Cass Chapman on Kodomo.com and family travel

Posted on May 31, 2017 by Marloe London

 

Family holidays and travel

Kodomo.com was my second baby, in some ways.

I had been lucky enough to enjoy a career as a luxury travel writer in the years before getting pregnant with my first daughter Lola who, if I’m honest, was a very lovely surprise about 6 weeks after we got engaged (I blame the champagne wave!) I wanted to continue traveling as a mother and I felt strongly that the experiences she would have would very much shape the person she was to become. I accepted that infinity pools, sweeping marble steps to a hotel bathroom and late nights in the resident bar were to be a thing of the past but I wasn’t ready to embrace Disney and all-inclusives just yet. Kodomo.com was born of my desire for quality information for parents, sourced by other parents who had actually visited the place (it’s appalling to me how much online is clearly just sourced from a press release) with useful information on local doctors, family-friendly restaurants and ideas on what to do when outside the hotel.

Cass on holiday with her daughter Maya

Getting everything designed, written and live took nine months (hence it is like my middle child) and, while there were days I questioned my sanity for undertaking such an epic task, I’ve loved every minute of it. Lola is now nearly 6 and we have another little girl in the house, Maya, who is ten months. Lola thinks nothing of hopping on a plane; Maya has already been to Croatia, Thailand and Spain. Next stop? North Carolina in July where I went to university. The jetlag may be seriously unfun with tots in tow, but to see the confidence and ease with which Lola travels now, her constant yearning to learn more about other cultures and her love of a good hot curry makes it all worthwhile. Hopefully her sister will be the same and, as we are privileged enough to be able to travel as we do, I’m ready to find out.

 

Cass’ top tips on travelling with babies and small children: 

  • Learn to pack light

I used to find it impossible not to take my entire summer wardrobe away with me if I was going somewhere hot. Today, I keep things as limited as possible. It’s rare to go anywhere these days where doing laundry isn’t an option, most of it doesn’t get worn anyway and, unless you’re heading to rural Siberia, you can buy nappies and so on when you get there. Pack what you need for the flight and the first day or two and leave the rest at home. It makes the toing and froing from airports far more bearable.

  • Don’t try to outwit jetlag

Heading to the east coast of America this summer as we are, I’ll let the girls stay up later than normal for a few nights before we go but accept that this may make no difference to the time they go to bed and get up once we’re there. Kids and jetlag don’t mix; sometimes we’ve managed to dodge it and other times it’s been hell. But, hey, Lola and I had some magic moments watching the sun rise in LA a few years back, even if it was four days in a row!?

  • Pack snacks for the flight 
Unless you’re flying Emirates (who very cleverly hired Annabel Karmel to redesign their kids’ menus on board), the chances are your children won’t get anything either nutritious or delicious on board so don’t get caught out by their hunger. Take lots of snacks and water (nothing sugary for obvious reasons) and try giving them something once an hour. It becomes a game and helps break up the journey time.
Travel with kids

 

 


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