After having her daughter in 2011, luxury lifestyle journalist Cass Chapman launched Kodomo; a travel authority for parents travelling with babies and children. A seasoned globetrotter herself, Cass clocked up plenty of air miles with her two newborns in tow. Here, she reveals the joys of journeying with a baby.
What journeys did you make with your children as babies?
“The first journey we ever took was to Mallorca, when our daughter, Lola, was 14 weeks old. I packed way too much. We very nearly missed our flight and the entire journey was stressful from start to finish. I didn’t let it put me off though, and we were off again two months later to South Africa, followed by Switzerland and then a road trip across America, all before she was one. Maya entered the fold last year and we’ve taken her to Croatia, Thailand, Spain and the US already. Next up? Nepal.”
What is the most rewarding aspect of travelling with a baby?
“Seeing the confidence it gives them as older children. I was determined not to stop enjoying the things I’d always done and travelling is absolutely doable if you’re lucky enough to be able to do it. Lola (who is now six) constantly talks of where she wants to go to next and revels in anything to do with other cultures. For us, we’re making more lovely memories with our children.”
How does the travelling experience change as they grow older?
“When my girls were babies, I found it very easy. The toddler bit was harder; jetlag seemed to last forever and long-haul flights were challenging because little children get bored. I took Lola to LA when she was nearly four, by myself, and realised we had re-entered a time when travel was easy. She loved it – we could talk and she knew what was happening. It was an absolute delight.”
Are there any essentials parents should pack before embarking on a trip?
“I would recommend a change of clothes, both for the baby and for yourself (having learned the hard way on a flight when I got thrown up on). You can’t have enough baby wipes, healthy snacks and water.”
What are your top tips for new parents travelling with a baby?
“Stay calm and try to enjoy it. If you panic they feel it and then the wheels can start to fall off.”
What has your experience been of Rocco Forte Hotels’ Family program when staying at Brown’s Hotel with your babies?
Brown’s Hotel was one of the finest experiences I’ve had at a luxury, family-friendly hotel. I stayed once when Lola was small and we were there again last autumn with her and a very young baby in tow. It was exceptional; the attention to detail, the care they took to ensure we had everything we needed and the fun we had were unrivalled. I used to spend a lot of time there in my pre-parent days and I’ve always loved it, but it was great to return with my family and experience it that way. I just adore that hotel and Lola still talks about the pedicure she had in the spa!
Do you have any child-friendly destination recommendations?
“Rome is fabulous with children. Whether for a quick weekend break or a long holiday, there is so much to do. Just ambling along the cobbled streets and stopping for ice cream is a delight, but there is also the wonderful Explora Children’s museum with workshops, organized activities, photography, play areas, and even a “kitchen studio” on Via Flaminia.”
Rocco Forte Hotels makes the little things count for parents travelling with babies. Uniquely tailored for tiny travellers, our R Babies programme ensures your room or suite is appointed with a baby cot and linen, teddy, bath products and complimentary baby meals. Nappies, baby crockery and other items are available on request.