What a busy summer it’s been for the Globetrotter clan! Like many desert dwelling expats we escaped much of the summer heat by heading back to our Australian home for 5 weeks. This was swiftly followed by my youngest two Globetrotters starting ‘big school’ and nursery in September, the utter chaos of trying to move house in the UAE, then a long planned kid-free trip to Munich with Mr Globetrotter – we’ve been busy to say the least!
Still on the prowl to bring our best family travel recommendations to you, this month we have a review of travel toys that really work for long-haul flying, an innovative new product to help baby sleep while you’re on the go and our social media favorites are back! Let’s take a look;
Best kids travel toys
With much of our summer spent travelling by either car or plane, and staying at multiple locations, we have really learned to pack lighter . I wont say it was easy, packing light is not my normal travel ethos but flying solo with three aged 5 and under on this trip I knew I had to get packing savvy; that and after our last ultra long-haul adventure to the U.S.A., Mr Globetrotter did quite firmly put his foot down about the amount of actives and crap I chose to pack that never actually got used….
So with one very small back pack each for my big kids, and one bag for all the baby supplies, spare clothes and essentials, here’s the few items that we found worked best by age;
5 year old – Alex writing activity book. My daughter is just learning to write and this is perfect for keeping her engaged, with an easy wipe clean surface (hello wet wipes) and sturdy pages she could practice her writing on the move.
3 year old – Galt Water Magic. The simplicity of these books is great. Just a very small drop of water in the reuseable pen is needed and the pages magically transform into colourful pictures, as well as some hidden objects. After while the image dries and the page turns white again, meaning you can keep reusing the books again and again.
1 year old – My Master J has failed to show an interest in anything other than 1. Tugging my hair 2. Ripping all the magazines out of the seat pocket 3. Chewing on suspiciously looking items he’s found on the floor 4. Squashing plastic cups so they make a loudy crackly sound 5. Stealing whatever toy his siblings are happily engaged with.
When I find the ultimate engager for him I will let you know (NB – the behaviours I have listed here apply on the ground as well as in the air; seriously this kid is a wanton path of destruction with no interest in “toys”!)
I wish I could say I succeeded in the whole packing light thing but once we threw in 3 car seats, 2 roller bag suitcases, 1 double stroller and copious gifts from relatives, I think you’ll find its some years off until we’re flying carry-on only.
I was very excited to see this new baby sleep aid product released by Australian creator Emma Lovell. Sadly, we discovered this amazing product too late for our youngest, Master J to use it on our recent summer adventures (a very sad day when your baby grows too big for the airline bassinets!). However, one of our lovely readers from the UAE, Eugenia tested the Fly Babee for us on her recent return flights to the UK with a 7 month old, here is her product review:
On the plane: We flew during the day time both directions, so I’m not sure it made much difference to her usual sleeping habits as her naps lasted just as long as usual. On a night flight, maybe another story as it can keep light away and replicate the night sleeping conditions that otherwise you wouldn’t get on the plane
Sunshade: For me, the biggest and best use is actually as a stroller cover. I walk with my baby in the afternoon, and being able to put her in the stroller with the confidence that she gets full shade (especially with weather like here in Abu Dhabi) and the safety of a breathable fabric is amazing. We have also used it when she falls asleep in the stroller in busy places (mall, restaurants, a wedding) and it works fantastic, as it keeps the distractions away (people walking past and looking at the baby, changes in light conditions). Another good thing is the sense of security and privacy it gives (probably more than anything to the parents) as you feel your baby is safe there and undisturbed.
I would definitely recommend the product. We have been using it a lot!
Thanks very much to Eugenia and family for being our guest product testers! We will shortly be offering the chance to WIN one of these fabulous Fly Babee Sleep Easy shades – make sure your connected with us on Facebook, we’ll be posting competition details soon!
In October we will be providing a detailed review and video on the Phil & Ted’s Traveller Cot – there’s a new generation of travel cot in town and we like it!
Family Travel on Instagram
Our favourite Instagram accounts this month have a distinctly Australian flare to them. Being back “home” has reminded me what a truly magnificent and beautiful country I grew up in. I hope we will give our kids the opportunity to properly explore this magnificent place from one coast to coast one day. Here are some families already living the dream:
HolidayRoadOz follows Allison, Peter their 11 children, 2 dogs and a cockatoo. Not just an amazing story but they captured some truly stunning moments in the Australian outback, one of the truly beautiful albums on Instagram.
Fiftytoeswalkabout follows another classic Aussie road tripping family currently capturing the beauty of the Northern Territorty with their 3 children aged 9,8 & 7.
Mumpacktravel – what an inspiration this beautiful mum and daughter team, Evie & Em, are. Travelling the world but currently on a stint back in Australia to fund they’re 2016 Asia adventure. Keeping us busy still with their New South Wales adventures and great travel chat.
Theblondenomads Pro photographers based in Sydney; just wow. What stunning photo captures o, what stunning photo capturesstunning photography Aussie Travel family
Are their any great Australian family Instagrammers I’ve missed?
Pinterest of Interest if you love the outdoors
Baby Routes – Kate gives us the best in outdoor life with kids; family friendly walks, product reviews and sharing her love of hiking, plenty of pinning pleasure here for your outdoor ideas with kids.
Tales of a Mountain Mama – Great ideas for encouraging kids to have an active, outdoor life; Reviews for baby carrying, getting out on wheels, urban activities and many more. If you love getting the kids outside you’re bound to pin some boards here that will inspire you.
New Blog Series – Expat Entrepreneurs
For those of you interested in learning more about living abroad and business ideas to keep your overseas dreams going, this new interview series is a must. I have met some truly inspiring women over the last few months who have turned their family overseas postings into personal business dreams. Come and check out the amazing things these women have done, you’re sure to be left feeling truly motivated and inspired.
What’s coming up for Our Globetrotters in October?
More travel! I think I’m declaring this international year of the long-haul flight. You’d be surprised to hear I really don’t get much pleasure from them; despite the number of hours we seem to be spending in the air, flying remains a means to and end not a pleasure in itself (yes even if you’re sitting in the pointy end).
We’ll be clocking up another 10 hours each way with Qatar Airways, taking the Globetrotters on a South African adventure for our good friends’ wedding in Stellenbosch, followed by some exploring around Cape Town and the Cape of Good Hope. We can’t wait to try our KidzGo plane bags and of course a load of amazing wildlife and travel adventures ahead in this stunning country.
(Must give a big shout out to @monicaep who answered our call for help on kid-friendly ideas near Cape Town via Instagram. She has produced for us an absolute stellar list of ideas)
I’ll also be attending the TBEX Asia travel bloggers conference in Bangkok – yes another kid-free trip this year, scandalous I know. Really looking forward to rubbing shoulders with some of my fellow blogging friends in person, and I don’t mind a bit of Bangkok shopping and Thai massage while I’m at it.
Disclaimer: Some of the products mentioned in this review were provided to Our Globetrotters free of charge for the purposes of providing an honest review of the product. We only recommend products that we believe in and trust will be suitable for our readers