How to travel with kids with Caroline, a Transat employee and mom of two

airtransat By airtransat / 09 November 2018

How to travel with kids with Caroline, a Transat employee and mom of two

airtransat By airtransat

For Caroline, a Public Relations Advisor at Transat, travel has become a family affair. She and Martin, her partner of 10 years, used to just pick up and go, but now that they have two daughters under four – Victoria (3-½-years old and Margot (16 months) – their getaways need a little more planning. That doesn’t stop this Montreal-based crew of outdoor enthusiasts from getting out there, though. “We do one beach vacation and one outdoor adventure per year,” she says. “And we love hiking, we love exploring, so we travel around Quebec also.”

 

“Travel is important to me because I tend to value experiences, and I’m also a very curious person,” explains Caroline. “When you travel, everything is new. There are so many places we want to bring the girls, some we have been to and some we want to discover with them.”

Caroline in Dominican Republic
Photo credit: Air Transat

Family-friendly destinations

One such spot is the Dominican Republic, which Caroline considers a great choice for families. “The beach is stunning – white sand and blue water – and it’s a very short flight from Canada.” There’s interest beyond the beach, too. “There are a few activities you can do in Punta Cana, which is not far from the resort area.”

Playing in the waves in Dominican Republic
Photo credit: Air Transat

The transformative power of travel

Caroline has also noticed an unexpected side-effect of travel – the independence it gives her daughters, despite their young ages. “Every time we travel, the kids seem to grow up a little bit,” observes Caroline with a touch of wistfulness, adding that she saw it when they travelled with Victoria when she was just five months old, but she’s seeing it most with her youngest, Margot, here in the Dominican. “She’s more connected to people, she smiles and even says ‘hola’ to the staff.” Caroline puts this down to the transformative aspect of travel, which takes you out of your comfort zone. “It can be a little stressful for kids, but it also opens them up to something totally different and stimulating and fun. They’re leaping into something new.”

Playing in the sand in Dominican Republic
Photo credit: Air Transat

Caroline’s 5 Tips for family fun in the sun 

1- Don’t overplan

“The first lesson I learned is to keep it simple. Don’t pack your schedule too much. You just don’t travel at the same pace with kids – at least I don’t. And the first will be tricky, especially with really young children, as they tend to not sleep too well, but if you’re flexible, it will work itself out.”

Kid drinking coconut juice on a beach in Dominican Republic
Photo credit: Air Transat

2- Give kids tasks

“Victoria is old enough to pack her carry-on. She prepares a little backpack that she brings on the plane, so she can bring her favourite toys and snacks. It also gets her involved in the planning process.”

Swing on the beach in Dominican Republic
Photo credit: Air Transat

3- Arrive beach-ready

“I always prepare a carry-on backpack full of beach essentials – our swimsuits, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses – so when we get to the hotel, we can head straight to the water, even if our room isn’t ready or we don’t have access to our luggage.

Kid on a beach in Dominican Republic
Photo credit: Air Transat

4- Then unpack

“We unpack everything, and we try to do it on the first day, as it’s more convenient to see where all your things are. Plus, it makes you feel like, ‘Okay, I’m going to be here for a few days. Let’s relax.’

Playing in the pool in Dominican Republic
Photo credit: Air Transat

5- Use early morning wakeups to make memories

“Since the girls are very young, they tend to wake up early, especially on vacation. Once, in Mexico, they woke up before 6 a.m. The restaurant wasn’t even open yet. So I dressed the girls, grabbed my camera and we headed to the beach to see the sunrise. Martin and I got coffee on the way, and then we were alone on the beach. I still have those photos.”

Swinging on the beach in Dominican Republic
Photo credit: Air Transat

Cover credit picture: Air Transat

The comments and contributions expressed are assumed only by the author. The recommendations, intentions or opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Transat AT Inc. or its affiliates. See terms of use of the Air Transat website.

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