Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Project Cairns

The three hour flight to Cairns was on a Saturday morning and it was already Wednesday and I was yet to pack the bags. I had to make a quick checklist for things to pack and do a quick shopping for all required stuff during my lunch break at work. Usually I never stress on what to pack, but this time we had two toddlers coming with us. So here is my rough checklist-

Firstly, basic things for the kids to be packed -

  • Diapers, wet wipes
  • Milk - Powder/ Bottles to store water/ Feeding bottles
  • Sippy cups
  • First aid kit for kids - for fever, dehydration, wheezing, band-aids, thermometer, baby vicks etc
  • Bathing essentials - soap, toothbrush
  • Needless to say that kids will need extra clothes as they can get dirty easily
  • Stroller/pram if needed.
  • Small toys to keep them engaged during the flight or in the car
  • Hats - Remember that they can get lost and we may need extra ones
  • Lots of tissue papers 
  • Carry a handy bag to take things while going out to places
As we had plans to visit the beaches and pools, we had to pack some extra stuff-

  • Sunscreen
  • Swim diapers
  • Extra towels
  • Small pool floaties which can be filled with air while using if needed.
  • Swimwear
  • Footwear that is easy to slip to their feet and good to play with water
  • Toys to play with beach sand- Mostly they can be purchased after getting there
My daughter trying out the pool for the first time

Also, it is important to pack some food for the kids while travelling -
  • Finger food to munch on - nuts, crackers
  • Packaged fruit juices, jelly
  • Handy food pouches like Rafferty's Garden ones. 
  • Backup main food for kids in case we could not stop at restaurants on time - Cheerios, some rice, veggie fingers etc
  • bowls, plastic spoons and forks as not all restaurants provide them and it is safer to use the plastic ones in case the kids drop them and throw a tantrum

Some other tips-
  • Staying in a service apartment is preferred to staying at a resort/hotel as we have the freedom to cook whatever the kids want. Also, we can get to do free laundry. My friend tipped me about this and it really worked for me.
  • It is good to keep time to visit the nearby supermarket to buy things like yogurt, cheese, milk, eggs etc for the kids if there is fridge to store them. My daughter was a bit fussy about food the first day and so we got her favorite and usual food from nearby store so that she was comfortable.
  • Call up and make sleeping arrangements for the kids well in advance.
  • In case if you are renting cars, make arrangements for car seats for the kids.
  • Do research on places to visit especially with the kids. For example, I checked out this website before going to Cairns. Visiting Muddy's Playground was one of the best part of the vacation for the kids which we would have missed if we did not do our research. 

Muddy's Playground

Well, the kids learnt to adjust as we did not follow their routine. They managed to get some sleep in the car or in their stroller as we had to miss their naptime. Overall, it was a good experience for all of us.

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