So this Easter holiday we flew to Wellington. Thank god I had packed well for B, because its crazy windy there! but its a good weekend escape to unwind. and M really needed one (i think!).

Untitled-25Day 1

We took the 7.00am flight from Auckland to Wellington on Friday. surprisingly B was all fresh and energetic at 6.30am, posing for selfies at the airport and basking in all the attention. our one hour flight seemed like a 3 hr flight with a super-excited B’s ‘what’s this?’ & ‘i want this’! i blame it on the easter egg given to him at the airport at 6am!

after a quick breakfast at Wellington airport, we went to collect our car we had rented for Wellington. and then we headed up to Cape Palliser Lighthouse, approx 2.5hr drive from the airport. its a beautiful coast drive to Cape Palliser and a 250 step climb up to the Lighthouse. this is as far south as you can get in the North Island. you get some amazing non-stop views of the sea from the top. there’s also a seal colony at a 5 min drive from the lighthouse. its the largest colony in the North Island. you can go amazingly close to the wild seals. Just sit on the rocks, relax, throw stones in the water (seeing B enjoy doing it, we joined in the fun too!) and enjoy the unstoppable view of the bay.

Untitled-26we returned back to Wellington in the evening and checked in at our hotel Ibis. located right in the centre of the city, easy walking access to all the city’s attractions and lookout points. our room too was quite spacious and comfortable. after a quick freshen-up, we headed to the city in search for dinner. it was our first proper meal for that day. we went to an Indian place called Great India (M had read a lot about it on TripAdvisor) and was really impressed by their food, generous serving, service and overall ambience. except for one thing – isn’t the initial table accompaniments like the poppadoms with the chutneys and pickles always on the house??

Day 2

started the day with a lavish buffet breakfast in the hotel. selection of croissants, breads, cheeses, fruits, yoghurts, hash brown, pancakes, sausages, assorted scrambled eggs, beans, slow roasted tomatoes, upto 10 different varieties of cereals, juices and ofcourse the different spreads. we had an hour long breakfast to say the least (and that includes feeding a toddler too, we try not to hog much in public!).

Untitled-27today was for city attractions. so first we walked to the Cable Car Lane (a five mins walk from our Ibis Hotel) and took the cable car to see the Botanic Garden, Carter’s Planetarium and Observatory, Kelburn lookout and Cable Car Museum. the Botanic Garden has some interesting downhill walks like the Australian Garden, Treehouse and the huge Playground your kid can enjoy! it also takes you back to the city centre in 40 minutes.

next we headed to the Parliament House. they have one hour guided tours starting on the hour so make sure to reach there 15 minutes before the hour to get a place in the tour group. it is a very informative tour showing the key parts of the Parliament’s buildings and insights on the parliamentary processes. our last stop for the evening was the Museum of Wellington City and Sail, Te Papa. with 4 floors of exhibitions, events (the Meccano event was impressive!) and virtual experiences, its a super fun world of science and nature out there!

Untitled-28

Untitled-29

Untitled-30

Untitled-31Day 3

we drove to Porirua, approx 30 mins drive from Wellington. since it was Easter Sunday, everything was closed so we had a little picnic at the Aotea Lagoon. a large pond surrounded by a play area for kids, a picturesque smaller pond with ducks lazying around and an over-water bridge, train rides every 30 mins and an exercise square. lets just say it was a relaxing afternoon for us and a super fun one for B! we drove back to Wellington by evening just in time to have a last peaceful walk at the Waterfront, admire the sunset and finally head to the hotel for some pizzas and noodles!

Untitled-32

LinkedInEmailShare

Its time for us to board a flight! Yippiee.. But its never so easy with a toddler is it?! with all the excitement in the air, there is one imp factor which I MUST look into..yes my toddler ofcourse. packing for him alone is a whole new story. although i have taken an international flight (alone!!) with B, everytime it is a different story.

ok so how do you go about it? i mean packing for the toddler.. so here’s my tips on travelling (by experience ofcourse!) and what i am doing for my travel on fri.

  1. first and the most obvious is check if your travel destination is baby friendly and to what extent (NZ is totally baby friendly and since my travel now is local i am relaxed!)
  2. depending on the length of the flight, you might want to book a seat in front with enough leg room for yourself. Toddlers will definitely not fit in the bassinet provided but your baby can rest there peacefully.
  3. i had taken a night time flight with B for his first travel and i would highly recommend it.  i would recommend taking a flight during their nap or sleep time so they remain sleeping throughout the journey and don’t have to go through the ear pains caused by change in pressure. if for some reason they are awake during take off and landing (B was so excited for his first travel that he fought his sleep at 12.30am to experience the take off!), make them munch on food or drink water or milk.
  4. stroller? yes i think you should if your holiday is a travel and you will be out the whole day.
  5. food? not all destinations have kids meal and even if they do, who’s to tell what your toddler’s mood is going to be like? so its best to think ahead and carry your toddler’s fav snacks along for the long drives (remember hungry toddler/baby is super cranky).
  6. always (and i repeat again), always have a separate bag for your baby/toddler. its just so easy this way. DO NOT mix your clothes with your little one’s. you will never be able to find their XS size socks amongst your L size jackets! trust me.
  7. diaper bag is a must! try not to have a carry-on or cabin luggage for yourself as you already have a toddler and 10 other stuff of his to carry along.

and so now that this is clear, its time to start packing. check the weather of your holiday destination in advance so you know what you are packing for. our holiday is for 3 nights 4 days, hotel accommodation, and destination is windy with a few showers so i am going to pack accordingly.

Untitled-22Diaper Bag/Hand bag

  1. Diapers, wet wipes, nappy rash cream – atleast 3 diapers, you know all about this!
  2. Ipad – it has all of B’s fav games and books to read! I cant go without this and you cant really rely on in-flight entertainment for toddlers. they need their stuff they are comfortable with.  keep it fully charged. if not for the flight (its just max an hour long flight), i will need it for the drives during the holiday.
  3. Formula and milk bottle – if its a long flight, its good to have your formula dispenser full to make atleast 3 bottles of milk. for my last trip, i carried the 250ml milk packets for B (he has on cow milk then). either empty them in their milk bottle or let them sip it with the straw.
  4. water – to keep the little ones hydrated if they are not eating enough during the flight.
  5. Books – since B loves his books, i will be keeping his fav in my diaper bag and a few more in his checked-in baggage.
  6. A change of clothing – atleast 1 set of clothing for spills.
  7. Hand sanitizer – i cant really trust B’s inquisitive mind and hands anymore!
  8. A few snacks – B’s fruit sticks, multigrain Cheerios, crackers, biscuits to keep them busy during take offs and landing.
  9. Packet of tissues – for any clean ups.
  10. Wash cloth or hand towel – for accidental spills.
  11. Bib – atleast 2 bibs for under 2s.
  12. Jacket – airports and planes can get a bit cold for the little ones.
  13. Blanket – if B decides to sleep in the flight, or in his stroller or car.
  14. And lastly his Teddy! after all his teddy needs a holiday more than B!

Untitled-23Checked-in luggage

  1. Clothes – pack atleast 3 pairs for each day for your baby and 2 pairs for each day for toddler. since we are staying in a hotel and laundry may not be an option, i will keep an extra pair as well. so i have socks, tees, jeans, caps, hooded puffer jacket, hooded jackets, hooded sweatshirt (yes my destination is quite windy), vests, shoes, belts. add in sleepwear as well. depending on your destination, you can also pack in swimwear/beachwear.
  2. Toiletries – no hotel will ever provide baby shampoo and i just cant risk using them on B. so i am packing B’s face towel, bathrobe, his shampoo, ‘Mr. Frog’ loofah, body cream, sunblock.
  3. Wipes, diapers – if its a short holiday, carry extra with you since some destinations wont have the same brand or for the same price.
  4. First aid – anti repellent roll-on, an anti bacterial cream, nasal spray (B catches a cold with the slightest change in weather), paracetamol, baby balm, measuring spoon, digital thermometer and other basics.
  5. Water bottle – one more..
  6. milk bottle – one more. don’t forget the brush and other accessories to clean the bottles.
  7. Lunch bag – to carry B’s snacks for each day. he’s super excited to carry his bags.
  8. Blanket – carry an extra one which is more warmer for the night sleep (if your baby/toddler is going to sleep in the cot provided by the hotel) or you can use the hotel blanket if your little one is going to sleep on your bed.
  9. Books/Toys – you wont need many if you are going to be out whole day. but i will need a few books for B’s bedtime! and maybe his few fav cars and puzzles for the long car rides. basically you need small flat toys that don’t occupy space.
  10. Snacks – a few extra for each day since i am not sure i will get them at my destination.

Untitled-24