Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Where to Tomorrow?

My sister Michelle is one clever little coconut, and over the last 12 months has been quietly working away on building her own travel website, Where To Tomorrow. The website is a personal account of travel, with anecdotes and the types of handy hints you won't find on other travel sites, such as 'how to travel with friends and stay friends' and my personal fave, 'how to maximise your time inflight.' Here's an excerpt:

There are a few questions that tend to plague most people, who shot JFK, do aliens really exist, do these jeans make me look fat and how the hell am I going get through the next 18 hours on a plane without wanting to kill everyone on board including myself.

Yes I know there’s mid flight movies, rouge newspapers in foreign languages and a pack on Xanex in your bag. But more often that not you will need more then that to pass away the mind numbingly dull hours while traveling… Here’s a few tips that I’ve learned along the way


Yes folks this is were to tell your kids to stop reading. But let me give you, not only a hot tip, but an equation that would make Albert Einstein proud. Booze = fun and fun = time going faster. Now I’m not encouraging you get so incoherent that you you think you’re arriving in Berlin instead of Bangkok. But a good mid air sample of the local wines will not only relax you but help your frame of mind. Especially for some of my future suggestions. And hey if anyone asks red wine really does improve mid flight circulation.


Now I suggest follow this up after step one. Let me throw another equation at you planes = lots of people, lots of people = some have to be hot. It’s a jungle out there kids but in a confined space it’s loads of fun. Something as simple as a stroll around the cabin can do the trick. As can the beverage section mid flight. I have, on more then one occasion, turned this into my own private bar. And for those of you with balls of steel, never be afraid to chat to said stranger because rest assured they are as bored as you are.

She's a funny one, my sister... anyway, she's asked me to write a little article for her website on 'top tips for travelling with children'. I've had a little go, but the truth is I don't have all that much experience travelling with children, yet! Here's what I've got so far, I'm up to #5 and I'd love any further top tips you can provide to help with my piece!

I think it was Mia Freedman who made an observation once that travelling with one’s children was not to be confused with any previous preconception of a ‘holiday.’ Holidays with children, she said, was simply lifting up one’s life and transporting it into another place for a while. Luxuriously sipping cocktails by the pool; relaxing with a Summer romance novel; going out for a long, boozy lunch – these were part of the ‘old’ concept of a ‘holiday’ and were not to be confused with the reality of travelling with children.

Here’s 10 top tips for travelling with your beloved offspring. And remember, if all else fails – do keep your return flight flexible…

Tip #1. Lower your expectations.

The word ‘relax’ and ‘children’ are a juxtaposition at the best of times. Accept before you leave home that you will not be lying poolside with a cocktail at sunset. In fact, you may not even seea sunset.

Tip #2. Ensure there is a Kids Club.

Folks, don’t leave home without it. When choosing your resort holiday, ensure it has a kids club. The kids will love it. You’ll love it. Its win win for all concerned.

Tip #3. Packing light does not apply to children.

At 2am, with the entire family crammed into one small hotel room and paper-thin walls between you and your neighbours either side… now is not the time to realise you left the spare dummy at home. The one you DID bring, you realise, was left on the plane. Now is not necessarily the most convenient time to try out controlled-crying.

Tip #4. You can never have enough snacks.

Children + snacks = time. When you spend 2 hours in the hot midday sun lined up outside the Lourve with your tiny beloved crammed into a hired stroller, you’ll see what I mean. Bring snacks. And plenty of them.

Tip #5. Be prepared to spend a lot of time in your hotel room.

We went to Tasmania for a week when our baby was 4 months old. Stayed right in the capital, where all the good restaurants are. Know how many restaurants we frequented come nightfall?

You guessed it.

Takeaway or room service. Your only options, unless you are a sadist. Enjoy your restaurant experience at lunch time.

... and that's all I've come up with thus far. Helllllp! What can you add?? x


  1. that is too funny!
    i think ill have to go & read more!
    she should do a travel collumn!

  2. When I was still living in South Africa, I went to visit my sister in Durban....it's about an hour flight, nothing major. Nothing major unless your child has diarrhea for the whole hour on the flight back...with no nappies in the bag....because...it is only an hour flight. What can happen in an hour? PLENTY! So I say...BE PREPARED FOR AND EXPECT ANYTHING TO HAPPEN. It was NOT a fun experience and I'm sure the people in the neighbouring seats couldn't wait for the plane to land so they could evacuate the smelly disaster area.

  3. And yes....a glass of alcohol definitely calms the nerves, unless one of the kids lifts up your tray and your drink goes flying onto your lap and soaks your front area and seat ahead of a 3 hour flight. How the heck do you prepare for that?

  4. Ok I've got one , when travelling with an airline make sure you ring and confirm the day before that you have children travelling . This is something I didn't do ..thinking our travel agent would organise this and yep the 4 year old and 9 year old got stuck on a 10 hour flight eating beef and red wine sauce while all the other kids got fed first on cheeseburgers and chips. I know who would have thought when you booked your flights that it wasn't obvious...but no its not.

  5. Looks great Nicole! Did you like my circus story???

  6. Your sister is a great writer - can't wait to see more of her website. Your tips are great and oh so true. We always seem to decide to go away for a few days every time Grace has a new tooth (or rather teeth) appearing so being prepared is SO important with things like Panadol and teething gel. As for packing, I've saved the list from the last time we went away as there's so much to remember and so many things you have to pack 'just in case' when it comes to kids. I remember reading that quote in Mia Freedman's book and thinking how true it was - holidays whilst still relaxing are different now. I heard someone once say that it's good to bring the sheets off the cot at home with you so your baby has familiar things around them - didn't work well for us as Grace screamed non stop for about 3 hours last trip away but I can see the idea behind it. If I think of any other tips I'll get back to you... what you've done so far is great x


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