Hey all! It’s Char here. I blog at Taylor Hearts Travel, but I’m also one of the team here at The Travel Hack. I tend to focus on stylish travel and family travel. And yes believe it or not, there is such a thing as stylish family travel! You can see all of my Travel Hack posts here.
Anyway, as I’ve been on the team for nearly two years now I think it’s about time for a proper hello! Monica has sent over some questions so here goes…
First of all, can you give us your life facts? Where do you come from, where do you live, who do you live with, how old are you and what’s your favourite colour?
Wow, straight in there eh?! So I’m from Northamptonshire in the UK and it’s a place that I still call home. I left when I travelled around the world and I then had a few years living in one of my fave cities, Oxford. I came back to Northamptonshire as I owned a house that I was renting out and after the tenant left, a few things made it simpler to move back.
I live in a gorgeous converted brewery/pub that dates back to the 1800s. It has links to Anchor Brewing in San Fran, a fave city of mine (and my fave beer). The outside is very old, but the inside was renovated in the late 2000s so it’s a beautiful version of old and new. It’s in a small village surrounded by pretty fields.
I really, really love travel, but I also really love having a permanent home. I live there with my husband, Jay, my 17-month old boy, Nova, and my cat, Buddha. Oh and we’re expecting our second mini-explorer, due in September. Exciting times!
I’m 32, though I always forget my exact age and have to figure it out every time someone asks!
And as far as colour goes, I have a thing for chic grey and mustard yellow.
When did the travel bug bite?
Growing up we always had at least one holiday a year, but it wasn’t until I reached my early twenties that I decided to pack up my house, sell my things and head off on a round-the-world adventure.
I was away for six-months. I left with a boyfriend and came back without one. It’s true that travel can make or break a couple! Luckily it didn’t put me off and instead, inspired me to see more of our amazing world, although alongside a full-time job and home life.
How would you describe your travel style?
My backpacking days are a thing of the past, as are my hand luggage only days thanks to my son! I now enjoy design hotels and boutique stays. I love affordable luxury and anything that’s pretty on the eyes.
I adore the mountains and lakes, so love places like Canada and Colorado.
Has your travel style changed since you’ve had your little man, Nova?
Besides the change in luggage, we now have to slow down a lot more. I used to cram as much as possible into days, whereas now that just doesn’t work. It hasn’t stopped us climbing glaciers or going on boat trips, but we just have to space activities out a bit more.
Now he’s on the move, it’s also harder to turn a blind eye to things like balconies and mezzanine bedrooms!
You’re a keen advocate for travelling with babies and you believe you shouldn’t stop travelling when you have a young family. What’s your top tip for travelling with a little one?
Treat your trip as you would do a trip to somewhere that you’re used to, like the supermarket or park. Babies are pretty oblivious to where you are, so sitting on a plane is no different to sitting in a cafe. Don’t listen to all the naysayers. If travel makes you happy go for it. After all, happy parents = happy baby.
What do you think is the hardest thing about travelling with a baby?
I still don’t understand how a tiny baby can need so many things. We travel alongside our jobs so we can’t afford to have super long trips. This means that we don’t want to waste time heading to supermarkets to find nappies, so we tend to take them all with us. It makes for a bulky bag, but it’s not like we really have to carry it anyway.
What do you think is the best thing about travelling with a baby?
The sense of pride is immense. On our first long-haul flight with Nova he was so well-behaved. Loads of people were eye-rolling us when we got on the plane and making quips about he’d be a nightmare, but he proved them wrong. At the end of the flight they were congratulating us. Could have been a fluke, but I was beaming.
Similarly when we played on that glacier in Canada, I felt so proud that I’d managed to keep my love of travel alive and to show my little one a part of the world. I know he won’t remember it, but we have the photos and videos which I’m sure he will love. Much better than my cringey childhood photos!!
Can you tell us a little about your blog? How you started blogging and where it’s taken you?
So I blog at Taylor Hearts Travel, focusing on redefining family travel. So many people told me I’d have to give up travelling when I got pregnant or that if I did go on holiday it would be to Butlins, which just isn’t my cup of tea. I like to show that stylish family travel does exist and most importantly, that there can be a life of travel after having a baby.
I started blogging over three years ago (pre-baby, still focusing on stylish travel) because I thought it would be a good way to share my tips. Friends and their friends are always asking for advice so I thought it’d be easier to point them to my site. Plus my memory is shocking, so it’s nice to capture all my adventures in one place.
I’ve been all over the world, from Bali to Peru, Australia to Sweden, and lots more. There are plenty more places that I want to see though.
If you won the lottery, what would you buy and where would you go first?
Without a doubt my first purchase would be a plane ticket! I’m desperate to see more of Canada, particularly Vancouver. Two weeks in Alberta was just not enough.
I’d also love to relax in Cuba . New Zealand has never really appealed to me, but lately I’ve been having the urge to go exploring. Now if only I played the lottery….
If you were to live by one quote, what would it be?
I’m not really a quote kinda person, but I do live by the mantra that everything happens for a reason. I even have it tattooed on my back!
If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have three things, what would they be?
Jay, Nova and my soon to be here mini-explorer number two.
What’s your number one travel hack?
Ever checked the price of a flight and then gone to book it the next day to see a higher price? Clear your cookies on your computer before you book your flights or hotels. It can really make a difference to the price.
Got another question? Leave it in the comments box or get in touch and I’ll do my best to answer!