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Hayley O’Sullivan

Australia, Northern NSW

A family of 4, soon to be 5
The super mum, marine engineer & fearless water babies
The seasoned travellers who have both lived and worked overseas for years
Craving an endless summer of sun and surf



Give us a glimpse into your lives and who you are….

Vaughan and I both have a love of the outdoors and a beach summer lifestyle. We have both separately travelled the world. Vaughan was working on White boats floating between the Mediterranean and Caribbean Seas with a surf trips to Indonesia always breaking up the seasons. I travelled the world at the age of 21 and somehow ended up floating back and forth between Indonesia and Australia for ten years working on my Clothing label. Living what I thought was the ultimate lifestyle and work-life balance.

We are now at a different stage of our lives with two energetic children keeping us on our toes.

We have been a little reluctant to travel overseas as both our children seem to have no fear of the water or trying new things. All this is now changing as we crave the endless summer of sun and surf.


How has travelling changed for you since having children?

We have been a little reluctant to travel overseas since having our two children. Both crawled and walked early which meant they were always on the go. We didn’t think it would relaxing to go on a holiday with them. All this is now changing as they are getting older.


What advice would you give to other parents thinking about their first trip with a baby/children?

  • Find a destination and accommodation that suits the ages of your children. On our recent trip to the Maldives, we were conscious of staying somewhere clean as our youngest was at the stage of putting absolutely everything in her mouth.
  • Find accommodation that has easy access to a surf break either at the location or close by and surfable on the high and low tide. For us this meant that we could have both children at the pool, then when it was there sleep time or quiet time, Vaughan can go surfing with ease right out the front.
  • Make sure you take enough snacks and containers to keep the food fresh.


what’s been the hardest part about travelling with a baby/children?

We found the hardest part was constantly watching our children around the water. They love it so much they just want to jump in. It just meant we couldn’t take our eye off them for a moment.

Both our children were on separate sleep times, so I did spend a lot of time in the room. It was ok as it was the hottest part of the day. Next time I would travel with a baby monitor so that we could play outside a little more.

We found having dinner early initially a little challenging as some places were not open until 6 pm and our kids needed to eat before then.


what’s the best part about travelling with your kids?

We love our children being about to interact with the locals. I also feel you are more social travelling with children as it’s an easy way to strike up a conversation. People, in general, were very courteous and understanding of our children while travelling.

We flew Singapore Airlines on our way to our recent trip to the Maldives, and I could not fault them on their service and extra attention to our children. Unfortunately, we flew a budget airline home in Business class, and we found it nowhere near as welcoming of our children or as comfortable as Singapore Airlines.


How have you best dealt with time zone changes and kids routine on holidays?

We’ve been pretty lucky. We flew to the Maldives and arrived at Midnight ( Local Time) which was a 5 hours difference. Our kids were exhausted from travelling the whole day, so they settled into a nice deep sleep and woke at 5:30 am local time. I am pretty sure we were the first ones at breakfast that morning at 6 am.

We tried to keep them as close to their normal sleep patterns as possible that day. The first night we didn’t make it past 5:30 pm and the second night we got to 7 pm.

We were fine after that.


What are your Family Travel essentials?

  • A baby monitor
  • Baby-friendly sunscreen and hats
  • Food containers
  • Drink bottles
  • Sleeping bag for baby
  • Kids comforters
  • An Ergopouch baby carrier and pram
  • The nappies we use at home


Kids essentials for the plane?

  • Headphones – that fit a toddler
  • An Ipad with activities and shows
  • Colouring in activity books
  • A comforter
  • Snacks for the plane, but we have found some airlines was fantastic with kids food. Pack your own on budget airlines
  • Consider taking your own pillow if flying with a budget airline


What influences your travel decision?

The length of flight? Cost? Services & Facilities?

We noticed a huge difference between Singapore Airlines economy seats and budget airline business class. Singapore Airlines was better. In future, we will put more emphasis on the facilities and services provided by an airline, followed by convenience, minimal flight changes or show layover times.

When searching for accommodation, we look for kids clubs that cater for babies so that we could have a surf together or enjoy a quiet sunset cocktail without the kids.

Also if we were planning to stay in a villa, we would be looking for a property that had a fenced pool, or we would be looking to hire a pool fence to keep the children safe.


Any tips on TRAVELLING with children?

  • Fly a good airline!
  • In our carry on we try and keep it simple and only pack the essentials.
  • Take a couple of spare set of clothes for the kids. We found after travelling for 16hours on a day flight one set wasn’t enough. The kids were up and down and a lot busier plus we had to deal with more meals and snacks.
  • Pack a spare set of clothes for yourself. On our recent trip, Vaughan and I arrived in Singapore looking and feeling too dirty to use the Singapore Airlines lounge.
  • Night flights are much easier to pack for.


What ‘Mum’ bag do you travel with?

Just a big oversized over the shoulder tote with side zips and a divider. Easy access and fits so much!


Quick questions

Next trip…

Fiji or Indonesia

Currently reading….

The bachelorette recaps

Words of wisdom….

“Deep breath and smile, it will be ok.”

Favourite destination in the world….


Surf or Snow…..


Resort, hotel, villas or house….

At present Resort, in the future Villa

In my downtime I…….

Try to sleep or do yoga


Bora Bora, Tahiti







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