How an Art Director Makes Traveling with Baby Look Easy
Art director Dulci Edge has an Instagram feed that is a pleasure to scroll. From Morocco to Patagonia, it seems like she's been just about everywhere, documenting her favorite restaurants, hotels, and small moments along the way. She welcomed an adorable son into the mix last year — and kept up her inspiring travel pace. we asked her how she navigates the world with a baby — and how she handles his dreaded in-flight meltdown.
Tell us a little about you and your family.
I'm a freelance art director, writer, and native New Yorker currently living in San Francisco with my husband and our one-year-old son, Charley. My travel website, The Far & Near, is dedicated to a life well traveled and functions as a space to document my favorite spots, from a fishing lodge in Patagonia to a can't-miss seafood shack outside Charleston.
Where have you traveled this year?
This year we've been all over the place. Within California we visited Ojai, Santa Barbara, Carmel Valley, Sonoma, Napa, Guerneville, and Lake Tahoe. We spent time in Hawaii; Aspen, Colorado; Charleston, South Carolina; New York City; San Juan and Rincon, Puerto Rico; Asheville, North Carolina; and Saratoga Springs and Southampton, New York. Outside the U.S., we visited Whistler, Canada; Bermuda; Seville and Madrid, Spain; and Paris. Phew!
Did you travel a lot as a kid?
The extent of my travel as a child: visiting my grandparents in Puerto Rico and my aunt in New Hampshire. My father traveled the world as a marine and my mother studied abroad in Spain, but I didn't get a passport until I was eighteen. When I finally did begin to see the world, I regretted not having been exposed to it more as a child. Travel has become a huge part of my adult life, and I didn't want that to stop once we had a kid. Luckily, my husband also loves to travel, and we've made it a priority to show our son as much of the world as possible. Though he's young and won't remember it all, we hope exposing him to the world early will prime him for a lifetime of adventure.
What's the best thing about traveling with a baby?
A baby is the ultimate ice-breaker! Charley is very social and loves interacting with people. The most unexpected people love babies, and it's been so fun watching those moments unfold.
What's the worst?
Jet lag. There's no avoiding it and it takes a while to shake. The first few days in a new time zone are hard on everyone, so you get used to operating on very little sleep.
What's the smartest thing you can do when traveling with a baby?
Keep some semblance of a routine. Charley gets a bath every night at home or on the road. It's a routine that is familiar to him and makes him feel at home wherever we happen to be.
Set unrealistic expectations. Traveling with a kid is nothing like traveling pre-baby. You need to adjust your expectations and be realistic about what is possible. Don't try to over-plan or do too much, take it easy, and prioritize your must-see items.
Any surprises about traveling as a young family?
The biggest surprise is learning how adaptable babies are. Charley has changed our life, but he's also become a part of it. We have always enjoyed travel, so having a baby just means we do it differently now. Of course, we always do it safely and with his best interest in mind, but for the most part, he is just happy to be along for the ride.
What's one thing you would tell parents who are nervous to travel with kids?
It's better to start sooner rather than later. The younger they are, the easier it is. Start off slow with a weekend road trip and take it from there. Do your research, embrace the unexpected, and don't over-plan — and go!
Tell us about a favorite travel moment with your family.
I have two. Watching my not quite one-year-old son eat an entire plate of sardines in Spain. Food is one of the great pleasures of my life and part of why I love traveling so much. To see Charley fully enjoying the flavors of a new country makes me feel like we're doing something right. The other was a simple moment: a daytime stroll through the streets of Paris with my husband and sleeping baby. Peaceful and beautiful.
Which destinations have you found to be the most baby-friendly and why?
Hawaii is great because it's so laid back that you can't help but feel relaxed. The people are warm and friendly and love kids. It's really nice to feel genuinely welcome somewhere. Most resorts are also family-friendly and offer great babysitting services so parents can have a night off.
Is there any baby gear you would recommend?
When we need to be more mobile, we love our ErgoBaby carrier. The BabyZen Yoyo stroller was a godsend when traveling through narrow European streets. We also have a crazy loud sound machine, which is a must when you're sharing the same hotel room as your infant.
What's your stance on packing while traveling with a baby?
I used to be an expert at packing light, but now we always end up overpacking. I always want to be prepared for those “what if" scenarios, so even though it goes against my constitution, more has turned out to be better.
Any tips for handling the dreaded in-flight meltdown?
I like to drink a glass of wine. Shit happens, and I always try to remember that everything is temporary.