It's a long-established fact that travel is one of the best things parents can give their children. As the summer season draws near (we can feel it already!), many families are now in the thick of planning for a vacation or a quick getaway to escape the heat. One celebrity mother who particularly loves to travel with her young family is Patty Laurel-Filart.
Patty and husband Patrick make it a point to go places and expose their 1-year-old son Theo to the beauty of our country as well as other Asian and European countries, including Hong Kong, Japan, Sweden, France, Spain, and, locally, Bohol, Boracay, and Palawan. This summer, "the Pats" are set to explore sunny Singapore.
SmartParenting.com.ph caught up with Patty at the recent Watsons Make Your Summer event in SM Mall of Asia, and she shared with us five valuable tips she follows whenever wanderlust hits.
1. Invest in good luggage. Traveling means living out of a suitcase, so it makes sense to have one that is reliable. "A lot of people think that it's expensive to buy luggage, but if you think of all the things that you're bringing in, you need something heavy-duty to take you to different destinations," says Patty. She's also thankful for packing cubes, which help her become more organized, especially now that she's packing for three.
2. Bring comfort food. Going on a long trip and being in a strange place can make anyone restless, all the more kids. Patty's solution? Food! "Theo is like me -- he loves to eat! So now, when we travel, our luggage has double the food. I realize that as long as your kids are well-fed, it makes them less cranky. So I bring Theo's favorite snacks so that when he's not in the mood, at least he has something with him that's familiar."
3. Entertainment does not have to be expensive. Aside from food, prevent your child from acting up by making sure there's something for him to do -- and that doesn't mean bringing expensive toys, says Patty. "It could be (anything random), like a new water bottle; you just have to be creative in presenting it to your kids. Turn it into a story. You don't have to buy new and expensive things."
4. Avoid experimenting with personal care products. Besides the sun, some other factors could cause your skin to act up. Patty advises moms to stick to their trusted brands when it comes to personal care and to bring them in travel-size packs for convenience. "Some people like to experiment and buy whatever is available [at their destination], but that can be tricky. For me, I don't want to break out or have an allergic reaction while on vacation, so I bring those that already work for me."
5. When things don't go as planned, just make it work. A mom has a hundred different things on her mind, and for a working mother like Patty, there is barely enough time to do everything. "I get excited about the vacation, but like most moms, I dread the packing the most."
She goes on to tell us about the time she and the rest of #BabyBarangay (composed of her fellow mom friends Nicole Hernandez-de los Angeles, Kelly Misa-Fernandez, Cat Juan-Ledesma, and Bianca Santiago-Reynoso) went on a trip to Cebu. Kelly forgot one piece of luggage, which had her son Tristan's clothes. "Luckily, Tristan and Theo [were born] three days apart, so I said, don't worry, we have enough clothes. You just have to have some flexibility so you can enjoy regardless of those little hiccups because it's bound to happen." She continues, "If it's not a life-or-death situation, then let it slide. You don't want to dwell on that one thing and ruin everyone's vacation. You just make it work."
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Finally, her advice to parents who wish to bond with the family through travel but are held back by budget issues: "Many people think that a vacation is a luxury and that it's expensive, but if you're creative enough, it can just be a timba at your backyard. If the kids know that you made an effort, they will remember it as a vacation."