If you’re planning to take your young family on a plane for a vacation, this one is for you. Although we are referencing our Hong Kong holiday in this article, the large part of the survival tips article can be used for any vacation!
1. Babywear – leave the stroller at home
The best way of getting around Hong Kong with a toddler is to babywear. The city’s extensive MTR network makes it easier to get from place to place as well! We highly recommend getting an Octopus card– it can be used on the MTR and most other public transport. You can also use it to pay for your shopping in the city.
Travelling by MTR gets you everywhere and at a fraction of the taxi fare and time. However, do expect to walk – a lot! Walk up the stairs, down the slope and walk everywhere and if you’re thinking of elevators, you may need to walk longer just to find an elevator.
A stroller may be convenient but it requires a lot of arm power pushing up-slope and controlling down slope and we recommend that you reserve your arms for the shopping bags 😉
Another advantage of babywearing is you keep your little one close to you at all times and it is also a bonus if they can fall asleep easily in the carrier or wrap!
2. Keep a bag full of snacks and if you run out, replenish them quickly!
Toddlers get bored easily and food keeps them occupied. This is also helpful during the plane rides to avoid murderous stares from your fellow passengers. Keep a variety of snacks so that they are kept entertained but don’t over feed them or meal times can be a nightmare! Follow their lead and you’ll know when the snacks will come in handy.
Hong Kong has a good range of international supermarkets that carries baby food brands that we’re familiar with. Keep a lookout for them and stock up whenever you need. Their local supermarkets e.g. Wellcome Supermarket have a good range of biscuits and snacks that can keep the little ones occupied, and yes, you can pay using the Octopus card here too!
#HHWT Tip: Choose big pieces and chunky snacks over bite sized ones. The big pieces will take longer to finish and the little hands will not be dipping into the cookie jar often.
3. Enforce naps – unless you want a meltdown
Yes it’s a holiday but this happy occasion is not necessarily understood by the little human. The last thing you want on a holiday is an overstimulated human running amok. We learnt it the hard way and it wasn’t pleasant for us nor the onlookers!
Try to keep their nap schedules as close as possible and this is where babywearing comes in handy. Bundle them in the carrier / wrap and watch the sleepy dust drift them away!
This also means that you need to plan baby friendly activities around their naptime. The little ones wouldn’t want to miss a ‘live’ performance of The Lion King would they? If you’re wondering, yes, our little one missed it! 😞
4. Don’t stress over food
Some parents we know pack their portable rice cookers and buy fresh groceries from the local supermarket so that they can prepare food in the hotel rooms everyday. However, we chose the easy way out – select the friendliest food for our little one on the menu, and where possible, request for less salt, sugar and spice.
Our little one certainly enjoyed her treat at Wai Kee and had her fair share of dim sum while we kept very calm about the salt intake and tried to override it with lots of plain water! Oh well, it’s a holiday! 😅
5. Happy toddler places
Ocean Park Hong Kong: a great place for toddlers. It is a combination of zoo, aquarium and amusement park. Plan to spend a day here because there are a lot of places to explore. There’s even a cable car ride that takes you from one theme park to another.
#HHWT Tip: Bring a jacket for the little one. The North Pole encounter in the park is really cold as there are penguins there and if you’re not properly dressed, you won’t enjoy it as much.
Getting there: Take the MTR and alight at Admiralty MTR station. Follow the signs from the MTR station that takes you to the Tourism office of Ocean Park. The guide at the counter will guide you to the exit for the Citybus 629. There are signs everywhere to guide you.
There are other ways to get to Ocean Park but we recommend this route as we found it the easiest.
Staying a night (or two) in Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel
The perk of staying in Hong Kong Disneyland hotel is the convenience and you can stay till the Park closes without having to worry about the crowd going back to Hong Kong Island or Kowloon.
If budget allows, plan to stay at The Kingdom Club room which gives you access to The Kingdom Club. The look on your little one is priceless when a pajama-clad Disney character pops in to say “good night”. Be sure to have them wear their PJ too to complete the experience.
There is also a bedtime story telling session by the Kingdom Club cast member. If you have a younger tot, mummy and daddy are also invited to sit together. Not forgetting, the well-stocked up food and drinks counter had us coming back every half an hour to refill our ever hungry tummy.
Too tired to eat out? The room service menu gives you a few halal food options. Even though they are not friendly to the pocket, the options are appreciated. Also, do not expect much from the halal options. Food choices are limited and there are no points for presentation either as it was served in plastic bowls and accompanied with cutlery.
#HHWT Tip: The halal food options are in the in-room menu. If you can’t find it, call the guest relations line to enquire.
Getting to Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel: We recommend taking the MTR to Disneyland station. Depending on where you are, you may need to change trains but it’s relatively easy to get around. Once at the Disneyland station, look for the shuttle bus that brings you to the hotel. The bus leaves every 10 – 15 minutes.