Sunday, April 22, 2018

Baby Travel Guide-Mindset

Our Saudi born Kiwi babe who now resides in South Korea has visited 20 countries in two years. We think our mindset has been key to keeping travel an enjoyable experience.

Travel Mindset: Our 6 Pillars for Travel with a baby

Passion and Big Picture

Traveling was a shared passion of ours before Lilah was born. We enjoy experiencing the food, culture, and people in new places. We love taking in the history and seeing the natural and man-made beauty around the world. The big picture we have is a passion to travel the world.

When Lilah was born we naturally decided to continue to travel. Living in the Saudi Arabian desert, it was an easy decision to leave the scorching heat for Europe and travel for 7 weeks when Lilah was three months old.

As teachers, we are also extremely passionate about children and the value of childhood and hands-on experiences. Travel provides authentic and natural play opportunities and also the time for us to slow down and enjoy our time as a family. We love watching her grow and interact with the world around her. We will never forget the look of pure joy on her face running through the forest with sticks and a new little friend in Nicaragua. We value play as the universal language of childhood and love that Lilah gets to play with people from all over the world.

Perspective

Traveling is no different to any other day with a baby. We often remind ourselves of this. Sometimes it has been easy to build an idealistic image when traveling, especially with all of the amazing pictures on Instagram. We laugh when we are reminiscing about relaxing by the pool as we go in and out of the baby pool 100 times. It can be easy to forget that you could be doing the exact same thing at home with a new favorite toy or book. We are realistic that even though we may be at a new destination, Lilah still has the same needs that she does at home. Maintaining this perspective allows us to comfort her when she needs, without being frustrated.

Flexibility and Balance

We find that we spend longer at a destination with Lilah. This allows us to be flexible with enough time to explore and enough time to relax. The morning window before Lilah's midday nap is usually the best time to get out and about. This is also good for somewhere that gets hot in the middle of the day.

On a longer trip, we will often plan to stay somewhere like a resort to break up the trip. When possible we find it is convenient to connect destinations that are close together, forming a loop or a one-way itinerary. Hiring a car allows us to be flexible and in control of travel times and needing to stop. It also helps with the amount of luggage we seem to travel with these days!

Self Awareness

As Lilah is getting older she is developing different interests such as swimming and visiting playgrounds. We have found that understanding her needs and interests have been the most important aspect of parent life. So far her naps, feeding, and bedtime have been the most important things for us to maintain while on the road. She has always enjoyed people watching which has made cities easy places to visit.

Having awareness around our travel style and interests have also been important. This helps us to decide where to go, what to do, and how long to stay. We have always enjoyed taking our time when traveling. Fleeting visits and ticking off all of the top recommendations on TripAdvisor has never been our style. We guess this has made the transition from traveling without a baby to having Lilah with us much easier. Now we get to appreciate details that she points out that we would have otherwise missed and it is hard to imagine a trip without our little companion.
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