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Travelling with a baby on board

You’re never too young to travel. That’s what Kirianna, Lachlan and their now-18-month-old son have been proving with the inspiring journeys shared on Riley’s Travels. Holidays with Kids catches up with Kirianna to hear how they do it.

How did travelling regularly with Riley start?

My husband Lachlan, a pilot, and I, a former flight attendant, are both expats. He’s an Aussie and I’m originally from New Zealand, and we now call Tokyo home. We travelled to Sydney for the birth of Riley and, when he was four weeks old, went back to New Zealand to meet my family before returning to Japan.

It was important to us that our families and Riley were able to spend time together and this meant regular international travel. It was essential that he was comfortable on these long trips and everything that comes with them: the jet lag, the hustle and bustle and being on the move.

We also wanted to travel for travel’s sake. Quite a few people had told us, “You won’t be able to keep this up after baby is born,” but we didn’t want to hear that. Of course, we were a little bit apprehensive at first, but we soon discovered that babies could in fact be the best travel companions!

What has been the most memorable experience you’ve had while travelling, and why?

There have been so many! But I will never forget our trip to Cappadocia, Turkey. At sunrise, a multitude of colourful hot-air balloons rises up above the rugged landscape. But what made it even more special was that Riley was approaching his first birthday and he was just starting to take a few unaided steps. These are precious memories for all of us.

Why is travelling as a family so important to you?

We are strong believers in the power of travel to educate. The experiences Riley has had in his short 18 months of life are truly amazing. You might think he’s too young to understand what he’s seeing, but we can see the benefits. He is so open and friendly with people of all cultures, he is kind and patient and always cheeky and playing with everyone he meets.

How many countries has Riley been to now?

Riley is now 18 months old. He’s already visited 32 countries and over 80 destinations. He’s been to Cuba and Turkey, visited the Moroccan desert and seen the awesome waterfalls of Iceland. We’ve been skiing at Whistler in Canada and sailing on the Amalfi Coast of Italy. It’s hard to believe we’ve really done all that.

What unexpected things have happened to you when you’ve travelled as a family?

Oh gee, so much! There are, of course, occasional delays and cancelled flights and, once, we were stuck due to a hurricane. Things go wrong but we have learned to never get stressed and to just go with the flow because no matter what, it always works out and sometimes for the better.

What are your top tips for travelling with a baby?

Just do it! If Riley is anything to go by, your baby will be able to enjoy travel right from the beginning. There’s no reason to put it off.

By travelling together, both parents are also able to form this incredible bond with baby and share magical moments together in wondrous and mesmerising places.

When we can, we try to book night flights; having Riley sleep for the majority of the flight is less stressful for everyone. We avoid the bassinet seats and opt for the back rows. I like to pop Riley into his PJs and rub some Vicks on his skin, which helps with the changes in cabin pressure during the flight. I also wipe down the area for germs.

Invest in a good travel stroller and baby carrier; they will both be of great use. My last tip: always carry a wellstocked medical kit for baby. Being stuck in a foreign country where you can’t speak the language can be really difficult with a baby that needs medicine.

This article appeared in volume 55 of Holidays with Kids magazine. To subscribe to the latest issue, click here.

How can we follow Riley's Travels?
Or on Instagram @rileys_travels

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