On Sunday we returned home from a week in Melbourne – our first family holiday. Like anything you do for the first time with a baby, travelling by plane with Luella was a little intimidating. But we ended up having a blast!
The flight is only about an hour and a half so I figured it would make a good first trip before we start international jet-setting. One the way there my sister-in-law Heather accompanied us, and it was great having an extra pair of hands. (Though we won’t mention the mystery bag she somehow packed into our luggage… That’s a story for Lu’s 21st.) Jim drove down the night before so that we could have our car with car seat and pack a lot of extra “just in case” stuff.
Going through security is a slight pain because you have to take bub out of the carrier. You’re also not allowed to wear them in carriers on board the plane. You get an infant seatbelt instead, but Lu hardly wore hers as I fed her right before take off and she fell asleep in my lap – both flights. No dramas whatsoever. Though on the flight home we were surrounded by a bunch of dudes in town for some sport event who spent the whole flight yelling back and forth. Somehow Lu slept through it or else I would’ve had to throw down.
I think 7 months is a good traveling age. She’s not mobile yet but she’s not feeding round the clock, she’s good in restaurants (usually) and curious and alert. And Melbourne is generally a pretty kid-friendly city. Even when we ate in pubs people didn’t seem put off by her presence. There’s lots of outdoor stuff – lovely playgrounds, bushwalking along the Yarra River and we visited an animal sanctuary just outside the city where Luella got to feed wallabies.
We also made two trips to the Melbourne Museum as the weather was very hot and it was right near where we were staying. They have a big children’s section with activities for kids of all ages. Lu played with blocks, stuffed animals and mirrors for hours! And the non-kids section is pretty cool too!
Another thing that helped was staying in a furnished apartment that had laundry. Even if you’re not cloth diapering I imagine laundry is pretty helpful when traveling with a baby. And we got to set up the bed how we wanted it so there were no sleeping dramas. (Except on the last night when some neighbours threw a party in the laneway that started at 2 am. I guess that’s the downside.)
But overall we had an awesome time. We ate some pretty epic vegan food including 16 total desserts! If I have time I’ll write a restaurant round-up.
It was a little sad coming back to Sydney but now I feel really confident about traveling with Luella again – even if it’s during the tempermental toddler years.