How to travel the world with a little one

Lachlyn Soper *09
Lachlyn Soper *09 has loved travel since she was in high school. As a diplomat and mother to a young daughter, she continues to explore the globe. She started her blog Baby Travels the World to “show mothers that they can travel with their baby and have fun, and that it’s easier than you think.” Soper, who earned her MPA from the Woodrow Wilson School, spoke with PAW about her adventures around the world and what goes into running a travel blog with more than 20,000 monthly hits.

Baby’s first journey

“I was lucky that I was able to take the last year off. … It was a year to see my baby grow and develop, and to develop a bond that will stay with us throughout my lifetime. My daughter in 12 months has been able to visit 12 countries, including the last visited place, Mongolia. We went to Indonesia, Bali, Java, the Philippines, Thailand, and a lot of places in Europe — Denmark, Sweden, Liechtenstein. You find, of course, traveling with an infant is harder than traveling by yourself. You need a lot of baggage, but it’s not as bad as you think it is.”

Writing for an audience

“I have to say that it was my Princeton courses at Woody Woo that taught me to write to be relevant. Especially as an MPA, you need to write for your audience, and policymakers tend to not have a lot of time. Well, mothers also don’t have a lot of time. I wanted to get the bottom line up front. [For example], this is why you need to stay at the Four Seasons in Seoul, and this is what you need to order while you’re there.

“One of our most-read articles by a contributor was the one about camping with a baby. … I had asked her for the story because that’s something that I want to do, and it’s hard to [find good advice via] Google. There’s a real place in the blogosphere to answer those specific questions. They’re not things you’re going to hear from your doctor. They’re not things you may hear from your mothers’ group.”

Favorite destinations

No. 1: South Korea

“That is a fantastic place for babies. They have infrastructure set up to take care of children. They have fantastic mothers’ lounges in almost all department stores or shopping malls or airports. You can always find a stroller. … Also fantastic food and great sights for adults. I lived there for three years and think it’s one of the best places in the world to have a child.”

No. 2: Sweden

“I think you can’t go wrong with Sweden. Everyone’s used to having babies. Breastfeeding in public is totally OK. It’s a very family-friendly place.”

No. 3: Bali

“I’ll recommend this for people who don’t have children and people who do. Bali is a win-win situation. It’s very easy to get high-quality babysitting. The value for your dollar is excellent. If you want to go someplace, you can always leave your child with somebody trustworthy.”