5 Tips for Visiting Sea World, Gold Coast

After checking in on our first day, we took a nice nap, freshened up and went for dinner at a Japanese restaurant nearby. It was also raining so we didn’t do much afterwards but stayed in and watched some TV. The next morning, we woke up early because we were heading to the Sea World theme park! The morning looked quite unpromising with clouds looming above, but we persevered, thinking that the weather might change once we got there. The drive took around 20 – 30 minutes and once we started our journey, it was pouring! It was heavy rain with thunderstorms as well, so my heart started to sink. I still had a tiny hope inside that the weather would change for the better in half an hour’s time, and sure enough, it did! In fact, the sun started to come out after we parked our car and the sky continued to stay bright and clear for the rest of the day!

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Penguin Encounter at Sea World

We thought there wouldn’t be that many people due to the unpromising weather in the morning, but we were wrong! There was a long queue just to get tickets at the counter so we had to stand in line for almost 1 hour! The good thing is that the ticket we bought was a multi-park entry, so when we went to the Warner Bros Theme Park the next day, we didn’t have to queue for tickets anymore.

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Swimming penguins

Once we’re in, the first stop we went to was the Penguin Encounter. It was the first time I saw a penguin in real life! In fact, when I first saw them, I had to look really hard to differentiate whether they’re real or fake. LOL! But a closer look revealed smooth, shiny, waxy feathers, which was unreal! They look so pretty in real life, them penguins. The penguins area was also one of the few that was indoors and hence had air-conditioning, which was very welcoming in the hot and humid weather in Queensland that day! Little J was excited to see these cute-looking birds swimming and waddling around, he kept reaching out to touch them!

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Penguins on ice

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Little J admiring the penguins

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What a beautiful penguin!

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A different species

Right after that, we had to make a pit stop for some frozen yogurt, because the weather was getting too warm and we were all sweating. The frozen yogurt was just next to this place where they had helicopter rides, so we got to see one family take off in it. It didn’t seem like a long ride though, for I saw it coming back down maybe in less than 15 minutes?

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Helicopter ride

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I want ice-cream mummy!

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Little J and pelicans in the background

There were also cable car rides and the monorail rides, which were the more popular ones in the theme park. Since we were traveling with a young toddler, we didn’t want to spend so much time queuing under the hot sun so we had to give those a miss.

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Cable car rides

Instead, we went for those little kids rides which had somewhat shorter queues, such as this Merry-go-round here. Little J was a little apprehensive at first, but soon warmed up to the idea of horses moving around and up and down, so much so that he refused to leave afterwards! We could have gone for a second ride if we wanted to, but we were in a rush to watch some shows!

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Merry-go-round

The first one we went to was the Dora the Explorer show, which was mainly a musical with songs and dances around. It was quite a hit with the kids around but Little J was not paying much attention to her. LOL. So we stayed for about 10 minutes and left to go to another show.

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Dora the Explorer

The Dolphin show! We heard so much about the dolphin show from friends and colleagues so we made it a point to fit it in our schedule. Sure enough, the arena was packed to the brim when we reached! Luckily we still managed to squeeze in between some empty spots in the middle rows. The show was pretty entertaining with dolphins flipping and flying about, and performing tricks according to the instructor’s cues. It was nice to be able to feel like a kid once in a while. :) Little J was still too young to appreciate shows like this so he started getting restless after a while but we managed to bribe him with some snacks and drinks.

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Dolphin show!

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Dolphin flip #1

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Dolphin flip X 2

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Dolphin flip #3

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Anyone care for a dolphin ride?

We continued walking around the theme park after the show, and decided to have lunch. It was bad timing because everyone who just came out from the show decided it was time for lunch as well, and there were limited choices available. The most popular joint was the burger fast food which had almost 10 lines of at least 20 people each! It was already past noon so we had to get something to eat anyway and Little J was getting hungry so we decided to brave the crowd. It took almost half an hour to finally get our food and they’re not cheap too! I think we ordered 2 sets of burgers with chips and drinks which came to AUD$40+! I guess that’s to be expected whenever we get food from theme parks, prices are usually marked up really high because we’re left with no choice anyway since we’re not allowed to bring outside food in. But if we do return next time, our tip would be to buy the food way before lunch time (11am or earlier) so that we could avoid the long queue. We could always keep the food for consumption later if it’s still too early for lunch but at least we didn’t have to fight with the rest of the hundred people in the queue!

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Riding with daddy

After lunch, we continued our tour around and saw this airplane ride that wasn’t too busy, so Saucer went in the queue. It was getting really warm and you could tell from Saucer’s wet shirt. LOL. We also went on another Merry-go-round ride after that, but didn’t manage to take any pictures.

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Up, up, in the sky

Last but not least, we went for the last show that we had planned to watch, the Sea Lion show. This was also quite popular as the arena was full but it was a much smaller arena compared to the dolphin one. I didn’t find this as entertaining as the dolphin show, maybe because there wasn’t much action involved with the sea lions. It was mostly about them trying to get fish from the entertainers.

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Sea lion show

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Where’s my fish?

By the time we’re done, it was close to 3pm and everyone was tired from the hot weather and walking around. I could tell that Little J was already getting tired because it was way past his normal nap time, but he couldn’t nap in the stroller because it was just too warm and uncomfortable. So we decided to go back to the hotel since we had covered most grounds and watched all the shows we wanted to anyway.

5 tips for visiting Sea World Gold Coast

If we do return to Sea World in the future, these would be the 5 tips for visiting Sea World, Gold Coast that I would want to keep in mind:

1) If possible, buy the tickets from the counter a day before the actual day, preferably in the afternoon so that there won’t be any queue. It is usually more value for money to get multi-park multi-entry tickets that are valid for a few days (at least) anyway, so it wouldn’t matter if you lose one day by getting the ticket earlier. It saves so much more time when you enter the theme park on the actual day itself, because with a ticket, you go through a different queue which is much faster.

2) Bring a large bottle of water that can be easily refilled. There are some (not many) water fillers around the theme park and having a bottle to fill up would be very useful especially when it’s a hot day. Otherwise, there is also unlimited soft drink tumblers available from the fast food joints/booths. If you plan to get the soft drink tumblers, it is more value for money to get them earlier in the day so that you could get more refills throughout. :)

3) As mentioned above, buy your lunch earlier to beat the crowd! If you go during weekends or public holidays (like I did), there’s bound to be a crazy queue at ALL restaurants around. So if you don’t want to waste your time queuing in hunger and sweat, buy your food earlier and keep them in a bag until lunch time.

4) Plan your schedule in advance. Other than rides, there are also multiple shows in the theme park. Each show usually happens twice a day, so try to look at the timetable and work out which shows that you want to watch and keep time. There are some shows which do not allow entries after they start so it’s important not to be late.

5) Bring a change of clothes (even for adults) because some of the rides could end up getting you wet! We made the mistake of not bringing any extra clothes and got soaking wet at one of the rides we took! So we had to buy shirts from the souvenir shops, which turned out to be overpriced (as you would expect).

There you have it, our experience visiting the Sea World theme park in Gold Coast and what we learnt from it. It was overall a fun experience especially for families with kids because it’s a very family-friendly place where strollers could go almost anywhere and had designated parking areas. We would certainly return when Little J is a little older and learns to appreciate more of the rides and shows!

Holiday in Gold Coast

During the long Easter weekend a few months back, our little family had a short getaway to one of Australia’s most popular holiday destination – Gold Coast! I have been meaning to blog about the trip much sooner but there was always something that got in the way. Anyway, as they say, better late than never. :) We only went for a 4-day trip, and being our first domestic vacation that required a flight, we, especially Little J, were particularly excited! Everything was pre-booked, from our airport car park, accommodation, car rental, travel insurance and of course, flights. Yes, even though it’s just a short domestic trip, there are lots of things to arrange!

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Grumpy face at the airport

There were plenty of flights from Sydney to Gold Coast daily, and I chose the 11+am flight allowing us enough time to drive to the airport, park, and take the shuttle to the departure gate. We left home at around 8.30am, thinking there should be plenty of time for us to get there since we only needed to be there about an hour before departure time. However, as luck would have it, Saucer missed a turn into the tunnel when we were about 10km away, and we were stuck in terrible traffic then! The traffic was so slow and clock was ticking (we found a stalled car in the middle of the road after ages!!), so needless to say, I was getting really worried about missing our flight! Also, because we wanted to save on the expensive car park fare, we had pre-booked to park at the Blu Emu car park which was a few kms away from the airport. We were also meant to take the shuttle from there to the airport, which meant extra time that would eat into our buffer. I think we eventually parked with about 45 minutes left to departure! We quickly removed all our luggage and a stroller from our car and ran to the shuttle, which was thankfully making its rounds just then, and just prayed for the best. By the time we reached the check in counter, we saw a message saying flight delayed for 30 minutes! Never was I so happy to see a flight delayed in my life! :) At that point, we heaved a sigh of relief and just continued queuing in our line.

After about 5 minutes or so, there was a ground staff walking up and down the line, asking if anyone was going to Gold Coast on a specific flight. It turned out to be our flight! So she asked us to move straight to the front of the counter and allowed us to check in straightaway. I love how the Australian airports operate – when it’s near the gate closing time, they would just give priority to whoever was still in the line queuing and allow them to check in first. I’d say I’d rather they do this than to keep everyone in the plane waiting!

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Much better :)

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Daddy and Little J

Once we’re at the gate, Little J was curious with everything and sat on various seats just for fun. Thankfully, the flight itself was short, about 1 hour plus, so it wasn’t too tough to handle the toddler. We kept him occupied with iPad and snacks most of the time. Once we reached the Gold Coast airport, we had to call our car rental company for them to come and pick us up to their depot. It only took 5-10 minutes for them to arrive and their depot was less than 5 minutes drive away. So it wasn’t that much of an inconvenience for almost 1/3 of the price compared to rentals at the airport!

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Waiting for our rental car pickup

We stayed at the Meriton in Broadbeach, which was rated #1 in TripAdvisor. Unfortunately, our check-in experience was far from #1. We arrived at around 1.40pm and were told that our room would take about 20 minutes to be ready. That was fair enough because the standard check-in time according to their website is 2pm. I was hoping to get the room by then so that Little J could have his nap. However, more than 20 minutes had past and still no one came to inform us that our room was ready yet. I got a little annoyed and asked Saucer to check with the counter again. He was told that the room was being made up so we just needed to wait for another 5 minutes or so. Needless to say, 10 minutes passed and still no word. Worse, we saw people who arrived after us getting their room keys! At about 2.30pm I was getting quite frustrated because we had already waited almost an hour and still no room. The guy at the front counter told me that it’s going to need another 20 minutes (!!!) and apologised for the delay because we requested for a baby cot so that needed extra setup time. By then, we were hungry and tired and Little J was getting cranky too. Finally, at about 2.50pm, we got our room keys! Once we got in our room, what do you know? The cot was not even there!!! I was furious to be kept waiting for more than an hour, to be told that our room needed more time due to the cot, only to find that the cot wasn’t even there in the end. Anyway, no point getting angry at the start of the vacation, so I just quickly let Little J nap on the king size bed. The cot eventually only arrived when we were out for dinner, and only because I reminded them again by then.

Chilling at the lobby

Chilling at the hotel lobby

Making himself very comfortable :P

“I can slide down this!”

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Selfie!

Other than the sour check-in experience, the stay at Meriton was pretty pleasant to be honest. I loved how the rooms were kept tidy and modern, how the kitchen was so completely equipped with lots of utensils, gas cook top, range hood, microwave, oven, full-size fridge, toaster and dish washer! Basically, everything you need is there. The living room floor was still damp when we arrived, which meant that it had just been mopped minutes before we entered. The room’s bed was as big as a King-sized one, but it was really 2 king single beds joined together (a shame). Otherwise, the pillows and sheets were plush and comfortable. There was also a fully-equipped laundry room with a washing machine, dryer, laundry basket and detergent provided. It was so convenient because we were sweating every day from going to theme parks, so I could do all my smelly laundry before heading home!

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Kitchen and dining area

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Living area (floor still damp)

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Bedroom

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View from the balcony 1

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View from the balcony 2 – Jupiter Casino

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Balcony

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Toilet and bath

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Shower too!

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Laundry area

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Utensils

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Cooking utensils

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More utensils!

Our room was situated on the 20th floor and boy, was it windy at the balcony! Saucer and I used to live in high-rise apartments back in KL and we never had problems with height. However, after a few years of living in a landed property here, suddenly we were terrified when we were standing at the balcony! LOL! We also made sure Little J never stepped out to the balcony because it just felt so open and insecured with the strong wind.

Another plus point with the Meriton was the proximity of the beach. It was merely a few minutes walk to the famous Broadbeach and we took a walk there before our dinner on the first night. The weather was nice and cool but not freezing in autumn. Little J was so happy to be walking on the super fine sand on the beach that he didn’t want to leave. Our only regret was not allocating more time to go to the beach during the day time because we spent most days at the famous theme parks in Gold Coast. Will write about them in the next few posts!

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Chilling at the beach before dinner

Visiting Malaysia 2014-15

Work has been really crazy for the past couple of weeks. I finally have some time to take a breather and post a long overdue update on our trip back to Malaysia! In the interest of time, this post will contain mostly pictures and less words since a picture speaks a thousand words right? So I have tens of thousands of words worth in this post. 😀 As mentioned in my previous post, we made a trip back to Malaysia during the year end holidays with Little J for the first time. If you haven’t already read, I also shared some tips on flying with a baby, which might be handy to you some day should you face with the same situation.

Char Kuey Teow from Kampar market

Char Kuey Teow from Kampar market

As expected, a trip back home wouldn’t be the same without the familiar food from the familiar places! Our first stop was back in Kampar where my hometown is, and breakfast was at the market without fail almost every morning! It’s just amazing how things were still the same after so many years. More expensive, no doubt, but generally still the same food, the same style and the same people. Some hawkers even recognised me as the daughter of so-and-so even though I had not been back for years. Anyway, that’s the beauty of a small town. Enough of that, let’s see some of the pictures of the food we had over the course of a week there. I really miss the variety of food you could get just for breakfast alone back in Malaysia. Over here in Sydney, the most common breakfast is bacon and egg roll, toasts or pancakes if you like at McD’s. Can’t even think of much else!! Even those HK congee and noodle places only start at 10am, which I think is too late for breakfast.

Roti canai

Roti canai

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Nasi Lemak

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Fried noodles

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Nasi Lemak bungkus

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Char Kuey Teow #2

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Apam balik

Of course, we also had plenty of home-cooked meals by my dear grandma. It still amazes me at how she could whip up dishes after dishes for close to 10 people every day and night! And all of them so yummy too! Sigh, looking at this picture just makes me feel miserable now. :(

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Home cooked dinner

After a few days in Kampar, we made a road trip to Penang, just the 3 of us, for a little getaway of our own. We chose to stay somewhere near Gurney so that it’s easy to travel around and close to the sea. The cheapest hotel (if you could call it that) that we could find was the Apple1 Gurney, which cost RM120 per night. It’s located just next to One-Stop shopping centre, which was a good landmark. The room was reasonable – clean, decent-sized and had a clean bathroom. It’s similar to Tune Hotels I would say, except that there’s no extra charges for air-con, towels, TV, etc. So, I guess we’re quite satisfied with it considering we’re only there for sleeps and out most of the day. It was small but had just enough space for our portable cot!

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Chilling in Apple1Gurney Hotel Penang

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Little J’s OOTD

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Ooh, is that a button?

What did we do in Penang? Honestly, we spent way too much time in the malls here because of the hot and wet weather! The first day was spent at Queensbay Mall since Saucer had to get something from his friend there, and then we went to check in to our room. After that, we went to Gurney Plaza because it was raining, and had dinner at Dragon-I. Next morning, we wanted to have the famous Super Hokkien Mee at One Corner Cafe Penang, but it was sold out! :( So we ate whatever the other stalls were selling, and went to Gurney Paragon because it was still raining. Little J had a blast at riding all the different cars in the amusement park there. When the rain stopped in the afternoon, we decided to go to Kek Lok Si temple so that our Penang trip was not all about shopping malls! Luckily it wasn’t crowded and we managed to get there quite easily. Left Kek Lok Si and went back to hotel for a rest, before coming out to Paragon again for dinner with friends. On the last day, we had breakfast at our favourite kuey teow thng place in Taman Sri Nibong, went back to Queensbay Mall to meet Saucer’s friend, did some shopping and visited Saucer’s brother before we left to Kampar.

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Hmm, should I get into this car or the next?

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Next one it is!

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What’s that green thing?

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A bigger car!

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With the Christmas tree at Gurney Paragon

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With daddy at Kek Lok Si

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Learning to pray

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At Kek Lok Si temple

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One for the album

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With our niece!

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Busy with toys

The next few days in Kampar were spent chilling out with family, going out for breakfasts and eating home-cooked food. It was awesome not having to worry about cooking, cleaning, chores, etc. Feels nice to be pampered once in a while eh? :)

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Start ’em young!

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Free rides in Giant

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With great grandpa!

On the last day in Kampar, we decided to bring Little J for a hair cut at the local barber. He was all fine and still when the barber was shaving the back part of the head off. Then, he started to use scissors to trim the front part, but Little J started moving frantically and was crying too. So the barber said he had no choice but to use the trimmer to shave the front part off as well, since that’s the fastest method. That’s why poor Little J ended up with almost ‘botak’ head. LOL! For the record, it was only RM5, which was less than AUD$2, so it’s well worth it still. :)

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Oh no! Where’s my hair gone?

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Tom yum soup in KL

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Just chillin’, don’t mind me

We spent the last few days in KL with Saucer’s family, where Little J fell in love with this egg-shaped chair. He loved to sit on it and to have us push and rock him. Maybe I should get something similar here so that I could have a few minutes of peace when he sits on it. :) We spent the last few days doing a lot of shopping!

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No daddy, I want to stand here on this piece of glass!

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Hui Lau Shan for tea

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Waiting for us to finish our Chilli Pan Mee

Overall, I think it was a pretty great trip! Flight was good on both ways, Little J was generally good too, except during meals with extended family members where he got very cranky, maybe because of unfamiliar faces? Otherwise, he had a great time there and we also managed to meet with lots of family members and relatives and did lots of shopping! So that’s a lot of agenda ticked. :) We should probably do this more often! :)

5 Tips for Flying with a Baby

We have just recently returned from a 2-week holiday in Malaysia. Before the holidays, part of me was really excited in getting the chance to meet family and old friends after 2 years but part of me was also very nervous about the 8-hour plus flight back. For the first time, we will be bringing our almost 1.5 yr old son Little J on board. Being the super active, enthusiastic and stubborn child that he is, I was really worried about his behaviour during the flight. Will he sleep? Will he scream the whole plane down? Will he be running up and down the plane? I worried about the flight so much I was almost missing out on the experience, the adventure and the joy of a child going on his first flight! Luckily, just before I realised it a little too late, I told myself, it’s just 8 hours! In the grand scheme of things, that’s not a big deal at all. Instead, I reminded myself that it was my son’s first flying experience, I would be excited, overjoyed and curious if I were on my first flight too!

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Happy Little J waiting for his first flight

All things considered, I think we had a pretty good flight experience overall! We survived the 8+hours to and fro Sydney-KL, with Little J causing no dramas at all! Our flight from Sydney was at 10pm and he fell asleep a little while after the plane took off and continued sleeping right through deplaning, customs, luggage collection, right to the car park! He only woke up when we transferred him to the car seat! And coming back, we had an 11.35pm flight. He fell asleep when the plane was taxiing and woke up about half an hour before it landed (when I transferred him out of the cot for landing). So I think it worked out really well because then he actually managed to experience the plane taking off (during SYD-KUL flight) and plane landing (during KUL-SYD flight). The gentleman sitting next to me on the returning flight even told me what a good baby he was for sleeping almost the entire way of the flight, and even made sure to bid farewell before he left the plane.

Now I’m sure I don’t fly enough with a toddler to claim that I know the best way to do it, plus every kid is different. But I’d sure like to document down the 5 tips that I thought were useful for us during both flights and hope that they would be useful to you somewhat, some day.

1. Book a night flight

If possible, book a night flight. I’ve got opposing opinions on this but for me, the night flight really worked. Try not to let your baby sleep/nap before the flight, so that he’s tired enough to doze off during the flight. Also, the baby’s circadian rhythm or body clock would make sure that he’s sleepy when it is night time. It helps if you have a good sleep routine that you always follow (see point 4).

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Keep your baby awake before the flight

2. Bring a travel stroller/pram

We decided against this at first because with all the big luggage and a car seat that we’re bringing home, the last thing we wanted was another piece of big luggage to lug around! But we ended up bringing a travel pram anyway and it was the best decision! Imagine going through customs or luggage checks carrying a baby in your arms. It will be difficult just to search for that all-important passport or the boarding pass that’s somewhere in your bag which is held by your only free hand. Also, there’s going to be a minimum of 2-hour wait from checking in to boarding so you’ll thank yourself for having that pram to help you out. Plus almost all airlines offer free allowance for the pram anyway so why not make full use of it?

3. Book/Pay for the bassinet!

Again, something that we debated for quite a while, only applicable if you’re booking no-frills airline. For full-cost airline, it’s a no-brainer to book the bassinet seats of course, since they are free of charge. Firstly, you get the extra legroom that allows you to stretch your legs when you’re too tired carrying the baby to sleep. Secondly, you get the bassinet that you could let your baby to sleep in, even though he only sleeps in it for short periods of time. That gives you at least some time to go to the wash room or have your in-flight meals without having to worry about carrying the baby in or waking the baby up in case he’s sleeping. And thirdly, in case he sleeps in your arms, you don’t have to worry about the seat in front reclining and cramping you even more than you already are.

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Free your arms!

As I mentioned earlier, we hesitated with the purchasing of bassinet seats for our no-frills/low-cost carrier (AirAsia) flight back from KL. The main thing that was deterring us was the cost really, which was around RM120 per person! In the end, we paid for it anyway and boy, were we glad we did! Little J fell asleep on my arms when the plane was taxiing, then when the bassinet was setup after take off, I transferred him into the bassinet. He continued sleeping in there through the whole flight, with occasional stirring but went back to sleep with patting. The only thing I didn’t like was whenever there’s turbulence, I would have to take him out of the bassinet to strap him to me. I know it’s for safety reasons but I really hate to transfer him/wake him up unnecessarily when he’s sleeping so soundly. Otherwise, the bassinet allowed me to dine in peace and to go to the toilet as well. I was so glad that he could still fit in it (just!) even though he’s actually longer than the bassinet itself. :)

4. Sleeping routine

Try as much as possible to stick to your baby’s sleeping routine. Does he have a bottle of milk before sleep? Does he wear a sleeping bag? Does he have a favourite blanket, toy? Does he use a dummy? Make sure you have everything that he usually uses on hand, so that he knows it’s bed time. For me, I made sure that Little J had his bottle before bed time, because that’s what he usually has at home. So I brought with me a small thermos mug with hot water, his milk bottle and a packet of cow’s milk and warmed the milk up before his bed time. Of course if you’re breastfeeding, that’s even easier since you don’t need to worry about packing all these stuff! I also dressed him like how I would dress him to sleep at home then sang him lullabies and patted him until he slept. It’s all about familiarity. If you do the things that you usually do when he goes to sleep, he will get the message.

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Stick to your baby’s sleeping routine

5. Plenty of water

Last but not least, make sure you prepare a bottle of boiled water for your baby (once they are old enough). The air inside the plane is very dry, so it’s good to always keep your baby hydrated. It’s also good to let them suck on the water bottle during take off and landing to help them equalize their ear pressure. So it’s a win-win situation!

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Getting comfy for our first flight as a family

There you have it! My 5 tips for travelling with a baby. Again, every baby is different so what worked for me might not work for you, but I sure hope that you try to enjoy your flight regardless! Have a safe flight!

Australian War Memorial

Just before we left Canberra, we made our way to the Australian War Memorial, which was recently named as the top landmark in Australia by TripAdvisor. As its name implies, the Australian War Memorial was built to honour the members of its armed forces and supporting parties who have perished or contributed to the wars of the Commonwealth of Australia. I was surprised that it was open even during public holidays (Easter weekend) and parking was a breeze in the undercover car park.

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Australian War Memorial, Canberra

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Australian flags in front of the memorial

My first impression of the memorial was that it was gigantic! I initially expected a museum-like experience that would be boring (no offense) but it was actually pretty interesting. There were areas encompassing World War I and another on World War II. There were pictures of soldiers all along the walkways and real-life fighter jets within the building too. I was just sorry I didn’t allocate more time for us to visit the memorial. We only reached there around noon and were planning to drive home around 2.30pm so we would reach home before dark. That left us with slightly more than an hour to roam around, leaving less than an hour for lunch.

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View from the top near the entrance of the memorial

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The huge war memorial

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Making our way in

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Pictures of soldiers

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Little J didn’t seem very interested 😛

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More pictures of soldiers

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Badges of honour

We spotted something that looked like a metal cage during our visit and eventually realized it was flight trainer. It was from an Avro Anson plane that used to be a bomber and later salvaged as a training plane. It certainly did not look very comfortable in there and there was no screen whatsoever to display any information. It looks like we have really come a long way in the aviation industry.

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Inside of the Avro Anson training plane

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The olden days cockpit

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The Avro Anson trainer information board

There were also a few life-size fighter jets and bomber displayed in the memorial. One of those was the Kittyhawk “Polly”, which I took a picture of because the Lieutenant who flew this plane actually named it after his girlfriend. So romantic! :)

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Kittyhawk “Polly”

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ANZAC Hall entrance

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Another air craft

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Avro Lancaster Mk I Bomber ‘G for George’

Just before we left, we took a stroll along the Memorial Courtyard. The weather was gorgeous and sunny, perfect for photography. I guess you can tell our visit wasn’t very comprehensive based on the sporadic pictures and short description on my post. Hopefully when Little J is a bit older, we would return to the memorial and allocate more time to fully appreciate the wealth of information it has to offer.

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Memorial Courtyard

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Some familiar countries on the wall

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Our little family

Visiting Parliament House and Brodburger, Canberra

Right after we submitted our application for Little J’s registration of birth, we took some time to visit the Australian Parliament House since we were in the vicinity. It was close to lunch time though, so we thought we’d just make a quick stop, take some photos, and go for lunch. The weather was amazing that day. Gorgeous blue sky, clear and sunny with cool temperature. I was worried that Canberra would be cooler than Sydney but I guess we were lucky because we didn’t even need to wear our jumpers when we were out.

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 Parliament House in Canberra

The Parliament House was apparently the most expensive building at the time of its construction, costing over AUD$1 billion! It’s also interestingly shaped as a boomerang, reflecting Australia’s culture. The Parliament House is actually open to the public, but because we were in a rush that day, we only managed to scour the grounds outside the building. Interestingly we parked at this spot just between the old and new parliament houses, and got ourselves confused at first when we saw the 2 buildings and wondered which one should we head to? LOL.

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Old Parliament House

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Heading towards the new Parliament House

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With koala bear Little J in front of the Parliament House

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Saucer, Little J and his fat tummy 😛

The Parliament House was just massive! Even from a distance, my camera (which has a wide angle feature, by the way) still failed to capture the building in its entirety. It’ll be interesting to know how it looks like inside now that we’ve seen the outside of it. Perhaps a good excuse for a return trip next time? I’m sure there will be plenty of those whenever our passports are due for renewals. :)

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Trying to capture the wide building but failed

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One end of the Parliament House

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Flag poles

After the brief visit to the Parliament House, we made our way to lunch. We had not been to Canberra before so we weren’t sure where to head to. After asking a friend who’s from there, she suggested for us to try the burgers at Brodburger, which was apparently the burger joint to go to in Canberra. After a search on Google and the GPS, we were finally there in Kingston.

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Brodburger, Canberra

And lo and behold, the waiting time for our burgers was a whopping 50 minutes! To be fair, they did inform us when we placed our order at the counter, and we had the option to walk away then. But we did not, since we were already there. Plus, we did not know where else to go. #losers So we said we’d wait, and were given the UFO thingy that would beep when our orders were ready. I actually noted the time that we placed our order, which was circa 12.30pm. Armed with that UFO beeper, we wandered around the area on the nice sunny day, while our tummies rumbled away. LOL.

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Saucer and the pram with Little J

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Walking around Kingston

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Benches facing the water

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Mini pier

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Nice apartments by the waters

It was quite a nice walk around Kingston, except that most of the shops were closed since it was a Good Friday. The only shops opened were countable with one hand, and most of them were packed. About 10 minutes before our order was due, we made our way back to Brodburger just in case our beeper might not work if we’re too far away. By then, the crowd had eased a little bit and we managed to find some seats available so there we waited. At right about 1.20pm, the beeper vibrated and beeped! Oh my, 50 minutes on the dot indeed! I wish I had more pictures of the burgers and fries that we ordered that day.  Alas, my hands were full … Not with food, but with Mr J here. :)

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Little J playing with the beeper