Adorable Amaris Cirela “Elle” Garcia has traveled to more countries than your average four-year-old. Her Instagram account (@amariscirela) is a picturesque album of her many adventures all over the world which includes trips to France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Holland, United Kingdom, United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, and Shanghai. In fact, this little girl has already visited four out of six Disney theme parks: California, Hong Kong, Paris, and Shanghai). She is celebrating her fifth birthday in Tokyo Disneyland this October.
We all know how traveling with a toddler can be stressful, let alone making the kids and you look fab in photos. So how does Elle’s mom do it? Clarisse Garcia shares that sleep is integral to a fuss-free trip: “If the flight is during the day, I let Elle sleep really late the night before so that she will just sleep during the flight. If the flight is in the evening (usually US-bound flights), I let Elle sleep early the night before and wake her up early on the day of the flight. Then, I will not let her take a nap so that for the first six-seven hours of the long-haul flight, she will just sleep.”
Clarisse is a pro when it comes to packing stylish outfits for Elle. “The OC in me comes out every time I plan and pack for Elle’s outfits. At least three to four weeks before our travel date, I already come up with outfit ideas by trying on each outfit on her. Then I take photos of her wearing each outfit and label them as Day 1, 2, 3 and so on. I just reassign outfits on the actual day itself based on the weather forecast. This trick works well for me as we are always on the go when we travel. At least I don’t have to spend so much time in the morning thinking about what she should wear.”
What’s next for this little globetrotter? Her mom reveals that they are set for Bali, Indonesia this July. We can’t wait to see more of Elle’s travel photo diary as they make more memories together as a family.
Top Five Travel Pieces:
- Swimsuits – Elle is a beach baby! She is unlike other babies who hate the texture of sand. As early as 6 months old she developed her love for the beach, the sand, and the sun. That’s because we would often go to Anvaya Cove, almost every month since she was a baby.
- Black leather jacket – This is a fall/winter staple for Elle. Stylish, yet it serves its purpose, which is to protect her from cold weather.
- Hunter boots – She has it in 5 different colors. She always tells me that whenever she’s wearing her hunter rain boots, she feels like she’s Peppa Pig. On her first snow experience in Switzerland, she was so happy because she was wearing her yellow ones that she kept on running and jumping in Mt. Titlis.
- Hats – Straw hats for summer days and felt hats for the colder season. Elle loves wearing hats and she knows that it is an added protection from the sun during summer days or cold winds during cooler seasons.
- Black tights – This is also a fall/winter (even in earlier months of spring) staple for Elle. She loves wearing skirts so wearing thermal tights is also a must.
Five values Elle learned from traveling:
- Patience – This value is evident as Elle knows that we’ll be out the whole day to explore new places. So she also knows that she can’t really just stay in the hotel to play with her toys or watch television. She has also learned to be patient when she is strapped to her car seat in the States, traveling by land for six hours straight.
- Respect – Elle has learned to be respectful of different cultures and races. For example, at a young age, she knows how to properly refer to different ethnicities.
- Responsibility – Elle knows how to keep an eye on her things, like her hand-carry, whenever we are at the airport, train stations, or hotel lobbies.
- Curiosity – I encourage Elle to ask questions whenever we are visiting a place for the first time. Kids are naturally curious but what I like about Elle is that she really observes what she sees and even tries to answer her own questions.
- Courage – I constantly tell Elle to always be a brave little girl because if she is, she will enjoy her travels more. Her courage is evident when we climbed Mt. Titlis in Switzerland through a long cable car ride; when we rode the London Eye; when we rode a boat to cruise along the canals of Amsterdam; when we crossed the Brooklyn Bridge in New York and Tower Bridge in London on foot; and a lot more. She definitely enjoys all her travels because she is courageous enough to do new things, even the ones that are outside her comfort zone.
Five tips for parents who want to travel with toddlers:
- Get lots of rest and sleep, a day or two before the flight. Flying with a toddler especially on long-haul flights can be exhausting for some. I’m just lucky that Elle behaves during plane rides and she just usually sleeps it off.
- Bring lots of activity books that will keep them busy on the plane. Sometimes they also get tired playing gadgets, so you have to have a good number of backup activities.
- Bring a lightweight, compact stroller. You will need one that’s small enough to keep on your lap. It’s good for jumping from one place to another: taking the taxi, riding the train, etc.
- Always bring along your child’s usual snacks. Toddlers are always hungry. For some picky eaters, they wouldn’t want to eat food that is new to them when you are at the restaurant.
- Never forget to pack basic medicines like Paracetamol or Ibuprofen for fever and pain, for allergies and diarrhea, etc. It’s always better to have your own medicine ready rather than struggling to look for the nearest pharmacy when the need arises.