Travel Interview – Meng from Heart In Box does Japan
Our latest travel interview is here and I know your going to love the gems in this one. Let me introduce you to Meng from Heart in Box who not only traveled in Japan but also lived there with her family. She has actually lived a quite a few different countries around the world so I would say that she is pretty experienced when it comes to family travel! Enjoy this great read including a special offer for you. Plus check out my review on one of the special gifts available at Heart In Box.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your family –
Hello everyone. I’m Meng. I’m wife to my best friend who keeps me laughing and he’s the guy who helps me see my glass half full. I’m also mama of 3 little munchkins – 2 boys (almost 7 and 1) and a little girl (almost 5). They keep me plenty busy but make my life so much fuller (of laundry and of joy)! I am also the founder of Heart in Box, a Brisbane based online gift box shop for busy mums. Heart in Box has a heart for uplifting and pampering women especially mums through our gift boxes. And my hope is that women and mums have their spirits lifted every time they receive a Heart Box.
What is a recent or favourite trip you’ve been on with your family?
My little family has been moving around the globe since our first born was 2 months old. We have lived in Singapore, Melbourne, Nagoya (Japan), New York City and now Brisbane. Our globe trotting lifestyle has been such an adventure and has definitely created so much memories for us. We’ve been visiting lots of places while living in the different cities but one of the most scenic place we’ve visited would be Takayama, Japan.
What type of accommodation did you stay in?
We stayed in a traditional hotel in Japan, also known as a Ryokan. A Ryokan is a good way to experience Japan. There are no beds in Ryokans. Guests will usually sleep on futon on the Tatami (mat flooring). These futon are stowed away in the ohsiire (closet for futon), thus maximizing the use of the room when it isn’t bed time. This is especially great for crawling babies or toddlers because there is additional space for them to crawl or walk around.
Share a travel tip for your destination –
Embrace the cultural differences and enjoy yourselves even with kids in tow. In Japan, (like most Asian countries), shoes are taken off in the Ryokans, or temples or homes, and sometimes the more traditional restaurants. Also, there are sometimes no elevators at certain train stations, so it’s best to pack light as you won’t want to lug your 30 kg suitcase up and down the stairway of train stations. We used to own a Wriggle Wrapper that allows us to secure our baby to a chair as high chairs are not readily available at the more traditional Japanese restaurants.
What is a memorable moment on that trip?
Our baby fell sick on our travel in Japan. He came down with a tummy bug that made him throw up anywhere and everywhere. That means in the train, at the restaurant, on the streets. We felt bad for our baby but also for dirtying the very clean public places that we’ve visited. And so we cleaned up to our best ability after every episode of vomit. It was quite an experience, trying to catch vomit with our bare hands when we ran out of bags.
Share the best part about travelling with your family –
Travelling with kids means a lot more planning. Especially where food is concerned. But it also means an added level of enjoyment. And seeing a place through the eyes of a child is rather different from that of an adult. And hearing them share their experience is something invaluable.
What tips do you have for families that want to travel?
Be prepared especially when travelling with a bub. I generally prefer to have sufficient information so that I know what to do in an emergency. For instance, the nearest convenience store to stock up on diapers, or where I can buy water from (especially when travelling to countries where the water quality may be of concern) etc.
Where to next?
I’d love to travel Europe. And hopefully sans kids this time! As far as I can remember I’ve always travelled with my kids with the exception of short getaway resort trips. So fingers crossed, I get to do a romantic Europe holiday sometime soon.
Meng has been so kind to give all of The World And Kids readers a 10% discount for all purchases with code: FriendofHeartinBoxTWAK
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