Today we’re happy to have Sarah Lynn – the blogger behind YYZ Bambina.
Sarah and her family (including her infant daughter) recently visited Honolulu, Hawaii. Having never been to Hawaii myself (with or without kids – it’s on my bucket list), I am excited to hear what she has to say on how to survive a 12 hour flight with a young one and read about some family friendly activities in Honolulu.
1. The flight to Hawaii was approximately 12 hours. Any tips on flying with an infant (or entertaining them on the plane)?
Try to relax. I was super nervous about the flight, because it was her first. And of course, she ended up being a great flyer!
We flew Toronto-Vancouver-Honolulu there, and Honolulu-Vancouver-Toronto back. My Mom travelled with my fiancé Chris and I, so there was Mommy, Daddy and Grandma for baby to play with. That helped. A lot. We flew late afternoon/evening, so she slept a lot. On the way home we flew during the night, and she slept the entire first flight! We also changed her in to her sleeper in Vancouver on the way there, and dressed her in clothes in Vancouver on the way home – anything to give her cues as to where she was in her day we thought would help.
Bring lots of quiet toys (books, stuffed animals). Other passengers understand that babies cry – but they shouldn’t have to listen to noisy toys.
And don’t underestimate the entertainment that the TVs in the back of the seat bring – my daughter loved watching the flight map!
2. How did your daughter adjust to sleeping in a new environment (ie hotel)?
She adjusted quite well. Due to a mix-up that was the fault of the hotel’s, she didn’t have a crib the first night, so my Mom slept in the same bed as her.
The crib arrived the next day, and she slept SO well in it. We brought her pack n’ play sheet that she uses at my Mom’s house for familiarity, and we left the fan on in the room which sounded a lot like the humidifier in her room at home. She slept 9 hours straight every night but one!
3. Was the time change difficult for your daughter? How did you get her adjusted?
We arrived in Hawaii a 9 p.m. local time, which was 3 a.m. back home. After we checked-in, we turned in for the night from exhaustion. We all woke-up around 7 a.m. local time the next day, and baby woke-up at 7 a.m. pretty much every day after that. So adjusting when we arrived wasn’t an issue.
However, adjusting to the time change when we got back to Toronto was a completely different story. It took us more than a week to get back on schedule.
I didn’t really do anything except be patient with her – after all, my body was adjusting too!
4. What did your daughter or family enjoy the most in Hawaii and what did you enjoy the least?
Hawaii is a beautiful place with delicious food – and very welcoming of tourists with children. I would recommend the Honolulu Zoo and a visit to Duke’s Restaurant as musts! Also, one must visit the Honolulu Cookie Co. They have free samples!
The Bus (Honolulu’s public transit system) is a great and economical way to get around Waikiki, however they have a strict rule about strollers – they must be folded before you board and baby has to ride in your lap. Therefore it was difficult to travel on the bus alone (although my Mom managed once with the help of a nice couple from Texas!).
Also, be aware of the sun – because you are so close to the equator you burn a lot easier than in other warm places. I went snorkeling and forgot to reapply my sunscreen before I hopped in the water at the second location. I was only in the water for about 10 minutes, but my back got badly burned from me looking into the ocean and following a sea turtle around.
5. Any budget/money saving tips for families travelling to Hawaii?
Travel on off-days and check out discounted sunset dinners before six. Everyone complains that Hawaii is so expensive, but I found it quite comparable to other large American cities – it’s just the air fare that’s obviously more expensive because it is so far away.
Also, we made sure to visit a Walmart the first day we were there to pick-up diapers and food for baby, which helped a lot.
Thanks Sarah Lynn for participating in the Meet the Blogger series. Here’s to more great family trips around the world.
Can’t wait to read about where you’re off to next and hopefully we’ll see you around town again soon (YYZ is the airport code for Toronto where we both live).
Do you have a favorite blogger you want to see in a Meet the Bloggers post? Let me know.