Thursday, 2 December 2010

Preparing for New Zealand and Australia with a toddler part 1


"What are you up to Freddie?"

“Just checking out what's on offer for tots in New Zealand mummy...”

If only it was that simple!

We are off to New Zealand and Australia for 3 weeks next March (12 weeks and counting!). Some have said we’re mad travelling all that way with a toddler (Freddie will be 23 months). I do, oh so slightly, tend to agree but have decided to make it an adventure starting now!

So our journey begins...

Booking flights
This was a tough one... P (hubby) was adamant we should go where possible on the new Boeing A380 with Emirates but this would mean taking 3 different flights and a few hours more flying time (Heathrow-Dubai-Melbourne-Christchurch, total 26 hours flying time) vs my idea of the plane not being too important as I don't think there’s much between the big boys... Singapore Airlines is more direct with only two flights (Heathrow-Singapore-Christchurch, total flying time 24 hours) booked Singapore...

Singapore Airlines - flying with toddlers
Ok so Freddie is going to be under 2 years old when we travel which means we do not have to book a seat for him. Here are the pros and cons on deciding whether to book your toddler a seat...
  • Not having them on your lap for 24+ hours leaving you your own space, especially when they are asleep.
  • They have their own space and can enjoy their own programs and games on their own tv
  • Less chance of them kicking the chair in front (assuming you can't get balk head seats!)
  • Expensive!
  • Balk head seats: these are given out in priority order and families with tots travelling on their laps get priority.
  • You can't have a basonette (cot)
After weighing it all up we decided to book Freddie his own seat and fingers crossed there will be enough balk head seats to go round! 

Accommodation search 
New Zealand
We are due to arrive at 10.30am in Christchurch and after much thought have decided to take the 2 1/2 hour drive to Kaikoura so that we can spend two nights in one place and have a full day without travelling.

Kaikoura is a small but stunning town by the coast with magnificent and dramatic views (I will be saying that a lot!). The small collection of accommodation I can find in and around Kaikoura seems to cater for all types of tastes and budgets.

The best website I have found is:

I wanted somewhere that we could relax and Freddie could let off steam and thoughtthis one would be perfect, with farm animals to feed, grounds to run around in it seemed to be heaven for toddlers, was about to book when P found these reviews onTrip Advisor! The park has fantastic reviews but not the accommodation. Phew... Back to the drawing board will let you know shortly...

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