Felicity is mum to her two daughters, Cassandra (3.5) and Vivienne (18 months) and baby number three on the way. Her passion is the parenting industry and creating a community where everyone feels welcome no matter how they choose to parent. It is this passion that led to the creation of her parenting blog The Baby Vine.
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My first adventure
Pre-kids I loved to travel. I had a bucket list full of endless ideas and amazing places to visit and I lived it. I caught the travel bug straight after school. I took off to Kenya where I worked in an orphanage for a month before embarking on a camping safari. It was incredible to say the least and I was already planning my next trip before my feet had even touched down back in Australia.
Moving to Europe and prolonging my travels
Of course, life always has other plans and I knew university had to take a front seat for me. While I was very academic at school, university just wasn’t my thing. Maybe I had burnt out or something? Instead, I sledged through the three years, planning my next escape, and it was going to be a big one: I decided to pack up and move to London. Honestly, what better way to see Europe than having a base there? My brother and sister-in-law already lived over there, so the move was easy – and it was the best thing I ever did.
I got myself a job as a nanny to fund my adventures, and took off on weekend trips to Italy, France, Madrid, Poland… as soon as I got back the next trip was being planned. I even worked for another family as a travel nanny for a month and went and visited Ireland and Portugal (though that was an entirely different experience). After almost two years, with a visa that was ready to expire and a full passport, I knew it was time to start thinking about moving home. I always wanted to settle in Australia – that was always the plan. But I didn’t want to rush into things, so instead I booked in a three-month stint in South America, working in an orphanage for two months this time and then travelling around for a month. In hindsight, it was my last hoorah.
I moved back to Sydney, met my future husband a few short months later, engaged two years later, married a year after that and then our first daughter just a year later. We now have a three-year-old girl, 18-month-old girl and a baby boy on the way. Life has been busy. But the travel bug has never left.
Travelling with kids
We tend to keep it closer to home these days. We have dreams of taking the kids to America and Europe when they are older, but we aren’t so keen on facing that long plane trip just yet.
Our first trip was a road trip when Cassie was just 8 weeks old around Brisbane and this was followed up with Fiji when Cassie was 18 months old. Since then, we have taken both girls back to Fiji and are heading there once again when our latest addition arrives. What can I say, endless beaches, cocktails by the pool and cheap nannies have all drawn us back again and again.
I have also done plenty of solo travel with the kids around Australia. Working part-time affords me the luxury of being able to take off when pleases. We have been to Brisbane, Melbourne and back to Brisbane again – and while it can be tough wrangling two kids on a flight, it is entirely worth it. My three year old still talks about those trips and the memories we made on them.
My best tips for smooth travels with children
I have learned so much about
Always pack a carrier for the airport for little kids. Even just getting on and off the plane you are going to need hands, and while you can often bring the pram up to the gate with you, it can’t go further than this.
TIP: Take a look here to find the best baby carrier for travel!
Invest in a good cover for the pram. Sure, you can use blankets, but something like the
Prepare a special bag for older kids. Make them responsible for it and fill it up with snacks and things to keep them busy on the flight. Cassie loved being able to help herself to food and also to find different things to play with to keep her busy, which meant I could focus on Vivi.
Have transport arranged at the other
Each year brings a new trip for our kids and a new learning curve for us as we juggle extra kids (adding to our family), and work out their needs as they get older. The biggest thing is to be prepared.