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Flying (alone) with my 4-year-old

Brave? I know, especially with a 7-month preggo belly!

We recently took a trip to the United States for a 3-day wedding (check out more pics on my Instagram feed) and I had to take the return flight alone with the little one as my husband had to stay back for a work seminar I still can’t believe I agreed to it…

Snippets from our trip

Anyways I was slightly nervous, what do you expect?! it would my 1st time travelling/flying alone with her plus it’s a long haul flight and in my 3rd trimester. Besides, she was a little uneasy on the in-bound flight (which continued for days after we got to America) – she didn’t want the hot food offered on the flight and refused most of the snacks I had packed for the journey. Even the colouring books I brought with me didn’t interest her much.

Travel colour books

She also refused to play with her tablet because mummy downloaded her fav videos too early so they expired 😦 

The in-flight entertainment helped a bit though the earphones provided by the airline barely worked and kept falling out of her ears. Thankfully I bought a set of children’s headphones two days prior to our trip the joys of Amazon prime! 

See I’m usually overly prepared whenever we fly with this little madam, my standard on-board package includes:

Tablet / Headphones / Snacks / Paracetamol sachets / Pocket Tissues / Travel games / Wet Wipes / Ziplock bag / Waste bag (in case she gets sick)

Still it was a tough journey we did get a bit fussy with her at some point.

Anyways, I packed the usual “on-board” essentials in my backpack and her trunki and off we went early to the airport. We said our goodbyes to her dad and went through security, then we came up to the gates and luckily for me there was a play area so we chilled here for about 20mins.

My tablet is my best friend… I call it ‘purple & black’

Then it was time to board – suddenly the lil woman wanted pizza, pizza? I was confused, where do I find pizza around here and why ask now? mayday! mayday! Then I saw the place (obviously she had seen it before me) so we ordered tomato and cheese pizza to go. She ate one slice as we boarded the plane so I put the othe slices in the ziplock bag see it’s good be extra prepared!



I don’t know how this happened but the pizza and her tablet were my saving grace on the two flights home. She gave no problems at all, tbh I was a little calm too because we didn’t need to rush at any point and the crew were fantastic (they kept checking on us), to top it all, they didn’t sell her dad’s seat so we got an extra seat!

She also kept reminding herself of her father’s words as walked through the 3 airports – you need to take care of mummy and pull your trunki (cos she likes to sit on it while being pulled) I guess it made her feel grownup having to take charge her fussy mother 🙄

Also, she gladly ate the on-board kids meal thank God money didn’t waste this time! 

Gourmet eating… not for free though!

So I was able to properly relax, take my prescribed walks and toilet breaks remember I’m 28wks pregnant while she busied herself with the videos I had downloaded the day before on her tablet.

We landed at Dublin airport to catch our connecting flight to London and as we had to wait a little while to get off the plane, she became impatient and in a typical 4-year-old manner, started to moan  – mummy only had soothing words for her we need to be patient darling… the girl had just gone through a tantrum-free 7hour flight! We had a bit of fun checking out airport signs (they’ve been taught about signs at nursery so she always asks what they mean). At the gate, she had the rest of her stone-cold pizza while we waited to board.

#Mood Left: Washington Dulles Airport | Right: Dublin Airport

I, on the other hand was super wrecked by now and I just couldn’t wait to get home though my bump was well-behaved too☺️

I’m saying that, we did have a bit of drama on board – Aerlingus had actually sold on my husband’s seat on this leg of the journey so she was surprised to see someone sitting by her preferred window seat and froze! I was like this geh enter abeg sleep dey catch me! 😂 but she refused to sit beside the guy so I hopped in the middle seat and had to explain her behaviour to our new neighbour (for an hour 10 mins), thankfully he laughed it off but started yapping about his niece blah blah…

Quick selfie before takeoff

Sleep came easily for both of us this time… we closed our eyes before takeoff and didn’t open until we landed at Heathrow airport. There I waited till everyone got off the plane before waking her up, then we steadily made our way to arrivals.

Now did I mention the bonus of flying with Aerlingus to America? #NotSponsoredAd you are cleared of US immigration at Dublin airport before takeoff (outbound from London) so no need to face that hassle when you get there! We literally strolled into Washington Dulles like one of the locals and I guess same thing applied when we landed at Heathrow airport so straight we went to pick our checkin bags and search for a taxi home…

Heathrow airport – one for the road

3 plane journeys, 2 car rides, airport transfers and a lot of toilet breaks pretty much sums up the trip I took alone with my delightful 4-year-old daughter… Dealing with the jet lag? Now that’s a different story entirely!

 

Till next time guys!

♥Fabmomma♥

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Arabian Adventures – Sun Downer Experience (with kids)

 

Hi my lovelies!

This a post cum review of our Sun Downer Dune Dinner  experience with Arabian Adventures. To start off we booked the ‘exclusive vehicle’ package because of the children, therefore the company sent 2 four-wheel drive land cruisers specifically for our group – usually these drivers pick people up from various hotels/locations until the car is full.

“Pickup” – 3PM

The drivers/guides of both vehicles were at our reception by 3pm as agreed, and according to the rest of the group, were quite entertaining but I couldn’t hear anything as I sat at the very back of the car. I stayed in the car which had the children and the arrangement was to have one adult sit in front and one at the back and I opted for the back. Now I did not anticipate the length of the journey, it took us about 1.5hours to get to the desert!

 

 

“The Falcon Show” 

Refreshments awaited us at this stop and a quick photo op with a camel before we sat down to watch the show. Quite informative and interesting, we learnt that the Falcon is the national bird of the UAE, a swift flyer with keen eyes for its prey.

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Dune Bashing

After the show, it was time to ride through the sand dunes but first the car tyres had to deflated to enable a smooth ride over the sand dunes. “Dune bashing” was through the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve  and I must say it was the highlight of the trip! The children especially loved it and talked about it for days! We made two stops in-between the dune, 1st – to enjoy the view and take pictures then to watch the sun set…

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“Bedouin Camp”

Dune bashing continued and stopped just a few mins before we entered the bedouin camp. As we had a table reserved for the group (courtesy of some strings pulled by hubby dearest), we were led to our table. Starters were served first – an array of food falafel, chicken sharwama, vegetable parcels, flat bread and with cheese. This was an all inclusive package – food, drinks (including alcohol) and entertainment. Our guides/drivers surprisingly swapped hats and became in charge of serving the food.

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After starters, we went for the camel ride – the children particularly loved this part. Note that I almost chickened out at this point seeing how tall those animals were! Such a weird sensation as the camel stands up but you get used to it after a few secs (my glutes get a good workout from the ride haha) some of us even went twice.


Next event we went for was Sand Surfing, (which was an epic fail!) – firstly the queue was long and people were slow coming down the dune – I suspect this was cause the sand was a little moist as it was now nightfall. To make matters worse, it turned out he needed to wear shoes to surf. It would have helped to have a sign down below the steps to indicate the need for shoes.


By now, it was time for mains – salads, humus, flat bread, rice, sauce, lamb chops, chicken skewers and roasted potatoes which we happily wolfed down as we were starving!
While we ate, belly dancing started. Set up right in the middle of the camp and Our guides had mentioned that the best time to leave was from the end of the 5th song because of traffic and everyone trying to get out of the camp. Also we still had to inflate the tyres of the vehicles before we could drive them on the road again. So after eating, us girls went exploring – henna turned out beautifully, then one of the girls got a sand souvenir and we finished off with Arabian coffee and dates.

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There was also a shisha area, a mini bonfire and a place to dress up like an Arabian (but we were not allowed to take our own pics) besides our henna was still wet so we couldn’t get dressed.

Soon the 6th song started to play which was our cue to start packing up to leave 😦 an announcement was made for Star-gazing where all the lights in the camp would be switched off (panic.com!) as the lights went pretty fast. We then lumped our tired bodies into our respective cars and back to the hotel – this was pretty uneventful.

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Tyres had to be re-inflated for the road

 

Tips

*Best to go for an exclusive car package if travelling in a group, especially with young children, it was truly worth the money we paid for it. We had four children with us, (ages 4 to 7) and they all got car or booster seats and the seating arrangement was well thought out. If we didn’t have the exclusive option, we might have ended up not being able to go with our children because it’s about filling each spot in the vehicle. So if the car isn’t full, the driver would just go to the next pickup location before heading to camp, eating into the safari time.

*Bring an extra layer of clothing, a scarf or cardigan as it gets chilly at nightfall.

*Ensure your child is at least 4 years old to go on this trip because dune bashing was a rollercoaster ride. Even my thrill-seeking 4yr old was a little apprehensive at the start but soon settled after comforting her – it might not be the same for another child.

*Try to keep an empty stomach before heading to avoid being car-sick. I had read some horror online reviews about people getting sick in the car!

Apologies for the long epistle but I do hope this helps someone out there planning a trip to Dubai with the family and seeking a thrilling adventure!

More posts on our Dubai trip soon 😉

 

♥Fabmomma♥

 

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Summer Weddings – Dublin

 

 

 

Hi everyone! I’ve attended two summer weddings and it’s barely June but I did promise to share so here goes! This wedding was in Dublin and I went alone so all the time to indulge in my new found love of photography 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Summer2015 Trip – Typhoon Lagoon

Our summer trip to Walt Disney World Resort continues from Day 1 at Magic Kingdom (see post) to spending the next day at one of the water parks, Typhoon Lagoon. The story behind this park is that there was a massive storm in Orlando which left a huge wreckage in its wake, pretty cool right?

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Entrance

Continue reading

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Summer2015 Trip – Walt Disney World Resort

Part 1 of our 2015 summer trip – Orlando, Florida! We had two weeks to spend in God’s own country – one in Florida, the other in Maryland / Washington DC so we decided to do two days intense shopping in Florida (lower VAT on purchases), two days at the Walt Disney World parks, fly to Maryland to spend time with more family and friends then fly back to Florida to take our flight home. This was going to be a very busy vacay! Continue reading

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Flying with a toddler

That dreaded topic – taking a flight with a baby/toddler or even going on a long journey with a young child who doesn’t get why they have to be stuck in an area for a length of time, can be quite scary. Since we had our little princess we must have brought her on at least 10 plane journeys (short & long haul) and we’ve tried a few tricks to ease up the journey for her more so on us. Continue reading