S2E2: Natalie Preddie: The Secrets of Travel Sponsored by Slumberpod! Join your host Amanda Jewson as she chats with travel expert Natalie Preddie @_nattyp about all things travelling with kids! In this episode, these ladies will give you the inside scoop on how to make travelling with kids not only possible but completely enjoyable! This episode is proudly sponsored by one of Amanda’s favourite products: SLUMBERPOD! http://www.nattyponline.com/ Amanda Hey everybody, welcome to another edition of Slumber Party. I invite you to my slumber party, except unlike the ones you attended in the 90s. This one actually includes sleep for you, your children, and the entire family. Every week I have a unique guest or I answer a fun question about sleep to get you in your family the sleep that you need. Today I’m talking with Natalie Preddie, also known as the adventures of Natty P, @_nattyp on Instagram. She is your travel and lifestyle expert. This girl knows her shit on travel. Pardon my French, but she’s really, really good. She’s done it. She’s traveled the world. She’s traveled the world with babies. She travels the world with two kids. She’s quite impressive. She writes all about it on her blog. The adventures of Natty P definitely find this girl. We talk about the best travel tips ever. We do a deep dive into the Slumberpod you know, who’s sponsoring this podcast today, and basically we’re trying to give you, between the two of us and our four kids, between us and lots of travel experience, I’ve traveled a lot with my kids as well. We’re giving you the best travel options. How does sleep on, on your vacation? Um, how to travel. Well, how do I not travel with 16,000 items? That’s another good thing about the Slumberpod. By the way. It is small and it’s light and it’s compact. It fits in a carry on luggage. Did you know that these are important things to know? This is a judgment free zone. All types of sleep are encouraged. So put on your headphones, walk around for the duration of a crap nap and just enjoy yourself! Amanda: Alright. Hello everybody and welcome to another edition of Slumber party. Officially a MOMSTO nominee for best podcast. If I don’t say so myself, you can’t see this, but I am brushing my shoulder off, et cetera. I am really excited because today we’re talking travel with travel experts, blogger, mom, Natalie Preddie. Hi Natalie! Natalie: Hi. Thanks for having me! Amanda: Thanks for being on and we can hear your guy eating in the background. You’re literally doing it all. Natalie: I well yeah, I’ve got one kid distracted on the couch watching Leo the Truck and then I’m feeding, I’m feeding the little one so it’s, you know, it’s madness as always here in the house when we’re home an, yeah, I’m, I’m living it. If the juggle is real. Amanda: The juggle is real. It’s, and yeah, you really are. Like, I, we’re speaking on video, you don’t get to see this, but like Natalie is literally feeding her child solids and doing it all is pretty amazing. There’s a saying, right? Like if you want something done, ask a mother cause we’re just so good at getting things done Natalie: Yeah for sure! Amanda: Okay. Okay. So Natalie, you last season we spoke to Lindsey Mundy who did a big European trip, with her little baby and that was pretty cool. And she talked really about her, her experience doing that. Um, the conversation kind of derailed in a really good way. I found we started to talk a little bit more about the, I guess the mental health aspect of, of this work and, and what, you know, the stressors of traveling are. And I think it became a conversation about permission to travel. Like you can have the baby and go outside. Natalie: Yes Amanda: And if you haven’t listened to that episode, it was, it’s kind of a funny thing. It was supposed to be about travel, turned out to be something else. And I just really love it. Like I remember listening back to it and being like, yes, yes, all of my, all of my things that I want to say to every mom. But I know that you do this all the time. You are always travelling with your kids. I follow you an Instagram, I follow your blog. If you don’t follow Natalie on, on Instagram and on Facebook and every other platform or read her blog, I highly suggest you do. The tips and tricks are really, really great and practical. Natalie: Aww thank you! Amanda: But I, I think that I would love to get really specific about traveling with kids on this podcast. What you’ve experienced and what maybe some of those, Oh, theres a Kiddo. Yeah. Yeah. And maybe, Natalie: Sorry, sorry. Amanda: No, no you’re fine! I was saying that I was hoping that we could, get really specific about actual things that actually were, and maybe some of those tricks that we might not be thinking of in that way. Like what are some things that, you know, the average mom wouldn’t necessarily consider when she’s traveling. Natalie: Wow. That’s, that’s a lot. Amanda: So it’s a lot! Answer in one go *laughter*. Natalie: Yeah. Well, when it comes to traveling with kids, you know, I would love to travel around Europe with my baby, that would be amazing. But I think, what a lot of people are looking for are like, okay, I’m coming from home, I have my set amount of holidays a year. I want to make the most of it. And you know, I have a young family now, I want a fun experience for all of us and not a nightmare. A huge part of that is sleep. You know, both sleep for mum and Dad. And, like for the kids as well. So I think it’s a huge, huge part of traveling that we need to think about. When they’re really little, I love and have always travelled with a carrier. Amanda: Hmm. Yes. Natalie: Traveling is..sleep is a big part of that and people want to know, you know, with their four week vacation, um, you know, and they want to go away. They want to travel with their young children. How do they do that and still enjoy themselves. And sleep is obviously a big part of that. Amanda: Totally. Natalie: So, you know, we need to, um, to think about how we make, make the most of our time away, make the most of our holidays, whether we’re staying in, you know, an airbnb or even up at the cottage or at a resort. How do we enjoy our time away with our kids? And there’s no, there’s no, I’m not going to mince it. Traveling with your kids is very different from traveling on your own or with your partner, it’s different and it’s not always going to be, um, a relaxing vacation. But it is an adventure and people should definitely, definitely do it. Amanda: You do this all the time with your kids, for your job! I mean I would consider you a pro. Like how often a year are you traveling with your kids? Natalie: Oh, um, gosh, let’s just say my two year old has been to about 11 countries already on press trips and the little one who’s 8 months. He has been to, three I want to say. Amanda: Wow Natalie: He’s already been on like eight flights. Right? Something like that. He’s the one who I’m feeding right now. So how do I do it? Okay. Well first when it comes to getting through the airport, I want to keep thing, um, as light as possible. So I will strap one to my friend and put the other one in the stroller. You know, you want to get through, um, and you’re getting through the lineups when you’re getting through security. And when you go through, especially in Toronto, if you have a stroller they will let you through the family line, which is fantastic. So always make sure you have your, I say my kids are going to be staying in their stroller till they’re 18, just so we can get through this family line quicker. So yeah, so I have them like that. That’s what I do. I also have a skateboard so I can put a smaller one in his stroller and the other one on the skateboard on the back of the stroller if I need to as well. And I feel like a good light versatile travel stroller is probably something that you’re not afraid to get a little bit thing, that thing it’s easy to, to carry around. And when it comes to car seats, things like that, I always, always, always, try to call ahead to where I’m going and see if they can have one on that end. If there’s one that I can rent because I don’t want to carry all of that stuff when I’m traveling, you know, I don’t want to have to take the whole, I don’t want to have to take the whole kitchen sink with me, you know, traveling with kids is going to be difficult and that don’t make it more complicated by carrying all this crap. 100%. Yeah. So, you know, I also, when I ask about the seat, I’ll ask about a pack and play and I’ll ask about a crib and you know, everything that a highchair you think that I could need while I’m away. I’m, I want to get it there because I don’t want to carry it with me. That’s just ridiculous. Yeah you’re a big fan of like getting to the place and getting your stuff or renting it. And it depends, I mean. If we could go to a resort, or like cruises, they’ll even have diapers for you on board if you, you know, call ahead and make sure that you’ve requested them. So yeah, I mean, especially if you go into the states, just buy the diapers down there! Yes It’s just so much easier, but you want to have enough. I always make sure I have enough for the plane journey and a possible layover. Speaker 3: That’s a really good point. Yeah. Yeah. And some extra clothes, extra shirt or two for myself, especially with my youngest who is a bit pukey, yeah. Have that with me as well. And then, the plane, you know, I know our parents didn’t have technology. I remember doing long flights with my mum and my mum used to fly with three with three kids on her own without iPads. Yeah. Like she’s a saint. I saw Alana Kayfetz do that. Alana Kayfetz is the MOMSTO CEO. She’s got a great Instagram, just go to @momstoronto. But I saw her do that on her Instagram stories and honestly I was having panic attacks and I was like, oh oh god, it looked so hard! Speaker 3: And you know what? And like power to Alana for pulling that off. But you know, I think, you know, we’ve been given iPads in our lives, I’m just going to use them. So I have a little, I have a little kit that I’ll make together, that I’ll make for my oldest, the two year olds now, cause he’s in his own seat. So it’s like a new paw patrol magazine or a new book, a new toy. And that keeps them entertained for a little while and then, you know, if I need to or it’s been an hour or so and he’s getting, he’s gotten bored, then we just switch on the Paw Patrol. And that usually keeps him locked in his seat until we get there. He’s not someone who, and some kids are like this, will just like, just fall asleep in their chair. My son is not one of those, he will stay up until the bitter end. And there have been times where we’ve flown somewhere and he’s been a wreck the whole flight and then as we land he falls asleep, every time. Yeah for me too. Natalie: Yeah. It’s really frustrating. But you know, you have to, when you’re traveling with your kids, you’d have to kind of be prepared for such things to happen, yeah. And flexibility when traveling is key. And that comes to you like naps or sleeping, you know, if you know that you want to go and walk around a certain European city and you know your kid’s going to sleep, I mean in a stroller, then you can go ahead and you can kind of plan things around their nap. And I know that you and I talked about this before actually on my blog about, you know, sleeping when you are traveling with kids and, and you know, they do love routine. They, you know, their sleep is built on routines. I mean, you helped me, um, get my kids to sleep, which is life changing. Um, and you know, we try to maintain those routines to the best that we can, but yeah, but not let it rule our lives. It’s all about being flexible. So it’s that nap in the school or, or we started using the slumber pod. Amanda: Oh, I love it. I love their product so much. So you, I just saw you actually, so my kids are a bit older. They’re like five and three and mostly they will just go to bed now. They share a room, put them in the same room. We say, we’ll see you in the morning and they, they’re pretty good. Um, so I haven’t needed to use it personally, but I have recommended it to so many clients because I would have totally bought seven of those when I, like, I remember, my husband and I, we went on this little, like, there’s this little a family get together in Buffalo for a Bills game. And the idea was my husband would go to the Bills game and I would take the baby and go shopping. And, like we, we just got a hotel room, like the whole family was there. So it was like after we ate dinner, we might meet in the room next door and it was just like, it was so awful. It was just Winnie would wake up and see us and was like up all night and like literally up all night. Natalie: Yeah, yeah. Amanda: Where, you know, my husband looked over and was like, okay, fine. I’m just, I’m going to take her, I’m gonna put her in the stroller at four o’clock in the morning. I’m going to walk to the 24-hour Walmart and just see what they have. Natalie: Ohmygoodness. Amanda: He did it. He went and it was just like, oh so bad. And so every time we see the slumber pod, I am brought back to that hotel room in Buffalo. We shared, we did everything we could. I mean, we never, we never just travelled like that again. We had lots of tips and tricks and we’ll talk about some of those on this, on this episode. But, um, I see this slumber pod and it’s just like, it’s this thing that like goes over the pack and play and it looks like it’s sent from heaven. So tell me, tell me about it! Natalie: Well, I mean, the great thing about it is it, it folds up into like this tiny little pack that you can slide in your suitcase that didn’t even fit in your diaper bay. Um, but then you put it up and it’s, it’s like a tent, like you said, over the pack and play. And again, like I wish I’d had it with my oldest because I remember like going to the cottage, I hated going to the cottage cause he did not sleep. But it is totally blackout. Totally! So with my youngest is eight months, we can just talk that over top of his pack and play and it’s completely blacked out and it’s ventilated so we can breathe and everything. But you know he’s not sitting there looking around or around the room in a new space, you know, cause in a new space that can be a lot for kids. You know, I always say when you are putting your children down to sleep somewhere new, put down a blanket or something that smells like you or you know, you want to try to recreate your home environment as much as possible and as quickly as possible. I always say that as well. When you get to a new space set up right away, set up your food space, set up your sleep space, set up your play spase just so the kids and you are very aware of what those are right away. And with the summer fun, you know, we can pot that over top, and he’s not around the room looking for the differences and how it is different before his nap, he’s just quiet and goes to sleep. It’s amazing! Amanda: You know, full disclosure and obviously you’ve heard the Slumberpod is sponsoring this episode, but also as a sleep consultant, when people ask me about travel, it’s now in my official travel document that I send clients when I’m done to be like, look, not everyone is going to be able to afford to go to a hotel or you know, in your instance a cottage is a great example where, you know, there’s limited space, there’s usually a lot of family there and you need to share. Like, I don’t know, like for me I would, I think it’s imperative that you’re sleeping on your vacation. Like why, why else would you go? You have to, exactly. It’s your rest time. Um, so it definitely, they are sponsoring this episode, but I, I would only except a sponsor that I truly believe in. This is pretty freaking awesome. Natalie: Yeah. And I was, I was really excited to, you know, to talk about it just because, you know, I’ve been telling all my friends about it as well. Amanda: Yes! Natalie: This is the product we all needed. Um, so, you know, and again, no, genuinely I do use this product and love it. Amanda: So like, you know, using that, I mean my other tips and in feel free to jump in here, my other tips are basically like if you have a big enough closet, some hotels do or a big enough bathroom, sometimes there’s seats with like a second bathroom, or just a giant bathroom. Don’t be afraid to put your, you know, kid there and maybe pee in the hotel lobby. Granted. Natalie: I have done it! Amanda: Yeah me too! Natalie: Last time we were in Dominican we put, , we had one baby in the crib next to us. , cause he was still, um, you wasn’t sleeping through the night yet and the other one was in the bathroom and we went across the street to the hotel restaurant and get this straight, it was a resort. So across the path to the hotel restaurant, washrooms and use those just before bed because I mean it is the most important part. Poor Charlie, well not poor Charlie, he’s slept in closets and bathrooms because you do, you want them to sleep, you need them to sleep and you want to sleep and to make the most of the your vacation you, you know, you have to do whatever it is you need to do to make that happen. And creating that sleep space right away is key. Amanda: Yeah, 100% Amanda: Hey guys, welcome to my slumber party. I’m so excited to let you guys know that this slumber party is officially sponsored by Slumberpod. I’ve actually been crushing on Slumberpod for such a long time because it is such a great, great, great product. It aims at making traveling with kids less stressful and more restful. It’s a portable privacy pod that completely encloses a play yard. So something like a pack and play. You just put this baby on top of your pack and play and you have blackout conditions wherever you are, even in your house. If you can’t get blackout conditions during the day, heck, use the thing during the day. The good thing that I really love about it is designed with kids’ safety in mind. It passes all applicable consumer products safety tests for baby products. Also a test for CO2 re breathing by an independent lab. Its breathable, it’s made of breathable material and outfitted with four vent panels for additional air flow and temperature control. Guys, this product is amazing. It’s recommended for age four months and up. I would say that I totally recommend this product for any of my clients especially cause all y’all love to travel and this is the best product to travel with, have blackout conditions. I’m so excited. in this episode, Natalie and I actually talk about our experience with the slumber pod. So if you are interested, listen to the episode and then head on over to Slumberpod.com Use code BBslumber for $10 off your own Slumberpod. It is worth every dollar. Every single client who is about one does not regret it. Thanks so much Slumber Pod and enjoy this episode! Amanda: So, um, I guess my next question then would be, I mean I know what my answer is cause we’re pretty, like when we are big, travellers, my husband and I and we have some good ideas about where we’d like to go, but there are some places, you know, you keep talking about Europe, we’ve talked about going to Europe a million times, but the thought of taking our kids in jet lag is way too scary. So we do nothing. I don’t take my own advice and I don’t risk it. I mean we totally could, and we would if the opportunity arose, but generally like we’re looking for like pretty family friendly spots. So for the last little while we’ve mostly gone to resorts, places where we can easily nap our kids but not feel confined to a room or you know, places that allow some flexibility and fun for the family. What are your top kind of places for stuff like that? Natalie: Well as you, as you mentioned, a resort is for all those reasons that you just mentioned. Also, you can do city breaks. Um, and I would recommend renting a property. So whether you use RBO or Airbnb, you know, that’s where you can save some money, but you can also get some more space. You can get an extra bedroom, you can get even an extra space rate instead of the sleep pod. Um, you know, I would recommend, um, that over a hotel. Amanda: I mean we, we did an airbnb anyway, but I was never happier. We got stranded in Arizona cause I mean, people on social media know this, but my husband left her passports in, we were in Tucson for the first three days and then he left the passports in the safe. And then we went to the airport in Scottsdale, which is two hours away and didn’t realise we didn’t have our passports until literally right before our flight. So then we suddenly had to stay in Arizona for three more days cause it was march break in Toronto and in Scottsdale. And so there were absolutely no flights. So we had to like scramble and never was I happier to be in an airbnb like with a pool and with like areas for my kids to sleep in. It was just such a relief. Yeah, just like that space. Exactly what you’re talking about. It’s so good Natalie: And having and having those different spaces, establishing them as soon as you arrive, whether it’s to an airbnb or, or in a resort room. But you know, I’ve, I’ve always felt like that is, that is key to enjoying your vacation. Everything has its own space and in somewhere like an airbnb or you’re able to do that. If you want to do Europe. Um, we’re at, we’re actually doing Greece next summer, and that’s exactly what we’ll be doing. It’s also a very family friendly place. So, you know, when it comes to kids eating as well, if you are going to resort and you should double check what the hours are for eating. You know, some places close between three and five. And that’s when kids eat, right. So you know, you, you wanna just make sure when you are planning your vacation somewhere that it is flexible enough. 24 hour room service is huge. You know, you have the kid that’s just not gonna make it out for dinner. That’s fine. You want to make certain that you are not paying for extra for a room service. So, you know, if you can find a resort somewhere set up like that, that’s ideal. You’re not just sitting in a room. Theres lots for the kids to do in pools, splash pads and then there are kids clubs where you know, you can, join them in activities. You don’t necessarily have to leave them and that’s absolutely fine if you want to do that, then you can do that as well. But just really having those options. As with any vacation, you just want flexibility. And when it comes to Europe, you know, somewhere like Greece is perfect because the country itself is very family friendly. You know, kids are, you’ll probably meet a million people who just want to like hold your hand or help you out or I’ll hold your baby or yeah, exactly. And we’ll have something for the kids to eat and, and you know, there’ll be children running around everywhere because it’s a big you know, family based culture anyway. So you know, the fact that your, your kid is walking around at eight o’clock or running around the restaurant, you don’t have to worry about disrupting everyone else because everyone’s probably encouraging it. Amanda: That’s a really funny thing that you say because my husband and I lived in Australia for a number of years and we felt like it was just like, I mean we didn’t have kids at the time, but we just found it odd. Like we would be at these kind of restaurant bar things like it’s hard to explain, but you know, like a, a restaurant that you would go do that kind of turns into like maybe a pub at night or like, yeah. And it would be like eight or nine o’clock and there would be kids there and no one was batting an eye. There’d be babies like underneath the table. And I find like here is sort of like, “oh, I can’t believe you brought your child, that not how it goes.” And it’s like, well, children are very much a part of our, our existence. Natalie: Totally. And we were all chosen once! But you know what, it’s not for everyone. And if you, if you don’t want to go out for dinner with your kids, then don’t! But if you want to go up for dinner and you’re just ran and I think you’ll, you know, you’ll find, and one thing I find when traveling, even when I was in New York, it was, with my oldest, when he was 10 months, we found that it was a really, again, having the kids there or having him there was not sneered at. It was like, yeah, are part of it all. And I think you’d probably see that more in Europe or just not here. *laughter* you know that you need it more here. Amanda: Yeah. Natalie: Yeah. I think you’re seeing it more North American now, but you know what Europe is, is it’s different. You know, eating is a social activity and um, you know, people, your time together as a family is, is treasured and kids are treasured. And so, I think that’s something to get excited about as opposed to you getting nervous about going to Europe. I mean, yes, but you know, the jet lag is, is tricky, but kids also see how you react as well. Right. So let me feed off your energy. So if you go in and you are in a foul mood when you get and you’re tired and blah, blah, blah, no, you probably gonna, you know, your kid isn’t going to be a beacon of positivity, just kind of gotta be, you know, you gotta be that beacon that’s gonna guide your whole family through. Amanda: Oh my God, there’s nothing truer! You are saying we went our first big family vacation *baby cries*. You’re clearly pinching him right! Natalie: Obviously. Amanda: We, when we went out east, we did this like east coast trip. We went to Nova Scotia, PEI and I think obviously the travel had just overwhelmed Winnie and there are all these pictures of her like crying in these beautiful spaces. Like literally she’s on PEI, they have like that confederation house and she’s sitting on the, on the rocking chair and she’s just yelling, Natalie: Aww! Amanda: Like sorry! Sorry we brought you on this amazing trip. Yeah. Sorry. Sorry that this is phenomenal and so ridiculous. Yeah, exactly. So, back to your questions your question. The best places to go. Yeah. I mean resorts resorts are handy as long as they are flexible and, and you know, I think, I mean, I wouldn’t recommend, you know, I don’t know, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with your kid, Okay well thats off the list… Natalie: Yeah oh darn! Cause that’s exactly where you were planning on going right? But I think, you know, places that, I’d say most places you can probably, you know, bring your kids, but you’ve set up your itinerary appropriately, right. You have to make good decisions about how you’re going to spend your time there and what, and you know, where are you going to go, what you’re going to do. But say, you know, instead of going sightseeing around the city all day, maybe you sight-see in the morning, come home for a nap, and then you play in the pool for a bit and then go back out again. You know, whatever that itinerary is, did you’re just accommodating someone else as well. That being said, when they can, you know, let’s go sleep in the stroller, go for it. And with frontpacks as well, you know, you can, um, when they’re that little, they can, they can live in there. Right, exactly, exactly. They love it. Um, they feed, they hang out, they’re interacting with you. You know, it’s fantastic. Awesome. Well, Natty, Natty, Natalie, I mean, that is your handle @_NattyP. So there you go. You are a dense wealth of knowledge and I’m so glad that you came to talk to us about travel. I can only, I mean I feel like I’m a pretty good traveller Yeah you travel a lot! But you have these great like underground tips like resorts have diapers. I’m like what? I’ve been bringing out diapers. I’m going to not do that maybe. Natalie: Well, call ahead first and make sure that they’re stocked!. Amanda: Yes, Natalie: And always call ahead. Amanda: Absolutely. And I, I love your permission for electronic devices and iPads, just not before bed, but you know, use screens if you need them. Natalie: No, I mean rules Amanda: In moderation. Natalie: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. In moderation. And you know what I, my biggest thing is, you know, you give yourself permission to make it easier for yourself, right? So that means calling ahead and saying I’m coming with my baby. What do you have to help? You know, what, something that’s accommodating? What facilities do you have? for children. Do not be afraid to pick up the phone and call ahead. That will alleviate so much anxiety before you go because you know that they’re set up for you and your baby and it, and it alleviates anxiety when you are there as well, obviously. And you know what, a lot of places like this cruise that we were on also have adult diapers. So if that’s your thing. You get those there too. I know it’s, I can’t believe it the thing, but it’s a thing and I just, I just think that they’re, you know, as part of giving yourself permission to relax and be flexible on this vacation, that means that little bit of extra screen time, that means, you know, eating at a different time than you normally would. That means whatever that means to you. It is feasible with yet. Amanda: Yup. 100%. Well, I love it. I think that’s a great way to end guys. So you can find Natalie at @_NattyP on Instagram. The adventures of Natty P check out her blog online and we’ll link to all of these in the podcast notes as well. Um, you, if you turn on your TV in the morning, you’re fine. You’re probably gonna find Natalie. She’s just about everywhere, CTV, global CHCH. She is a trusted and well-respected source on this stuff, so I made sure to follow her. Thanks so much for listening. If you liked what you heard, please like, subscribe and review! It really does make all the difference. Thanks so much. Have a good one everyone.