Alice Griffin is the author of the informative and inspirational book Tales From a Travelling Mum: Navigating Europe with a Babe-in-Arms. It is chock full of useful tips and advice on traveling with little ones. Alice was kind enought to answer a few questions for TravelingMamas.com readers.
When did you first develop a love for travel?
Growing up with parents who often spoke about travel and road trips they had taken with my siblings (I missed out there being the youngest!) I think my love of travel is deep-rooted. Really I have been dreaming of far-off places for absolutely as long as I can remember and when, at 23, I had the opportunity to spend six months in Japan – I was bitten. I haven’t looked back.
What inspired you to write this book?
When pregnant with my daughter all I ever seemed to hear was that independent travel with babies/children was a nightmare. I didn’t believe and I didn’t see why I should give up my love of the world when I became a mother – I wanted to share my love of the world with my daughter! We did our first trip when she was 8 weeks and at one-year-old we sold our house, gave up our main income and headed off on a long-term road trip. We have had such amazing experiences that I felt I should share them with others who might feel a little apprehensive about travelling with children. The result is a story about all the trips we took during the first two years of my daughter’s life and covers Greece, Norway, France and Spain by plane, boat and road. I guess you could say it is a travelogue interspersed with practical advice and tips.
Do you have one moment that stands out while traveling with your children?
I couldn’t pinpoint a specific moment, but just seeing my daughter enjoy the world, watching her interact with so many faces, cultures and environments – it gives me hope that she will grow into a compassionate and fearless young woman.
Do you travel without your children? If so, how do they cope when mum is
As yet I have not travelled without my daughter.
What items do you always travel with?
A favourite comforter toy, a bubble cot and a small rucksack of toys and books to keep her occupied. Oh, and I always keep raisins on me for when all else fails!!!
Last thought about travelling with children:
Just that people shouldn’t be daunted by travelling with a baby or with children. Yes it’s different – but seeing the world through my daughter’s eyes has, so far, been magical. Embrace it and remember that if you manage to stay relatively calm you can defuse most testing situations. You will also be overwhelmed by the kindness and support of strangers when you travel with children!