Hong Kong & France - Christmas 2013 in Europe

This trip was a little different to my usual jaunts – 3 months after the birth of our second child, our little family headed off to visit relatives in the UK and France, via a few days in Hong Kong on the way.

The noteworthy parts of this trip were flying to Hong Kong from Sydney in Business Class on Qantas 747, a stay in the Hyatt Regency Sha Tin in Hong Kong, Hong Kong to London with Cathay Pacific in Business Class, a stay at the Hilton Paris CDG Airport Hotel, and the Business Class flight back from Paris to Sydney via Kuala Lumpur on Malaysia Airlines A380 and A330.

As a result, the experiences we had very specific to travelling with one small and one larger child, and the reviews and write-ups of these reflect that – including some of the tactics of how we coped with the various flights and hotels, both prior to booking and at the time.

It was a very memorable trip all-round – with snow in France over Christmas, taking our eldest skiing for the first time, some epic drives across France, and ultimately, spending a lot of time with family and friends.

Malaysia Airlines A380 & A330 Business Class Review: MH21 & MH141 Paris to Kuala Lumpur to Sydney

The last leg on our European trip was to head from Paris Charles de Gaulle, to Kuala Lumpur, and onto Sydney in Malaysia Airlines Business Class – once again with the two kids in tow, aged 3 and around 4 months.

As I’ve mentioned a few times before, Malaysia Airlines Enrich program can provide excellent value for your points when booking on Malaysia Airlines flights, and has a few Australian credit card program transfer partners to get your points over to Enrich for redemption. This flight is a great example, coming in at only 51,000 Enrich miles, one way. Continue reading…

Hilton Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport family stay – King Junior Suite review

It’s taken me a few months, but I’m getting back around to writing up some of the reviews of our trip to Europe over the European winter earlier this year, and as part of the trip we stayed at the Hilton Paris CDG airport hotel before flying out of Paris back to Sydney.

Although only one night at an airport is never going to be an experience, I did a fair bit of research around which hotel to stay at Paris Charles De Gaulle, knowing how much luggage, associated small people and logistics we would have to contend with, and you may be interested in the process. I ended up pleased with the outcome – the room and location were exactly what were required, and I ended up accruing a small chunk of Hilton Honors points to be used in the future. Continue reading…

How to make hotel stays pay for themselves with points earned – a review of the Holiday Inn Reims

This post has two purposes – firstly to cover the Holiday Inn Reims Centre, but also to walk through you my decision making process behind choosing an InterContinental Group hotel for this particularly stay. This is next post in my series from our Europe trip late last year, and you can catch up on the other reviews too here.

After flying to London and spending a couple of weeks with family, we were road-tripping over the course of a week from South Wales, through London, through Eurotunnel under the Channel to France, and then down to the French Alps to stay at Chalet Papillon in the Haute Savoie. Continue reading…

Cathay Pacific 777 Business Class review – Flying with kids on CX253 Hong Kong to London

My focus for this flight was to stay sane and comfortable whilst travelling with my family – my partner and our two daughters, aged 3 years and 3 months. Hong Kong to London in Cathay Pacific’s 777-300ER in Business Class was the second leg of our journey on a 5 week trip to Europe in December 2013.

Ensuring we all travelled well without going too insane, or making other passengers want to kill us, the level of attention spent on taking photos and noting details of the ‘experience’ was significantly reduced – so my focus of reviews for this trip is to give others who are considering travelling with children, such as on Cathay Pacific in Business Class, an idea of what to expect. Continue reading…

Hyatt Regency Sha Tin Hotel Review – Executive 2 Bedroom Suite family stay in Hong Kong

There are three Hyatt hotels in Hong Kong – the Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Regency are on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, and the Hyatt Sha Tin in the New Territories. While the Hyatt Sha Tin is not centrally located for touring the sights of Hong Kong Island, as space and facilities were top of my agenda for this visit with my family, it fit the bill perfectly.

I’ve spent my last few stays in Hong Kong looking for a hotel that would award points / stay credits when booking through my travel agent (a necessity for work) and the Hyatt came up trumps here too.

As a result, I earnt a ton of Hyatt Gold Passport points from this stay – a touch over 15,000 in fact. This is why I love points and miles – I’ve already leveraged these on a stay at the Grand Hyatt in Melbourne for Grand Prix weekend, where the room rates otherwise would have been $600+.

The hotel is situated around 45 minutes from Hong Kong’s Central Station via the MTR and this more remote location in the New Territories, north of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island allows visitors more space than a central hotel. The trade off for us was worth it; it was a much more relaxed stay as a result of the extra space. Continue reading…

Qantas 747 Business Class review (with children) – QF127 Sydney to Hong Kong – on the 747 Upper Deck with two kids

I’ve flown Qantas QF127 to Hong Kong for work several times over the last couple of years, but travelling with my other half, new baby and 3-year-old was quite a different experience – I was still working on the flight, but in a completely different way – and far more intense!

Reviews of QF127 flying solo are here (A380 Business Class) and here (747 Premium Economy).

But booking and flying with kids is a whole different ballgame. Continue reading…

Returning from 5 weeks on the road… now resuming normal operations!

If you pay attention to this site on a semi-regular basis, you’ll notice things have been a little quiet around these parts in December. I took a 5 week trip to Europe with my family to visit loved ones in the UK and France.

I did manage to find time to put up a few posts mid-way through, but travelling with two kids and spending time with those who we had gone to see was, understandably, the more important thing to be doing.

I’ll be writing up reviews of the hotels and flights as my next order of business. The posts will look something like this…

Continue reading…

Family travel – update from the road with 2 kids in tow… in Business Class

I’m currently in the midst of an extended trip to Hong Kong, the UK and France – the one that I summed up my planning for a few months back.

I’m travelling (yes, lucky us, all flights in Business Class thanks to points) with my better half and our 3 year and 3 month old daughters, and will be writing up my thoughts on each leg independently in due course, but here’s a quick sample of what we’ve been up to… Continue reading…

Business Class flights to Europe for a family of 3 for $4000… Here’s how I planned my next trip using frequent flyer points

Around 3 or 4 months ago I started planning and booking my next large trip to Europe – I have a second child on the way (very soon, hence the less frequent posts recently!) and we’ll be taking them and our 3 year old over to visit family and friends. I figured writing up how I booked the trip with the costs and points involved would be useful to others with similar goals.
Continue reading…