My husband and I made a conscious decision to include our son in our passion for travel. Although challenging, it wasn’t impossible and the more we did it, the more confident we became. We’re based in Canberra and my family lives in Sydney, so we frequently drive to see them and have the three-hour car trip down to a fine art. We take him anywhere: on bush walks, to the beach, swimming in the ocean, to the snow and hiking.
In Odin’s first year of life he has been to Sydney, Melbourne, Murray Darling, Wagga Wagga, Lockhart, Narooma, Durras, Bowral, Thredbo, Snowy Mountains and Hunter Valley. At six months of age he made his first overseas trip to the Philippines, which included Manila, Bacolod, Silay, Cebu, Bohol and four internal flights, a ferry trip, road trips and a hairy ride to the mountains of central Philippines. We are planning a family trip to either Japan or Whistler in the northern winter.
Our favourite place as a family would have to be Lake Crackenback in the Snowy Mountains. My husband and I enjoy being at the snow and one day I hope our son will make that his favourite place as well.
One of our most memorable travel moments is our holiday in the Philippines. We stayed on the beautiful island of Bohol where we swam in the warm, tranquil ocean everyday, ate delicious fresh tropical fruit, had long naps together and walked with our son in the balmy evening. The moment where we were all in warm water while Odin floated on a floaty and we swam around him was what dreams are made of.
Anne’s tips for travelling with a baby under one…
- Book accommodation that will give you ample room for all your baby knick knacks and luggage. If you are going overseas, research the country you are travelling to and organise passports, visas and have a copy of your child’s birth certificate just in case they don’t believe that you are his parent – yes it happens!
- When travelling by plane consider taking a direct route. Make sure to book your seats ahead of time and request a bassinet when you can. This was handy for us as it allowed me to rest and Odin slept during his nap times.
- Try to limit your holiday to fewer destinations, for a longer duration. Settling into new places and environments can be tiring for your little people. We found that the longer we stayed in one location Odin was more adjusted and happier.
- Depending where you are going, ensure your baby is up to date with vaccinations and you know the location of the nearest hospital.
- Travel during nap times to ensure less tantrums or protest. They will sleep and you can have a bit of rest as well. On our car trips to Sydney we either leave at 4am in the morning to ensure Odin is asleep the entire trip, or we leave when we know it will be his longest nap of the day, usually 2-3 hours long.
- I highly encourage investing in good baby equipment if you plan to travel frequently, such as a travel pram that is light and easily folded, a light travel cot, a child carrier, which is handy for airports and if you plan to hike, and a good baby backpack is a must!
- We always book accommodation with either a lounge room or a separate area to the bedroom. That way once our son is asleep, my husband and I can have dinner, talk or watch a movie without disturbing him.
- Organise your activities around nap times. From personal experience I found the more rested my son was the more flexible and engaging he was on our holidays.
- Keep the bedtime routine as consistent as possible no matter where we were. Consistency created security for my son.
Anne Stroud is a midwife and mother to son Odin, 13 months. Anne enjoys cooking and hosting dinner parties in her Scandinavian and mid-century styled home in Canberra where she lives with her husband. She has a passion for photography and loves capturing special family moments.