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Wanderlust by Wanderlustwithmykids - 5M ago

When it comes to packing my carry on luggage I usually follow the philosophy of ‘Less is More’.  It’s a balancing act between not packing everything but the kitchen sink vs being prepared and organised, which generally equals comfortable and happy little travelers.

In this blog post I have put together a packing guide for the essentials to pack in your carry on luggage. Be sure to also download my free checklist here.  Some products I mention are sponsored however we only work with brands and products that we genuinely love, use and are happy to recommend to our friends, family and readership.

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My husband and I usually pack two Carry on bags.  Our back pack stays with us under our seat.  I prefer a back pack because I like to organise my goodies into the little compartments. Everything we might need during the flight is in this bag.

The second bag is our wheely carry on suitcase.  This usually contains a change of clothes for us all and valuables/breakables that we wouldn’t want to put in our checked in suitcases such as my camera.  This is usually stored above us and isn’t really used during the flight.  (Except that one time Monkey spewed everywhere).  Thank goodness for the spare change of clothes!

The munchkins each have their own bags so they can grab what they want when they want.  I like them both to have back packs so they can carry them on their back and keep their hands free to wheel their own suitcases.

” I get ideas about what’s essential when Packing my suitcase” – Diana Von Furstenberg
Download your free copy of my Carry on luggage Checklist here. Carry on Luggage packing guide: The Essentials
  • Boarding pass
  • Wallet with cash, credit card and ID.
  • Printed copy of travel docs.
  • phone and or camera
  • Passport ~ I also like to take a screen shot of our passports on my phone (just in case).  I love this little case I purchased from Typo.  There are 3 compartments which fits our passports, boarding pass and a pen in perfectly.

For Entertainment
  • Books ~although now I prefer to pre-download my reading material on iBooks on my iPad.  This way I can have heaps of books without them weighing my luggage down and taking up space.
  • Busy bags ~ Busy bags are light, fun and entertaining pouches I prepare for the kids on the plane.  When the kids are happy and entertained it helps me relax and makes it possible for me to read that book.  You can read all about my busy bags here on my blog post Keeping Kids Entertained on a Plane.

  • Magazines
  • iPad
  • Head phones ~ These are usually provided on most flights however we like to back our own comfy pair.  Monkey usually has ear plugs in her ears so she can’t put the provided head phones inside her ears.
  • Colouring materials ~  This is for me as much as it is for kids.  I like to pack my own adult colouring book to keep myself entertained.  Especially on flights that don’t provide in flight entertainment.  Also handy to kill time when waiting around at airports.
  • Kids Travel Journal.  My kids like to keep a journal when we travel.  It keeps them both busy on the plane and is great for them to look back on. You can download my free kids travel journal here.
Download your FREE Kids Travel Journal! For Comfort
  • Cozy socks ~ I generally wear socks and shoes when flying.  Mainly because I like to wear my heaviest shoes to save room in my suitcase.  Once i’m on board I fling my shoes off and like to keep my cozy socks on.
  • Neck pillow
  • Change of clothes. Trust me on this one.  When we boarded the plane to LA they served us dinner straight away.  Monkey was put off by the smell and spewed all over her dinner trey, her lap and MY lap.  In her defense she was only 2 a the time.  Thankfully I had packed us all a change a clothes otherwise it was going to be a long 15 hours!
  • Eye masks~ again provided on some flights but not as cute as these I found at Typo. (yep a little addicted to that shop).  Plus good to use when napping at airports or not so dark hotel rooms.

  • Sunglasses/reading glasses ~ this depends on what time we will arrive at our destination.  If I know we are arriving at night, I will pack my sunnies in my suitcase.

“Remember less is more so only pack the essentials”

  • Plane Pal ~  This is a must have if you’re travelling long distances with kids.  It comes with a handy pump and once inflated is placed in their leg space.  This helps to extend the little ones chair and enables them to lay more flat and sleep! The handy little pouch makes it easy to carry and well worth packing if you can get an 8 hours sleep out of them!
For Health
  • Any prescription medication
  • Pain reliever ~ nothing worse than a headache on a long haul flight
  • Ear plugs~ I seriously don’t take off without them.  Monkey really used to suffer from ear pain.  I now pop these little plugs in her ears before take off and landing and she hasn’t had any dramas with her ears since! You can find these at most chemists.

  • Tissues
  • Travel sick medication.  I’ve tried so many brands however Kwells are my favourite and works best for us.

  • Wet ones.  I use antibacterial wipes.  I go a little crazy when I first board the plane and wipe EVERYTHING down.  The dinner tray, the seat belt, arm rest…It embarrasses my husband, he rolls his eyes every time I do it,  but i’m not wasting money on a well deserved holiday just to get sick.   Planes are notorious for being riddled with germs.  Also great for sticky fingers and chins after eating, and by this i’m referring to Greg and not the kids!
  • Sea Band ~  Another must have product which has really helped Monkey with her motion sickness.  Sea-band is an innovative knitted acupressure wristband that has been clinically tested to reduce symptoms of travel nausea and vomiting. Monkey was terribly ill during every flight we had been on.  For our last flight to NZ I popped some sea bands on her before we took off and she wasn’t sick once! We did a motor home tour of the South Island and she wore them the the whole time and felt great.  Monkey gives them a two thumbs up! Check them out here…. http://sea-band.com.au/

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Wanderlust by Wanderlustwithmykids - 5M ago

If you’re looking for some great fun for the whole family to enjoy on the Sunshine Coast then a day at Sea Life won’t disappoint! I remember visiting when I was a kid, back then it was Underwater World and I must admit, it is better than ever! We enjoyed amazing talks, feeds and seal presentations all which were included in our admission price!

On arrival we were given a full list of talk times along with a helpful ‘Top Tips’ to help make the most of our day at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast.  It really was a great day out and we learnt so much which is always an added bonus!

SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast is located in Mooloolaba, just minutes from the beach on the Sunshine Coast, 1 hour north of Brisbane. We had to giggle when we got in the car and drove from our Mooloolaba accommodation (Osprey Apartments). When Suri told us we had arrived we soon realised we could have easily of walked.

Seriously does Finding Nemo ever get old?  No matter your age it’s always a little exciting to Find Nemo and Dory.  Sea Life takes you on an underwater journey through Australia’s unique freshwater & marine environments.

Not all the animals are behind glass at SEA LIFE! There are plenty of petting opportunities to get your hands wet and up close and personal with marine life. We got to see and touch an array of marine life that can be found in local tide pools, including beautiful sea stars, sea urchins and sea cucumbers.

The seal presentation was a highlight of the day!  It was seriously laugh out loud funny and extremely entertaining with lots of ‘seal’iness but also very educational.  After the presentation you can go and say hello to the fishy friends and have your photo taken.

After the presentation you can also book a Seal Experience.  Only four spaces are available for this so get in early.   Monkey and Boogs enjoyed this immensely!  They got to go inside the Seal Fish Kitchen, see what seals eat and learnt how we care for them. I now have two budding Marine Biologists on my hands.

During their Seal Encounter, they learnt all about the seal species in Australian waters.
They got to meet one of the beautiful seals (Teeko) up close and touch his fur and whiskers, look at his eyes up close and even shake his flippers to ‘seal’ the friendship.  A photographer was there to capture every moment!  We got one printed souvenir  photo included with the encounter and the additional photos were available for purchase.

A ‘must do’ at Sea Life is to walk the depths of the ocean beneath the 80 metre long Ocean Tunnel. We saw over eight species of sharks, rays, reef fish, sawfish and some pretty cool fish as we strolled through the 3.5 million dollar Ocean walk!  Boogs was in selfie heaven and managed to get some pretty impressive shark selfies!

Fancy taking the plunge yourself?   If you’re up for it you can jump in the deep end and dive with the sharks with the Shark Dive Xtreme!  Dives are available daily and can be pre booked online.  We might put this one on the bucket list!

It seems where ever you look you will find an explosion of colour, bursting with an array of underwater life!

Turtle Temple: Get up close to these amazing wanderers of the oceans.

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Wanderlust by Wanderlustwithmykids - 5M ago

With my obsession with Disney Princesses and my husbands love for anything medieval it was inevitable that we were going to love our visit to Sunshine Castle.  The medieval museum / tourist attraction and function venue was built in 1972 and is a stand out landmark on the Sunshine Coast. The Norman style Castle, with medieval additions comes complete with a moat, turrets, towers and a drawbridge and is totally unique in Australia.


We explored the castle with a self guided tour at our own pace.

The Castle Museum Self Walk tour highlights:
• Castle Courtyard with the Kings Table, Fireplace, Pillory, Stage and Moat
• Reception Hall with the original Xena Throne from the TV Series and a working Ballista
• Great Hall for the Kings Feasting Nights with his trophies and exhibits
• Castle Dungeon
• Battlement Look Out in the Circular Tower
• Visit the Castle Chapel (Old Ferry Master Hut)
• 24 m Lookout Tower with view from the Coast to the Hinterland
• “Outside the Castle” Display – depicting life outside Castle walls
• Interactive Armour Display – allowing you to touch and try on some authentic armour
• Relics of the Dancing Dolls, Toy and Doll Museum, Fairytale Diaramas & Model Train Railway.
• Castle’s of the world display in the Gallery, Siege of a Castle & James Cooks Travel’s Displays
• International bow and arrows display and a unique master carved Nativity Scene

The kids learnt so much about History and no longer think their consequences for not doing their homework is anything to whine about.  These stocks are devices used in medieval times as a form of punishment involving public humiliation. The stocks partially immobilized its victims.

The Sunshine Castle is filled with medieval and historical displays and other cultural exhibitions! The kids enjoyed the treasure hunt which lead them on several different quests around the Castle.  It was a great way to help us navigate the Castle and gave them a little educational perspective whilst having lots of fun. Their successful quest lead to a treat from the Kings Treasure Chest!


Our timing was perfect because we were there the day Lord Herald Stephen of Landsborough was!  Monkey was chosen from the audience to be knighted!  She can now be referred to as Lady Monkey!

The Castle is open from 9:30am – 4:30pm DAILY.  Admission will set you back $15 per adult, $12 per child.

The chain mail was incredibly heavy!  These guys only lasted long enough for a quick pic before complaining!  All geared up knights carry approx. an extra 45kg!!


We found the dungeon!

The Fairytale Walk is a highlight of the castle tour and allows young and old alike to delve into the imaginary world. The doll museum boasts a  large and impressive collection of dolls and nic nacs.


We stopped for lunch at the café and enjoyed the sunshine out in the courtyard.

We really enjoyed our visit to Sunshine Castle!  Have you been?  Comment below…Would love to hear about your experience.

Address:
Sunshine Castle
292 David Low Way Bli Bli
Queensland 4560
Australia
Phone: +61 7 54484477
info@sunshinecastle.com
management@sunshinecastle.com

Travelling with kids?  Download our free digital kids travel journal ~ 10 colourful printable pages ~ makes a memorable holiday keepsake and the ultimate Show and Tell memento! It’s our gift to you xoxo

Download your FREE Kids Travel Journal!

The post Sunshine Castle  appeared first on Wanderlust With My Kids.

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Wanderlust by Wanderlustwithmykids - 5M ago


A little weekend getaway to the Sunshine Coast lead us to Noosa Horse Riding.  A family owned business just 10 minutes away from Noosa.  After a one hour beginners ride around Lake Weyba we are now totally hooked and in love with horse riding.  It’s no wonder Noosa Horse Riding have been nominated for business and tourism awards on the Sunshine Coast!

Apart from a couple of pony rides at birthday parties, Boogs and Monkey had never ridden a horse.  Admittedly I was nervous about them being on anything larger than a pony, and being totally in control with stopping, starting and steering, but the amazing tour guides were very caring, helpful and professional and gave the kids a lesson before we head out of the enclosure.

The horses were amazing!  So peaceful and gentle and very well-trained.  Monkey’s horse ‘Sam’ had once taken a blind tourist around the lake.  Immediately my nerves disappeared.  Once the kids were confident and could master the basics we were ready to head out to beautiful Lake Weyba.

All rides are subject to weather and tide conditions but we were blessed with most incredible blue skied day.  They cater for kids from 8 years and above and although I’m normally a nervous Nelly I had no concerns or worries about Monkey (10) and Booga (13) being on the horses.  We were given helmets and long pants and closed in shoes are recommended.

Once we hit the lake I realised how completely relaxed and in the moment I felt. Gone were thoughts about work, groceries and my ‘to do’ list.  It suddenly occurred to me how good horse riding is for the soul.  There was literally no one around, so it was overwhelmingly peaceful.  With deep inhales of the crisp morning air, I couldn’t help but notice how amazing the warm winter sun felt and acknowledging that the only sounds I could hear, was the whistling of leaves, gentle hooves…. and an occasional horsey sneeze.

I asked the kids during the ride…What have you enjoyed more?  Horse riding on the lake or riding dolphins in Jamaica?  Without hesitating they said “Horse riding!!!”

Noosa Horse Riding cater rides for beginner, intermediate and advance riders starting from $80.00 for a one hour ride.  They also offer lessons and private tours upon request. Advanced bookings are essential.  A horse riding experience on Lake Weyba is really a must to add to your bucket list!  We had an incredible time and will certainly be back!

For more information on Noosa Horse Riding

Contact Dave on 0438 710 530                                                                                                       Email:  info@noosahorseriding.com.au                                                                                                        Address:Wills Road, Weba Downs, Noosa, Queensland                                               www.noosahorseriding.com.au

Where in the world have you been horse riding?  Comment below, would love to hear from you!

Safe travels x

Travelling with kids?  Download our free digital kids travel journal ~ 10 colourful printable pages ~ makes a memorable holiday keepsake and the ultimate Show and Tell memento! It’s our gift to you xoxo

Download your FREE Kids Travel Journal!

The post Noosa Horse Riding Experience appeared first on Wanderlust With My Kids.

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1. The transfer over to the island!

It’s an island so to get there why not sip on wine and enjoy the wind in your hair as you cruise the Whitsunday islands? The water is the most amazing shade of blue, probably the nicest waters I’ve seen in the world.

2. Welcome necklace and mocktail.

You’ll feel like a VIP guest when you’re welcomed with a shell necklace and fruity drink.  The staff were so warming and friendly.  Instantly we felt relaxed and ready to holiday.

3.  Helicopter rides!

Seriously there is no better way to see the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef than from the air.   Truly a breathtaking experience.  The helpful staff at  Daydream helped us to organise this and the helicopter practically picked us up from our front door.

4. Sail on a Catamaran!

Daydream island offer complimentary catamaran hire.   The staff helped us all on board and briefed us on how to move and steer.  It was reassuring to know they had their eye on us and would zip out in their boat if we began to struggle.

5. Snorkel! 

Can you believe that water! Just beautiful.  We went to Daydream during stinger season so it was import to cover up, however that didn’t stop us from having a ball and attempting to find Nemo.  Tip: Daydream sell fish food so be sure to pick up some when you collect your snorkel gear.  The fish will literally come to you.

6.  Hire a jet ski! 

My son will often boast that he got to ride a brand new jet ski, never to be hired before.  Quite easily the highlight of his trip.

7.  Stingray Splash Experience

This was an incredible experience. We literally had everything the Great Barrier reef has to offer around our ankles.  The marine biologist taught the kids (and me) so much about marine life.  The stingray are so friendly and love to nibble at your feet and climb up your leg.  Their barbs have been removed so it’s completely safe. I didn’t think Monkey would do it, but there she is with a glove on her hand letting the stingray take her bait.

8.  Watch a movie under the stars

Paradise by day but a movie theatre by night.  After a sun soaked day, relaxing outside under the stars felt like heaven.  Deck chairs are provided, popcorn was available and the breeze was to die for.

9.  Hire a Kayak

Again complimentary hire and lots of fun. We saw a massive turtle pop its head up out of the water right beside us.

10.  Hang out in the pools 

Possibly our favourite activity.  Plenty of pools to choose from and we never had a problem finding a deck chair to lounge on.

11.  Fish Feeding

For those not quite game to swim with the fish, the fish feeding experiences bought all the fish to you!

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