How we saved our first international trip with our toddler from failure

We went to Singapore on our first-ever international flight with our toddler!

It was Kerrigan’s first international flight, so I prepared well and planned out our itinerary with lots of excitement. She has always been an active and talkative one-year-old. She knew how to keep us on our toes, but it was mostly I who’s chasing her around and that wasn’t even the most challenging part in this trip

She got sick, a fever, in Singapore?! 😰

What are the chances right? It was around late morning on Wednesday, the day when we were supposed to leave, when we noticed she was a bit warm. I was hoping the mild fever would wear off knowing in a few hours we would be heading to the airport for our flight. She wasn’t in her usual happy and playful mood. Normally, she would talk about stuff, point at things and stand on the seat when she’s not on her baby car seat. But that ride was more of me saying: “Oh please, please don’t get sick, we have so many things to do there!”

How we got there ✈️ 

It was an easy check-in. At the airport, the next on our to-do list was to have our bags deposited at the check-in counter. We’re staying for just 4 days but because we have a little one, I packed a formula, one dozen of diapers, and 3 large bottles. We had two pieces of luggage, a backpack and one laptop bag, so, it made our travel a bit heavy. I came to appreciate the fact that we took a business class promo at Philippine Airlines. We didn’t have to wait in line so I had more time to relax and try the Mabuhay Lounge which was another reason why I was excited about this trip.

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Having our early dinner in the Mabuhay Lounge

The Mabuhay Lounge was the ultimate energy-saver treat for the tired first-time parents like us. We bought a business class ticket on promo for around 1,150 USD which of course was expensive but totally worth it when you have a sick and moody toddler on board. All the comforts you can get, right? The airfare comes with an access to the lounge so I hurriedly looked for the famous Arroz Caldo and true to others opinion it was very tasty. The food was so good (or I was too hungry) so I wasn’t able to take a photo of the food because I was too busy eating, plus, I had to take my shift on looking after Kerrigan. A little downside though, the lounge wasn’t exactly how it looked on Instagram. It wasn’t as big in the photos and the comfort room was quite outdated already. Probably, an upgrade on the furniture and comfort room facility would help to give the place a little more bang for the buck.

The Business Class Experience 💺 was one of the reason why I was excited for this trip. Back in the day, when I see people going in this section of the airplane, I would look at them longingly wondering when it will be my turn to try the seats, food, and vibe of a Business Class. And it didn’t disappoint, but I would have enjoyed it better if my little girl was feeling better to enjoy the whole flight with us.

What we learned from traveling with a toddler 🧒🏻

Never Leave the Stroller. I really thought I could hand-carry the stroller but I was told we had to leave it at the gate. And I just couldn’t because I know how they handle the pieces of luggage in the airport. They (port guys) literally throw any type of luggage onto piles of other luggage and the Aprica stroller is quite expensive at 14,000 to just get broken on that trip so I had to leave it, which meant we had to carry our toddler all throughout the trip. It was quite exhausting but I tried putting my ‘happy-self’ in-spite the arm numbing experience and made sure I carried her comfortably so it would still be less stressful for my little girl.

Choose to be practical. Since we arrived late in Singapore, we just went straight to our hotel. Kerrigan’s temperature was normal when we got to the hotel, so I was really expecting that the day after will be spent roaming around the streets of Singapore. The following day we took a taxi to go to Fusionopolis Way for breakfast, it was also where the new office of her dad was at. After our brunch, Kerrigan wasn’t on her cheery self so we head back to our hotel through the nearest train station. The commute was actually easy, I even let my daughter walk around while waiting for our train. In the evening, we went to VivoCity for dinner at ToastBox. A little tip here, do not feed your toddler noodles if she isn’t feeling well. She’ll end up throwing up in the restaurant. You’ll probably resort to wiping and hiding the puke with lots of wet tissues. It did work somehow. At this point, I was tired already but it’s Kerrigan who I was worried about. I gave her a nice sponge bath as soon as we arrived the hotel and she quickly went to sleep after I gave her meds.

We arrived safely! 🇸🇬
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Striking a pose because we just arrived in our hotel room

“It wasn’t her first time to ride an airplane, but it sure was her first out-of-the-country staycation experience.”

Always be prepared. The toughest day was the third day. Her fever reached 39 C. Her dad and I was ready to take her to the nearest hospital if her temp didn’t improve on the next hour. I was bottle feeding her constantly to keep her hydrated, sponge bath and cold compress was done every hour to control her fever. We got so worried that we almost booked a flight home that day. Luckily, keeping her cool worked for her. On the following day, which was our last day in Singapore, she was feeling all better. 😅

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Taking a nap before we head out for lunch

Places we visited

A meal at VivoCity and a taxi ride to Fusionapolis 🚕

Sea World 🐙🐬🐠 We couldn’t let the entire trip go to waste, so just hours before our flight to Manila, we went on a quick trip to Sea World. We just had to take her there because she hasn’t seen an aquarium yet. As expected the Singapore sun is just at its hottest in the late morning. That’s why I chose to see Sea World instead of Universal Studios to keep us cool indoors. And also because it’s more of the educational sort of thing… Kerrigan looked like she was mesmerized by all the sea creatures she saw there. She was staring intently at the sharks, jellyfishes, and stingrays. Somehow seeing her appreciating these creatures made me feel that it was all worthwhile.

Window shopping at Sim Lim Square 🏬

To be honest, the trip was really exhausting but as I write about it today it felt like it wasn’t difficult at all, even though the flight home was the hardest part of all. I got to experience a fussy and colicky toddler on the entire 3hr flight, but that’s what made me realize I can handle traveling with my daughter. It’s quite strange to feel exhausted but really happy to be with her no matter what our circumstances may be. It was still one of my ‘happiness anchors’ and I hope it was Kerrigan’s too. 😘

 

Traveling with your child is going to be challenging but I can assure you that as you look back at those memories you will be happy that you had the opportunity.

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Kerrigan was feeling better while I was having a headache
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