London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies
The story & the choice of name: We started the blog for fun and sharing some of our tips and best places to travel with a baby; it became over time also a handy list of toddler travel essentials and handy collection of best trips with kids. Zen? Really Zen ? Well, mostly aspirational and ironic. It’s active, it’s cultured, it’s diverse, there’s sun, there’s snow, diving, snorkelling, skiing and paddle boarding, there’s lots on Europe and our favourite worldwide luxury hotels with kidsclubs, there’s glamping and nature retreats, dolphins, sharks, turtles, lots of cultural trips and sushi, chateaux and relais and fine dining.
The art of travelling with baby and / or kids? Well, babies’ happy routines involve planning, structure and habits. Travel involves quite a bit of opposite, but again you could aim for, naively and happily (50%), observe and take clues from baby (20%), re-plan and re-structure (25%) and go with the flow (5%). Toddler wise, we all had sensible lovely moments and completely unreasonable meltdowns. Since our second is around, the balance is rather tilted on drama and tantrums coming out of nowhere and leaving as they came. Parenting? My take on it, well, the hard work is so undeniably there, one should aim to make the most out of it.
That literally meant taking our first very little man to gastro-pubs, starting with 3 days old; attending friends wedding in Rome when he was 5 weeks old and indulging Amalfi when he was 6 weeks; getting some winter sun first in Dubai and then Abu Dhabi when he was 4 months, experiencing European continental winters at 5 months, the Caribbean at 7 months and so on. Our second son also starting travelling very early, in his first three months we squeezed in Tenerife, Halkidiki and plenty of gorgeous mansions and castles around London – always much better behave when travelling than at home. For our tips on where, how & when to travel with a baby under 6 months, head here. For weaning whilst travelling and our suggestions, head here.
The scribbler of Zen Babytravel: London based for over 15 years, travel and culture addict, mum of 2 lovely cheeky monkeys roughly 6 and 3 years old. English, French and Romanian speaker and potentially some Italian and Spanish in dire situations. Business background for over 15 years in London, with a master degree in Communications & PR and a business master @ Oxford & Paris.
Having suffered from the travel bug my entire life, I’ve seen no reason to do anything different when I was pregnant and once we had our first baby. The first 6 months of my first pregnancy had been lucky enough to enjoy a sort of paid sabbatical, which took me around Barbados, Grenadines, Dominica, Australia and Fiji. The first year with our first baby we kept on travelling more or less monthly basis, Rome, Amalfi, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Brasov , Dominican Republic, Liguria, Bucharest, Cornwall, Crete, Rome – full circle. Loved to share those experiences and constantly looking back with nostalgia. After 11 months maternity first time round, I eventually returned to a full time job in banking. With 30 days holidays per year though we continued travelling, pretty much every other month.
Travel list includes so far over 55 countries: Antigua, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Bahamas, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, China, Croatia, Cuba, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Fiji, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Seychelles, Spain, St Lucia, St Vincent & Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tibet, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, UK, US.
Little wonder so many friends turn to us for travelling advice and tips, best places to travel with a baby, suggestions for toddler travel essentials and inspiration for trips with kids. Aiming here for easy, refreshing and reassuring, life with babies, toddlers and kids is richer and whilst travelling may be slightly more complex, it is still rewarding and enjoyable! Happy travelling all, big and small!
Wonderful! This blog is exactly what I was looking for!! I am 9 months pregnant with my first child and summer is coming… and I do not know where to go on hols with a little baby!! I will enjoy browsing. Great idea 🙂
Congrats Anna! Great to hear the blog is helping 🙂 Best of luck & do not hesitate to shout for specific questions.
Hi, I have two questions:
1) how do you have romantic meals on your hollidays?
2) how do you warm up and prepare meals for the baby on the hotel room
Hey Gabriel ! 1) It really depends on the baby age, time zone/ time differences, hotel facilities, your baby and what parents are comfortable with. Here are few tricks that worked in our case: a. up to 7/8 months on holidays we found it was quite ok to have romantic and occasionally long meals with considerable bubbles with a baby sleeping in the pram; this works well with romantic seaside restaurants where the ambiance is rather calm and music on the subtle side. b. after the age of 8 months our favourite solution was an arrangement with a baby monitor or 2 phones – Skype like call; this works well if the wifi is ok and you’re not too far from the room. c. certain hotels baby friendly hotels have baby monitoring facilities, they are happy to keep an eye and let you know if he/ she wakes up to have its own party. d. the safest arrangement would be a babysitter, ideally somebody who already spent a couple of hours with the baby during the day; this worked well for us for diving trips (or whatever activities you fancy doing together as a couple without a baby) and a cool restaurant outside the resort (if you fancy something local or a different venue). 2) I’d certainly recommend picking a baby friendly hotel and they will be pleased to warm up, mash and prepare the freshest food for you usually at no cost. I am currently working on a post with tips for booking baby & toddler friendly holiday hopefully in a final shape early next week.
Love the blog and the idea of traveling with a baby! 🙂 thebhardwajlife.blogspot.ca
Wow! I am rather jealous – what wonderful jet setting you do 🙂 Can’t wait to hear how it goes with two. xx
Yes we are also curious, excited and dreading simultaneously the transition to 4 🙂 for sure will keep you all posted! xo