- Let me share my secrets about why I love living in York. This week marks 2 years since we started this crazy adventure which is expat life in England. It is somewhat hard to believe and it has absolutely flown by. When we first landed in the UK we spent a couple of nights in London to catch up with friends and buy some winter woolies before making the 5 hour plus journey in our rental car to Scarborough, North Yorkshire. A quaint seaside town which was hugely popular in the 70s but is now filled with casinos, arcade games and rock lollies. A great place to visit on a sunny summer day for fish and chips and some ice-cream, but after about 3 days I had seen and done everything there was to do in Scarborough. We started researching online for places to live and we had been told good things about York. I found a couple of apartments which looked fabulous and booked viewings to check them out.
- It has been well communicated that we recently traveled to the Margaret River Region in Australia to attend two VIP weddings. Its a truly incredible part of the world – beautiful beaches, a wide array of food options from fine dining to quality bakeries, delicious wines and every type of accommodation option you can think of from glamping to high end resorts. We have been traveling to Margaret River for weekend escapes or a lazy week on the beach as long as I can remember. Actually, the very first little trip that Troy and I took together was to Dunsborough, so it was pretty special to finally take our little girl there. No one could have predicted the adventures we would go on or the things we would achieve together during that first visit – at that point in time we had only been dating for about 3 months. This trip was a little different as we had a toddler in tow and we spent longer there than we usually would. Here is a recap on our vacay to the South West of Australia.
Recently we found ourselves flying with a toddler to attend two very important weddings. It was an incredibly long journey from York, England to Perth, Australia and it was made to feel even longer with a toddler in tow. Pre-baby we would have settled into our seats, watched endless movies and drunk copious amounts of wine to survive the flights. Nowadays we have to stay (relatively) sober and alert enough to tend to our toddler’s every need. Its definitely not ideal flying long haul and across multiple time zones with a toddler – everyone has asked how the flights were and my standard response is ‘it was okay.’ We survived, but it wasn’t great. My personal recommendation would be to avoid flying this far with a young mobile child whom struggles to be entertained for more than 5 minutes if you can. A trip closer to home and in the same time zone will be far more enjoyable for the whole family. But obviously there are many reasons why you might need to, such as two epic weddings, so I have prepared a few tips to help you survive flying with a toddler should you find yourself in the same situation.
- I had been eager to travel to Dubai for a while prior to my first visit and now somehow we have managed 3 visits in the past 4 years. Dubai is a place that likes to advertise to the world that it is all singing and all dancing – it is a great place for a stop over but it also interesting to see that it is still very much under construction. Our first stay was the final leg of our honeymoon and the next trip was when I accompanied my husband on a work trip in 2016. In 2017 we travelled to Dubai for the Dubai World Cup which had been a bucket list item of ours for many years. My parents met us in Dubai (they were en route to England for a visit) which meant they could babysit whilst we had our first baby free outing. Given that we like the heat, this is a perfect destination for us. However, during our trip in June it was too hot, so I would personally avoid the height of summer and especially if you have a little one in tow. Here are the highlights of our visits and some useful information if you are planning to travel to Dubai yourself!
Budapest is the best place in the world to celebrate our daughter’s first birthday, said no one ever. Whilst Budapest is perhaps not your most obvious first choice of locations for a family holiday with a young child, I can highly recommend it. We jetted off to Hungary for my baby girl’s birthday and to celebrate the fact that we survived the first year of parenthood and guess what – we loved it! Its fair to say that it took a few days to find our feet, but once we got into the swing of the city I did not want to leave. Keep reading to discover why I think you should travel to Budapest yourself.
- I have been asked a few times whether you can fly business class with your baby and the simple answer is, hell yes! Whilst you might get some disapproving looks from your fellow passengers, the reality is that you are just as entitled as everyone else to fly at the pointy end of the plane with babe in arms should you wish to. Our baby girl had only ever flown business and first class (check out ‘Travel Memoirs | Flying Solo with a Baby‘) until we took her to Dublin for St Paddy’s day on a Ryanair flight. Poor child – what a fall from grace!
Wondering what travel essentials you will need for your baby on your first adventure? Well I am here to help take the stress and confusion out of it! It’s no secret that our family has traveled a lot with our baby in her first 12 months. She managed a total of 10 countries in her first year and during all of these travels I like to think that we learnt a few things along the way. There are several products that we could not have lived without when we traveled with our new infant and I wanted to share these essential items to help you plan and pack for your travels with your new family. Whenever I am packing I try to remind myself that many things you can purchase on the go so as not to stress myself if I forget them (i.e. nappies, wipes, formula, food etc.) but these items are always at the top of my packing list each time.
This week I am throwing it back to one of our favorite trips last year – Barcelona!! I was heavily pregnant during this trip, so much so they questioned me when I boarded the flight and I had to show them medical documentation confirming I was safe to fly. We were meeting our very good friends there whom were on their honeymoon as unfortunately we were unable to attend their wedding in Bali a couple of weeks earlier due to the distance from England and the late stage of my pregnancy. But a weekend in Barcelona was the next best thing and what a fabulous time we had. So much so that we decided to return this year for a weekend away also. We hadn’t been to Barcelona since our Contiki tour in 2008 and all I remember from that visit was too much sangria and a very sick boyfriend on the bus ride the following day (I will spare you the details!!).
Last week we ventured to the Spanish island of Mallorca for a little family vacay to enjoy the last of the European summer sun. Mallorca is not a destination I would have ever thought to have visited whilst living in Australia. Although I do vaguely recall it being a far away exotic paradise based on the reality TV show, Airline, showcasing the daily happenings of EasyJet passengers, and crew in the late 90s. Keep reading to discover how our family travel to Mallorca panned out.
During our first year as parents we have stayed in a mixture of both hotels and AirBNB holidays lets with the baby. Both of them have their advantages and disadvantages and are worth considering when you are booking accommodation for your next family holiday with baby in tow. My comments below are very much a generalization as there are obviously such a wide variety of hotels and AirBNBs available all around the world offering different things. So AirBNB vs hotel with a baby – what is better?