The Journey to Oz…with a toddler.

The Journey To Oz

G’Day!

Bonza! Throw a shrimp on the barbie! You flaming galah! *insert other typical Australia phrases here*
It’s safe to say I didn’t hear any of the above during our 17 days in Australia and this post marks the beginning of a series of posts about our travels. To put everything into one post would 1 and a) take me forever, 2 and b) become very boring for the reader and, 3 and c) be the longest post I’ve ever written!
So where to begin? Well the logically place would be the journey I suppose…it’s safe to say that prior to our holiday I was suitably anxious about flying with a toddler. I did what I do best and over prepared for months before, reading many “Flying with a Baby/Toddler” blog posts and asking friends, who’d already subjected themselves to the horror, for their advice.
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“Mummy, it’s a PLANE!”

Any time I told anyone that we were taking Mini R across the world, and added that it was his first trip abroad, I was met with raised eyebrows and usually a sentence like “Wow, you’re brave!” which just added to the anxiety.
The journey to Oz was a long one, even for an adult. Beginning at 4:10 in the afternoon, our first flight was seven hours from Manchester to Doha in Qatar, followed by a quick change (in just an hour and twenty minutes) then we began our ten hour fifty minute flight to Perth. In Perth we had five hours to wait, which was frustrating considering that we were only four hours from our destination of Cairns where my friend would be picking us up. However, in hindsight, I’m glad that we had those five hours because the airline lost our buggy and we needed time to sort it out…we also grabbed some food (which we nearly had to take a bank loan out to afford – expensive much?!) The journey home was slightly easier as it only involved two flights: Sydney to Doha (fourteen hours) and Doha to Manchester (seven hours).
SAM_2668

Cute kids earphones and letting him have his dummy whenever he wanted it = survival.

The Best Bits…
1) The amount Mini R slept. I’d tried (and failed) to figure out the best time for our son to IMG_9661sleep to help him with the jet lag. Obviously with a two year old it isn’t that easy but after the initial excitement of being on a plane, he eventually did sleep for at least a few hours on each plane journey and on the fourteen hour killer on the way home, he slept for eight of them! What a little trooper. The little man loves to spread out when asleep which isn’t too easy on a plane, leaving my husband comically perched on his chair at one point. On the way home he really couldn’t get comfy then a kind lady told us of a spare seat a few rows up so my husband sat in that so our little man could have two seats to sleep and I could curl up next to him. Very lucky indeed! Due to the amount he slept, we were also able to sleep meaning we weren’t as exhausted as I thought we’d be once we reached our destination.
2) Manchester Airport Soft Play. One thing I have learnt from this holiday is that Mini R IMG_9656hates to be confined…not ideal for plane environments! Luckily, he was able to let off some steam in the airport soft play meaning he was happy to sit and watch a film/tv once on the plane and he tired himself out too! Just a shame Sydney didn’t have the same for us returning home but it was 10pm for him so he was suitably tired and Qatar airport has some amazing kids play areas!
3) Qatar Airways Staff. From the moment we stepped onto the aircraft (all flights apart from to Cairns and to Sydney), the staff were so lovely with Mini R! They interacted with him every time they passed and, although he was a little shy (unusual!), he eventually came round to them and they were happy for him to toddle up and down the aisles with his Dad or me (mainly his Dad!) when he got bored of sitting down. One stewardess in particular was on our outgoing and ingoing flights and she thought he was adorable, her interaction really helped towards the end of flights when he was getting fidgety and fed up.
4) Compliments! It’s always nice to hear good jobs about your offspring isn’t it? Mini R was so good that people around us on the plane commented on it to us and said how cute he was – Que proud mummy beaming from ear to ear!
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At the beginning when we were all fresh faced and full of enthusiasm!

The Worst Bits (and what I’ve learnt!)…
1) Take Off and Landing are the hardest bits. Not due to ears hurting or anything like that, IMG_9658but because toddlers don’t like to sit and do nothing! You can’t have the TV on, bags have to be under seats and, mostly importantly, seat belts have to be on! Something Mini R was not a huge fan of, and they’re easy for little hands to undo! Airlines should make a toddler proof seatbelt! One of my friends recommended a lolly to keep them occupied, now before the sugar haters/healthy eating brigade start having a go, Mini R has never been anywhere near a Chupa Chup but this piece of advice was genius! Probably due to the novelty of it! Not only did it help his ears pop but he happily sucked away on it and we even got into a game of “Mummy have a lick” “Daddy have a lick” (no rude jokes please!) which kept him entertained during take off. Unfortunately by the time he was on flight five of 6, the lolly was no longer a novelty and we had to do a lot of “Sit still or I’ll take your lolly off you!”…whispered in his ear with a manic grin on my face to anyone watching.
Note: on all landings he was asleep outgoing. Not so lucky when coming home!
2) Sleeping child = Dead Weight. Child sleeping on the plane is great but once it’s time to get off said plane, that’s when the difficulties begin! Especially long haul! I made the decision that I would carry a sleeping Mini R whilst my husband took the bags. Great plan you say? Yes well it was apart from that we had my handbag, a mini suitcase, the Gruffalo Trunki, a Spiderman pillow and a Duty Free bag (couldn’t help myself!). On the way back I condensed so we had less to juggle…learning from my mistakes! Whilst my husband looks like a pack horse and I left holding my dead weight of a son. At just over two stones he’s not light but luckily it a) got us through security etc quickly as people felt sorry for my shaking arms and b) it was better for me to do it as the one time my husband was trusted with the sleeping child, on a boat going to see the Great Barrier Reef, he woke him up by stumbling and bashing his head on a doorway! Poor kid! 😂 Add in a lack of buggy (which we only got back 6 days into our holiday!) and my arms definitely got a work out!
3) Security. Within the airport, any of the four we visited, I found the hardest bit to be the scanners in security. In Manchester, Mini R was awake and, with all the toddler crap we had to take, there was a lot of stuff to put in those fiddly little bags! Combine sorting all that with handing over your buggy to be searched, our bags being searched because I forgot that Fruit Pouches and Calpol sachets count as liquid (Doh!) and an excited toddler who just wants to run around and you’ve got yourself a very stressed out Mummy! Saying that, there was a small child having the mother of all meltdowns (lying on the floor, kicking and screaming type which went on for a good 15/20 minutes) so I did feel quite grateful that my small human mostly behaving well. With a sleeping babe in my arms, it was actually easier…because I just left my husband to do it all while I sauntered through the beeper thing 😉
4) Changing a nappy in a plane toilet. Does it need explaining! Limbs flying, poop/wee and small spaces don’t combine well!
So there you go. Overall the travelling experience wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be. Mini R behaved excellently considering the 26 hours of travelling and because he slept so much he adapted to Aussie time really well, in fact, he slept in till 7:30am most mornings – surely that’s reason to contemplate moving out there right? Coming home he also adapted well, apart from wanting to be awake at 3:30am the first night we were home which resulted in me falling in asleep in his toddler bed – ouch!
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Perth Airport – two flights down and still smiling.

 For those of you travelling with toddlers, here is my advice:
1) Go with the flow. Easier said than done for me but I found that my husband and I relaxed nature helped our son.
2) Take something that will give them comfort when they want to sleep. In our case it was dummy, taggie blanket and the Spiderman pillow. Yes the pillow was a ball ache to carry around but it made a lot of difference when he was tired.
3) Wrap presents! I bought some little toys – mini diggers, wooden robots, cards etc that I wrapped up and when Mini R needs focusing on something, was bored or needed rewarding for good behaviour/bribing, I used the presents. They went down really well!
4) Don’t take too much hand luggage. If you have a sleeping child, less bags is easier for the other person.
5) Trunki’s have a mind of their own! As much as they are great, our Gruffalo one could have took out many ankles in the airports! Mini R isn’t quite balanced enough to get the hang of sitting on it and the one time he did, my husband pulled him around so fast he went flying off and was then terrified of falling off so refused to sit on it. I hope he’s forgotten this by next holiday or the Trunki will not be used to it’s fullest! Mini R also has no thought for others when pulling it so we were probably cursed by many as it banged into their ankles. I’m sure they’re a lot more helpful when your child is older.
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

About Educating Roversi

30 something wife and Mum to one. Blogging about parenthood, home, days out and anything else that takes my fancy!
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163 Responses to The Journey to Oz…with a toddler.

  1. Pingback: City Break: Lisbon |

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  3. Beep Toot says:

    How was Australia for you? Australia I find is a wonderful place (given since I live in it). But how did you find it, from new eyes? I’ve always found interest in peoples journeys to other countries. If you ever get a chance, would you mind checking out my blog? I think you might find an interest in it!

    – Beep Toot

    Liked by 1 person

  4. sbwalker5306 says:

    Traveling with a toddler is incredibly stressful and I’m glad that he did so well for you, especially on such a long trip! Last year I had the grand idea of flying with my, at the time, 2 year old to visit an old military friend. It was just me and her and I was incredibly stressed out. I had too much luggage to haul around by myself (diaper bag, stroller, back pack, purse) I forgot that I had a sippy cup in my bag so it had to be searched, and on the way back I missed my connecting flight and was put on standby for a flight 6 hours later. Luckily on the actual flights she was a little angel, but I still don’t want to do it again anytime soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Journey to Oz – Sydney |

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  7. You were brave, but happy to hear it went reasonably well. I’ve flown something like 10 times with my boy. Only to Denmark though, but always on my own. I like the lollipop idea and as you say the time before take off is the worst! Thanks for co-hosting #KCACOLS

    Nadia – ScandiMummy x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Such a long journey, and it sounds like you all did really great. And some tips I would never have thought of, like the lollipops for takeoff and the wrapped presents – what a genius idea! My toddler has never been on a plane, so far, but I wonder what she’d make of flying. #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sounds like he done amazing for his first long haul flight! Not too sure I would have coped so well myself. Brilliant tips though I never travel anywhere without a whole host of things to keep Olivia amused #kcacols

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Silly Mummy says:

    Sounds like it was actually not too bad – impressive! & who knew they now had soft plays at airports??KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mrs Morgan Plus 3 says:

    Sounds like he did quite good with lots of sleeping. It’s the flight that worries me about taking my 3 anywhere (6,4 and 7 months!) #KCACOLS xx

    Liked by 1 person

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  13. Suburban Mum says:

    A really informative post – and you survived to tell the tale! It certainly did sound like Mini R did really really well! Completely agree with you about the take off! We flew to Hong Kong when my youngest was 18 months old and he hated sitting still and just cried and cried and then cried a bit more! #KCACOLS

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  14. You did amazingly well – all three of you. I’ve done the journey as an adult without kids let alone a little one and I have to high five you. Shame about the buggy problem, like you really needed that! Look forward to hearing the next leg. Thanks for hosting #KCACOLS

    Like

  15. Kerry says:

    I’ve not been brave enough to take mine on a flight yet! I can relate to the stress of the security. Whilst I’m grateful it’s there, when we went on a cruise last year, if Oliver was asleep in the pram they used to make me get him out so they could check the pram. Que very grumpy toddler! #KCACOLS

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  16. Pingback: The Journey to Oz – Part Two |

  17. It can be so hard to take a child on a plane. We just did this recently and was surprised at how he liked the plane but was terrified of going through the security check point. Thanks for sharing #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  18. redheadmom8 says:

    Awesome! I would love to travel but realistically know that it won’t happen until my kids are grown. I’m so glad your trip went well. I would love to visit Australia and the British Isles someday. #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  19. The Pramshed says:

    Well done you, you are very brave! But I think it could be better to get a longer flight out of the way first, then the short haul ones will feel easier. I found security the worst bit too, all the liquids and pouches, plus then your stuff to take care of too. It sounds like you handled it brilliantly, and wow well done for the 8 hour sleep. Claire x #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Wow what a trip! You did so well taking your little one so far, it sounds like you are a pro now. Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip.

    #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Wow! Good on you for braving that trip! I’d love to visit Oz but I don’t know if I could handle the journey myself, let alone with a toddler lol! x #kcacols

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Mad Mommy says:

    Changing a toddler is a nightmare in an airplane bathroom! Maybe it is just my kids that don’t sleep on planes, which creates very tired parents when you catch a red eye. The first trip is the hardest!

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  23. Sunita says:

    Great post! Somehow we managed to travel to Asia an Melbourne with a baby and a toddler in January! It helped that my mom-in-law was with us, but it was still challenging! Our toddler didn’t sleep at all on one of the long-haul flights an we weren’t prepared for her bad tired mood when we arrived at immigration! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  24. wendy says:

    Ahh your trunki sounds lethal haha. You are very brave doing your first flight with a toddler all the way to Australia. How amazing little man slept so much, I bet that really helped make the whole journey much better. Having nice staff around really does make all the different doesn’t it? Your advice is spot on and I will definitely try the lolly pop trick when we fly to Italy next year xxb #KCACOLS

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    • It was! Well my toddler with the Trunki was! I had to keep kicking it away from people! Ha ha! Oooh italy! My husband is half italian (hence Roversi surname) but I have never been – gutted! Thanks for commenting! x

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  25. min1980 says:

    You are very brave! I’m a nervous flyer myself and the combination of my nerves and Piglet’s need to not be confined would do me in I think. So far we have played it safe and holidayed in England! #KCACOLS

    Like

  26. My brother lives in Sydney and I’m sorry bro I won’t be travel long from Ireland to Oz with our toddler anytime soon! It really is brave to tavel so far with kids! Fair play #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  27. You are very brave, taking your two year old on a 14 hour plane ride! But I bet it was worth it and it sounds like he was a little trooper! I can’t imagine trying to keep my 18 month old contained for any length of time – he is a wild child, lol!
    #KCACOLS
    Tori @ The Mama Nurse

    Liked by 1 person

  28. You are much braver parents than we will ever be. In fact, we were so nervous about taking the kids on holiday in THIS country that we took my mom with us and she had the eldest in her car while we took the youngest in ours. We said it was about space in the car for luggage and so my mom would get a holiday, etc… But it was really because we just aren’t all that great at this adulting thing! #KCACOLS

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  29. We took our daughter to Denver when she was 6 months old and then Vancouver this year (she’s now 2) and neither were as bad as I thought. I think as long as you accept that you’re not going to have too much time to relax and drink a glass of wine on the plane you can just go with the flow. I also found other passengers really understanding and sympathetic rather than cross and judgmental which made things easier. #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Becster says:

    Oh wow I also had the “you’re brave” thought when I read your post! Glad to hear the travelling went well – gives me hope about going to Florida with two little ones! I found that having gifts to unwrap was also a good ploy to keep them occupied. And OMG yes changing a nappy in a plane toilet is impossible! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Sounds like it wasn’t too bad!I haven’t flown with a child in a long time but when I did I was always surprised to find my boy was really well behaved.Wouldn’t like to try it with my daughter though to be honest,I just know she’d be a little monkey x #kcacols

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  32. Wow. Good for you guys! And I am so pleased it went well.
    Thank you for the Trunki adivce. We were debating one for our 23 month old but definitely think we will wait a little longer now. I can’t wait to read the next instalments. #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  33. What amazing place to go, I am not sure though if I would be brave to take a young kid on the plane for fear of meltdown lol. I ma glad it went well for you mind X #kcacols

    Liked by 1 person

    • He’s not really the meltdown type…well he does, but a dummy, taggie blanket or verse of Hush Little Baby will usually sort him out. Plus, I pretty much let him do what he wanted so there wasn’t a meltdown…as long as it didn’t irritate others ☺️ x

      Liked by 1 person

  34. tammymum says:

    Oh well done you, the flight to Oz is hard enough as an adult let alone with a little person in tow. He sounds like he did fab though! I have made the too much luggage mistake too many times when flying with my little ones. We have managed to stream line it now, but it’s amazing how much stuff you need. We got my daughter a trunki and on our last holiday – she was nearly two, she went whizzing round the airport on her bloody trunki taking people out with her. That backfired eh. Can’t wait to hear more xx #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Oh I’d love to go to Australia, but I just don’t think I’m brave enough for the flight! x #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  36. I leave for South Africa in 2 weeks. 17hrs, with my 20 month old. We did the same flight a year ago with all 4 of our kids.. It was an experience. Looking forward to reading all about your holiday! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Wow, the thought of flying anywhere with my toddler scares me, let alone all the way to Australia. Sounds like you did a great job though. I’d never given much thought to changing nappies on a plane – you’d think that enough babies and toddlers fly to warrant airlines fitting a little baby changing room, rather than expecting parents to have to change their children in the toilet! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  38. tootingmama says:

    Wow you did well! I can’t imagine taking my two that far! Now they are older it’s case of getting fleeced in the shops for sweets and toys, complaining on the flight, not eating the food, moan moan moan and that’s just an hour’s trip to Ireland!

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Acorn Books says:

    Sounds like you did amazingly well, all your preparations clearly paid off.
    I’ve only taken mine on short flights and hadn’t even considered the difficulties of changing a nappy in an aeroplane toilet!!
    #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

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