kids

Beaches… 10 South Australian differences

Middleton091114-5013 I travel a lot. Aussies can travel a lot. But for near perfect beaches, many Aussie beaches can't be topped. Compare the beaches in South Australia (let alone Australia) to Bali or Phuket - beach destinations we flock to.

10 South Aussie differences:

1. White, smooth sand that doesn't hurt to walk on

2. Clean sand and water

3. Beautiful clear water (most of the time)

4. You leave the water without itching from sea lice

5. No touts to harass you

6. You can drive to a number of suburban beaches within half an hour of the CBD. An hour drive to the Fleurieu beaches of awesomeness.

7. Litter doesn't float to shore as you swim or surf

8. You don't have to sniff some strangers armpit as you lie on your towel, squeezed on a snippet of beach

9. Experienced surf lifesavers patrol sections of beach for safety

10. There is a beach for everyone - placid kids splash-around beaches (Horseshoe Bay, Glenelg, Kingston Park), trendy 'be seen' beaches (Henley), nudist beach (Maslin), all to your own beaches (KI, Eyre and Yorke Peninsula), and surf beaches (Mid Coast, Middleton, Waitpinga, Chiton, Parsons… all close to Adelaide).

Anyone have any favourites?

BSKT cafe yummies, Mermaid Beach QLD

GoldCoast1214-6400

Entrance to BSKT cafe, Mermaid Beach, Gold Coast, Queensland BSKT cafe blackboard special

Decisions, decisions. BSKT cafe, Mermaid Beach QLD

And it gets left… BSKT cafe.

I spot a number of cafes on the way in, and make a mental note that coffee is not far away. Thank goodness. I see a place called BSKT on the corner, two doors down from our apartment. It looks full and bustling with energy. Another mental note, 'I must go there'. A social media comment from a friend in Adelaide cements my thoughts, I need to go there. A coffee buff, he says I need to go there after my run one morning.

So I do. We go for coffee, and sit out the back. To my gleeful surprise, there is a kids play area. Hallelujah. We have been entertaining the kids on holiday with no toys, and finally, they are away from us. Happily. I eye the food coming out, and wish I had not just eaten breakfast at the apartment. The menu has me wanting to eat again, but I resist. Just. I tell Ben we are coming back for food tomorrow.

Pancakes with raw cacao, blueberries and other yummy super-food crunch. Awesome! Sweet potato and quinoa fritters. Yum! This is my kind of food. Delicious AND healthy. The menu is laden with super-foods, coconut and protein, I don't need to feel ultra guilty indulging at this place.

We sip on lattes in peace, looking out to the whitewash of waves (while not salivating over the menu). That rarely happens. Ahh. Double whammy - great coffee and time out from kids.

Bali Travel with Kids - 10 tips

Watching the sun set over Legian beach, Bali Bali0514-1403

Life savers packing up after a big day at Legian, Bali.

BK… before kids.

We travelled a lot. We lived in various parts of the world. We penny-saved our way around Europe. We had adventures. We did an around the world trip in 6 weeks. We hiked. We home stayed.

And then kids came.

Having kids halts many, but it didn't stop us. Before our daughter turned one, she had been to Bali. Before our son turned one, we took them both to Phuket. And now, at three and five, they have returned to Bali. We've also had plenty of camper trailer holidays, interstate trips and holiday home getaways. Yes, the travel has tamed down, and surely nowhere near as adventurous as our travels before, but we are doing it.

Here are some tips to get you to Asia...

1. Don't call it a holiday. It's travel. With kids. These are two very different types of 'getting away', do not get confused.

2. Resorts. Pay for the luxury. The pools, the other adults, the restaurants and room service. It all comes in handy when you need to hang around for sleeps and early nights (before restaurant opening time in Asia).

3. Don't expect to tour much. Can you imagine going on an organised day tour with two little ones? Crying, toilet stops, noise, long day... Instead, hire a car and driver, and go at your own pace. You can see what you want, stop for nappy changes, not worry so much about screaming kids and go home when you have had enough.

4. Meet the locals. The locals love to get to know kids, and it is so much fun for everyone. Sit and play with local kids then laugh as restaurant staff fight over who looks after baby while you eat. You are spoken to more, and not just to sell.

5. Take nappy wipes and antibacterial spray. You will need it. Use everywhere, all the time.

6. Strollers are handy in the heat, even if they have outgrown them at home. Whiney kids are kept quiet when they don't have to walk. And soon enough, you will be used to sharing the road with the cars, tuk-tuks and motorbikes. I believe they know what they are doing, so trust in them, and just walk straight.

7. Take snacks and known food from home. Packet fruit, crackers etc are handy when you have fussy eaters.

8. Make sure your room has dark curtains for sleeping during the day - and doors that completely close to keep mosquitos and bugs out.

9. Get a nanny. We got Holiday Nanny Berta, and LOVE her. The kids took to her within minutes, whisking her away to show off our resort.

10. Take a trip without the kids.

It is worth it - no matter how hard.

Bali0514-0650

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