Inspiring Lives 18: Forgetting Routines + Having Fun While Travelling With Children
Parents are often described as 'brave' for venturing out into the world with their little ones, but travelling with children doesn't always have to seem stressful. We caught up with nature-lover, two-time mama and avid traveller, Emma aka Mamalina, to find out how she and her husband keep exploring the world with little ones relaxing, and free of routine.
For some, travelling with children seems unthinkable; why did you first decide to start travelling with them?
We became parents before most of our friends did so the idea of just stopping having all the 'fun' because we had children wasn't even a question. We wanted to continue travelling and showing our kids the world and getting them excited about other countries and cultures, just as we are.
When you travel, do you look for anything in particular before picking a destination?
I wouldn't say that there is any particular criteria but factors such as security, weather, time taken to get there, ease of travel once there, and language are all important. That said, we travelled 18 hours to get to South East Asia where we couldn't understand a word and got around everywhere by tuk-tuk so...!!
How do you upkeep sleeping and eating habits with your little ones when you're travelling?
We're super flexible when it comes to routine at home in the UK, so this part of travelling with kids is actually not disruptive at all. We very much just go with the flow and follow the kids' signals - we let them sleep when they seem tired and they eat with us at normal times. Jetlag is an interesting one though and has made for some fun-filled evenings / early mornings!
You describe yourself as a bit of a hippy, have you always have a love for nature?
Yep! Nature is where I go to find solace and have fun.
Where has been your favourite place to travel to with your little ones?
Oooh that's such a tough question! Vietnam was incredible as it is just so different to anything I know and the people there also absolutely adore children. It was rare that someone didn't try to take a child out of our arms. That said, I loved Costa Rica because it was just so laid back and I felt that the culture really suited us. I'd say that South Africa has been one of the 'easiest' places to travel due to no time difference and language.
If you could move to one other country in the world, where would it be and why?
Such a great question! I think it would have to be Spain; not too far from the UK to be able to visit friends and family, amazing nature, beaches and cities, epic food and wine and both Sam and I speak Spanish and we'd love the children to be able to as well.
For first time mums, what three pieces of advice would you give them when travelling?
Less is more! Whatever you're thinking about doing in a day, half it and then half that again. There's nothing worse than rushing around trying to fit everything in. I'd also say go with the flow and don't stress if you kids are still asleep at midday - they'll settle into their new routine. Finally, I know it's a bit of a boring one but try to get to sleep early. Travelling with kids is tiring so you need all the energy you can get!
What clothing essentials do you recommend to take when you're travelling in both hot and cold countries?
Harem pants are a must for any hot country or a long plane journey as they're just so comfortable and airy, dark coloured tee-shirts that can soak up food stains that you might not be able to get out when travelling and finally good bobble hats for everyone - even warm countries can get nippy at night.
You recently mentioned pulling the plug on social media; how do you find being so involved in the social world affects your life both negatively and positively?
It's such a delicate balance; I am so passionate about my blog but equally, it's just a job so my family come first. The difficulty is that family are part and parcel of what I do so getting the balance right is tough. Overall, we've had some awesome experiences thanks to social media that have benefitted all of us so much so I'm super grateful for every part of it.
What does motherhood mean to you?
Motherhood is everything to me: I throw my heart and soul into raising the kiddos who bring me such enormous amounts of joy I cannot even begin to describe it...