Pack your bags, baby! Make the most of your maternity leave with a holiday that’s safe for your new addition by enlisting the help of a baby company that will do all the destination safety checks for you…
Bali is one of the most popular travel spots for Aussies for good reason. It’s affordable, a short flight, a beautiful destination and a cultural experience. But worrying about drinking contaminated water, transport to and from the airport and every other concern new parents travelling with babies have is enough to put the kybosh on any holiday plans. Enter Baby & Toddler Travel Co – a new travel company which specialises in packages for families travelling with babies and toddlers, which has just launched into Bali. Founder Ingrid Huitema is a well seasoned traveller and mum to two wee ones. Here, Ingrid reveals the inspiration and journey behind this Australian first.
“My husband and I just love to travel, so when I got pregnant for the first time, I was quite affronted when people said to me, ‘well you can say goodbye to jet-setting around the world then.’
I guess it was in part due to my tenacious nature, but I wanted to prove these pessimists wrong, so a few months after having our son we started making a few domestic trips – Perth, Darwin, Exmouth, Kununurra, Alice Springs – and then we booked a ski trip to Japan, heading off when Austin was 10 months old. When our second son arrived, the international trips started much earlier and we took both boys to Bali when Lewis was just five weeks old. Baby passport in one hand, toddler in the other we were ready to go.
“For each international trip, it’s been my mission to make each holiday enjoyable and stress free. I set about finding a personal qualified nanny (the boys are too young for organised programs), sourcing and booking a portacot and high chair, a pool fence (if we are going somewhere tropical) baby and toddler friendly accommodation.
This has been no walk in the park. I have spent countless hours on skype, researching online and meeting with people on the ground in various destinations to make sure I’m happy with the arrangements. It made me wonder why you couldn’t book packages designed specifically for people travelling with babies and toddlers.
You can book just about anything else, holidays for couples, solo travellers, families with older children who can be booked into kid’s clubs, adventure seekers, surf trips, yoga retreats, why not holidays for families and their little ones? I would have certainly bought one!
“There is an increasing number of families who are travelling with their babies and toddlers, nanny agencies are popping up in tourist destinations everywhere, companies like Etihad Airways are employing flying nannies and specialist companies are offering baby and toddler equipment for hire, but no one packages it up – why?
So, after a few flippant conversations with my husband, things turned serious and we decided to embark on a new venture into unchartered waters. In July 2014 Baby & Toddler Travel Co – a new online business providing packages especially for families travelling with their babies and toddlers – was launched.
After wading through a minefield of legalities and insurances we sorted through the mundane administration issues to start with packages into Bali. We prepared a selection of premium offerings aimed at couples who love to travel but find it hard, or don’t have the time, to organise suitable on-ground arrangements with reputable companies. We started with five destinations – Bingin, Seminyak, Canggu, Ubud and Jimbaran offering everything you need.
“First there is the fast track VIP airport service to get you through customs and immigration in record time, a private driver, correctly fitted car seats and capsules that align with Australian standards, a qualified, reference and police checked private nanny who can swim, portacots and high chairs and of course a beautiful self-contained villa with personal chef so you don’t have to go grocery shopping or drag the kids to local restaurants for every meal.
There are loads of couples out there just like us who love to travel and want to continue their adventures with their ones – the hard part is finding suitable on-ground arrangements, which is where Baby & Toddler Travel comes in.
Since launching, we’ve had numerous enquiries for families visiting Bali and we’re hoping to expand our offering as time goes on. There is obviously a demand for a reputable and reliable service so we’re hoping to fill this gap in the market.
“Each package has been developed to provide an enjoyable and hassle-free travel experience. It allows couples the chance to reconnect and spend time together while on holidays with peace of mind that their baby or toddler is being professionally cared for in the familiar surrounds of their own villa.
With family life so hectic, we often forget how important it is to spend time together as a couple. Taking a few hours each day to eat lunch uninterrupted, walk on the beach or try a surf lesson are things that usually don’t happen when you’re on holidays with babies and toddlers, so we wanted to change all of that.
To find out more about Baby & Toddler Travel Co www.babyandtoddlertravel.com.au or for package enquiries.
Where have you travelled to with your family? Tell us in the comments below!