This must be our third trip to Taiwan with kids. Have been meaning to pen down the trips happenings but always too engaged with other stuff. So finally, I’m determined to come up with this series of posts for the first trip with our 2 kids and 1 baby.
This is Bub’s first trip so we picked somewhere that’s so kids friendly and familiar so it’s easier to manage.
We decided on Taiwan because
- Flight to Taiwan is a manageable 5 hour direct flight.
- The weather is not too cold and not too hot at this time of the year
- Easy to engage private driver for transportation
- Lots of kids friendly Minsu and places to go.
Packing for Trip
Years back when we had only 1 baby, we packed lots of baby stuff for our trip, including jar food, blender and cooker for cooking and blending food for the weaning baby. Most people were overwhelmed with what we packed.
First trip with Baby #1 to Hokkaido. Sweet corn and Pigeon baby apple juice from local supermarket. Potato, brought from home.
2nd baby time, We had double the number of diapers to bring and milk powder for the elder one so we dropped the blender and the jar food but still brought the cooker for sterilizing of bottles and cooking and We also standby some packets of ready food like ready cooked rice and baby soup.
Dry ingredients from home, fresh ingredients from the local supermarket.
With the 3rd baby, although the sisters are done with diapers, we totally dropped the cooker and brought sterilizing tablets instead. And only cereals for food, since Bub just started weaning. For the next trip, we’ll probably use thermos flask to cook porridge. We tried it previously and it works amazingly!
But the luggage was still huge, considering now we had 5 pax worth of stuff to pack.
In the end, we managed to pack with 2 big luggages, filled to almost maximum weight, for 3 adults (including my mother-in-law) and 2 kids, 1 baby! But our luggages were being tagged as heavy weight, so hopefully the handlers would be more careful with it. Cannot imagine if we were to pack the same as baby #1’s time, we’d probably need like 3 luggages? Not forgetting we still have 1 stroller.
2 big luggages to start with and some foldable bags that were opened up to put our purchases at the end of the trip
Heavy weight. Lucky no need to repack
The vacuum bags were my savior. I stuffed the clothes in and vacuumed until they lay flat in the luggage for easy packing 🙂
We were lucky that Bub was still breastfeeding so we didn’t have to bring much formula milk, just some, in case. The hardest to estimate were the diapers. We didn’t intend to buy over there in case we were not familiar with the brands there or we totally can’t find any. So we brought all the diapers we need, plus some extras. Heavy!
This is roughly what we packed just for the kids
Packing list for kids and baby travel
The weather in Taiwan at this time was a cool 16+deg to 24deg so we don’t have to bring any thick jackets, just some pullovers or light weight jackets.
Pullover with covered toes pants, save the need for socks that kept sliding off
For bottoms, it was useful that I brought along some leg warmers for days that was unexpectedly colder.
Overalls plus front zip jacket for layering and leg warmers because this day was supposed to be warm but ended up quite chilling
And here’s the medicine inventory
Reddish rash around the cheek
- Zertec – for allergy and cold. We experienced 1 time that our baby was allergic to air/dust (according to PD) and developed rashes. Bub had the same symptom this trip and we were prepared for it.
- Cough medicine
- Biogaia probiotics tablets for stomach discomfort (for the older kids)
- Anti diarrhea
- Anti vomit medicine
Thankfully we didn’t need any of the other medicine for this trip although we did get the girls to take probiotics daily as preventive measure.
We usually reach the airport around 3 hours earlier than flight time so we can have a quick meal and more time to check in.
There are many playgrounds around the boarding area such as this one located near Gate A15 at Changi Airport Terminal 3.
Things to do at Terminal 3 if you are early
We almost always take the Singapore Airline unless it doesn’t fly to the place that we want. Singapore Airline usually have priority boarding for families with kids, so do check in and standby at the boarding gate early!
Take a look at these!
Bub resting on the bassinet, Nat enjoying a movie, Nic writing a postcard to send back home. Goodies for both kids and baby!
We took budget airline with the kids before and had a miserable flight with bored and cranky kids, sleepy but no proper flat bed for baby to nap and ate expensive but simple airplane meal that if you were not fast enough to order, you only get to buy biscuits or tidbits stuff. *Major wails..
So above picture sums up the different treatment if we travel on non budget airline.
The baby goodie bag was something new for us. Didn’t remember they had such gift but was really heartwarming. In the bag was 2 M size diapers (the air stewardess enquired about baby age when we boarded the plane with priority queue), 1 packet of wet wipes, a bib, a plushie and a paper bag for disposal of anything. Then they set up the bassinet seat and topped up with a waterproof mat and a blanket for baby.
And then of course there was the usual hassle of carrying baby in and out of the bassinet during turbulence and landing. The worst part was having to buckle up with the infant seatbelt even when the baby was sleeping so nicely halfway through.
Brightly colored waterproof mat to lie on
Then comes the usual routine for take off and landing. Milk time for Bub! I did standby the pacifier for him to suck on in case he was not hungry for milk. It was important for them to keep swallowing something to clear the blocked ears encountered with the change in pressure during take off and especially landing. Some kids started screaming away during the landing, possibly due to the discomfort. For the girls, we prepared gummies, biscuits and milo and hubby makes sure they keep drinking or eating so they can clear their ears with the swallowing action.
Once you managed to settle baby into bassinet for a nap, the next thing to do? Eat! Our stewardess did check with me whether I would like to have my meal as soon as baby is napping so she reserved my order in advance. I just had to inform her as soon as I had chance to eat. And eat fast! Because you never know when baby’s going to wake up and disturb your meal or the next turbulence that require you to carry baby out of the bassinet. Life of a mum!
1 mum who was sitting next to me had to eat with 1 hand and carrying her kids with another arm because her kid just had a major meltdown. I helped her take out and keep her tray table as she was having some diffulty managing.
Oh have I mentioned that its a good idea to bring your baby carrier on flight? After the plane landed, there would be some waiting time between disembarking and getting the stroller. So it’s really convenient to strap up the baby so you can be hands free to carry other baggages.
And so we landed in Taoyuan Airport, Taiwan. We almost fainted when we saw the snaking queue at the customs. Then we had a savior. The ‘angel-officer’ came up to us and led us to a family counter, queueless! It wasn’t convenient to take a picture but if you happen to be there, the family counter is at Counter 20.
1 thing about the flight booking on SIA. If you have Krisflyer points to redeem for you and your infant, it’s totally impossible to redeem it online. Go straight to Ion and get the customer service to help. Don’t even try the phone call, unless you have a lot of patience with the heavily accented telephone operators. And for some strange reason, when I tied the infant ticket to my ticket, both of us had our names cut off during the ticket printing at check in. The Officer claimed that we didn’t enter full name which we 100% disagreed. It’s a system glitch. So do check your tickets and have the ticketing officer do the amendment if it happens.
Next up will be the write up for our first stop – Yilan and the incredibly fun hotel Silks Place Yilan
Car lovers paradise