If I know one thing about travelling with my kids (and who am I kidding, me too) the only way to have a successful trip is to have loads of food on hand. I basically plan my entire day, week or trip around food.
When will we have lunch, what will our snacks be, what should next weeks supper be. I am pretty sure my entire life revolves around food.
So in order to have a successful long haul flight, I knew we had to stock up. Screw sleep, if I can’t fill my belly there will be hell to pay.
Here’s the thing, we are flying a budget airline – for 14 hours. This means that unless you want to shell out £15 on a cold limp sandwich, you’re not eating or drinking.
This obviously wasn’t going to fly with me, so we hit up the closest grocery store we could find and each child picked out a “dinner entree” to bring onboard.
Smuggling.. I mean, bringing food through security is a bit iffy. You get a maximum of 100ml of liquid to bring through, and when the kids started picking out curry for their meals.. I knew it was going to be a tough sell.
We make our way through the Gatwick Express train and are on our way to security. I am starting to panic at this point. I just shelled out £8 each on these curries and to be honest, I was losing sleep over the £40 quid that was most likely going to get shoved into the closest bin after being declined at security.
I get to the line and plop my oversize ALDI bag onto the conveyer belt filled with food. Granola, cut fruit and veggies, crackers and 5 portions of curry.
I decide to start a conversation with the fine gentlemen at the start, to you know, build rapport. “How’s the weather, doesn’t look too busy at the airport today.. oh you know.. just 5 curry sauces on their way through”.
The guy stops dead in his tracks.. “Curry?” He asks, “As in curry SAUCE?” He frowns and looks at my three children, all dutifully instructed to stand as angelic as possible with sad doe eyes. It clearly works and he calls over two managers to chat with them about the amount of curry sauce I am
smuggling bringing through.
I try to reason with the guys, telling them that if I mixed the sauce and rice together it wouldn’t technically be over 100ml’s of sauce. They seem intrigued by this point and decide, thanks to the doe eyes of the three sweet kids they would let it through.
Major score for me, we now have enough food to last 5 hungry travellers 14 hours. Woop!
Sometimes travelling with children can make it harder, but then there are those times where you know that if it weren’t for the kids, you would have been in a lot more trouble.
Like when we first arrived at the airport we were clearly over our free allowance with Norwegian. The lady behind the desk was getting rather agitated with us as we piled luggage after luggage onto the scale tipping it well over the weight allowed.
It was pretty clear that we were going to have to pay an additional fee (my inner self is dying inside) but at this point I am so tired of fighting with this lady and I just want to move through to my next fight (curry sauces) that I swallow my pride and allow the $50 fee.
We hand over the passports for final inspection and when she opens Charlie’s passport she pauses and says tp herself “Oh, what a sweet sweet face”.
She peers over the counter and there sitting on the luggage is a sweet doll like face with long blond hair looking up at her batting her long eye lashes.
Woah, this one surprised even me. Well played Charlie, well played. My kids may becoming evil geniuses.
She pauses and looks to us. “You know; you are travelling with kids, why don’t I just check a bag or you. For free! This way you won’t be charged at the next step.”
Oh thank you sweet, sweet Charlie. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that she has this effect on everyone, and the truth is, we probably wouldn’t run into an issue at the next step because of her sweet doll face (literally works every time we board an airplane, over weight and over sized)
But either way, we thank her over and over and check our overweight bag. Thank you children!
The flight was a success, despite Bryan being placed beside a middle aged man who was intent on getting as drunk as humanly possibly (although he was the only one to sleep through the flight, so maybe he knew something we didn’t) even spilling champagne all over Bryan’s pants. I couldn’t help but laugh at poor Bryan’s misfortune as I tucked into my Saag Paneer behind him. Sorry Bryan.
There was no sleeping of any kind, but we arrived in one piece to Singapore with bags under our eyes and a wicked headache to boot.
We stored our luggage at the airport and picked up a metro card for the 5 of us to take the train down to the Gardens by the Bay. I extended our layover by a few hours so that we could have the time to see this impressive sight, but of course here we are like walking zombies, literally staring at the Metro map for 40 minutes before deciding we would just “wing it”.
Our brains are mush, literal mush. It is currently 3am “body time” and the days of Bryan and I staying up past 9:30 pm are long gone.
We did make it to the gardens, but man it is HOT in Singapore. It is also an incredibly cool city, so advanced and clean. It was like walking into the future. We are already planning a trip back for a longer period of time. It is a very cool city.
We made our way back to the airport, carrying the kids who keep passing out on the metro and trying desperately not to fall asleep ourselves. We must have been quite the sight, dragging our bodies from one train to another, kids dressed in pink.
Singapore has the world’s most impressive airport. Google it if you have your doubts, it’s insane. We had hoped to spend some time checking out some of their terminals, but low and beyold, we spent time taking turns closing our eyes for 5-10 minutes while the kids went back and forth on the walking sidewalk behind us.
We are at the world’s most impressive airport, and we are sleeping on the floor. Yep.
We finally board our plane to Denpaser and the kids are out like a light before we even lift off. We have arranged for a driver to pick us up and we are so thankful to not have to handle a 2 hour car ride through Bali’s traffic on less than 30 minutes of sleep over the past 2 days.
Tonight we sleep, tomorrow … we sleep some more.