydney. Perth reminded me more of America: Wide multi lane roads, everyone goes everywhere by car and loads of drive ins. Very different feel. Obviously Perth CBD is probably great with public transport but overall got this more American style city vibe. So definitely hire a car if exploring Perth! Perth overall seems like a great place to just chill. It’s a city but it doesn’t feel as hectic as a lot of other big cities. Definitely check Kings Park & Botanic Gardens on your chill days of walking around. It’s got such a lovely view of the city in it and loads for little kids to explore and see, from birds to plants.
AQWA Underwater Aquarium & Caversham Wildlife Park
Because of our kids we’d chose activities that would make them happy. Seeing animals was a big thing for my kids. My oldest was a ‘koala’ in her kindergarten group so she wanted to see koalas. Australia if any place has so many different species to see so animals were obviously a must for us. First we visited AQWA Underwater Aquarium to learn about fishes, sharks, turtles etc.. Kids absolutely loved playing with the water and seeing different colours of fish. Couple of days later we drove with the car to Caversham Wildlife Park. This place was so nice! It wasn’t as busy as Sydney Zoo for example and animals had zones where they can ‘hide away’ and rest from human interactions. We got the see all the musts on our lists and the kids absolutely loved it! We got some much needed family photos and had a really amazing day. Only downside was that the food was not great and we didn’t eat so well. But rest a sure that the near by vineyards were offering meals and WINE TASTINGS! Safe to say this mummy got way too tipsy drinking and chatting away with my dear friend. Probably my favourite part of the Perth trip.
Be prepared with everything when traveling with kids. Specially get mentally prepared that them or you might get sick. We were all fine for the 4 days in Perth but rest a sure that when we were about to fly off next morning, my son starts vomiting all night. And in the morning you have to contemplate whether it’s something that you can just fly with or whether you need to start cancelling flights. So we ended up spending two extra days in Perth because our kid had to visit the hospital since he couldn’t keep any liquids in. But like I said. A great insurance is much needed and we were well taken care of and got help that we needed. Flights were sorted out and paid for and we could go on with our holiday couple days later. Our flight to Sydney though was extreme. My son was tired and angry: cried all flight through. It was one of those ‘I’m sorry I exist and had a baby’ kinda flights. But we survived!
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