The goal for this travel blog is to share practical baby travel tips to help parents prepare for their next big adventure. Because of this, we feel it’s also important to get different perspectives by learning from other traveling families.
A few weeks ago we interviewed Keryn Means, the traveling mom and blogger behind Walking on Travels. Today, we introduce fellow Canadian Corinne McDermott from Have Baby Will Travel. Corinne is a mother of two who shares her travel advice, trip reports and helpful resources for traveling with small children. She’s a passionate advocate of the value these travel experiences can have for everyone in the family.
Before we get started, please introduce yourself. How many children do you have and when did you start traveling with them.
My name is Corinne McDermott, mama to Megan and Riley, and I founded HaveBabyWillTravel.com in April of 2007. My inspiration was trying to plan our first family vacation that we had planned for and budgeted to take before my first maternity leave was up. I was NOT a laid-back first time mom, and I scoured the internet looking to find, essentially, a Trip-Advisor site for those traveling with babies and toddlers. It didn’t exist, and since I didn’t know any better, I decided to try to build it myself!
For that first trip we went to Cuba with our daughter and she was 11 months old. When my son came along, his first trip was to Quebec City at 10 weeks. We’ve all been traveling together ever since!
HaveBabyWillTravel.com‘s mission is to inspire, motivate, and help families travel with babies, toddlers, and young children. Since starting the website five years ago, I’ve become an advisor to the travel industry, helping brands connect with family travelers. I’ve just recently become registered as a travel agent, so now I can really help families travel with their kids. I am developing relationships with family-friendly tour operators and accommodations to ensure those first few trips with baby are as smooth as can be, as well as learning the intricacies of booking travel when families have a baby in tow. It’s more complicated than you think, or that it needs to be.
What is the most baby friendly travel destination you’ve visited? Why?
We love visiting Cuba with the kids. Cuba is safe, clean, and Cubans adore children. You never have to worry about a baby causing a disturbance there, and I love the mix of beautiful beaches, fascinating history, the fantastic architecture. Now that my son is older, all the old cars makes it seem like “Cars Land” to him – he loves it!
What is the one item you always bring when traveling with your baby?
Baby Wipes – even now that they are no longer (hurrah!) in diapers, diaper wipes clean up a multitude of messes and I think will forever live in my purse.
Do you have any travel tips for flying with a baby?
Make like a boy scout and “be prepared” – for anything. Make sure you have enough food, bottles, diapers, wipes, cream, toys, snacks, etc. to last for the duration of your travel day and then some. I can’t imagine the stress of coping with delays and the possibility of not having enough of something.
Also, if you think you’ll be relaxing on a plane anytime soon, think again. You will be busy on board for at least four years. The bonus is that they become self-sufficient on a flight very quickly, so you actually can start to relax once they hit around three years old, if you’ve been traveling somewhat frequently. I wrote our “5 T’s To Happy Travel With Tots” after our first flight, when our daughter was a toddler, and it still rings true over six years later.
What has been the biggest “lesson learned” during your travels with baby?
If you try to cram too much into your days, you’ll be disappointed and frustrated. One outing a day is plenty, and plan around baby’s naps – don’t begrudge them! They give your days structure which helps baby feel secure and you in control.
What advice would you give to parents that are about to go on their first trip with their baby?
Just do it. It might be hard. It might be frustrating. But all you will remember at the end of it will be the awesome. And every trip after that becomes easier and easier – for you and for baby! Then you’ll be seasoned pros able to tackle more challenging and adventurous itineraries at younger ages.
Do you travel with your children? Care to share your travel tips? Contact us today, we’d love to share your story!