Having Little Kids Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Travel, According to Andi Manzano-ReyesThe celebrity mom says it's possible to have a fun, stress-free trip with kids in a family-friendly destination like Singapore.CREATED WITH SINGAPORE TOURISM BOARD
As first-time parents, you may be thinking that flying out to your favorite destinations with your little one in tow seems impossible. A trip to the pedia takes a lot of planning and packing, what more if it is to another country?
In a recent interview with Smart Parenting, celebrity mom Andi Manzano-Reyes and husband GP Reyes shared how their daughters, Olivia and Amelia, never stopped them from having a great time abroad. In fact, the two tots made vacations even more meaningful.
The trips didn't stop, but some habits had to change
Andi says, "When GP and I traveled when we didn't have kids yet, we would always get lost in cities. We'd wake up early in the morning and go back late to our hotels.”
This helped the couple make the most of their day, but when their first-born came long, the vlogger and radio host noted that some things had to change. "We adjusted based on her schedule,” she says.
GP agrees: "When we were single, we would do a lot of things that single people do—a lot of drinking, a lot of partying. But when you have a daughter, you have to take her passions into consideration."
GP confesses: "I'm quite the OC traveler. Before every trip, I make itineraries. I write an email to Andi, and I give her an hour-by-hour itinerary, including where to eat, what to wear, what to do to make sure that all of the passion points of the family are covered."
Why Singapore is the ideal family destination
During their recent trip to Singapore, GP and Andi made sure each family member got to explore their passions and interests during their three-day vacation.
For animal-loving Olivia, the couple made sure to include Singapore Zoo and S.E.A. Aquarium™ in their itinerary. Andi, a foodie who loves to visit hole-in-the-walls, also enjoyed the offerings at Breakfast with Orangutans and Ocean Restaurant in the zoo and the aquarium, respectively, and at Riders Cafe.
"It is a beautiful nature-surrounded sanctuary in the middle of the city where they have a riding school," the doting dad says.
The celeb mom was joined by budding fashionista Olivia who got to try items from brands that can only be found in the Lion City.
GP, whose passions include adventure and sneakers, and Olivia, who likes going to the beach, also had fun when the family went island-hopping via private yacht. "We were also able to take a yacht and go to an island near Singapore—we didn't know about that before," he says, referring to Lazarus Island.
The highlight for this family man would be visiting sneaker designer Mark Ong’s store. GP, a sneaker collector, says he got a chance to chat with the famous designer during his visit.
“That's why we chose Singapore because it is really a family-oriented place," he adds.
Another reason they keep coming back to this Asian city-state is how safe it is. "There was an instance when Andi and I went shopping and had five big shopping bags with us while walking down the street [in Singapore]. We stopped at the crosswalk, so we put our bags down first," he narrates. "It was already three blocks later when we realized our bags were missing. We ran back to the place, and sure enough, they were still on the sidewalk!"
Although traveling with kids can be tiring, the Reyeses’ recent trip to the Lion City proved that the rewards it brings are worth it.
GP says: "[Kids'] brains are like sponges, and this is the best time to expose them in different countries, not just the Philippines."
"We want them to know that there are so many places to see—not just their home or school—and that there's a whole world out there," Andi adds.
Traveling with kids can be easy
The couple happily reports that there was never really a point in their lives as parents when Amelia and Olivia stopped them from maximizing their trip.
“The friends whom we travel with get surprised with how behaved [Amelia] is," the proud mom explains. "As a baby, you can't do a lot of crawling or walking because you are always in the stroller or being carried, but she has been such a trouper, and she likes being out the whole day."
GP adds that at 8 months old, their youngest is a pro when they travel, and both kids actually enjoy riding an airplane.
One added bonus of traveling? It helps kids be more open to different kinds of food. Olivia, who is not a picky eater according to her mom, loves Singapore’s dim sum and chicken rice. "We try to introduce to them to these flavors as we travel," Andi says.
One of the greatest gifts you can give your family is travel
"I think one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself is to travel—you meet different people, different cultures, and eat different cuisines," GP says. And for this family man, he says he "wanted to make sure that our daughters experience this as well."
Andi, for her part, has some valuable advice for moms and dads who are a bit hesitant to travel with their little ones.
"Don't be afraid!" she says, explaining, "Parents think they can't do it, but traveling is the best way to bond with your family—in a different place away from home with no yayas, no titas, no lolas."
She says going on a trip with just you, your husband, and your kids affords the family with "the best time to talk to each other, test each other's patience, and see what the world has to offer."
GP agrees: "Having simple challenges such as carrying a stroller 10 flights of stairs kasi walang elevator, or you need to change a diaper, but you are still in the subway, or you really need to use the bathroom but can't find one. These little things—best and worst experiences—make you stronger as a family."
"Those are the best memories you could make," Andi adds. "As some people say, [Choose] experiences over objects!"