#wanderlustexperiences | ourfamilypassport

Travel tips for other mums and dads from real life experiences.

We are an average family living in a crazy busy world, trying to juggle work, school, and family responsibilities. As a multi-generational family, we are always growing and changing.  We have found that traveling all together with our family of 8 from the Grandparents on down to the little Grandbaby, provides a “time-out” where we can reconnect with the ones we love the most without daily interruptions or distractions.  We have been to 6 continents and over 40 countries together! Our family adventures are tremendously educational and most of all, fun! It is our goal to encourage other families to take a “time out” together and go explore our amazing world!!!

wanderlustexperiences travel with kids children ourfamilypassport

wanderlustexperiences travel with kids children ourfamilypassport cruise

Phil – Dad/Grandpa

Shani – Mom/Grandma

Kam – Oldest (27)/Momma to Becks

Stefen – Son-in-law/Married to Kam/Dad to Becks

Beckham – Grandbaby/Baby to Kam & Stef (3)

Tan – 2nd Oldest (24)

Sav – 3rd Oldest (20)

Easton – Baby (16)

Utah, United States

Website: www.ourfamilypassport.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ourfamilypassport

wanderlustexperiences travel with kids children ourfamilypassport poolside

How old were your children the first time you went on holiday with them and where did you go?

When my parents were poor young parents they would take local trips down to Southern Utah and visit the National Parks down there like Arches, Zions etc. We would try to go to places that we could drive to, and that could fit in the budget. Disneyland was a favorite of course :).

We have now been to over 40 different countries and 6 different continents. Almost always traveling together! My how have times changed!

What important items do you always take with you on your travels?

  • A first aid kit! (We have had to use this baby more times than we can count)
  • Our detailed itinerary and copies of our passports. (Once my little brother almost wasn’t let out of the country of Zambia because my mom had forgotten a copy of my dad’s passport)
  • A clean change of clothes in our carry-on luggage (Taking collectively 50-70+ flights a year, luggage is bound to get lost :))

wanderlustexperiences travel with kids children ourfamilypassport cycling

Have you ever forgotten something important at home?

Haha, yes! My other brother (Tan) one time forgot his entire bag when we left on a trip when he was in high school. My parents kept telling him to make sure he had brought his bag up to get loaded into the car before we left for the airport and he still ended up forgetting. They made him spend his own money to buy some new clothes when we made it to our destination.

What was your favourite destination and why?

Oh goodness! I don’t think we can answer this question. It honestly changes. We could pick our top 3 maybe! We love South Africa, China, Rome, Venice, Peru — oh boy the list could go on and on. It would probably be easier to say the places that we didn’t love :). (There are only just a few!)

wanderlustexperiences travel with kids children ourfamilypassport italy

wanderlustexperiences travel with kids children ourfamilypassport

Where would your child/children love to travel to if they could choose?

We talk about this regularly and have a list of dream destinations! Right now Egypt and Israel are at the top of the list!

Do you usually travel on your own, with other family members (e.g. grandparents), friends or nanny?

Usually we travel with our family of 8. However, sometimes we do go with other family members like great grandparents and aunts and uncles. When we were little my parents would sometimes bring along our “family helper” to help out!

What do you think travelling abroad teaches your children?

Everything! As an adult now, I can honestly say that my career path was shaped by the travels my parents took me on as a child and teenager. My three year old – the grandbaby of the group – makes connections all of the time. He has learned about different religions, and races all from traveling. His current favorite thing to learn about is wildlife. He says his favorite animal was an “ottopus” (octopus) that we saw snorkeling in Bora Bora over a year ago. I think the most important thing that travel teaches is just how similar people are around the world. Almost everyone wants to be happy and have a successful family – no matter nationality or beliefs.

wanderlustexperiences travel with kids children ourfamilypassport shark

wanderlustexperiences travel with kids children ourfamilypassport

Do you have any tips or hints for other parents that make your travelling easier and more relaxed?

Plan in some SPACE from each other! Be okay if kids need to go chill out in their room for a little bit. If someone really doesn’t want to participate in an activity – don’t make them or be upset. Frustrations are bound to occur. Roll with them and be okay to let someone have some alone time.

How long in advance do you book a holiday?

Usually at least 6-9 months. Sometimes over a year in advance.

wanderlustexperiences travel with kids children ourfamilypassport stonehenge

What makes your holiday perfect?

I don’t know if we have ever had a “perfect” holiday. Something always goes against the plan. I can’t tell you how many times someone has thrown up or we have gotten lost haha. I think what makes trips close to perfect is knowing there will always be a couple of “busts” in the trip and realizing it won’t be perfect! Oh and planning helps!!

Do you plan all the activities and sightseeing in advance?

Yes, almost all of them. We even make sure to plan in our down and free time. With a group of 8, if we don’t have something planned – we end up having to navigate 8 opinions when trying to figure out what we are going to do.  We have found there is a fine line between over planning and under planning. And we always try to find a happy medium between the two.

wanderlustexperiences travel with kids children ourfamilypassport arctic

Are you still one of those people that uses a travel agencies for all your holiday bookings or do you plan everything on your own?

Usually we book everything on our own. However, occasionally we will go through a family travel agency.

What is your favourite activity as a family when you are away?

Overall – everyone loves wildlife and adventure activities! The girls in the family are really drawn toward art and history while the boys are all about the golf. Activities that I know everyone will enjoy involve animal encounters or adventure.

wanderlustexperiences travel with kids children ourfamilypassport jumping high

Thanks to everyone at ourfamilypassport for sharing their insight, experiences and some awesome family photos.

 

Peng Chau, Hong Kong | A Charming, Rural Island Walk

An island visit off the beaten tourist trails

Peng Chau is one of the smaller Hong Kong islands. It was the smallest of the outlying islands we visited during our last stay in Hong Kong, having enjoyed exploring Lamma and Cheung Chau on other days. The island is shaped a bit like a horseshoe, and is located close to Discovery Bay and Disney Land, both of which can be seen from the island’s north side on a fine day. We took the ferry from the Central Ferry Pier, the boat was much smaller than the other ferries we had been on before and there were less tourists waiting to make the same day trip.

travel with kids children peng chau hong kong harbour view

travel with kids children peng chau hong kong architecture

The island’s port is located at the mid point, between two hills, very much like the layout we had seen on Cheung Chau, except on a smaller scale. It seemed almost unbelievable to imagine that 7000 inhabitants live here. The island was once home to a thriving fishing community and also hosted many small craft outfits, which sadly have mostly been replaced by industries on main land China. After landing we found a little covered wet market just next to the ferry pier, along with a few small shops and restaurants.

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travel with kids children peng chau hong kong entrance door

Our walk took us towards the east along the waterfront, past a playground, before turning right onto Peng Lei Road, where we stumbled onto a brightly coloured temple with the unusual name, Seven Sister’s Temple. To me it looked completely out of place, the colours more fitting to a Mexican bar then a Chinese place of worship, but that made us like it even more in some ways. There also was a more traditional looking, smaller shrine right beside it and it made me wonder if they maybe worshipped different gods.

travel with kids children peng chau hong kong seven sisters temple

travel with kids children peng chau hong kong seven sisters temple

travel with kids children peng chau hong kong seven sisters temple shrine

When we walked on we passed some larger housing estates, which were quite a contrast to the little crowded houses we had seen earlier in the village. Some of the apartment blocks had definitely seen better times. Some abandoned boats were just left on the roadside and overgrown with weeds. In the close distance we could also see the tall towers of the high-rise condos of Discovery Bay, imitating parts of Hong Kong’s skyline and making use of the limited buildable area on Lantau island, with its convenient proximity to the airport and Kowloon.

travel with kids children peng chau hong kong condos

travel with kids children peng chau hong kong watercolour architecture

travel with kids children peng chau hong kong pontoon

travel with kids children peng chau hong kong harbour boat

The tarmac road ended at some point and the narrow Yu Peng path, which hugs the shoreline most of the northern side led us along the coast. We passed a deserted beach where we found lots of small shells and interesting stones. Close by I found some lonely, hidden graves in the hillside before the path started to slowly ascend into the hill.

travel with kids children peng chau hong kong beach discovery bay

travel with kids children peng chau hong kong graveyard

travel with kids children peng chau hong kong hiking trail beach

travel with kids children peng chau hong kong kowloon

Despite the remoteness of this part of the island we found some small houses in the woods without any kind of amenities like running water or electricity, that looked like people actually still lived there. Shortly after, the trees opened out again and we walked past farmed vegetable and fruit fields. Life certainly appeared to stand still on this island, more so than the other two, which gave it a rustic charm and felt very much like being a world away from downtown Hong Kong. We were surprised to find ourselves back to the rear of the main village of Peng Chau quickly, which made us realise just how small an island it actually was.

travel with kids children peng chau hong kong village farm

travel with kids children peng chau hong kong residential houses

travel with kids children peng chau hong kong vegetable farm

There was another temple, Lung Mo, and this one seemed to be very popular with the locals who were there to light incense sticks. Backing onto the street was Tung Wan beach, which probably never gets crowded, even on the hottest days of the year.

travel with kids children peng chau hong kong tung wan beach

travel with kids children peng chau hong kong buddhist temple

travel with kids children peng chau hong kong beach

travel with kids children peng chau hong kong boat bike

Taking a right turn through the narrow alleys of the main town for two blocks, we strolled on and sought out the trail to the other side of the island, which heads back up another hill.

The lane wound itself parallel to the coastline before making a steep incline to the top of Finger Hill, which at 95m is the highest point of the island. There we found a group of about five people with their easels and paints creating their own picture of the scenic view across the sea. We watched them paint for a while. Jerome was amazed by their incredible painting skills. Taking in the views, we could easily understand why someone might go to the effort of carrying the painting equipment that is needed all the way to this remote spot. Shortly after, some noisy teenagers turned up to take selfies, which gave us good reason to walk on and leave this beautiful place behind.

travel with kids children peng chau hong kong hiking trail finger hill view

travel with kids children peng chau hong kong hiking trail finger hill painters

travel with kids children peng chau hong kong hiking trail finger hill view painter

travel with kids children peng chau hong kong hiking trail finger hill

Our steps took us back down the winding path and into the village. There we found a long queue of elderly people, all standing in line, some of them in roll chairs, queuing! Unable to work out what they were after we strolled on, back to the centre of town. There we stopped at a bakery to buy some buns and drinks. We sat down on the harbour wall and waited for the ferry to arrive, which would take us back into the mayhem of Hong Kong.

travel with kids children peng chau hong kong oldies queue

Peng Chau was probably my favourite of the three islands, with its traditional and rural charm and authentic feel. Due to its small size it makes for a shorter day trip than the other islands. The walking trail can also be shortened or lengthened to your hearts content and during summertime a break on the beach should definitely be on the agenda. I would recommend this off the beaten track trip as an extra on a Hong Kong visit.

 

The Peak, Hong Kong | A Ride on the Peak Tram, a Stroll to Victoria Peak and the Incredible Night View of Hong Kong

An afternoon exploring The Peak in Hong Kong.

According to most people that have visited Hong Kong, a visit to The Peak is a must, even if you have only have a few hours in town. Especially on a fine day, the spectacular views from the top, are among the finest in the world. However, the main attraction for us was the possibility to ride the Peak Tram to the Peak tower. Jerome as something of a transport addict had been very keen on the ride when I had shown him photos of the funicular car on one of the websites. Unfortunately we were not the only people with that thought in mind and had to join a long queue for the tram on the sunny afternoon. The time seemed to pass rather slowly, we could see a lot of the children, especially the younger ones getting fed up with the wait, so be warned.

travel with kids children hong kong the peak garden

travel with kids children hong kong the peak park

Obviously all was forgotten once we finally reached the queue and were allowed to board the tram car. We were perched into the carriage and luckily got a space next to the windows, albeit to the wrong side (try to get a spot on the right for the best views), without any chance of good views going up the hill. The tram slowly ascended to the top and despite the crush everybody seemed excited when we exited at the other end.

The tram conveniently dropped its passengers into the heart of an anvil shaped tower, where most visitors dispersed into the shops and restaurants, or some headed straight for the next queue for the viewing platform on level 5. Some families went to visit the small outpost of Madame Tussauds on level P1. We ignored either of these tourist sites and walked outside into the much cooler air of the plateau. In fact many people come here in the summer to escape the heat and humidity of Hong Kong’s streets.

travel with kids children hong kong the peak tram

Outside the Peak Tower we walked the short distance to the Lion’s Pavillion to take in the view of the skyline. The view has quite an impact with the sea of concrete sky scarpers below, built so closely together that they all seem to merge into one. The water of the bay dazzled in the afternoon sun and we could just about make out the mountains behind Kowloon.

travel with kids children hong kong the peak view

The crowds of people started to annoy us and we walked past the shopping centre and the Peak Tower towards Victoria Peak. As soon as we had left the tourist crowded area we found ourselves on Mount Austin Road. We saw some children on a playground, guarded by their nannies and lazily strolled up the steep hill. There were surprisingly many apartment building and residential houses along the ridge. When I read up on it, the Peak had been a popular place to live, ever since the Brits arrived. Those who could and still are, able to afford to live here, come to escape the heat and humidity – all at a price of course, the prices here are among the most expensive of all Hong Kong. While I was curious to look at the houses and architecture of these luxury condos, the boys walked ahead. Eventually I caught up and we arrived at the Victoria Peak Garden.

travel with kids children hong kong the peak victoria peak

travel with kids children hong kong the peak victoria peak walk

The focus point of the garden was a modern, Chinese style pavilion. At the far side of the pavilion, we were blown away by the sight of the bright rays of the setting evening sun on the sea below. The Chinese sea was glowing like molten lava, with the outlying islands sticking out like random rocks. The three towers of Lamma Island were very distinctive and Jerome immediately recognised them from having walked across the island a few days before. There were loads of ships and ferries going back and forth between the islands and the continent. Originally we had intended to walk the last few meters up to the top of Victoria Peak but the road was closed off and there did not appear to be another way of getting through. Instead we walked back down the way we had come from, we could have also taken the Harlech Fitness Trail back to the Peak station but were worried it might get too dark and we might get lost somewhere on the way down.

travel with kids children hong kong the peak victoria pavilion

travel with kids children hong kong the peak garden

travel with kids children hong kong the peak victoria peak sunset

travel with kids children hong kong the peak victoria peak

The way down was completed much quicker of course than the ascent, Jerome running down the slope, fast. We just got back to the viewpoint to devour the lights coming on in the thousands of windows of Hong Kong and Kowloon. We could see the adverts shine from the ICC tower and some of the other high-rise buildings. We all agreed that the view by night was even more impressive than during the day which meant it had proven right to come in the afternoon rather the morning, even if that meant queuing for longer at the Peak Tram. The same applied for the return journey, as the sun had set and the lights gone on, everybody seemed keen to get out of the cool air and into the tram to make their way back into Central for dinner. Others went into the Peak Galleria for some retail occupation or dinner at one of the many restaurants.

travel with kids children hong kong the peak view

travel with kids children hong kong the peak garden skyline view

travel with kids children hong kong the peak view

travel with kids children hong kong the peak night view

travel with kids children hong kong the peak by night

We could not be bothered to queue again for an hour and strolled the Old Peak Road back down into town, we probably took less time than the queue! The first part was a quiet, peaceful stroll, the street winding down the hill, under the canopy of thick, mature trees. No one else was around until we reached Tregunter Path, where we were back in the valley of sky scarpers again. A hearty and warming soup at Tsim Chai Kee on Wellington Street was just what we needed for dinner, before taking the double decker tram back to the hotel.

Cheung Chau, Hong Kong | Wandering across the Rustic Island of Cheung Chau continued

Exploring another of the outlying islands of Hong Kong. Part 2

This is the continuation of my last post:

I had read about the nice little Japanese Tea House in one of the guidebooks and thought it would be the ideal spot for us to stop for a bite to eat. The menu offered a small selection of hand rolls and doriyaki pancakes, filled with red bean paste. We were in a savoury mood and ordered a selection of the delicious hand rolls and some tea. The mamasan was very friendly when she discovered that we had been a few times to her home country she had a long chat with us about Japanese places. We also had to take the obligatory group photo with her, which unfortunately did not turn out well enough for me to send to her or to feature on the post.

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong japanese teahouse

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong dog

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong balcony architecture

The next part of our hike first went along the back of the beach and then up onto the second hill. We first passed some houses before reaching another pavilion. There was a crowd of people gathered underneath the cherry blossoms. It almost felt like we were back in Japan and not in China with the people gazing admiringly at the rose coloured blossoms.

The Cheung Chau family walk guided us past a church with a large building complex, obviously a place to for dedicated Christians to come for bible seminars, in fact there are many religious retreats on this part of the island. Further along we saw a lot of abandoned houses, most of them looked like they once must have been family homes. I went into one of them, it was completely empty, no furniture left but graffiti on the walls and dirt gathering in the corners.

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong ferry blossom viewing

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong abandoned house gate

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong abandoned house

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong abandoned house

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong abandoned house

Eventually the path left the urbanised area, with just the sea and nature surrounding us. At some point the path turned into the Mini Great Wall Trail, which is a paved walkway with granite railings that is supposed to mirror the Great Wall of China. There are a few rock formations with names like “Eagle Rock” and “Rock of Ringing Bell” to either side of the path. Some of the rocks certainly had interesting shapes but we would have needed a lot of imagination to gather where the names might have come from and perhaps more to imagine we were on a real great wall. Maybe children still have a more fantastic mind to imagine the shapes, however Jerome seemed to be not able to make them out.

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong hiking trail

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong

At Kwung Fam temple we walked down a few steps and ended up at one of the nicer beaches on Cheung Chau. Sadly the weather was much colder than on our trip to Lamma Island and therefore we did not feel like staying on the beach. There was another lifeguard tower, which I added to my collection of photographs before walking on.

Ahead at the end of the beach we could see a little café/bar overlooking the beach and a heliport. We sat down on the terrace and ordered some drinks. After a while, enjoying our drinks and taking in the view we could see a helicopter heading towards us. Jerome got excited but we told him that surely it would not be landing in front on the landing platform. We were proven wrong though, the noise of the rotating blades got louder and the helicopter slowly descended onto the landing spot right before us. We were wondering why it would be landing there on a day like today, especially with no one around, but soon enough we could hear the sirens of a police car and shortly after an ambulance followed. Some men left the ambulance car and opened its back door, they then carried an older gentlemen, on a stretcher, to the helicopter. As soon as the man was loaded in the helicopter it disappeared back into the air and out of sight, probably on to the closest hospital. The contrasting silence was notable. We afterwards realised just how many other people had gathered to watch the spectacle, most likely a highlight for some of the locals.

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong beach

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong beach lifeguard tower

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong fishing

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong beach

Our walk that day ended with a stroll back into town and to the harbour, completing a figure of eight around the two hills. The timing could not have been any better, the ferry had just arrived and shortly after we were able to board. We took seats outside, to the back of the ferry and watched the colours of the clouds change from a greyish sky to a pink glow beneath where the sun was about to go down, as we cruised back to Hong Kong Island.

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong shops

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong ferry

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong sunset

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong selfie

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong ferry ride

The hike along the family trail on Cheung Chau is definitely an option for families with children of any age, it can be lengthened or shortened depending on the age and ability of the little ones. It makes a contrast to the main city and is worth the time to explore a part of Hong Kong that is a little off the normal well beaten tourist tracks.

 

 

Cheung Chau, Hong Kong | Wandering across the Rustic Island of Cheung Chau

Exploring another of the outlying islands of Hong Kong. Part 1

On a prior day we had enjoyed our hike across Lamma Island, one of the outlying islands near Hong Kong, so much that we wanted to explore more of these less well-known islands.  Cheung Chau once was a refuge island for pirates but has grown into a modest fishing port so this became our next target to visit. The island is slightly further from Hong Kong and the ferry also takes slightly longer to get there than Lamma. As the ferry entered the harbour of Cheng Chau it was immediately noticeable that the island was more densely populated then either of the villages of Lamma Island. Most of the buildings appeared to be built on the flat, narrow strip between the hills rising to either side. We were greeted by American convenience stores mixed with local souvenir shops and restaurants. The fisher boats were also much grander in size then the small ones we had seen at Sok Kwu Wan the day before. They also seemed to be much more prepared to go out for a big catch in the Chinese Sea.

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong neon lights

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong old ladies

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong fishermen

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong fisher boats

After landing we wove ourselves through the crowd of locals who were going about their daily lives as usual, completely unaware of the few tourists that de-boarded with us. A fisherman sat on the harbour wall repairing one of his nets and Jerome curiously watched him. A shop sold live fish and other sea creatures in water tanks, ready to be fished out and cooked for lunch or dinner. While cycling is also great option for exploring the many temples and beaches we planned on walking some of the many trails that criss-cross the island.

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong restaurant

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong fresh fish

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong architecture

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong new years decorations

The colourful Pak Tai temple was our first stop along the walk, set behind a football pitch it is the focus of the annual bun festival. Cheung Chau is well known for its steamed, savoury buns, and you will not fail to notice them when visiting the island. They can easily be recognised by their red stamp and you can even buy their form in all kinds of souvenirs, from pencils to pillows in the shops throughout the village.

Pak Tai temple is the oldest on the island, dating back to 1783, it was recently renovated and is back to is full splendour now. Two rainbow coloured dragons adorn the temple’s roof, however, do take a closer look, especially children might like to discover the little details underneath, where little wooden figures show scenes of the daily life. Inside the familiar scent of incense surrounded us and we could see a few courtyards leading off to either side. Stepping through a moon gate we reached a beautiful, mosaic picture of a tiger with its cub. Jerome really liked the mosaic and the bright colours of the tigers. We then ventured into the other courtyards looking at the details of some of the colourful wooden carvings before leaving the temple.

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong pak tai temple

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong pak tai temple dragons

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong pak tai temple decorations

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong pak tai temple moon gate

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong pak tai temple

Our walk continued from the end of the football pitch, along the road next to the shoreline. We passed some residential apartment blocks and run down buildings, before reaching a small beach with the cemetery on the other side. Just past a public toilet and the entrance to a posh villa complex we turned right, walking on the tarmac road up the hill.

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong architecture

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong cart

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong old umbrella

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong residential housing

After a short incline we reached a viewpoint with a Chinese looking pavilion. We could just make out the skyline of Hong Kong in the mist and had wonderful views of the town of Cheung Chau below. We realised just how narrow the town was, built between the two hills, with the harbour to one side and a long sandy beach to the other.

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong view

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong beach

The path led us back along the islands family trail towards the town. This time we passed the top of the cemetery and as I am always interested in visiting them we made a brief stop to look at the graves. Most of them had photos of the deceased, some were obviously urns buried behind plates of marble whereas the other graves were in the ground and had proper graves stones. Past a playground and down a few steps and we were back at the temple where we had started from less than an hour before having completed one loop of one side of the island.

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong cemetery

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong cemetery

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong flowers

To cross the town this time instead of walking on the harbour front we headed for Pak She Street, which goes through the centre of town, parallel to the harbour and the beach. There were lots of small shops, selling all kind of goods, including a small toyshop where we had to stop. Jerome was browsing through the array of toys, mostly cheap, plastic goods before continuing our stroll. Once we reached the end of the road we turned left and ignored the little shed, called Lock of Love, consisting of nothing else but a fence with thousands of lovelocks and heart shaped plates latched to it. The idea was probably taken from one of the many love locks bridges found all over the world these days, a concept I have never been able to fathom at all.

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong buns

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong souvenirs

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong cat

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong kong dried octopus

travel with kids children cheung chau island hong shrine

To be continued in my next post

 

 

 

 

 

 

#wanderlustexperiences | Londongirlsabz

Travel tips for other mums and dads from real life experiences.

 

Hi,

I am a lifestyle/fashion/travel blogger who has a 23 month year old baby. We like to travel, try new places and new fashion and blog about it!

In reality, I have a PhD in Genetics and run my own medical communications business. I love blogging so I do that in my spare time and pretty much treat it as a diary of my life!

I have one baby girl and we (me and my husband) are Londoners who love this city and can’t get enough of it! (I mean who can? There is always something new!)

We hope our tips help other families travel happier with their kids!

In which country, region or city do you live: London

Website: http://www.citychiclifestyle.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/citychiclifestyle

Instagram: @londongirlsabz

travel with kids children wanderlust experiences londongirlsabz venice family photo

How old was your child the first time you went on holiday with them and where did you go?

First time she was 11 months and we went to Lanzarote in Spain

What important items do you always take with you on your travels?

Good question!

  1. Her bunny! (soft toy she sleeps with)
  2. 2-3 Books of stickers (each has over 100 stickers!)
  3. Colouring pencils and colouring book
  4. Ipad with all her nursery rhyme and cartoon videos uploaded
  5. Her usual bag (diapers, milk, calpol and baby Benadryl [just in case, change of clothes, wet wipes)
  6. Any interactive toy small enough to fit in hand luggage!

Have you ever forgotten something important at home?

Her bunny and we had a REAL hard time!

What was your favourite destination and why?

Last year when she was about 14 months we went to Crete. In terms of travelling with a baby, it was a really good destination

We stayed in Elounda at Princess Yaiza Resort. The town and hotel are super baby friendly and they even have a day crèche so the holiday was really relaxing with happy parents and a happy baby!

travel with kids children wanderlust experiences londongirlsabz venice st marcus square

Where would your child/children love to travel to if they could choose?

Difficult one as she is sooo young

She likes places where she can run around – parks and beaches are her favourite places right now

Definitely not a city-traveller!!

Do you usually travel on your own, with other family members (e.g. grandparents), friends or nanny?

Not really though we did have a family holiday with grandparents in Cannes last year

What do you think travelling abroad teaches your children?

I think it opens them up to new cultures and new experiences. They learn to accept differences and similarities amongst people, learn to eat new varieties of food, respect other cultures, understand their history, food, lifestyle, etc. Just opens up their mind, I guess. It also helps shape early education e.g. new languages, history, art, etc

There is so much of the world to see and so much to learn – they need an early start

Conversely, you learn so much from the child. Seeing new places through a child’s eyes can be a real experience for parents too!

Do you have any tips or hints for other parents that make your travelling easier and more relaxed?

  • Always travel with their favourite soft toy (one they sleep with)
  • Take loads of distractions with you on the plane e.g. colouring books/pencils, stickers, games, etc
  • Ipad was a life saver for me – it keeps her quite on the plane and in the buggy
  • Research the destination, and especially, the hotel carefully in terms of being child friendly
  • If the hotel doesn’t have anything re “childcare” or “families” on their website, AVOID!
  • Check the city you are going to is child or buggy friendly – we really suffered in Venice due to the lack of high chairs everywhere and all the stairs!
  • Plan activities for the child and yourselves so they can have fun too. Seeing museums all day will not be their idea of a holiday!

How long in advance do you book a holiday?

At least 3 months

travel with kids children wanderlust experiences londongirlsabz venice canal

What makes your holiday perfect?

Good hotel

Good destination

Relaxation

And a happy baby!!!

Do you plan all the activities and sight seeing in advance?

We try – as much as possible

Are you still one of those people that uses a travel agencies for all your holiday bookings or do you plan everything on your own?

We plan ourselves

What is your favourite activity as a family when you are away?

Beach definitely! Just building sandcastles, swimming, running around, playing with fish!

Thanks to Londongirlsabz for the insights and advise.

If you are interested in sharing your experiences about your travels with children, please feel free to email me at wanderlustplusone@gmail.com. I will then email you the questionnaire template and some other requirements for the post. I am looking forward to hearing from you…

Lamma Island, Hong Kong | A Hike along the Island’s Family Trail … continued

Our walk across the island with a break on the beach and sunset view on the ferry ride back into town.

For the first part of our walk across Lamma Island please read here.

From The top of the hill, we could see the sandy beach at Hung Shing Yeh. Jerome could not wait to get there and almost ran ahead, down the hill. Considering the last few days in Hong Kong had been a pleasant temperature of around 20C but certainly not warm enough to go for a swim in the sea, we were lucky that on this day the actual temperature was much higher and warm enough for us to change into our swimming costumes and laze on the beach. The beach was equipped with changing rooms, showers, toilets and a convenience store. The boys played in the water, while I watched them and the other people on the beach. The beach had a different designed lifeguard tower in a happy go lucky pink, with a stripy sunshades, a contrast to those on our previous walk. No lifeguard in sight though, most local people would probably not consider it swimming season yet.

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There also was a man with a straw sunhat and a rake pulling a basket behind, raking up the dirt and rubbish from the sandy shores. I went to put my feet into the water, which was pleasant, but not warm enough to tempt me to rush in. To the left side we could see the huge power station, which is responsible for illuminating Hong Kong and the outlying islands. Some people might be concerned about coming to an island that is home to a coal power station like found on Lamma, but checking websites and forums, everyone agrees that the pollution is pretty much the same everywhere in Hong Kong. The water quality on the beaches of Lamma is also always rated as very good and if you fancy a beach away from the tourist trap of Hung Shing Yeh, head to Lamma Power station beach only a few minutes walk away. Lots of locals come here to avoid the tourists or to walk.

After our time lazing we went for lunch at the restaurant behind the beach. We luckily grabbed some free seats on the terrace, overlooking the walking trail and the beach with the sea shining through the trees. The restaurant does not deserve to praised in any kind of form for the taste of its basic food, but it surely must be in line for the longest French fries in the world.

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Leaving the beach behind we wandered on towards Yung Shue Wan. The trail winds its way along, beneath the shady canopy of trees and past the lush green hillside. There was the odd residential house perched in between. We reached the outskirts of the village fairly soon and the path turned into a wider road. Children on their bikes passed us, there were locals returning with shopping bags and woman hanging their washing out onto the line in the sunshine or on the balcony. There are no cars allowed in the village, which makes it a very pleasant stroll but watch out for some crazy cyclists rushing around the corners.

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Hung Shue Wan village itself is slightly bigger than Sok Kwu and in the street behind the seafront we could see a selection of shops selling daily essentials and there also were plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from if anyone wanted to stay on for dinner. We made a little detour to the village temple, Tin Hau, with its two stone lions and the signature incense spirals slowly burning under its roof. Opposite the temple was a playground and sports field and we watched some of the kids playing football for a while.

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Walking back down the main street that follows the curve of the bay to the other end we found the pier for the ferry. The walkway to the pier was decorated with red Chinese lampions and colourful bunting. There were bikes upon bikes parked all the way down the pier, which was no surprise as this is the easiest and fastest way for locals to get around the island.

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Some people might consider returning to Sok Kwu Wan for dinner, which is definitely a possibility, as the return four kilometre walk would only take about an hour or so if you just keep on walking non-stop. The other option is to take one of the ferries to Hong Kong Island.

With children in tow Lamma makes a great day out, away from the city, especially if it is warm enough for a swim in between. The Family trail is paved the whole way and there are no steps which would make it possible to take a pushchair, but I personally would advise against it as it is not too far for little legs, but that is just my personal preference.

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The ferry came shortly after and there were plenty of people disembarking, returning home from a day of work in down town Hong Kong. I have to say the island feels like being in a different world and yet it is so close to this vast city. People living here, surely must have a better way of life than being cramped into one of these huge tower blocks on the main island. We enjoyed our ride back on the ferry. The sun was just setting behind the skyline of Sheung Wan and Central, which made the window fronts of the buildings glow like gold. The perfect ending to a beautiful day in the city state.