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New York, NY
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We are parents, too. We think traveling well and traveling with children shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. We have limited vacation time, and we’re not spending our few days of freedom in lousy hotels eating bad food. We know the world is full of wonderful resorts, cool urban escapes and far-flung lodges that can make our time with our kids count. We want it all, and we don’t think it should be so hard to find. So we’re going to share it with you.

 

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Travel Journal

Travel Journal

Dispatches from around the world

Filtering by Category: Interview

Q&A: Rap Artist Baba Brinkman

Henley Vazquez

As parents, we don't often make it to the coolest off-Broadway theater shows. But we recently snuck out and discovered Baba Brinkman's Rap Guide to Religion, which the New York Times described as "the best TED talk ever." Turns out Baba, a Canadian rap artist and playwright based in New York City, is also dad to an adorable toddler and a frequent traveler. We caught up to talk tips on toting the tiniest roadie, doing Edinburgh Fringe with kids and his biggest travel fail (preview: long haul flight, wrong kind of formula and an eye infection). Baba's current play “Rap Guide to Religion” continues at the Soho Playhouse until May 3rd. Take it from us and buy tickets fast before you miss your chance!


You’re from Vancouver, live in New York and tour frequently, so your daughter was a seasoned traveler from birth. But taking a baby on tour sounds pretty intimidating. Any survival tips you’ve picked up along the way?

My daughter Hannah is 16 months old and has spent two months on tour with me in Australia, one month in Scotland, plus visits to Vancouver, Toronto, Sudbury, Albuquerque, and Hawaii so far.  One thing that has made it a lot easier is just getting her acclimatized to new people from a young age. We’ve had to find nannies through websites and friend networks and she’s been pawned off on a lot of strangers over the past year or so, but she’s generally really good about that, easy with new people. It’s hard to say if that’s because of her experiences or if it's innate, but it sure helps! I also take her to work with me wherever possible. Obviously not during a show, but I’ve done lots of tech rehearsals with her crawling around on the stage or just holding her while I sound check.

Are there any challenges you haven’t been able to solve, any family travel fails?

I guess the main fail was when I took my daughter to Australia when she had just turned six months old. My wife had a conference so wasn’t able to join us for the first week, but my dad had a business trip there that he managed to dovetail with my tour, so it was just me and baby and grandpa for a week. It was thirty six hours of flying from New York to Perth, and when we landed the Australian baby formula brands were all different so I (foolishly) switched her to the 6 months and up brand after a couple of days. When my wife finally joined us, Hannah had a virus she caught on the plane, an eye-infection, and was badly constipated from the new formula. The phrase “I’m never leaving her with you again!” may have been uttered once or twice at that point, but she got better and it blew over. Parenting definitely has its trial-and-error moments.

Also, I wish there was a daycare service for travelers. I’ve looked into temporary daycares and they usually have a three-month minimum commitment or something, so we end up going with nannies instead. It’s okay, but I’d rather have her interacting with other toddlers than just one adult all day long.

You’ve performed 7 times at Edinburgh Fringe. We hear this is a festival where kids are welcome. Any tips on where to stay, eat and play?

The key to the Fringe is Gumtree, which is the UK version of craigslist. We listed for a nanny in their jobs section and found a lovely Irish lady in no time, and we found our apartment sublet there as well. In terms of child-friendly Fringe activities, there’s a whole entertainment program for kids, but Hannah was a bit too young for it all last year, so we took her to the park lots. One of the main parks is called The Meadows and it has playgrounds and swing sets. I was performing at a venue called The Gilded Balloon, and they were lovely about having a baby and stroller around in the afternoons. I even left her with the ladies at the admin office for fifteen minutes at one point while I ran a quick errand. Food-wise we really liked Empires on St. Mary’s Street and Ciao Roma on South Bridge. Kebab Mahal in Nicolson Square Gardens is pretty hard to beat for curry as well, but pretty small so not so kid-friendly

What makes this event more family friendly?

The Edinburgh Fringe isn’t really an event, it’s the world’s biggest arts festival, with close to three thousand shows being staged in the city center for a month straight. The festival has a whole slate of children’s programming which starts in the late morning and runs until the early afternoon, and after that the comedy shows and other “adult fare” takes over. Edinburgh is just a gorgeous city with amazing heritage and nature sites nearby like Arthur’s Seat, so to have that kind of “old world” culture mixed with cutting-edge theatre and comedy performances daily is pretty special.

What are some favorite trips you’ve taken so far with your daughter?

Last week I brought her to Lasquiti Island off the coast of British Columbia. She saw eagles flying and wild sheep, went for hikes (with her in the Baby Bjorn) and had a real taste of the outdoors. And the BC Ferry ride over to Vancouver island is pretty great for kids as well. She was running all over the place, super curious to explore.

Are there any places where you’ll always return? Any destinations you’re dying to go next?

My next stop is Orlando, FL for the Fringe Festival there. My wife Heather will be along for most of the trip, and Hannah of course, but it will be more of an “arts and culture” take on Orlando than a Disney trip. The Fringe is setting us up with a billet, a nice retired couple with a couple of guest rooms who live on the lake, so I’m just excited to check it out.

In terms of great destinations, we spent the past holidays in Kapoho Bay on the eastern tip of the big island of Hawaii and it was indescribably beautiful and great for kids, inexpensive, not too touristy, amazing natural splendor all around. The fact that there’s an active volcano eruption and lava flow currently threatening the nearest town is probably why you can get great deals on vacation rentals there right now, so act quickly!

Describe your favorite family day at home, and where you go for a kid-free night out.

On Saturday we slept in, then I made blueberry pancakes, which Hannah can’t get enough of, and later we went to Caumsett State Park here on Long Island, picnic on a park bench, then a walk with Hannah on my shoulders and in the Bjorn. She petted a horse someone had out for a ride and generally seemed to be having a blast. In terms of a kid-free night out, yeah, we should try that one day.

Can you share a few of your favorite performers, whether in theater, music or other?

I’m a big fan of Tim Minchin. He wrote the music for the Matilda musical on Broadway but is also a great stand-up comic and performer, highly recommended. I’m also excited to see Lin-Manuel Miranda’s new Hamilton musical as well, the reviews have been ridiculously good. In terms of New York-area music, if you have a chance to see Soul Inscribed or Rabbi Darkside in action live, I wouldn’t miss it.

Your next show will be the Rap Guide to Climate Chaos, and the Pope just announced that he’ll host a climate change summit. Have you scored an invite?

Ha! My last show was Rap Guide to Religion about how religions have evolved by natural selection, so I’m not holding my breath for an invite from the Vatican. My uncle did recently send me a photo of his horse though, which appears to have an outline of Darwin on its flanks. So if the Vatican affirms the Virgin Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich as a miracle, then Darwin on a horse’s ass should qualify too, right?


Q&A: Travels with Lulu's Marissa Cortes

Henley Vazquez

The writer behind one of our favorite travel blogs, Travels with Lulu, Marissa Cortes waited more than a decade to take a dream trip through South America — and did so with her not-quite-one-year-old daughter in tow. As she explains, “I took my forever love for travel, my new love for Lulu, and packed our bags for a five-month trip.” We spoke to the inspiring mama about the most kid-friendly countries in the world, pro-level packing and where’s next on their travel wish list.

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Something to Declare: Designer Jenna Jackson

Henley Vazquez

Inspired by a round-the-world trip to over 60 countries, husband-and-wife team Charles and Jenna Jackson founded august, a luxury bag line made in Los Angeles. Now parents to 20-month-old Keller, the family of three continue to travel the world everywhere from Bosnia and Morocco to Serbia and Belize. Read on for Jenna’s honest take on traveling with a toddler and where’s next on their travel wish list.

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Something to Declare: Sasha Cooke

Henley Vazquez

Sasha Cooke has won a Grammy, sang leading roles at New York’s Metropolitan Opera and performed on four continents with everyone from the Tokyo Philharmonic to the Orchestre National de Lyon. She’s also brought her three-year-old daughter Evelyn along for the ride, which makes her accomplishments even more impressive. We caught up with Sasha following her recent world premier of the rave-reviewed And One at BAM, and she shared her thoughts on family travel. 

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Something to Declare: Lela Rose

Henley Vazquez

A native Texan, Lela Rose joined the New York fashion community when she released her first signature collection in 1998. Since then, her impeccably tailored designs have become the go-to uniform for well-dressed city girls as well as their southern cousins. (Her ready-to-wear and totally chic bridesmaid line is a maid-of-honor’s dream.) Lela lives in New York City with her husband and two children, her favorite sidekicks for exploring the world fashionably.

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Something to Declare: SMOKKS

Henley Vazquez

Like any parent who travels frequently for work, Hallie knew there were certain elements of life at home she couldn’t manage while on the road for her photography business. But when her husband George sent her a video of their daughter attending ballet graduation wearing pajamas, she knew something had to change. Together, Hallie and George created Smokks, a line of stylish, easy to wear clothes that would also make kids easy to dress.

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Something to Declare: Kate Markgraf

Henley Vazquez

When it comes to sports heroes, Kate Markgraf ranks high on our list. The three-time Olympian and FIFA World Champion is one of soccer’s most decorated athletes, and since her retirement in 2011, she’s divided her time between broadcasting with ESPN and NBC and leading U.S. Soccer’s Soccer Envoy programs around the globe. Particularly after the excitement of this summer’s World Cup, we’re thrilled to get a peek at how Kate has combined professional sports with parenting three young children. Kate and her family live in Milwaukee.

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Something to Declare: Superfussy

Henley Vazquez

Superfussy founders Khairi Mdnor and Nathalie Coppens find inspiration around the world, but their primary muse is their daughter Milla, a four-year-old with more passport stamps than most adults. Launched two years ago featuring kurtas and harem pants, the line has expanded into a well-curated collection of boho-chic apparel and accessories made for traveling. Khairi and Nathalie share their favorite travel memories as well as their tips and tricks to managing seriously exotic travel with a toddler.

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Insider Guide to Ibiza with Kids

Henley Vazquez

Ibiza has many faces: the undiscovered, turquoise-blue coves, the rolling countryside farms,  the swanky, celeb-magnet beach clubs, the ultimate summer club scene. For us, it’s also a dream destination for families, a place that blends traditional Spanish hospitality with a touch of Continental sophistication. Our go-to resource for everything on the island is Serena Cook, the founder of Deliciously Sorted, Ibiza’s best villa rental company, and the ultimate vacation fixer. Here, she shares her favorite child-friendly spots. 

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Something to Declare: Laura Davidson

Henley Vazquez

Laura Davidson leads the kind of life that makes us dizzy. Between running her own business (an award-winning public relations agency) and spearheading philanthropic projects in Africa, she is also a mom to two boys, her favorite travel companions. Laura has visited over forty countries, and she hits the road with her family five weeks a year, in addition to her jetsetting business travel, which takes her to visit clients that rank amongst the world’s best (Mustique, anyone?). Laura and her family live in Weston, CT, an hour outside New York City.

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Something to Declare: Jackie Cooperman

Henley Vazquez

Journalist Jackie Cooperman calls New York home, but she is more likely found hopping a plane on assignment for publications including the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the New York TimesDepartures and Food & Wine. An expert in culture, food, travel and fashion, Jackie’s frequent sidekick is her seven-year-old daughter Livia, whose well-used passport out-stamps most adults’. Here, Jackie shares her favorite summertime escapes, her go-to New York date nights and where she’s dying to head next.

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Something to Declare: Hayley Baillie

Henley Vazquez

Blame genetics: Hayley Baillie, daughter of noted Australian entrepreneur, environmentalist and explorer Dick Smith (he completed the first solo helicopter flight around the world and was the second person to fly over Everest), was destined to travel to places of which many only dream. Family vacations growing up include treks in Nepal, and while some of us take our kids to Florida, hers are going to Sri Lanka.

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Something to Declare: Jennifer Fisher

Henley Vazquez

Jewelry designer Jennifer Fisher counts Rihanna, Beyonce, Sarah Jessica Parker and Naomi Watts as devotees, and leagues of women have embraced her edgy yet elegant looks. Inspired to create her own line upon the birth of her first child, the New York-based mom and fashion maven hits the road in style from her hometown of Santa Barbara to the South of France. Here, she shares her favorite Parisian cheeseburger, a great staycation and where she's headed next.

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Something to Declare: Lisa Sugar

Henley Vazquez

Editor-in-chief and media maven Lisa Sugar transformed her celebrity news blog Popsugar into an online empire covering fashion, technology, parenting and design. These days, the San Francisco-based mom oversees a network of eighteen lifestyle sites, all while managing three young girls. Here, Lisa shares her go-to family-friendly resort plus why her husband is the guy you want on your next flight.

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Something to Declare: Mark Harmon

Henley Vazquez

We’re kicking off our regular q+a series with one of our travel idols, Auberge Resorts founder Mark Harmon. The man behind Napa’s uber romantic Auberge du Soleil has also mastered the art of keeping both grown-up and junior guests happy. Aspen’s Hotel Jerome, Cabo’s Esperanza and Napa Valley’s Calistoga Ranch and Solage Calistoga woo us with their great food, design and service. But our kids are equally welcome, meaning everyone gets a real vacation. We can’t wait to see what Auberge does with Anguilla’s legendary Malliouhana when it reopens later this year. Mark lives in San Francisco with his wife and three children.

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