Claus Lauter: and welcome to another episode of the Ywe Travel Podcast. Today we want to talk about the topic of traveling specifically with small kids, with toddlers and babies. On the show today I have Sophie. Sophie is [00:01:00] a content creator and she has traveled to 50 countries before she got , a kid and since then she has been traveling to another 14 countries, so she and her husband have lots of experience on traveling around the globe with small kids, and we want to pick a little bit on our brain on to find out how that works and get some tips from her.
Hi Sophie, how are you today?
Sofia Kalimeridou: Hi, I am really good. Thank you for inviting me. , I look forward to chatting with you about, the difference between traveling as adults on their own and traveling with a baby . Okay. ,
Claus Lauter: my first question is, what is your first childhood memory about traveling?
Sofia Kalimeridou: , okay. So I grew up traveling quite a bit with my parents, which, is what. Got me into this mindset. So we didn’t just travel a lot, we also lived abroad. So my first childhood memory is actually from when we lived in the US and I just remember. , not necessarily getting on a plane, but just [00:02:00] living in a different place.
I remember a little bit of going to World Disney, I just remember really liking it. , and we continued throughout my whole childhood and now we’re doing the same as adults.
Claus Lauter: Okay. Obviously the travel back hit you at some point. Yes. Cause you have 50 countries and then you got pregnant and then you got a baby and then you just continued traveling.
So what was that experience or what was the plan there?
Sofia Kalimeridou: , so as soon as me and my husband got married and started, you know, discussing kids, , we decided that we’re going to make a conscious effort after we have kids to continue doing the things that we like. Travel was obviously one of them and a very big part of it.
So we knew that after we had kids, maybe we would get, I don’t know, tired, a bit complacent, but if we make the agreement before. Then we are more likely to actually stick to it. So, and that’s what we did. So after, , I got pregnant, [00:03:00] we traveled while I was I know not everyone can do this.
I was fortunate with my pregnancy and I was able to do it. But then we also started traveling with our baby little by little. First we started locally, , in the uk, you know, visiting family. And then we traveled to Greece, which is also to travel, , to see family. , and then, yes, we started, , expanding little by little and saw that it’s actually doable and also very enjoyable and we can continue doing what we love.
And also it’s beneficial for our baby too. Not looking back since then. , .
Claus Lauter: Now obviously when it comes to traveling with a small child, , there is certain technologies, certain things you need to do and gimme a bit of an idea on how you prepare your day.
Sofia Kalimeridou: Before traveling. There is, quite a lot of things look into, , so that you know what to expect.
So one part of it is what will your specific baby need while you’re away? So what do you need to take with you? You know, [00:04:00] milk bottles, snacks, , what kind of clothes, how are they going to sleep? , and then the second part is what? Can you get from airlines, hotels, which is also, , my main focus, , on, my Instagram account to help other families is a lot of people don’t know that you can actually get a lot of benefits that make.
Your life easier when you travel. what we do is, obviously I have already learned the free stuff and benefits that you can get from airlines and hotels, but then we make a schedule for every day while we’re away, which is quite different to when we were traveling, just the two of us. So when you have a baby, you have to take it slow.
, this is actually something that we never did before. We were always, , traveling. Just ticking things off a list, you know, running from one place to the next. But now with the baby, the day looks quite different. So we leave the hotel late. , we have, three things to do in the day. [00:05:00] And then we know that we might not get to all of them, but that’s not the point.
So, Before we just wanted to see everything. Now we just want to enjoy it, and you actually get to enjoy it a lot more when you take it slow. , we’ve been doing longer holidays, , and you end up feeling a bit like a local, I’m in a place for, you know, two, three weeks, a month, and we would never have done this if we weren’t traveling with a.
, our days definitely look a lot, , slower but more enjoyable. .
Claus Lauter: Okay. I like the term slow mat instead of Noma. Now. , you have been traveling to 14 countries with your baby, with your toddler. What’s your experience with the locals if they see someone traveling with kids?
Sofia Kalimeridou: We have traveled to places that are very baby friendly and some that are not very baby friendly. But when I say not baby friendly, I don’t mean the people, I mean, They don’t have a lot of, , facilities to accommodate, families. in terms of the people. Everywhere. I’m just [00:06:00] amazed at how friendly people are, , to the point.
, we haven’t had a single place where we’ve been, where anyone has treated us in a different way because we have, a baby, , everyone is always smiling, coming over, wanting to like, play and interact with him. We just came back from Korea a month ago. and I think Korea was just like a different level.
People were actually giving him things on the street. , they were giving him like they were taking out candy from like their bags. Someone pulled out , , toys. , actually we got toys and Greece as well. You go into shops and they give you something else for free and they say just because you have, your baby with you.
, so. Definitely something that might be daunting. At first you think, oh my God, I’m gonna be in a different country. I don’t even speak the language I’m gonna be like with a baby. But actually, people make you feel really welcome when you’re abroad because I guess people love babies. majority, not everyone.
Many people love [00:07:00] babies.
Claus Lauter: Now your toddler is one and a half years old now. that’s already in age where they start communicating and they give you a bit of a feedback what’s happening? , what’s your impression? How does your kid like this whole travel
Sofia Kalimeridou: thing? , we think that he really loves it because, , one of the benefits of traveling, especially from a really young age, is adaptability.
, they say that kids need routine, but the routine for kids is that they’re with their mom and dad. They wake up, they have breakfast, they play. They go back home, you know, that’s the routine. It doesn’t have to be in the exact same environment. They don’t have to sleep in the same room.
So, , he has learned to, , sleep in hotel rooms, just find the same way he sleeps at home. Eat different food. He doesn’t expect to eat the same thing every single day, see different people and we can tell that he’s enjoying it because he has turned into a really social baby, like whenever people stop us on the street and want to play with him.[00:08:00]
He’s more than happy to just play with him back. Like , he’s not shy. He will smile, wave at people. Like yesterday when we were on our way home, , coming back from the airport, we were getting off of the tube in London and he just waved goodbye to everyone on the train . So yeah, , he definitely enjoys seeing new things and also new people.
Claus Lauter: Okay. I love the word social baby. That yes. Summarizes everything now when it comes to accommodation and, , looking for accommodation. What’s your plan on these things?
Sofia Kalimeridou: , our criteria have slightly changed since we were just the two of us. If we like the hotel, it wouldn’t matter like how close it is to the city center or how far we wouldn’t really mind, you know, taking public transportation, et cetera.
Now we don’t mind either, but we do have more criteria. So first of all, , we really like being close to, , public transport. If this is how we’re going to be moving around, because I don’t [00:09:00] necessarily want to get out of the hotel and walk for 20 minutes to get on the bus to go to the city center. It’s a lot easier to.
, get hop on. , we will look for hotels that have, , potentially a bed for the baby, so a cot. , if they don’t, it’s okay. We have our own travel one that we can carry with us. But if we can just, not carry this one extra thing, which is, you know, six kilos, then that’s even better.
. I think that’s it with hotels like looking for a bed and a good location.
Claus Lauter: Okay. I think what young parents or parents might be interested in is how much additional stuff , do you need to carry around? ?
Sofia Kalimeridou: It’s a good question. On every trip, we learn as we go along.
It’s not like we’ve done it for a year and a half an hour experts in every trip. I would say we carry less and. So in the beginning you think that you need everything. I remember our first trip was to Greece and we stayed for [00:10:00] a month. I brought. All of his outfits that were three to six months old. We go to Greece, there’s a heat wave, and he ends up being in like a nappy the whole month,
Then we didn’t use anything , so that was the first time that I learned, but okay, maybe I don’t need that many clothes. Then second trip was Dubai and I was like, okay, it’s gonna be hot again. I should bring less clothes. So then, I brought less. And we also realized you can wash things while you’re away.
You don’t have to, , bring one outfit or two or three for every day. , then, , second thing is the travel cart. As I said, we always try to find accommodations that already provides us so we don’t have to carry it. So that’s. Thing. , I would say that , the main difference is that we always take our stroller with us, which is a must, and we always.
Check a suitcase in now when we didn’t necessarily need to before, if it was just me and my husband, [00:11:00] we could perfectly survive with just a carry on each and a backpack for like a short trip. But now we always take a big suitcase, especially if we need to carry, extra things for him.
The baby monitor, things like that. You don’t want to put them in a, carry-on. I would say, , the stroller is one extra suitcase. That’s it. That’s what we’ve narrowed it down but, you know, I’m actually pregnant now, so we’ll start traveling with two kids in the future.
So maybe, maybe the amount of things will. .
Claus Lauter: Okay. So you’re bringing it up to the next level. . On your website or on your Instagram account, obviously you’re sharing information about traveling as , young parents. , what’s the most common question that you get
Sofia Kalimeridou: there? a hundred percent. The most common questions have to do with flying with a baby.
It’s one of. Things that stress parents out the most, including, you know, myself before we did it for the first time. I remember thinking that because as I said, we had pre agreed that we were going to [00:12:00] be traveling, so we had five flights pre-booked before the baby was even born. So I know we were going to be doing these trips.
You know, one was the degrees and one was, on my maternity. My husband’s paternity leave. , so I remember thinking, okay, so we have five flights. There is bound to be one meltdown or you know, the baby screaming in one of them and being inconsolable. I had it in my head before we even had the baby, which is really bad, but it’s normal in all parents, you know, do it.
definitely the things I share, the. Are not just, how to travel with a baby, but also how to do the actual travel day. , things that parents don’t know about and are really interested in lots of people dunno that you can get a free bed for your baby when you fly long haul.
, they are very surprised and it’s a lifesaver because you go on this, I don’t know, 12 hour flight, and you don’t have to hold the baby in your arms the whole time. You just put them in their own bed. , parents are entitled to, , extra free leg room on many big airlines. [00:13:00] When you fly long haul, , you’re entitled to bring extra luggage, , with you for free to check it in for free.
Like I said, the stroller a car seat. . You can bring extra liquids on board that are more than a hundred, , ml. We are only entitled to up to a hundred ml for babies. You can bring whatever you want basically, as long as it’s for them and for the fly. so definitely travel day and flying is the most popular.
Claus Lauter: One question is, obviously you were a very experienced traveler before you got your kid, and, , was that you have your strategies, your tactics on how to survive in countries where no one understands you. We don’t know your way around. If somebody has never done that and they plan now to , start traveling with a kid, what would be your recommendation?
Sofia Kalimeridou: , We have been to countries where, , people don’t speak English and we don’t speak the language. , for example, two that pop to my head would be Egypt, which I would say was, , a difficult country to navigate with a baby, but definitely doable. And the [00:14:00] other was Korea, which was the most recent.
, what we did in Korea was that. There are a couple of ways to actually understand what’s written and being said around you. So there is an option on Google Translate and on the iPhone actually, , where you open the app and you open the camera through the app You place it in front of something that’s written down like a menu and it translates everything into English. Of course it’s not perfect, but that’s how we got by. We were there for one month and we translated every menu this way. Whenever someone couldn’t understand us, we would talk into the phone and he would translate what we wanted to.
Into Korean and we would show it to them. , it sounds really, , basic and easy, but actually it was a lifesaver. We were using it on a daily basis in the supermarket to translate, you know, labels. , it was fine. And the fact that we had our baby with us didn’t make, , a difference , for that because, we [00:15:00] wanted to know what we were eating.
We wanted to know what he was going to eat. So yeah, it worked out just fine.
Claus Lauter: Google Translate is a lifesaver for all travels out there. Where can people find out more about you?
Sofia Kalimeridou: , so I have my Instagram account where I share daily tips on how to travel with family.
The name is Sophie Family Travel. And I also have my website where I have a blog with all the destinations that we’ve done and also tips, , for parents who want to travel with their kids. And that’s www sophie family travel.com.
Claus Lauter: Okay. I will put the links in the show notes, then you just one click away.
you Gave , a very good introduction that traveling with small kids with babies is absolutely doable or not as difficult as some people might think it is. And, , I hope it will motivate a lot of people to get out and do exactly what you do.
Sofia Kalimeridou: Thanks so much for your time. I really hope so.
Thank you so much.
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