Karen Edwards is the blogging mama behind the Travel Mad Mum blog. She lives with her husband and their daughter Esme, and is expecting a new addition to the family this summer. In the 8 years she has been travelling, Karen has visited over 60 countries, and little Esme has visited over 20! In her blog Travel Mad Mum, Karen documents her growing family’s adventures and offers tips for traveling with baby & while pregnant.
1) First off we have to say, your blog Travel Mad Mum is such an inspiration! Can you tell us a little about it? Where did the idea come from?
I was on maternity leave and had already left the UK. We spent a few months in NZ. We soon realised it was quite unusual to travel during maternity leave so I thought the blog would be a good way to document our ten month journey. It was initially set up to keep our family and friend in the loop on our movements. I never anticipated it would gather such a large audience.
2) Little Esmé is one very well-travelled toddler! Do you know if she has a favourite destination so far? What about you? What’s been your best trip as a family of 3?
Its hard to say where her favourite destination is but she loved Bermuda and more recently Portugal.
My favourite destination as a family is most definitely Bali. We hope to spend some time there in the not too distant future and maybe even put Esme into school for a while. It has such vast geography for a small space and we just love the way of life.
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3) Congratulations on expecting baby number 2! What are your top tips for travelling while pregnant?
Wow what a good question, I have so many. I wrote this a to z guide to travel during pregnancy.
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4) What about traveling with baby? How did you manage when Esmé was tiny?
Traveling with baby is much easier than travelling with a toddler. There is a common misconception that you have to bring so many things for a baby. We managed with just one bag between three of us for the most extensive part of our ten month trip.
When they are not so mobile it’s less tiresome than when they are running around full of energy. Some may argue a baby is not going to remember the experience. For us, we feel it has shaped her personality and made her an extremely sociable little girl.
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5) Do you already have baby’s first trip lined up, or will you be taking it easy for a while?
Yes of course, we are off to Canada late August. We are leaving for another family gap year. Baby will be around 8 to 10 weeks old. I am really hoping his passport comes on time. We have an extensive year of travel planned. Starting in Canada and hopefully finishing at the tip of South America. The next biggest hurdle, after the birth of course is going to be getting our house rented out.
6) How do you handle long haul flights? Do you have any must-have products in your hand luggage for traveling with baby?
Yes my must have product is a Plane Pal. An inflatable pillow that fills the leg room space in front of Esme’s seat. It creates a flat surface and essentially a bed in an economy seat so she can lie down or stretch out mid-flight. It has been a game changer for long haul flights with her.
7) What about maternity clothes? What are your must-haves for dressing a bump abroad – especially in a hot climate?
Being a minimalist when it comes to packing, I need something versatile that doesn’t crease when packed and can be dressed up or down. The Seraphine knot front dress collection ticks all the boxes for me and of course it comes in lots of colours to suit everyone’s taste.
8) Do you have any favourites from the Seraphine collection?
I love the Seraphine maternity swimwear collection. I have got great use out of my swimming costume. It’s actually quite difficult to find maternity swimsuits that don’t make you feel frumpy so it was a great find. Many of my pregnant friends and followers ask where my Seraphine halter neck swimsuit is from.
9) What is your idea of happiness?
Being in a new place where all three of us are enjoying exploring and experiencing a different adventure.
For more from Karen Edwards and to find out more about traveling with baby, check out her blog at Travelmadmum.com and follow her on Instagram @travelmadmum