Friday 17 January 2020

'Theo loves a sun holiday... the sand and the water'

Vogue Williams loves travelling but holidaying with a baby is a whole new challenge. Here she gives her insider tips on bringing a baby abroad, reveals her favourite destinations - and how to pack the perfect wardrobe

Vogue with husband Spencer and their son Theodore
Vogue with husband Spencer and their son Theodore

Vogue Williams

I've always loved travelling. I travel a lot for work, but I also do a lot of personal travel, because I like getting to experience living in different worlds for a short time. You get to take yourself out of your comfort zone.

It's important to travel a lot before having babies. I did the whole inter-railing thing; I did Australia, Thailand, island-hopping in Greece; I did all the travelling I could afford when I was younger, and had such a ball. It was on no money, so it wasn't in any way fancy, but it was lots of fun.

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TRAVELLING WITH A BABY

My son Theodore, who turned one in September, travels all the time. When you have a baby you've got so much more stuff, so I'm really hyper-organised travelling with him.

EQUIPMENT

There are a few things I love. There's a buggy from Silver Cross called the Jet that folds down, and can go in the overhead compartment.

The best buggy I've had for travelling was the Doona; I nearly cried when he was too big for it. It was a buggy and a car seat in one, so as soon as you got to your next destination, you'd just put it into the back seat and you're away. But it only lasts until they are 18 months.

I thought I'd nailed travelling with a new-born; when they're that little you can take them anywhere. But really it's just that they're asleep all the time. You haven't nailed it! With Theodore, I try to arrange it so we fly during his nap time, so he'll sleep in my arms the whole way.

LONG HAUL

We're doing quite a long trip to St Barts in the Caribbean in a couple of weeks. He's been long-haul before, but he was a new-born. This time it will be entertaining! For the flight, I'll bring loads of little toys. He won't watch TV; he's too small for it. He has a little pretend laptop with all these buttons that he presses. That'll give me ten minutes of peace!

I always bring his own food and loads of snacks. I'm not going to give him plane food, because he probably won't eat it. I always carry a Babybjorn with me, because I find in airports they never leave your buggy where they say they will, so you're left carrying quite a heavy baby, and it's an absolute nightmare. So it's essential to have a baby carrier with you.

Wipes are essential for a plane trip with a small baby but I like to be as sustainable as possible; I'm working with Huggies at the moment on their Tiniest Footprint mission.

There's a four-hour time difference with St Barts. On the plane we'll just leave Theodore do whatever he wants nap-wise. Then when you get there, you just have to pretend you're on that time zone. They'll be really tired and groggy that day, but you have to just try and reset them to that time zone. It will probably take him a few days to get into it, but I think that's the only way of doing it.

FIRST FAMILY HOLIDAYS

When we first took Theodore to St Barts, he was very young, so he was napping on the beach; it was great. But then we took him to Spain at the start of the summer this year, and he hated the sand, didn't love the water. It was a bit of a nightmare. We went to Spain again at the end of the summer, and that time he loved the water, loved the sand. So in St Barts I'm hoping he will sit happily on the beach with a bucket and spade.

I don't know what we're going to do about nap times; we'll just play it by ear. The first few times you go away with a child it's not the holiday you thought it was going to be. You're looking after a baby the whole time, and you're knackered. Sometimes you come home more tired than when you left.

PACKING

I pack well in advance. I work out how many day outfits I need, how many going-out outfits, how many bikinis. I wear a lot of Beach Café, and Melissa Odabash. Melissa's stuff is quite expensive but it lasts me about three or four years, even more with her cover-ups. There's also great stuff on the high street: Topshop and H&M always have good options. Just make sure everything fits you right.

For ski wear I love Perfect Moment; I just found out they are now being stocked in Brown Thomas. They have really cool, different stuff. The only problem is I look like a professional skier in it, and I'm not! And Goldbergh is a new label I've discovered; it's really good, and also does great gear for when you're not skiing.

FLYING

For the airport I have a Lucy Nagle cashmere set I like to wear. I'm always cold on a plane so I'll wear that, and bring an extra jumper. If it's long-haul, I always wear some kind of tracksuit. If I'm just going to Ireland I'll wear what I'm wearing that day.

I won't wear make-up on the flight, I'll bring a toiletry bag. I used to take a face-mask but I won't bother with that now Theodore's going to be there. Instead I'll take nice moisturisers and oils which I'll put on during the flight.

I never drink alcohol on a plane, I just drink loads of water. I always bring extra because I don't think they give you enough water on a plane.

We go to Scotland as well and it's lovely because there is a lot for Theodore to do there. We take him to see the pigs and the ducks, and he goes for a walk with us. But I quite like a sun holiday with him now, because it's so easy, he loves the sand and the water, and he just potters around and plays with himself.

GOING AWAY WITHOUT BABY

It's definitely worse before you go away - the build-up to it. But then when you actually leave it's not that bad. Leave them with someone you totally trust and who will send you pictures. I've only ever done three nights away from Theodore, and that's all I can do. I just find myself missing myself too much.

BEST AND WORST

PLACES TO TRAVEL WITH - OR WITHOUT - BABY

St Barts is an amazing place. I go to Spain a lot to visit my mum. She's in a really nice quiet area.

Spencer and I love the south of France, because there's just so much to do, it's beautiful, the weather's always nice, the food is incredible.

On a ski holiday, my favourite place is probably Courchevel. I did just go on a holiday Val d'Isere, and that was amazing.

When I did Getaways, the travel programme, I went to Seattle and it was amazing; a really nice city to wander around.

 

Huggies® have launched their 'Tiniest Footprint™' Mission, becoming the first leading brand to announce plans to completely eliminate plastic from their baby wipe range in the UK over the next five years or sooner. Huggies® already use up to 50pc less plastic in their wipes than other leading brands and are now going even further to help parents reduce their plastic usage with an action plan that will have removed 50 tonnes of plastic from their products by the end of 2019 alone. The company is working with world-leading universities and environmental organisations to develop a fully sustainable alternative that is caring and gentle for both the planet and babies' skin.

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