Aug 30, 2018

GOOD travelling with babies

How to be a GOOD traveller with a baby

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I have just returned from my first overseas trip with my 4 month-old baby, Emma. Travelling with Emma was wonderful - and exhausting!

On our flight home, we were lucky to meet Julia from Do Good Jobs, her partner Johnny from Eco Geek and their baby Maia. We talked about the wonders and challenges of travelling with babies - and what it means to be a GOOD traveller once you have a baby.

Let’s start with the positive. Travelling with a baby gives you the opportunity to connect with local people in a completely new way. During our stay at Octopus Resort, I loved chatting with the ladies in the kids club about their parenting stories and learning about how they approached parenting. Our shared love for our children and connection as parents gave us an immediate bond.

I also met all kinds of people and had lots of new experiences that I would never have had without Emma’s baby celebrity status! For example, we were invited to meet the captain of the Yasawa Flyer.

However, travelling with a baby made it harder in many ways for me to be a GOOD traveller. I was often on survival mode and felt the pull of convenience. I could have caught a bus to the hotel, but I took a taxi because it was late and Emma was exhausted. I could have only used reusable nappies/diapers, but I used way more disposables than I’d wanted to. I could have packed so much less to reduce the weight of my suitcase on the flight, but I’m a new Mum and had no idea what I might need… the list goes on.

So here is my commitment to what I will do on our next overseas trip. I am listing these so you, the GOOD Travel community, can hold me accountable. I also hope that some of these ideas might inspire other travelling Mammas to think about how you too can be a GOOD traveller on your next trip. I’d love to hear your GOOD ideas too - so if there’s anything you think I’ve missed please share in the comments!

As this list has become longer, it does feel a bit daunting - and I can already feel the pull of the more convenient options! Let's hope that by using the list above when I pack and making a conscious effort to be a GOOD traveller, I can do my best to reduce our environmental footprint and also show Emma the importance of protecting the places that we have the privilege of visiting. I'll report back in the comments section following our next trip!

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Eliza Raymond

After graduating with a Master of Tourism from the University of Otago in New Zealand, Eliza has worked for a variety of NGOs and tourism companies around the world. Eliza is the co-founder and director of operations for GOOD Travel, and also teaches entrepreneurship, innovation and social change at the University for Peace established by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

I have just returned from my first overseas trip with my 4 month-old baby, Emma. Travelling with Emma was wonderful - and exhausting!

On our flight home, we were lucky to meet Julia from Do Good Jobs, her partner Johnny from Eco Geek and their baby Maia. We talked about the wonders and challenges of travelling with babies - and what it means to be a GOOD traveller once you have a baby.

Let’s start with the positive. Travelling with a baby gives you the opportunity to connect with local people in a completely new way. During our stay at Octopus Resort, I loved chatting with the ladies in the kids club about their parenting stories and learning about how they approached parenting. Our shared love for our children and connection as parents gave us an immediate bond.

I also met all kinds of people and had lots of new experiences that I would never have had without Emma’s baby celebrity status! For example, we were invited to meet the captain of the Yasawa Flyer.

However, travelling with a baby made it harder in many ways for me to be a GOOD traveller. I was often on survival mode and felt the pull of convenience. I could have caught a bus to the hotel, but I took a taxi because it was late and Emma was exhausted. I could have only used reusable nappies/diapers, but I used way more disposables than I’d wanted to. I could have packed so much less to reduce the weight of my suitcase on the flight, but I’m a new Mum and had no idea what I might need… the list goes on.

So here is my commitment to what I will do on our next overseas trip. I am listing these so you, the GOOD Travel community, can hold me accountable. I also hope that some of these ideas might inspire other travelling Mammas to think about how you too can be a GOOD traveller on your next trip. I’d love to hear your GOOD ideas too - so if there’s anything you think I’ve missed please share in the comments!

  • Bring extra books/toys - I met so many lovely Fijian parents on my trip who were incredibly generous with helping me with Emma. It didn’t feel appropriate to tip, so I wish I’d had more books and toys that I could have left behind as gifts for their own families.
  • Bring more reusable nappies/diapers, laundry detergent and a wet bag - I brought four reusable nappies with me thinking I could wash and dry them quickly in Fiji - but four was not nearly enough and I ended up having to switch to disposables while I waited for them to dry. I also wish I'd had a wet bag for dirty reusable nappies while I was on the move.
  • Bring reusable swim nappies - Emma loves the water but I completely forgot that she'd need a special nappy for the pool/ocean... next time!
  • Bring cloth wipes - Wet wipes are much more convenient when you're travelling, but next time I'm going to give cloth wipes or washable bamboo squares a go - or possibly just wet toilet paper.
  • Bring food in a jar - By my next trip, Emma will have started solids so I'll try to bring food in jars instead of plastic pouches. I'll also bring a stash of face cloths for post-meal mess as opposed to using wet wipes.
  • Bring two reusable water bottles - As a breastfeeding Mum, I am always thirsty and one water bottle just wasn’t enough in the Fijian heat so I ended up having to buy a couple of plastic water bottles - not GOOD! The resorts where we stayed provided filtered water which was great, but in other destinations, it would be good to boil water, bring a hand pump water filter or a life straw to avoid buying bottled water.
  • Bring snacks in reusable containers - Being a Mum is hungry work! I wish I’d had more snacks and that I’d packed them in sealable, reusable containers. I did bring chocolate with me but they attracted mice so I had to throw the chocolates and their plastic wrappers away.
  • Bring reusable shopping bags - My backpack was always overflowing with toys and baby stuff, so next time I'll pack a few reusable shopping bags for general shopping so that I can say no to plastic bags.
  • Plan travel times and use public transport - This isn’t always possible, but I wish I’d been more organised to avoid travelling in the evenings. Travelling by public transport is great with a baby and there are lots of friendly people to help you - but once it gets late, taxis seem so much easier.

As this list has become longer, it does feel a bit daunting - and I can already feel the pull of the more convenient options! Let's hope that by using the list above when I pack and making a conscious effort to be a GOOD traveller, I can do my best to reduce our environmental footprint and also show Emma the importance of protecting the places that we have the privilege of visiting. I'll report back in the comments section following our next trip!

MORE BLOGS

Eliza Raymond

Eliza is one of the co-founders of GOOD Travel. She has travelled extensively to work with grassroots community organisations and tourism providers. Eliza has found her second home in Peru.

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