Suitcases & Strollers

Suitcases & Strollers

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Profile: Travel Doctor Dr June Tan

Profile of International Medical Clinic Singapore’s Dr June Tan. As a family doctor based in Singapore, Dr June Tan sees a lot of families with medical questions relating to travel with kids. As a mother of two kids herself – Jade (2) and Pierce (8 months) – she has also experienced a bit herself. In the past June lived in Berlin and took advantage of that time to travel around Hungary, the Czech Republic and Latvia. She’s also visited places like Nepal, Egypt, China and Taiwan. These days she does 2 to 3 long family holidays with the kids and jokes that despite having been to multiple parts of Europe and the US, she is still yet to see much in her own backyard of Southeast Asia. She shares her family travel experiences with suitcases&strollers.

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Profile: World’s Youngest Junior Master SCUBA Diver Charlotte Burns

Charlotte Burns is 13 years old and the youngest and first ever PADI AmbassaDiver. She started SCUBA diving at just 10 years old and in 3 years has completed 26 PADI dive certifications and over 140 dives (not including many extra hours in the pool helping other kids). She qualified at age 12 as the youngest ever junior master diver and she is also a British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC) Sports Diver, trained in Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET), Sea Survival, VHF Radio trained and a qualified skipper to drive power boats. She has SCUBA dived in shipwrecks in Cyprus, photographed sea creatures in the south of France and even dived under an aircraft carrier searching for Improvised Explosive Devices. She tells suitcases&strollers why she loves to dive and why it’s a fun family holiday activity to introduce SCUBA diving to kids.

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California With Kids: San Jose Insider

A trip to San Jose and surrounds is about so much more than just goggling in awe at Google, says Cliff Hsia, owner of family travel blog Live Family Travel. He and his two girls Emily (5) and Chloe (2) say Silicon Valley with kids is not just for nerds – there are plenty of great family-friendly activities in San Jose. Here are his insider secrets to a family holiday in San Jose with kids.

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Why Disneyland?

Theme parks for kids are everywhere, but there is some special about Disney in particular says Carolyn Moore. In 2013 the mother of two toddlers and her husband Nathan decided to do a Disney-trifecta tour – they visited three Disneylands in one year: Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, Disneyland Hong Kong and Disneyland and Disney’s Californian Adventure in the Ahanheim in the US. She tells suitcases&strollers why, in her opinion, Disneyland really is the happiest place on earth – when it comes to theme parks for kids.

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Comic-Cons With Kids

If your kids love superheros or are addicted to video games, a visit to a Comic-Con is in order. These are not just for adult nerds, insists Wayne Rée. The self-professed geek has been to two San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC or, as Wayne calls it, “the big daddy of Comic-Cons”) and is a regular every year at the Singapore Toy, Game and Comic Convention (STGCC). This year he even presented his own work at STGCC, a book of short stories called Tales From A Tiny RoomHe tells suitcases&strollers why Comic-Cons make fantastic family holiday destinations for big and small kids.

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Profile: Luxury Travel Mom

Kim-Marie Evans lives a pretty envious lifestyle. Not only is she a travel writer who gets paid to holiday, her specialty is luxury travel (hence her fabulous name for her website Luxury Travel Mom). She travels at least 2 weeks a month and has been to 23 countries including Cuba, Haiti and Rwanda. Better yet, she gets to do almost all of it with her four kids Macie (15), JJ (14), Wilson (11) and Keaton (8). She tells suitcases&strollers all about the realities of luxury family holidays. (And yes, you will be jealous.)

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The Ultimate Barbie Experiences

If your little girls can’t get enough of the blonde bombshell that is Barbie, perhaps it’s time to embrace their love of hot pink and seek out these fantasy-like experiences. Whether it’s just an afternoon in a mall to dedicating an entire island holiday to Barbie, here are some of the most memorable kids holiday ideas for Barbie fans.

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Playing The Disney Princess

Angela Bonser has lovingly created about 24 handmade, bespoke Disney costumes for her daughter Haylie. Many are remarkably close to the originals, come with accessories and are so stunning they need to be seen to be believed. The pair are regulars at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park in California (they visit two to four times a month – and sometimes more!) and Haylie often goes in full regalia – including acting out the part of her chosen character. Angela tells suitcases&strollers why visiting Disneyland with kids in costume is just so much fun.

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The Hello Kitty Jets

An entire fleet of airlines all dedicated to Hello Kitty and the other Sanrio characters? Introducing Hello Kitty Jets. It sounds surreal and gimmicky, but this is a real operational fleet of one Boeing 777ER and five Airbus 300s. Here’s suitcases&strollers’ behind-the-scenes tour of perhaps the most fun and unique way to fly with kids.


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Profile: Australian Rules Footballer Anthony Koutoufides

The former Carlton hero sports a different career since he retired from the AFL. Anthony Koutoufides has been a ballroom dancer on Dancing With The Stars, cook on Celebrity Come Dine With Me Australia and runs health clinics at Kouta Fit Club. His multi-varied career means he travels all over Australia and the globe and a few times a year he takes his kids Jamie (10), Monique (9) and Lukas (3) with him on family holiday. He tells suitcases&strollers why travelling with children (sometimes) makes them smile. 


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Profile: Journalist Tracey Spicer

Her face is most recognisable as a news anchor who has been in our lounge rooms on television screens in Australia, but Tracey Spicer has also been a travel writer for the past 7 years. The Sydney Morning Herald’s Mama Holiday is also mother to Grace (7) and Taj (8) whom she takes on vacation, both locally an internationally, about twice a month. She tells suitcases&strollers about her favourite family holidays and why she thinks it’s important to travel with kids. 


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Exercise While Travelling: Fun Runs with Kids

Marathons, triathlons, ironman competitions – these might not seem like events around which to build a family holiday. But they can actually make for a different, fun and educational way to travel with kids says Mike Pizel, dad to Alex (9), Sean (7) and Joshua (4). Mike has competed in multiple competitive races with his wife, Jo, all over the world and they’ve taken their kids to many of them. He tells suitcases&strollers how to get ready, set, go! and exercise while travelling by doing fun runs with kids.


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Halloween As History Lesson

If you’re not a committed annual participant, then every October’s Halloween brings up the old debate. Is it commercialised, consumer nonsense or a way to introduce the kids to creativity, community and the history of other cultures? Abigail Denham-McQuillen, mother to Brooke (8) and Jeremy (5), tells suitcases&strollers why she thinks Halloween teaches children a bit about themselves, their neighbourhood and other places in the world – a cheap and cheerful way of accomplishing all the things that traveling with kids is all about.

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Travelling with Pets

Amy Burkert and her husband have spent the last 3 years travelling with their dogs Ty (Shar-Pei) and Buster (German Shepherd) all over North America. Their experiences have sparked the very comprehensive pet accommodation database Go Pet Friendly, something like a Trip Advisor for travelling animals that even allows you to plan your road trips through North America in advance. She tells suitcases&strollers why travelling with pets is an important part of every family vacation.

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Art Galleries & Museums (With Kids)

Gagging to go to the Guggenheim, but worried the munchkins won’t behave? As Group Director, Art Collections, Estates and Valuations at Bonhams, Harvey Cammell knows something about art. He has taken his kids Nancy (11) and Tom (8) to view everything from classic portraits to Goya’s fantastical works to contemporary American art and he says parents can absolutely visit art galleries with kids and museums with little ones. Here are his tips for introducing children to the great works. 

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Travelling with Allergies (& Dietary Requirements)

No, we’re not just talking fussy eating here. If you or anyone in your family has Crohne’s disease, is celiac or has an allergy to nuts, for example, watching what you eat while on holidays can literally save your life. Kim Koeller, President and CEO of Gluten Free Passport tells suitcases&strollers about how to travel safely with kids with allergies and dietary restrictions. 


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Inflight Babysitting

Imagine arriving at the airport to find your own personal nanny waiting to help you get the bags through check-in whose sole purpose is to entertain your child during the flight. No more missed meals or bursting bladder, but a pleasurable experience where someone else helps take care of bubs and you actually get to relax on the plane. (Maybe you'll even get to watch an entire movie!) Want to know more? Read on… 

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Travel Books (For Kids)

Sometimes learning about other cultures doesn’t even require you to open the front door. Whether it’s to prep for an upcoming holiday or just to encourage a desire to see the world, books can be an excellent inspiration for children and adults. Here are some fun travel-themed books for kids.

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Profile: Stevie Nicholson From Hi-5

For 6 years Stevie Nicholson (pictured on the far left) has been touring the world from Malaysia to The Philippines plus all over his native Australia, singing, dancing and donning rainbow-coloured getups for children’s entertainment band Hi-5. He spends about half the year travelling with Hi-5 and acting as an ambassador for World Vision. He tells suitcases&strollers about performing for non-English-speaking audiences, his love of road trips and the popularity of Elvis in Cambodia. 

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Profile: Travel Writer Matt Gross

Matt Gross, author of travel memoir The Turk Who Loved Apples, has travelled the globe for his famed columns "The Frugal Traveler" and “Getting Lost” in The New York Times and his blog The Minor Glories. He tells suitcases&strollers about how travel has changed for him since the birth of his kids Sasha (4) and Sandy (8 months) and why these days travelling with kids, he tries not to get lost.


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