With holiday season in full swing, we’re following some of our favourite bloggers as they jet across the globe with their families in tow. We’ll be finding out what they’ve been getting up to on their adventures and how they’ve tackled the sometimes tricky task of travelling with little ones.
First up in our Little Jetsetters series is Iwona from Oh Deer Blog. This summer, Iwona and her husband took their adorable daughter Milla on the trip of a lifetime to Asia, where they visited Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. The family live in Manchester and Iwona works in an advertising agency as well as running Oh Deer Blog, where she writes about things she loves: including family life, travelling, food and everything that inspires her.
Find out more about their travels below, or click on the link to visit our Holiday Shop.
WHERE DID YOU TRAVEL TO?
We have always loved travelling and having a baby hasn’t changed this! I must admit it is a different experience now, but we still go away very often and we really love it! Every journey is very inspirational for us, as well as for Milla, as we can see how excited she gets every time we go to different places and meet new people. Our last big trip was to Asia for a few weeks, where we visited Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. It has been an amazing experience for our whole family! We saw many magical places and met lots of interesting people. By visiting some poor regions it helped us appreciate the fact that we live in the UK, have good jobs and are healthy. This is one of the greatest things about travelling – no matter where you go and what you experience, it always makes you realise how lucky you are in your everyday life and how much you actually miss your home. Our next big trip will be to California, but we need to wait for our new arrival first, so it will have to wait until next year.
DO YOU TRAVEL OFTEN AS A FAMILY?
When Milla was born our first trips were in England, but we had so much fun as a family we decided we wanted to explore places abroad we have always wanted to see. After many trips to Poland and around Europe we went to Florida and New York when Milla was only 11 months old, and we loved every minute of it! Even the flights were great, but she was quite an experienced traveller already – which must have helped. Everywhere we go we take Milla with us as we would miss her too much and travelling wouldn’t be as interesting and fun without her. We obviously try to have some weekends away, just the two of us, but because we live away from our families this doesn’t happen very often.
WAS MILLA EXCITED?
Since we became parents we plan our trips slightly differently – by looking at what kids activities each place offers and if it’s relatively easy to get there. We don’t want to give up our dreams about travelling but on the other side our little girl is the priority, so her comfort is always important. She always gets excited when we tell her about our next travels and she always shouts ‘plane! plane!’ – that’s how much she loves flying. When we went to Asia she really enjoyed visiting zoos and aquariums and riding tuk-tuks was definitely her number one activity! She seemed very happy playing with other children, even though they were from different places around the world and they couldn’t even understand each other…yet another magical thing about travelling!
HOW DID YOU KEEP HER ENTERTAINED WHILST YOU WERE TRAVELLING?
We always try and make travelling as fun as possible – with different games and movies it makes the time go quicker! Colouring in is always an option too, but on the flights Milla is mostly interested in meeting new people. It’s funny how during boarding the plane people who sit around us look scared by the fact they’re going to sit next to a toddler, but after they get to know Milla and see what a good girl she is they always laugh and admit at first they were worried. When she gets tired a big hug and her favourite cartoon on a tablet always helps.
WHAT DID YOU PACK?
It really depends on where we are going and how long for but we always try to be wise packing. Too much stuff is never a good idea and heavy bags can be very problematic when travelling with kids. Comfort is always a priority so I always choose the best clothing which looks great but also keeps you cool when we travel to hot climates. This also includes thinking about what fabrics will be best to keep cool and also not crease when packing! However, it’s also important for us to look smart (especially for our travelling photos!)
SIGHTSEEING VS RELAXING?
First on the priority is the top sights to see but you need to make sure there’s time for fun and relaxing in between, we have very busy lives at home so this is our time as a family to chill out. We try to see as much as we can, but if we happen to miss something, we don’t panic – travelling should be for us, not the other way round! We try dividing each day into two parts: sightseeing and visiting places first, and then relaxing at the beach or at the hotel pool. Everyone is happy, it’s a win win for us and for Milla too!
AND FINALLY, WHAT ARE YOUR TOP TIPS FOR TRAVELLING WITH LITTLE ONES?
First of all – do your research and plan wisely! Some places are not really appropriate for small children, so you might want to avoid a disappointment and wait until they get older. Good organisation and planning are the key! Making lists of what to bring, packing food and drinks for the journey, having things handy in hand luggage (like wipes, nappies, little toys, etc.) and having transport planned to and from the airport will help the travelling go smoother. And remember – it should be fun for everyone, so don’t get too stressed and relax!
With thanks to Iwona Czarnota from Oh Deer Blog X