Family vacations hold a special place in our childhood memories, creating moments of joy and connection that resonate for a lifetime. When you travel with your children, you not only strengthen your relationship and bond but also gift them with treasured memories to cherish as they grow older. These experiences shape their perspectives and provide them with a broader understanding of the world beyond their immediate surroundings.
Through these explorations, your children embrace a life that goes beyond the ordinary. They learn to adapt, appreciate, and find happiness in the simple pleasures of new experiences. The wonderment and excitement they feel while discovering unfamiliar landscapes, tasting different cuisines, and engaging with diverse communities in still in them a genuine and profound sense of joy.
As parents, witnessing the happiness and growth that travel brings to our children is truly rewarding. It fuels our love for exploring the world with them and inspires us to continue this journey together. So, embrace the adventures, create lasting memories, and let the magic of travel enrich your lives.
Through traveling, your kids will venture into a life out of the ordinary and lead a lifestyle that makes them truly and genuinely happy; and that my friends, is why we love traveling with our kids and why you should embrace traveling with kids.
As such, we will like to share our story of flying as parents with a baby for the very first time!
The moment arrived. It was January 2014, and our firstborn was just four months old. We made the decision to embark on a journey back to Malaysia, specifically to Tawau in Sabah, a breath-taking part of Borneo that held a special place in our hearts. As we delved into our research, we eagerly searched for the best tips for traveling with babies and sought tips for stress-free family travel with kids, knowing that a smooth and enjoyable journey was our ultimate goal.
As a family embarking on our very first flight together, we sought the most convenient and efficient route from Melbourne to Tawau. After careful consideration, we decided on Malaysia Airlines MH128, which departed Melbourne (MEL) at 00:20, bound for Kuala Lumpur (KUL) with an arrival time of 06:00. Following a brief 1 hour and 30-minute layover in Kuala Lumpur, we boarded MH2660, scheduled to depart at 07:30 and take us directly to Tawau (TWU), reaching our destination by 10:20. It seemed like the perfect itinerary for our family adventure.
Our little one wasn't the best sleeper, but he can generally get between 2 to 4 hours at one stretch. The overnight flight worked out well for us, giving us a couple of hours of sleep. Fast forward a couple of hours (it was a blur), as we approached Tawau International Airport, the view was simply amazing.
Mountains of greenery terrace oil palms and evenly squared-off fish farms. One-word Wow! The airport is about an hour's drive away from the town center. Sabah has as a world heritage site Kinabalu Park, if you do visit It is worth spending at least 2 to 3 nights in Tawau to indulge in the local culture.
There are plenty of local coffee shops, seafood restaurants, and beautiful islands dotted around. The highlight of our trip would definitely be the islands.
The journey from Tawau to Semporna town and its port typically takes around 1.5 hours by road. Once there, a multitude of captivating islands awaits, catering to various budgets and preferences. With a child in tow this time, we opted for Mabul Island, a mere hour's boat ride away and conveniently located near Sipadan Island, renowned for its natural beauty.
Reflecting back on my first visit to Sipadan in 1992, I recall a time when the island was inhabited and boasted three on-site resorts. The one we stayed at was simple yet delightful—a rustic wooden hut furnished with two single beds and a basic bathroom. It was an authentic experience that remains etched in my memory.
Sipadan Island offers a shallow reef just off its main beach, where the crystal-clear waters reveal an awe-inspiring sight. As we ventured further from the shoreline, we marveled at the dramatic drop-off where the reef wall abruptly descended hundreds of meters below. It was both exhilarating and mesmerizing, evoking a sense of both awe and trepidation.
Our days on the island were filled with joy, adventure, and a sense of tranquility. We immersed ourselves in the beauty of the surroundings, embracing worry-free moments and relishing the freedom to explore. As nightfall graced the island, we embarked on a quest to discover coconut crabs, with the hope of catching a glimpse of turtles laying their precious eggs—a truly remarkable sight to behold.
Mabul Island has its own beauty, from wreck dive to mud dive. Each Island with its own beauty and mystic. Opposite the Island is a decommissioned oil rig. Diving around the old rig I was lucky enough to encounter the smallest seahorse in the world, the pygmy seahorse. A captivating sight!
The idyllic lifestyle on the island makes it the best vacation. From lazing on the hammock to all-inclusive buffet meals throughout the day. If you're up for an adventure, go for a stroll around the island. You will be able to meet some locals, have a chat and experience their culture. Souvenirs are also plentiful if you wish. An opportunity also arose during our trip for a visit with real-life sea gypsies. It's an eye-opener to witness their way of life.
First Time Flying with Kids
The memories of our first trip as parents will forever hold a special place in our hearts. We discovered that the journey becomes more enjoyable when accompanied by good company, and we embarked on this adventure armed with a wealth of knowledge and now first-hand experience on how to navigate air travel with children and flying with strollers.
Have a wonderful day wherever you are and safe travels!