However, going away with children can turn into something of a military exercise! My advice is:
a) Don’t do it unless you have to (and are prepared to argue non-stop with your spouse!)
b) Take as many domestic helpers as you can afford
c) Arm yourself with Piriton, an antihistamine suitable for toddlers prescribed by your paediatrician, for your little angels in case they go nuts on the flight. A screaming child is hell (and not just thanks to the dagger stares you’ll from everyone else on-board) as you’ll soon get stressed, exhausted and eventually try to stab your husband with a plastic airline spoon if order doesn’t resume quickly. Which reminds me…
d) Take loads of Valium for yourself, in case the Piriton doesn’t work on the kids; that way you can at least be oblivious to the havoc being caused around you!
I would also recommend smothering your children’s faces in bright orange Organix Carrot Sticks and chocolate; trust me, people will go to great lengths to try locate a different seat on a plane when they see not one, but TWO messy toddlers sat there trying to climb out their seats. Oh the joys of travelling with children!
On our last flight to Bali, I had to cope with THREE hours of non-stop screaming from my son (his twin sister was sat angelically reading a newspaper). And where was my loyal, caring husband? Hiding in an aircraft toilet with earplugs shoved in, downing glasses of wine to ease his pain!
If you have to travel with your little darlings, my advice is to plan well in advance and make sure you are prepared for everything. We time our flights so they fall in line with the kids’ nap times and general routine. Make sure your travel buggy is oiled and ready to do some laps (I have a fab twin one by ‘O Baby’ which is cheap and has now travelled across the globe).
Pack those nappy bags for all eventualities! Whilst our partners get away with a tiny bag with swim trunks, the latest Esquire and an iPad, we ladies have to run around with checklists, organising baby food, formula, nappies, wipes, clothes, medicine, etc. As my twins are a boy and girl (yes, lucky old exhausted me), they can’t even share the same clothes (although I did do this in the first few months of their life which simply confused people). If you forget one thing, all hell can break loose… but it’s still up to us the hold everything together! If you lose it, everything falls apart and your husband will soon recognise that crazed look in your eye as you search for the nearest airport bar to down a bottle of wine!
Flights from HK are pretty reasonably priced if you book well in advance and most cater for children. I would also recommend looking at companies that deliver baby products direct to your hotel to save you bringing the entire house over; although it’s an extra cost, it does take the strain out of preparations. The key is to find great hotels that are child-friendly (most places in Asia have been amazing) and plan well in advance so you don’t have a personal breakdown in the middle of the airport.
Since moving here, we have travelled extensively as a family, the twins’ passports already look more impressive than mine did in my twenties… and I have survived to tell the tale! Good luck packing!