My name is Irina and I’m originally from Finland. I’ve lived in London well over a decade now though, and have no plans to leave. I’m 35 years young ha ha. I feel like twenties inside my head but I am inching well towards middle-age now I suppose. I’ve written my blog Wave to Mummy https://www.wavetomummy.com for several years now, and it is all about balancing fun, family and career in London. We live in North London. I’ve got two kids, one year old and six year old, and am married.
Q1. How old was your child when you first went abroad/first staycation?
My kid was three months old on our first trip together. We flew to Finland to see my parents, and stayed at their home. That’s my older child, we haven’t actually travelled anywhere yet with our second-born, bar a short festival trip in UK in the summer!
Q2. What was the journey like? Be honest good bits and bad bits?
The journey wasn’t too bad. I was stressed about the flying, especially as we had two planes to catch – one to Finland and one local one from Helsinki to my parents home town. I had had a lot of problems breastfeeding as well, so was worried she would refuse to breastfeed in the plane. Luckily, our daughter was a perfect little traveller, had her milk as planned and slept most of the time. I brought a bottle of milk with me anyway as a safety net if all else failed! I also had a massive amount of nappies and wet wipes, and a change of clothes for us all ha ha, thankfully didn’t need much in the end.
Q3. What’s this best thing about travelling with kids?
I love that kids get to see new things, and experience new things. These out of the ordinary experiences really embed in their memory and make for fantastic family moments. I remember my holidays abroad with my grandparents very fondly – we went to the Canarian Islands and had great fun.
Q4. What’s the worst thing about travelling with kids?
The worst thing must be the constant worrying and planning and making sure you remember everything when everyone around you is screaming and asking for things… It can be pretty stressful! I try to pack a bag of toys and other entertaining things, stickers, colouring pens and so on to keep the kids distracted. It is a lot of work for the parent.
Q5. What are your must haves in your suitcase?
Passport and my credit card! That will get me anywhere. If thinking about the kids though, I like to pack stickers, colouring pens, a kids magazine, their favourite cuddly toy for bedtime routines, and a hand puppet (great for little ones). Small magnetic drawing boards are great too.
Q6. What are your travel plans for the future?
I’d love to take the kids to a beach holiday, and we are going to Greece next summer. I would also enjoy going to Finland again to see my grandparents who I bet would love to see their second great grand child!
Q7. What are you top travel trips?
Try relax. Kids don’t need to see everything. They will probably enjoy the experience just as it is, and being with their parents and other family, and making memories. It doesn’t need to be extravagant, just the simplest of things work. New foods. Silly games. Making a sand castle at the beach. Pretending to be a princess in a faraway castle… And parents can relax too!