Thursday, October 30, 2014

Travel Tips 5: Entertainment for Kids

All of us know that the greatest challenge with bringing the kids with us on a trip overseas, be it by plane, car or bus, is finding ways to entertain our kids during the journey where they are confined in a small space and have nowhere to go. After a while, they start complaining, whining, crying and asking, "are we there yet?!?" and it can drive us insane. True story.

With the help of fellow mums from Singapore Mom Bloggers (SMB), we bring to you our top tips for entertaining your child on long flights and bus/car rides (the tips are organised by type of travel and age of the child).

Tips on Entertainment for Kids:



BABIES (0-2 years old):

"Usually I only need to bring a pacifier to help with the air pressure and teething toys for my baby to bite on. Most of the time they are sleeping anyway; lucky for me, my kids love to sleep on the plane."
~~ Madeline (that's me!)

"For young babies, we bring snacks (such as chewy biscuits), juices or milk to reduce any discomfort caused by changes in air pressure and keep them distracted from the travelling time."
~~ Angeline of Life's Tiny Miracles, Mum to a 6-year-old girl & a 3-month-old boy

"People always say babies should have something to suckle when the plane takes off. If you bottle feed, don't pop the bottle into baby's mouth as soon as plane is on the runway. Sometimes it takes ages for the plane to take off and you wouldn't want to be stuck with an empty bottle then."
~~ Adora of Gingerbreadmum, Mum to 6- and 2.5-year-old girls

"Snacks for the 14 months old to ease ear pressure when flight takes off and long road trips up the mountains."
~~ Serene of Xavvy-licious, Mum to a 6-year-old boy & a 14-month-old girl


TODDLER (2-4 years old):

"It is not easy to entertain my attention-deficit girl but we try our best to bring a diverse number of things such as colouring books, stickers and even some toys to entertain her. However, despite all our preparation, sometimes all it takes is as simple as an empty cup and a small spoon. Kids.. (-_-)"
~~ Madeline (that's me!)

"If your child loves stickers but always has problems with peeling it off, peel off the entire background, leaving only the stickers so that it's easier for them to handle on their own (and you won't need to assist them all.the.time). We also love Crayola Color Wonder products because if the markers get on other objects it doesn't leave a mark. Or Aquadoodle kind of products."
~~ Edlyn of Mummy Ed, Mum to 6- and 4-year-old boys & a 2-year-old girl

"When travelling with toddlers, bring lots of distractions but don't give them all at once. Space the toys/activities out and only take them out one by one so your kids won't tire of them all at the same time."
~~ Adora of Gingerbreadmum, Mum to 6- and 2.5-year-old girls


KINDERGARTEN KIDS (4-7 years old):

"For my 4 year old, we bring along coloring books, puzzle books and storybooks."
~~ Dominique of Dominique's Desk, Mum to 10- and 7-year-old boys & a 4-year-old girl

"For toddlers and pre-schoolers, prepare busy bags with sticker books, simple puzzle books, light weight storybooks, and a small pack of colour pencils so that she can self-entertain. If you're travelling on budget flights without any entertainment system, pre-load educational apps and multimedia storybook apps on the iPad. Here are some audio books that we like!
On our recent trip to NYC, we brought along a child headphone set (on loan from our neighbour) which proved to be sooooo useful (as the regular ones given out by airlines are usually too big for kids and keep sliding off). She was able to enjoy the cartoons and kid-friendly movies throughout the flight."
~~ Angeline of Life's Tiny Miracles, Mum to a 6-year-old girl & a 3-month-old boy

"Never be the first to board. Usually they announce for mothers with infants and kids to board first. However, after you board, 300 odd other people board. The kids will be super bored in confined spaces. Then they throw tantrums. Bad start to a trip."
~~ Irene of Singapore Mom Blogs, Mum to 9- and 2-year-old boys & a 7-year-old girl

"For the 6 years old, we bring along a notebook, writing materials, portable IQ logic game set, washi tapes. Details found in my post on our trip to Taiwan."
~~ Serene of Xavvy-licious, Mum to a 6-year-old boy & a 14-month-old girl


SCHOOL-GOING KIDS (6-12 years old):

"For the older boys, bring along journals for writing their diary entries, composition, test papers or holiday homework, board games and story books."
~~ Dominique of Dominique's Desk, Mum to 10- and 7-year-old boys & a 4-year-old girl

"You mean we need to prepare entertainment for the kids? Not for us. We make full use of the in-flight entertainment system. The kids got themselves busy throughout the flight. If on budget airline, we bring along an iPad."
~~ Mrs Kam of The Kam Family, Mum to a 6-year-old boy & a 5-year-old girl

"When they were younger, we bring along photocopies of their favourite characters and twisted crayons for colouring. When they got older, i.e. above 7 years old, the in-flight entertainment will suffice. But I also encourage them to pack their own entertainment, such as a favourite book to read, travel games, or puzzles like Sudoku book."
~~ Meiling of Universal Scribbles, Mum to a 10-year-old boy & a 8-year-old girl

"My son has motion sickness, hence because of his condition, I did not dare to try long haul flights. Australia was the furthest we went. I have learnt that sniffing Lime/Lemon Essential Oil helps him. We forbid him to read or do any kind of writing during the flight so he listens to music or audio books, which can be downloaded for free at these websites: Loyal Books, Storynory and Audio Book Treasury. Sometimes, when the flight is more stable, he watches a movie or two."
~~ Jenn of My Lil Bookworm, Mum to a 8-year-old boy




BABIES (0-2 years old):

"My babies sleep almost the whole journey on the road (the movement almost always cause them to sleep immediately). When they are awake, we try to sing songs or play with them and distract them with the scenery outside."
~~ Madeline (that's me!)

"For my 1 year old, my main long road trip tip would be: get them accustomed to the car seat, bring a familiar toy or blanket for them (make sure that it can be attached to their seat belt or else you will be contorting to pick up thrown stuff all the time) and well, my kid at least, will sleeeeeeep in bliss!
~~ Sandra of Sanses, Mum to 6- and 3-year-old boys & a 1-year-old girl


TODDLER (2-4 years old):

"The mum-in-law also ensures that we bring her favourite biscuit and water bottle just in case she gets hungry in the car/bus. We also always have a CD with her favourite songs playing in the CD player so that we can sing her favourite songs together. If all else fails, there is always our handphones. Eventually she will be tired and will fall asleep like she always does."
~~ Madeline (that's me!)

"1) Prepare snacks including fruits such as grapes, apples or dragon fruit. Biscuits get a little dry after a while so fruits are a healthier option and keep them hydrated.
2) Nap! Get them to sleep and you can sleep too.
3) Busy bags. I pack A4 size busy bags that contains books that the kids like, stickers, magnets and magnetic whiteboards. Erm, somehow my kids love to stick the magnets on the board and pull them out. Or stack them on top of each other. My magnets are the round kinds that you can get from Daiso. I paste stickers on them to beautify them."
~~ Jacqueline of The Little Mom, Mum to a 4-year-old boys & a 3-year-old girls

"Always plan to travel during nap times, play audio books when they are awake, bring plenty of snacks that have been split into small portions so that you don't have to keep handing out stuff (raisins, biscuits, drinks). They also like drawing on their boogie boards when bored, and it beats having to lug lots of paper. For those kids with food allergies, always bring anti-histamines just in case of flare-ups, and have plastic bags in the car for pee/puke emergencies or to contain trash."
~~ Justina of Mum in the Making, Mum to 5.5-year-old, 3-year-old and 10-month-old boys

"For long road trips, plan a couple of stops in between just to get everyone recharged. It can be stopping for a toilet break or for a quick snack or two. If you are overseas where Milo is not available and yet your kid digs Milo like mine, remember to bring along a few sachets and hot water just in case. Back on the road, when the kid is not in the sleeping mood, play CDs with his/her favourite songs, shake to the beat with some maracas and have an in-car KTV session!
~~ Summer of A Happy Mum, Mum to 5- and 2-year-old girls


KINDERGARTEN KIDS (4-7 years old):

"Raisins and nuts as snacks (a must have!) with a container for them to slooowly chew and Ribena/juice packs to relief hunger pangs. Play the "I Spy" game and get them to spot how many cars with a particular colour or brand, e.g. Proton in M'sia (my eldest goes cuckoo over counting them in his head) or describe the scenery or place to be. Provide lots of jotter/sketch books, pencils/markers for doodling and discussion and lots of mini picture books and card games. During the younger days, we used busy board and magnetic whiteboards to play with animal magnets and doodle."
~~ Angelia of Growing Hearts, Mum to 6- and 5-year-old boys & a 3-year-old girl

"We always start our journey before dawn like 3-4am, so the kids would sleep all the way till we reach Ipoh! We start at 3-4am but not before that.
First, no jam at the customs (especially if you go during peak periods like over a long weekend).
Second, won't get a speeding ticket as the police are still sleeping.
Third, no kids asking, "are we there yet?" for the 405 time (they are also sleeping!).
My hub drives as he has no problems with staying awake while he is on the wheel. I get to sleep too haha. We take about 5-6 hours to reach Ipoh; Penang is another hour north of Ipoh."
~~ Mrs Kam of The Kam Family, Mum to a 6-year-old boy & a 5-year-old girl


SCHOOL-GOING KIDS (6-12 years old):

"Things to bring: 1) iPad with kid-friendly headphones, 2) A5-sized notebook and crayons, 3) individual lunch bags filled with snack packs (raisins, fruit, crackers)."
~~ Sandra of Sanses, Mum to 6- and 3-year-old boys & a 1-year-old girl

"Have a CD/DVD that EVERYONE can sing along with. Our top most favourite was Sound of the Music. When truly desperate, feed them all Zyrtec and get them knocked out! (Don't worry, I checked with my pharmacist friend, who did the same with his kids! hahaha)! =)
~~ Jiahui of Mumseword, Mum to 9- and 6-year-old girls & a 7-year-old boy


We hope these tips have been useful for you!

Do you travel by air or road with your kids? What are your travel tips?
Do share them with us in the comments!


This post is part of my series on Travel Tips for the Wanderlust Parent.
Follow me as I share my tips for planning your next family vacation


Head on over to My Travel Page for a whole list of our travel itineraries!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Breastfeeding Diary: 10 Months

I was hoping that my breastfeeding journey would be smooth-sailing from 6 months onwards. The boy was getting the hang of things and I was producing enough milk.

Right after he turned 8 months old, things got a lot challenging. Even for a so-called long timer like me, it was tough. There was laughter but there were also a lot of tears.

In the beginning I was rejoicing. I found a secret formula that ensured that I had a good supply of milk: red date longan tea or barley water and fenugreek. There were days when I had an abundant supply of milk (cue the rejoicing!) and thought to myself, "yes!! I did it!"

Overflowing to a 2nd container

Then Baby Boy was diagnosed with bronchitis some time after he passed 8 months old and that was the start of a whole set of issues, including my milk supply.

Bronchitis

He had been coughing for quite a while but I thought he was ok because he was still drinking my milk and behaving normally. We decided not to give him any medication because I truly believed my milk would be enough and disliked giving medicine to my kids unless absolutely necessary.

Two weeks later, Baby Boy suddenly developed a fever. When we took his temperature, it was 39 degree Celsius, the highest temperature he has had since he was born. We knew immediately that something wasn't right and quickly fed him the paracetamol that we had in our medicinal cupboard. We also wiped him down with a wet cloth constantly throughout the night and managed to bring down his temperature to 38.5 degree Celsius.

The next morning, we were the first at the clinic and his pediatrician listened to his lungs and discovered that there was fluid in it. Dr Wong immediately stuck a tube down his nose (poor boy screamed for dear life) to suck the fluid out and inserted a pill into his anus to deal with the fever. Dr Wong said we should have brought Baby Boy to him earlier as it was likely that he was already suffering with it for days. We honestly didn't know it was that bad because he had always recovered quite quickly previously.

We left the clinic with a whole lot of medicine as well as a machine and breathing mask that I've never seen before in my life. Apparently they are used to administer ventolin, the medicine commonly used to treat asthma. Neither the hubby nor I have a history of asthma so this was all new to us.

Rental of machine cost us $10 per day while the medicine and consultation amounted to more than $200!

Everyone told us if bronchitis went untreated it would become asthma so I was very careful to ensure he took his medicine and drank my milk (Dr Wong said my breast milk was still his best form of defence).

After 2 days, Dr Wong declared that his lungs have cleared (thank God!) and he didn't need to continue with inhaling ventolin. We continued fo monitor and didn't bring him to crowded places unnecessarily.

Fever Without Known Cause

A few days later, he had fever again albeit less severe. Dr Wong checked him and declared that it was not due to bronchitis but another source (could be virus) and called it Fever Without Known Cause (FWKC). Never heard of it in my life! So once again I had to take leave from work to care for my baby.

Mild Asthma

He was wheezing a lot for the whole month of October, which I attributed to the horrible haze that we experienced this month. As we were travelling to Malacca for a short vacation, the doctor decided to give us a breathing chamber to administer the ventolin instead of the bulky machine we had rented before.

Administering the ventolin to Baby Boy in our hotel in Malacca

This portable chamber proved to be useful as it was light and relatively compact. We diligently administered the medicine for a week and was glad that the doctor declared that he was well.

This unfortunately did not last as Baby Boy developed a nagging cough again and despite using ventolin for a week, did not go away. Dr Wong told us that he has mild asthma and needed a supplementary inhaler to control his condition. He is no longer but needs to be on regular medication. I'm just glad it's mild and curable.

What does all this have to do with breastfeeding? 

Throughout his ordeal, to be honest, I felt like my milk had failed him.

As a result of his illness and medication, Baby Boy didn't drink as much milk as he used to and my supply started to dip. He cries whenever my milk was not enough and I did not know why.

One of the mornings I developed the usual pain in my right breasts and then I realised that I had a blocked duct, which was why he was not getting the amount of milk that he needed. I was devastated but went to work anyway because I had an important meeting with my boss. I was going to go home immediately after because I wasn't feeling well. The throbbing pain was terrible and it took days of massaging and enduring the pain before it got better.

At one point I had so little milk that the hubby suggested giving him formula, at least for the one feed at night before he sleeps. I know there's nothing wrong with formula but since I work full time and feel like my milk is the only thing I can give him when I'm not there, I'm super relunctant to give him formula (it feels like I have failed, no offense to formula-feeding mums).

We ordered some formula samples anyway to standby just in case but by the grace of God, my supply was built up again with regular eating of fenugreek and red date longan tea.

I'm happy to say that he did not have to drink any of the formula samples! Though I have had to wake up every 2-3 hours at night to feed him, I thank God because I'm still able to breastfeed my boy!

All the sleepless nights are well worth it when you see this cheerful chap! =)

I'm thankful for my bosses who have been very supportive of me working from home once a week to take care of my boy and ensure a constant supply of my breast milk for him. I don't think I'll be able to make it if not for the understanding of all my colleagues!

Fully breastfed, 10 months and counting.. *grin*

As a mum, you'll just have to take the good and the bad. Hopefully I'm able to make it to the 12 month mark without a hitch! Wish me luck! =)


Continue to >> My Breastfeeding Diary: 12 Months
<< Back to My Breastfeeding Diary: 8 Months


This post is part of my series on My Breastfeeding Journey with Baby #2.
Follow me as I battle the perils of milk production and boob-related pain all over again.


My Breastfeeding Diary

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Media Preview of Madame Tussauds Singapore

Although we've been to two Madame Tussauds before (once in Hong Kong and the other in Sydney Australia), we were still pretty excited to visit our very own Madame Tussauds Singapore! Located at Imbiah Lookout on Sentosa, Madame Tussauds is the island's newest attraction.

On our way to Imbiah Lookout by car
Private media preview

We were one of the lucky few who were able to visit the attraction before it is opened to the public this weekend.

Madame Tussauds Singapore
(Address: 40 Imbiah Road, Imbiah Lookout, Sentosa)

My girl has visited both wax museums in Hong Kong and Sydney but she couldn't remember as she was too young when we visited in Hong Kong and she was taking her nap when we visited it in Sydney. She was thus very excited. It was all very new to her.

Madame Tussauds Singapore is the only one with a boat ride
(Pity that they were still putting final touches to it so we couldn't ride it yet)
Selfie at the good ole tram
(Taken with my Olympus OMD mounted on one of the props)

World Leaders:

Doesn't this guy look super familiar?
Why, you see him all the time on every bank note!
Yusof Bin Ishak was the first president of Singapore
Barack Obama, the first Black president of the USA
Other famous world leaders
(you know who they are)
Family photo with the Queen of the UK
(Photo taken by the staff of Madame Tussauds)

Sports:
Singaporeans love football so not surprisingly, there was a small section featuring football stars! Have never seen the hubby so enthusiastic about taking pictures with wax figures..

Doing sit ups with the face of football, David Beckham
Winning the (very small) champions cup
Playing golf with the infamous Tiger Woods
Basketball with Yao Ming is a must (left);
Didn't know Christiano Ronaldo is so tall. He looks tiny on the field (right)
A member of the staff was still putting on final touches on Fandi Admad when we took this picture!

History of Making Wax Figures:

As with all wax museum, there was an area that explained the whole process of making wax figures. It is a very tedious endeavour which is why each figure cost a whopping $300,000 to create!
Carving the head of Stephanie Sun (Sun Yanzi)

TV & Music:

This guy represented Singapore when we hosted The Amazing Race and is now immortalised as a wax figure!
(Unfortunately, doubt future generations will know who he is..)
Yes, he is the most well-loved Phua Chu Kang, a TV character made famous by Gurmit Singh
(Coincidentally, this photo of us was also featured on the cover page of Zaobao last Sunday!)
With the late Huang Wen Yong (left);
A super skinny Stephanie Sun (right)
Taylor Swift and her guitar
(She's so tall!)
Elvis Presley (left) and Madonna (right)
With my favourite singer/musician/director of all time, Jay Chou (Zhou Jie Lun)!

Movies:

The Great Director, Jack Neo
Kungfu heroes, Jacky Chan & Bruce Lee
With famous Bollywood stars!
(Apologies to all my Indian friends and readers for wearing the sari wrongly. Have no idea how to do it =( )
With Lenardo diCaprio (left) and the famous Marilyn Monroe (right)
And there's must be a Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Nicole Kidman in every Madame Tussauds that we've visited! Mega-super-stars!

The organisers of this event also encouraged us to post our photos on Instagram so that they can be printed for us as souvenirs at the end of our visit.

Print Instagram photos

I thought that that was a great idea! Love how the photos turned out =)

Honestly, I had expected that my girl would get bored after 5 minutes since she neither knew who these famous people were nor what they did. Thankfully she didn't and enjoyed playing with the props and grabbing the legs of the wax figures like a pro! We had an awesome afternoon =)

If you're wondering why certain famous founders of Singapore are missing (for example Sir Stamford Raffles and Lee Kuan Yew), either they are still undergoing final touches or are featured in the boat ride. All would be ready by the time the attraction opens (hopefully!).

Tickets are now at a special price of S$20 per ticket (usual S$30) till 31st Dec 2014 so do pay a visit before the end of the year!


GIVEAWAY!
If you're keen to visit the newest attraction in Sentosa, great news! We are giving away a Pair of Tickets to Madame Tussauds Singapore (worth S$60) to THREE lucky winners!

Simply follow these steps to qualify:

(1) Leave a comment on this blog post on which wax figure you would like to meet and why
(2) Enter the above entry into the Rafflecopter widget below (don't forget to do this as we'll be using the widget to pick the winner!).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The other entries are optional but you may enter them for more chances of winning! Good luck! =)

Terms and Conditions of this giveaway:
a) This giveaway ends on 7th November 2014 (Fri) and is only open to readers living in Singapore.
b) Participants must leave a comment with the required answer and enter their entry into Rafflecopter in order to qualify. Other entries entered into Rafflecopter must also be completed (I do check!). Incomplete entries will be disqualified without notice.
c) Limited to one prize per household.
d) The winner will be drawn randomly via Rafflecopter and must respond within 3 days after being contacted by me otherwise another winner will be drawn.
e) The tickets are valid for one month from date of collection.


Disclosure: An invitation to this media preview was received from Madame Tussauds Singapore for the purposes of this review and giveaway. No monetary compensation was received; all opinions and text are my own.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Girl's First Solo Swim

My girl has always been a fan of swimming so it was no surprise that despite being "no weekend enrichment class" kind of parents, swimming lessons were a priority for my girl.

I was told to wait until she was 4 years old before signing her up as she would be old enough to follow instructions and learn at a quicker pace. So wait we did, for almost a year!

It was worth the wait though as true enough, she was physically more ready for her swimming classes (she started with the beginner Tadpole Class).

Learning swimming from an instructor for the first time

My girl is a free spirit and likes to learn things her own way. She had A LOT of trouble following instructions from her swimming instructor as she was already used to swimming the way she liked it. I had to have a serious "if you don't listen, I will.." talk with her before each class. Thankfully the instructors were very patient with her =)

Instructor teaching my girl how to use a float

When she first started she didn't dare to dunk her head underwater, hold her breath underwater or swim without her arm floats. After just 8 lessons, not only has she discovered a new world underwater with her goggles, she can also hold her breath and blow bubbles. Kicking and swimming with a board float also came really easy to her and soon she no longer needed her arm flat.



Recently I also encouraged her to take a step of faith and swim without her board float. She was apprehensive at first but after much persuasion, she did!




Her instructor also assessed that she fulfilled all the requirements of the first 2 Beginner Classes (i.e. Tadpole & Crayfish) and graduated straight to the 3rd Class (Goldfish)!

Girlee, mummy is sooo proud of you! Keep it up! =)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Travel Tips 4: Theft Prevention

One of the greatest inconveniences when you travel is losing your money or personal documents such as credit cards, handphones or even your passport (*gasp*)! You'd have to call the credit card company/telco/embassy to inform them of the loss and/or report it at the local police station. This could put a huge damper on your spirits and cause significant delay to your itinerary.

Thus, it is of vital importance that you learn how to protect your personal belongings especially when you're in a foreign country.

Strolling along Oxford Street in London, UK

SEVEN Tips to Be Street Smart in a Foreign Country

1) Research

Do your research on the types of crimes in the country that you are visiting. This webpage nicely lists 40 common tourist scams and their locations in an infographic; make sure that you're familiar with them! I found the "friendship band" scam to be true. We were almost stopped by a black guy in Italy selling friendship bands but luckily we were fast enough to dodge him!

Ask questions, read blogs, find out from others about their experiences and share your experiences with others.

From our experiences, here's generally what to look out for:

A) Counterfeit Money
Counterfeit money exists everywhere but is probably, hands down, the most common in China.

Prevention:
Check your bills after you have received your change (the seller does the same so don't worry that he might feel insulted). I've gotten a lot of counterfeit coins in the course of our many trips to Shenzhen (I usually don't bother to check coins since they're worth so little)!

In addition, try not to exchange your small notes, especially big amounts of it, for a bigger note from a random stranger claiming that they need small change. Sometimes they will give you a fake note in exchange for your real ones!

B) Outrage of Modesty
Ladies, take extra care of yourself and your daughter/s when you're in crowded places like trains or buses. I had an incident on the MTR in Hong Kong once and let's just say that it wasn't pleasant =(
Our tour guide in Hokkaido also says that while pickpocketing is really uncommon in Japan, outrage of modesty is!

Prevention:
If your husband or boyfriend is with you, stick close to him and get him to watch out for you. And if you can, don't let the culprit get away with it!

C) Pickpockets
Watch out for pickpockets, especially in crowded trains and buses. This is most common in places like Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and China.

The hubby's handphone got pickpocketed out of his backpack once on our maiden trip to Shenzhen, when we were still newbie travellers (this was maybe his 2nd or 3rd flight overseas?). He had to call his mum in Singapore to cancel the phone line and everything.

Prevention:
Don't keep your valuables in your backpack or fiddle with them as you are walking down the streets (here're 13 ways to prevent pickpockets). You'll also need to..


2) Buy an Anti-Theft Bag

Black Pacsafe Anti-Theft Sling Bag

This anti-theft bag is not cheap but it's made of good quality material that is not easily cut with a knife. The strap of the bag is made of strong nylon which according to the tag, cannot be cut with an ordinary knife or scissors. There's also a hook to clasp your zips so that they are "locked" at the corner and cannot be unzipped. We initially bought it because I thought that I would be visiting Paris, a city well-known for pickpockets (but we ended up just staying in London). They have a backpack too but we thought a sling bag would suffice.


3) Disguise Your Moneybag

My pouch that I've been using on all of my trips since 2008
(Don't worry, I won't be using this any more as the zip is spoilt, as you can see..)

We put thousands of dollars in seemingly ugly pouches that no one would even suspect that it is where we keep our money. Sometimes sellers would have a look on their face like "does this girl even have money?" when they observe me digging into the pouch for payment.

Even if a pickpocket wanted to steal your wallet, he wouldn't recognise it. Store your money in your shoe if you need to! *laughs*


4) Don't Put All Your Money in One Moneybag

My pouch on the left, hubby's pouch on the right

The hubby and I never store our money in the same place. We have different pouches; some of our money are in our pouches, some of it are in the hotel room safe and some are in our Common Fund (a fund consisting of contributions from everyone in the family, which is used to pay for common commodities such as food and transport).

In the event one of the pouches is stolen, we will not be left completely broke =)


5) Don't Wear Expensive Accessories

Our family in Penang

I suppose this is common sense; if you're decked out in gold or Hermes, you're asking for trouble. Unless you have a bodyguard who would follow you everywhere you go, it's better not to wear anything valuable.

It also helps with the bargaining if you don't look like a rich person. If you look like you can afford it, they're not going to lower the price.

However, this does not give you the license to neglect your appearance. There are shops in countries like Hong Kong that wouldn't serve you if you look less than appealing. You can still look good with cheap accessories =)


6) Photos of Identification

Photo of my girl's birth certificate

As mentioned previously, you may want to bring a photocopy or photo of your identification with you. It could be a photocopy or photo of your children's birth certificates (to prove that you are the parent), your identity card and/or your passports, A friend of mine even uploads the photos to Dropbox and emails a copy to herself, just in case she loses her handphone or camera as well.


7) Follow Your Instincts & Use Common Sense

Lastly, follow your instincts! Don't go out alone at night (for certain countries, don't go out at night period!), don't walk along dimly lit streets and do not be overly friendly with strangers.

Remember to back up the photos in your handphone; I even upload all the photos taken during the trip into my laptop (which we sometimes bring along so that I can blog on the go) just in case I lose my handphone or the camera. Insurance can get me back my possessions but not the photos and all the memories inside!

And if all else fails, there's always insurance so don't, I repeat, don't forget to buy insurance! This is money that cannot be saved, especially if you're travelling with kids.


We followed the above tips and by the grace of God, haven't had another incident of loss possessions since the hubby lost his handphone! *cross fingers that it never happens again*

What are your tips? Share them with me in the comments! =)


This post is part of my series on Travel Tips for the Wanderlust Parent.
Follow me as I share my tips for planning your next family vacation


Head on over to My Travel Page for a whole list of our travel itineraries!
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