This next trip of ours couldn’t come soon enough for us! 2017 hasn’t turned out to be our year so far but we are fortunate enough that we can leave the baggage (emotional not backpack, we need that) at home and jet off around the world. Last time Faye and I travelled properly Faye was 3 and we spent 3 months in the USA before she started school. Now she’s at school it’s much, much harder for us to do big trips as we are really limited to the summer holidays and which countries are suitable at that time of year.
Bali was a good choice for us weather wise as July/August is slightly cooler (28-30 degrees) and drier than other times in the year. Plus I’ve always wanted to go since seeing Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love!
Flights were booked through STA Travel, a company I always use as they do a good price comparison and the airline we flew with was Garuda Intl. I found Garuda did the best aeroplane food I’ve ever had and they did Faye a child’s meal which was all things she’d actually eat! Only questionable thing was being woken up and given a spinach and feta pastry at 4am!
Flights were as follows; 14 hours London to Jakarta, 2 hours stop in Jakarta, then a 2 hour flight from Jakarta to Bali. You actually go through customs in Jakarta so once you get to Bali you just walk straight out the airport.
I usually get questioned when I travel alone with Faye so I always bring her birth certificate and this time I brought a signed letter from her Father, but luckily for me on the way out it wasn’t questioned. Don’t think it’ll be as smooth on the way home, but we will see!
We arrived into Bali around midnight Wednesday night, the travelling was exhausting and felt very disorientated for 48 hours after but it all ran to time so you can’t ask more than that!
We are currently waiting for our final flight back to London Heathrow.
We are at the airport in plenty of time. Our luggage has now doubled and I have a full 50lb suitcase as well as my backpack.
Firstly when dropping off our baggage (as I had checked in online last night) one suitcase was 4lbs over and one was 4lbs under so you would think, or maybe I thought, that they would just let the weight cancel itself out, but no! I had to take bits out of the heavier case and repackage them into the lighter case.
On the upside for us, Minneapolis St Paul airport has a family security lane so when going through the x ray machines, as Faye and I call them, we were allowed straight to the front and the security guys helped me lifting the stroller on and off and they even gave Faye stickers!
Once through security we had plenty of time to kill so we had a wander around the shops, it’s a pretty big airport with plenty of little shops. We had a bite to eat in Chilli’s – make sure you pick up a coupon brochure in the airport as you save money on children’s meals in most of the restaurants. Also in the brochure is a list of family friendly things to do at MSP airport. There is snoopy statues, a play area and arcades as well as a family centre and a feeding room.
We soon got bored of walking around the airport so we then decided to go and find the gate to sit down and to my surprise at our gate there are about 100 iPads setup free to use as well as hundreds of plug sockets for charging phones and electronics. So, as we had some time to kill I’ve been able to blog direct from the gate – how exciting!
What a bloody day! Sorry, it’s been long!
I’m not going to make out it was a disaster because it could of been worse but still it could of been better!
We checked out of the Miami hotel and got over to the airport to return the rental car and quickly and easily got checked in and through security. Once through security our flight kept getting delayed and our gate kept changing meaning we had to use the airport shuttle train three times to get to across the airport to different gates. Once they finally stuck to a gate more delays came up. My flight was not direct, I had to stop in Chicago then onto San Diego and the delays on the first leg meant I was going to miss the second leg. So I went to have a moan to the American Airlines agent and she put us on a direct flight to San Diego – bonus! But I had to wait another 90 minutes to board it – not impressed! So by the time we actually got on the plane we’d been at the airport 5 hours, bearing in mind it is a domestic flight in which the website says you only need to turn up half an hour before! The other downside was my luggage had to stay on the original delayed flight and go to Chicago and then San Diego – so I am now in my motel in San Diego, whilst my bag is still on an aeroplane somewhere!
On arrival I was told I could wait for it (3 hours – NO WAY) or it will be delivered to my hotel in ‘due course’. I was not best pleased when I was told this news, and when ‘discussing’ it with the AA representative they told me to ring a number to deal with it and I said how can i when my phone is out of battery and the charger is in my suitcase!
So we currently have no luggage… this ought to be fun!