Hello from New York City! Welcome to another edition of our Traveler Interview Series. Today we are featuring Family Travel Blogger Angela Bruneau of Babies and Passports. I am excited to introduce this Canadian family of 4. They are currently in Amsterdam and have taken a short break to chat about some awesome travel experiences, tips, and hacks. Check out their story below.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY. NAMES, CHILDREN’S AGES, OCCUPATION/S. WHERE IS HOME?
I’m a stay at home mom to two little girls, Adeline (5) and Alexa (turning 2 this month!). My husband is Marc and is an airline pilot in Canada. We reside in Toronto, but I’m originally from Vancouver and won’t’ let anyone forget that! I still usually refer to it as “home”, but I have been gone for 8 years. Currently, we are on Deployment with his airline in Europe, and have had the wonderful opportunity every summer! Right now we are in Amsterdam for our second summer, we love the laid back feel and great places to explore. It’s one of the best family-friendly countries we have been too!
WHEN DID YOUR PASSION FOR TRAVEL BEGIN?
I used to dance competitively in Highland Dancing (Scottish), I was lucky enough to travel as part of the Dance Team with the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band to Australia, Scotland, Ireland, and around the USA.
WHAT IS THE FIRST TRIP YOU REMEMBER TAKING BOTH INDIVIDUALLY AND AS A FAMILY?
My first trip on my own was with the Pipe Band to Australia, we performed at the Sydney Opera House, then I stayed with a few dance friends for a few weeks after.
As a family, our first trip with my oldest was to Paris, while we were on Deployment in Dublin. With a family of 4, it was to Mexico to this amazing little town called Puerto Morelos just outside of Cancun. We stay in a Villa with my husband’s extended family, get our fruit from the Mango and Veggie Truck that drives through town, and the most amazing empanadas on the beach.
HOW MANY COUNTRIES HAVE YOU VISITED THUS FAR?
14 thus far- USA (plus US Virgin Islands), Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica, UK (Scotland, N. Ireland, Wales, and England), Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium.
WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE DESTINATION YOU HAVE BEEN TO SO FAR? WHY?
This was a hard one!! I can’t wait to go on a kid-free trip with my husband again, so I am going to say Turks and Caicos. We went to celebrate our 1 year wedding anniversary on this stunning Island. I was working for a Tour Operator at the time so we got a lot of fancy comped rooms and upgrades. We did yoga at sunset at Parrot Cay Resort and went sea kayaking around the mangroves to look at Lemon Sharks. We even got an afternoon on a desert island just the two of us. It was relaxing and quiet and oh so magical, just like the Islands itself. Running after two energetic kids would be nice to do something like this again.
LET’S TALK FOOD. ANY MEMORABLE DINING EXPERIENCES FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE?
We love food, and wine (me and husband not the kids)! My favorite was this restaurant we ate at, our honeymoon recommended by our hotel. It was hard to find, but when we got there it was like we were transported back to the ’40s in Paris. We were handed champagne glasses while we waited for our table, and they kept getting refilled! During dinner, a Big Band played wartime era music, and fairy lights twinkled above. The food was classic French food, and every bite was like a dream.
ANY UNIQUE EXPERIENCES OR CHALLENGES DURING YOUR TRAVELS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?
We did a multi-generational trip a few years ago with my parents in France and Italy. It happened to be when Air France was on strike, and flights were canceled. We had to change our itinerary on the fly, and try and not focus on how things were changing but look at it as more of an adventure. I’m just thankful I was on the trip with my parents, cause I am not sure they would have dealt with it the same if they were on their own.
We ended up missing out on the South of France and heading straight to Italy. This is why I am very PRO Travel Agent, these are the sorts of things they handle as part of the job and service you get from them. We had to change hotel stays, car rentals (that was another story in itself!) and it was very stressful at the time. Now I just laugh at the comedy of it.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BLOG? HOW DID YOU GET STARTED BLOGGING? WHY DID YOU START A BLOG?
Babies & Passports is a Family Travel Blog, where I share our Reviews of Destinations, Hotels, and Activities. As well I try to provide helpful Tips and Tricks and share products that make traveling with kids easier. I’ve always liked writing, and photography and thought it was a good way to do something creative for myself. Since I’m a Stay at Home Mom, and will eventually return to the workforce full time when the kids are older, I felt like it was something I could have on my Resume. Plus what a great way to document all our fun experiences!
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH TRAVEL?
If you travel enough you will eventually have your bag lost, plane delayed, miss a connection, have a canceled flight, your hotel room booked not be correct or not available. It’s better to look at it from a cup half full perspective, rather than the latter. I’d like to teach my kids to be good travel citizens, so if that means rolling with the punches, and not focusing on how this may be interrupting our plans. Plus when stuff doesn’t go perfectly it makes for a better travel story after!
CAN YOU GIVE FAMILIES A FEW TIPS, TRICKS, AND HACKS WHEN TRAVELING?
- I try and book flights around when I know my kids will be napping or tired anyways. Try and avoid flying when you know it’s their “witching hour”, being in a confined space doesn’t help that behavior.
- Less is more for me in regards to carry-ons. I load up on easy snacks for the kids, and a coloring book each, plus a tablet or phone. I try and check as much as I can, so I can have my hands free. Additionally, I even pare down the diaper bag to a little pouch that I pull out of my purse, making it easier to change them in those small airplane lav’s.
- Have a To-Go liquids bag. I keep all the same things I use on the airplane in a liquids bag that lives in my carry on, so I’m not re-packing or forgetting crucial items like hand sanitizer or wipes to wipe down tray tables.
Ziplining or bungee jumping? Ziplining
Tea or Coffee? COFFEEEEEE
Who is the most interesting person you’ve met so far?
During a holiday in the South of France, we had a private Wine Tour with a Sommelier in the area. I was fascinated by his talent! He was able to blind taste and narrow down the Varietal, Region and Year of what he was tasting. During our time with him, he challenged us in exploring what we tasted and enjoyed with the wines. When you get a guide or someone that is knowledgeable in the area you are visiting, I feel like you learn so much more and that is what Travel is really about.
Disney World or the real world? Real World, since I haven’t been to Disney World yet (just Disneyland).
What’s been the best street food you’ve had? Going to go with Belgian Fries, did you know they are double fried? That’s why they taste so good.
Please tell our readers how they can follow your family travels on social media.
Thank You, Angela, for taking time out to share some of your travel experiences and valuable family travel tips.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know a little bit about Babies and Passports as much as we did, and that you’ve been inspired to go On Travel Mode more often!
If you or someone you know would like to be interviewed for one of our future editions, please comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, if you have any questions you’d like us to pose to future interviewees we’d love to read them!