The goal for this 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.
Before we get started, please introduce yourself. How many children do you have and when did you start traveling with them.
My name is Jade Johnston and I run the travel blog Our Oyster with my husband Daniel, who does the site photography. We have one child, Jacob, who at the time of writing is 8 months old. We meant to start travelling with him internationally at three months old, but an unexpected medical emergency with Daniel caused us to cancel all our travel plans. Now that Dan has recovered, we have embarked on a four month round the world trip with our little family.
What is the most kid friendly travel destination you’ve visited? Why?
At this stage, Jacob is too young to demand child specific attractions and tours. He is happy just being with Mom and Dad all day. New Caledonia was a great destination if your young one likes beaches, and there is a great aquarium for rainy days.
We recently spent a week in Vancouver, and think that would be an excellent kid friendly destination as well. Attractions like the aquarium, horse drawn tours of Stanley park, and Capilano bridge were not only super fun for Dan and I with baby in tow, but would also be enjoyed by older kids as well.
What is the one item you always bring when traveling with your baby/kids?
Our tablet with a nursery rhyme app on it. I know it sounds like bad parenting, but this app can transfix Jacob for ages. And when Dan and I are trying to get ready in the morning, or eat a nice dinner out, this app can be just the thing to keep baby quiet and happy.
It also works really well on road trips when he gets a little bored in the car, and of course, lets not forget the plane as well.
Do you have any travel tips for flying with a baby/kids?
We have been so lucky that Jacob is great on planes. The pressure changes do not seem to bother him. However, one thing we learned is that if you want a bulk head bassinet you have to book it early.
On our first big international flight from Australia to Canada (14 hours) we were unlucky and spoke to a call centre agent who seemed to not know what she was talking about, and told us we could not request it until we were at the boarding gate. Of course, this was much too late and we were stuck with no bassinet. Apparently you need to book the bassinet either over the phone or at the check in desk at latest.
Luckily, the flight attendants were able to re arrange our seating arrangements so that at least we could have an empty seat in between us where Jacob could sit and amuse himself with his toys instead of having to be on our laps for 14 hours.
What has been the biggest “lesson learned” during your travels with kids?
Our biggest lesson learned has been to not assume that countries will have the products we are used to in Australia. Jacob is lactose intolerant and requires soy formula. You would not believe how hard it is to find soy baby formula in some countries.
In New Caledonia it didn’t seem to exist, but luckily we had brought enough with us to last the entire trip. Even in Canada, we had to go to several pharmacies before we could find it though, so now we stock up when ever we do come across it.
What advice would you give to parents that are about to go on their first trip with their baby?
It really isn’t as hard as people make it out to be. Just go!
Jade and her husband aim to inspire readers to live the life they have dreamed of, while showing them how to do it on a budget. To follow their family travels, check out their travel blog at Our Oyster, follow them on Facebook, twitter, or on Google +.
Do you travel with your children? Care to share your travel tips?
Contact us today, we’d love to share your story!