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Tips for Travelling with Children

Home > Lismore > Escape the City | Fun for Children
by Shannon Meyerkort (subscribe)
Writer. Storyteller. Find out more at
Published September 27th 2011
1) Listen to the weatherman. There is a reason these guys (and the people behind the scenes who actually do the work) get paid heaps of money and have lots of fancy machines. They don't just stick their head out the window and say 'it's sunny'. So if they say it will be hot – bring your kid's hat and sunscreen and buy them an icecream. If they say it will be windy and wet – don't dress them in sunfrocks and fancy sandals and expect them to be dry after dragging them through an unfamiliar city with no brolly. Just like family (or children) you can't pick your weather, so pack accordingly.

The view from Cafe Sydney

1b) The following things are not waterproof: backpacks (no matter what they are made of), small children, shoes made out of anything other than plastic, brand new stuffed toys, prams, and small babies in non-waterproof prams.

2) Even the poshest looking place can be child-friendly. We rocked up at Café Sydney with a 5pm booking and plenty of reservations about bringing our four year old and 20 month old out to dinner. Plainly so did the older couple who shared the elevator with us on the way up to the restaurant. However, when the waiters presented the children with a bucket of excellent quality crayons, some colouring-in menus and the whispered offer of a portable DVD player if necessary, we were thrilled at our reception. These are simple things that plenty of places can do to make people with small children feel welcome.

Coriander and mint mocktail from Cafe Sydney

3) If you are going on a four hour flight from Perth to Sydney pack enough food and toys as if you were flying to the Moon. If you are attempting the five to six hour flight back again, hire a nanny and personal chef.

4) Airports and airplanes are the only place in the world grandparent-types won't smile at cute looking kids. Small children bring fear into the heart of the most hardened traveller and you can see them all praying you won't be sitting next to them.

5) You don't have to fold your pram up to get on the buses these days. Who knew?

6) Google and are the travelling mother's best friend. Be prepared. Be very prepared.

7) Sometimes good and prompt service can make up for less than flash surroundings. As a mother I can tell you that someone who treats my children decently will get more of my money than someone who pretends they don't exist.

The Medina Grand Harbourside - the service impressed even more than the rooms

8) The Build-A-Bear Workshop is worth every cent, just to watch your children create their own new best friend from scratch. Choosing an animal, watching them come to life, doing the heart dance, washing and brushing their fur, choosing an outfit and making birth certificates. Brilliant.

My 20 month old choosing a new friend at the Build A Bear Workshop
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Why? Because travelling isn't for the faint hearted
Cost: As much as your credit limit will allow (Build A Bear starts from about $20)
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