What to do if your baby gets sick while on vacation

Our family recently went on a beautiful vacation to Mexico, one problem though, our baby got traveller’s diarrhea half way through our trip. if you thought newborn diapers were wet, gross, and hard to clean, just wait until you have to deal with these kind of diapers. But aside from the diarrhea or poor little guy had a fever, a terrible diaper rash that was bleeding, and once he had blood in his stool we knew we had to do something.

It was so scary seeing our baby so sick (especially since it was the first time for us dealign with a sickness) but being so far away from home, in a foreign country, trying to communicate the issue in a different language, with medicine that also doesn’t have english on the label – well that just adds even more fear and anxiety to the situation. And so I wanted to share a few tips on what to do if your baby gets sick while on vacation.

Preparation is key

There are a few things you can do to prepare for the possibility of a sick baby before you even step foot on the plane. This is something I have learned very quickly as a new mom.

Even when I am just going to the park, I am always traveling with a first aid kit that has everything from baby tylenol to band-aids.

On top of packing first aid items you can also do a little extra research ahead of time. Talk to your doctor about safety tips for the particular place you are traveling to. Make sure your child is up to date on all their vaccines and get any additional ones that might be needed for the area you are visiting. Also check your travel insurance ahead of time in case you need to visit a doctor while abroad (like we did… twice).

 

Try to stay calm and assess the situation

Ok, you prepared as much as you could and your child still gets sick, now what? It is easy to go into panic mode in this situations – I know easier said than done ( I definitely went straight into panic mode), but thankfully I had my much more grounded husband by my side (and very lucky his GP mom) to help me stay calm. Even if you don’t have that support team though, it is important to remind yourself your child needs you and you need to stay calm to figure out the best plan of action for them.

Think about what you would do if you were dealing with a sick kid back home. How do you need to treat this? Is it something that just needs rest and fluids or do you need medication?

Trust your instinct and seek help if you need it

I knew my babe wasn’t well but I didn’t trust my instincts right away. We kept going back and forth on if we actually needed medical help, that it wasn’t until we saw blood in his stool (which even google will tell you is no good) that we made the call. If something feels off and you need help, get it – but on that note do your research. Check online to find the most reputable doctor’s office.

But try and get a second opinion if you can

Like I mentioned, we were super lucky to have my husband’s mom with us – who right away told us that the medication they prescribed our son wasn’t the right one. Of course not everyone has the luxury of having a doctor in their family. If it isn’t an emergency and you might be able to get on the phone with your doctor back home (especially if you are in a different country) I would highly suggest doing that.

Adjust your itinerary

Sure it is no fun when you have to cancel plans you have been looking forward to – but hey getting your child better is top priority – and if you can do that in the sunshine by a pool at your resort -well that sounds pretty good to me. We were lucky that we had a team with us (aka my husband’s parents) so we decided to take turns and everyone got to stay home and snuggly with our sick babe and also hit the town for a little date night. At the same time don’t the experience totally ruin the trip. I was exhausted by the end and needed another vacation – but we still created some beautiful memories as a family.

Take care of yourself so you can take care of baby

In our case it was traveller’s diarrhea but what it if was a virus? It is hard enough to take care of your sick child in a foreign country, but to do that while fighting off a virus yourself? No bueno. If your child does get sick try and take those extra measures – extra hand washing, stay hydrate etc.

We survived the first one and I am sure it won’t be the last but don’t let the idea of a sick baby on vacation deter you from booking that ticket to experience the world with your little one.

xo

Mia

Why Maui is the perfect vacation destination with a baby

It has been more than two years since I left the country and so as the world slowly started to open up again I was itching for a vacation but a lot had changed in the last few years, including our family. In December we welcomed our first baby and I was nervous to travel with a 4 month old.

I didn’t want to be the person on the plane that no one wanted to sit beside a crying baby or worse have to deal with a sick baby in a foreign country, but here is the thing, I took my first international flight to South Africa before the age of 1 and travel was something that was ingrained in my life at a young age. I wanted to be able to share the passion and love for exploring with my son and so we booked the ticket.

Why we landed on Maui

For the first flight we didn’t want to go anywhere too far. We also wanted to go somewhere that we knew if something happened we were able to communicate properly and get medical attention if needed. Hawaii checked all the boxes for us and we had always wanted to visit Maui. We loved the fact that there were direct flights from Vancouver to Maui so we wouldn’t have to deal with any layovers.

Where to stay in Maui

There are two main areas where visitors stay in Maui, the West or South side. The West side includes the towns of Lahaina and Kaanapali while on the South you will find Kihei. In doing our research we found that most of the resorts are found in the West while the South is more apartment style homes and airbnbs available. Each area offers its own advantages.

Reasons we loved the West Side

Kaanapali beach stretches the coast here and is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Maui. There is also a wide selection of accommodations. Here you will find everything from top resorts and long stay condos. It also offers unique attractions. The quaint town of Lahaina is located here, and in the area you can shop until you drop as well as visit some delicious local restaurants where you will find the freshest seafood. This area is also known to have the best weather in all of Maui because the mountains block the rain clouds from making their way down to the west. It is considered the driest area.

There are of course some drawbacks as well. This is considered to be a more touristy area, hence all the resorts. Also it is not quite as centra to some of the popular activities like the Road to Hana and Haleakala.

Reasons we loved the South Side

Since most of the resorts are on the west side of the Island the beaches here are less crowded and also more affordable. The sandy beaches, like Wailea, offer some great opportunities for water sports like snorkeling, diving, and surfing.

The drawbacks to stay here are that it isn’t as touristy – a blessing and a curse I guess. Because of that there aren’t as many shops or restaurant options.

At the end of the day we figured it would be easier to stay in more of a resort style place for a first trip. We wanted a place with a pool because we knew if all else failed Max loves his swim lessons and so if the ocean wasn’t his favourite place, we could at least hang out at the pool. We ended up staying at a resort called Honua Kai, but actually found the resort on Airbnb. It was a perfect location, it offered 5 pools for us to hang out at, was right on a beautiful sandy beach, and had a restaurant on location so if Max fell asleep early we could just order in.

Best baby friendly beaches

Let’s be honest, one of the main reasons to visit Maui is the gorgeous beaches, and the best part is there are a lot of baby friendly beaches around where the tide isn’t as strong and the waves aren’t as big.

Baby Beach (Pu’unoa Beach)

This beach is located in Lahaina and actually where we did a little family photo shoot. It was the perfect spot to take Max for a dip because the tide went out in the morning and the water was very shallow. We were able to walk ankle deep on soft sand and see the coral and even sea turtles in the area. There is also a reef that holds back the waves.

Baby Beach #2

There are actually two beaches known as Baby Beach, the second one is in the town of Paia. It is a little out of the way since it is located in the North part of the Island, but it is along the road to Hana if that is on your itinerary. Not quite as clear as the other Baby Beach, you won’t really find any waves here since the area is protected by a rock wall.

Napili Bay

This beach is located just south of Kapalua Bay. It is a beautiful sandy beach with calmer waters.

Wailea Beach

This beach is located in Wailea and it is gorgeous. Continuously voted one of the most beautiful beaches in Maui, it is sandy with few rocks and once again the waves don’t get too big.

Where to eat in Maui

Since we stayed in Kaanapali, most of the restaurants that we ate at were on the West side so I can’t give too much advice for the South, but here were some places we stopped at and absolutely loved

Star Noodle

Located in Lahaina this restaurant offers asian inspired dishes meant to be shared so you get to try a few different items on the menu. It has long been a favourite for locals and visitors alike but make sure you make a reservation – the restaurant fills up quickly.

Lahaina Fish Co

This is the perfect spot for a more casual lunch or dinner but the views are well worth it. Located right on the water you can watch the sunset while you munch on some classics like fish tacos – but you are in Hawaii so the fish is fresh daily!

Pacific’o on the beach

I went into this restaurant a little blind – I thought beach front great – didn’t realize it was a bit more upscale and fancy, but boy oh boy is it worth it, and despite the pricier meals, they were still happy to welcome a baby. The sunset views here are magical (try and reserve a table outdoors). The restaurant works with O’O Farm for a true farm to table experience and you sure can taste how fresh the food is.

Aunty Sandy’s

Not really a restaurant but if you plan on driving the Road to Hana you need to mark this spot for a stop. It is a little off the main road but the banana bread here is to die for. Fresh every day, we enjoyed the warm bread while watching the waves from a lookout point nearby.

Cafe O’Lei at the Mill House

Saving the best for last – literally. Our last day of the trip we were looking for a spot closer to the airport, and stumbled upon the Cafe O’Lei located on Maui Tropical Plantation. Don’t do what we did, make a reservation since we were lucky to get in (the joys of a baby forcing an early dinner time). The restaurant had delicious cocktails (made with ingredients from their farm) and everything was so fresh. This could honestly be one of the best meals I have ever had.

 

Top things to do in Maui

I know there is a lot of awesome activities for kids in Maui, but Max is still to young to do much (he was only 4 months at the time of this trip). So instead of focusing our trip around specific toddler/kid activities we tried to find things that we would enjoy and that were baby friendly. It was actually a great time to travel with a baby because he is still too young to move around, making it easy for us to check everything off the list that we wanted to do.

Check out a Luau

I had always wanted to experience an authentic Luau since it is such a big part of the Hawaiian culture. The celebratory luaus date back to the 1800’s where they would feast on traditional dishes. While the current luaus are definitely more for the tourists, we heard from several people that the Old Lahaina Luau was very authentic and really celebrated the Hawaiian culture. We had a chance to eat traditional foods like pork that had been cooked underground for 18 hours, while watching the incredibly talented hula dancers, and at the same time we were treated to a beautiful history lesson. I will share more on the specifics of the luau soon, but this was definitely one of our favourite experiences of the trip.

Take a helicopter ride

While I usually love to explore new places with a hike, I knew that was going to be tough with our baby and so we decided to explore the island a different way – by air. Max was free and we just had to make sure that we had good headphones for him to block out the noise. We decided to explore the waterfalls of Maui and Molokai with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters. Our pilot was so knowledgable and experiencing the views of tall seaside cliffs, lush green valleys, and of course the waterfalls was pretty magical. Oh and Max slept the entire time so if you need to find a way to get your baby to sleep, this is it.

Try your hand at surfing

How can you not try surfing when you are in Hawaii, I mean isn’t this where surfing was invented. We called ahead to a company called Local Pros Maui, a smaller company that did more one on one lessons. They were willing to let us switch off so that one of us could watch Max while the other surfed. It was super fun to catch some waves and they even had a pro photographer to capture the action.

Drive the Road to Hana

This is one of the most popular activities in Maui – and it has been on my bucket list forever, but we weren’t entirely sure how Max would do with the windy road. We said that if at any time he wasn’t happy we would turn around, but as it turns out windy roads are great at putting our baby to sleep. We drove down to the Seven Sacred Pools and back stopping at various gorgeous points like The Garden of Eden and Pua’a Ka’a Falls, where I actually had a chance to swim in the pools by the falls.

Go snorkeling

Maui is world famous for its snorkeling. While we wanted to check out famous spots like Honolua Bay, we decided to stick to more baby friendly beaches like Baby Beach and even Kaanapali Beach at our hotel. It didn’t matter that we didn’t travel far for snorkeling though. We still saw colourful tropical fish and plenty of sea turtles.

Visit Iao Valley 

While we knew we weren’t going to be able to get a long hike in with a baby (especially in this heat) we did want to at least get some walk in – and Iao Valley was definitely worth it. A short 0.4 mi hike takes you to a gorgeous look at view of the Needle in the Valley. Along the way there are also plenty of signage so you can learn more about this sacred place.

We had an absolute blast exploring Maui as a family, and while we will definitely be back when Max is old enough to enjoy it a bit more, this was the perfect spot for our first vacation with a baby.

Happy traveling my friends,

xo

Mia

 

 

 

 

 

My staycation at the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle

I love to travel and I am so fortunate that I get to travel quite a bit for both personal and work reasons, however this month has been a busy one to say the least. With short trip to Toronto and Merritt I was pretty wiped. When the long weekend rolled around I felt like I wanted a vacation but at the same time I felt like being close to home, so a staycation offered the perfect solution.

I decided to book a night stay at the Downtown Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Hotel. Located right in Coal Harbour the hotel is just a short 15 minutes away from my house but with the ocean front views, downtown shopping, and nearby attractions it seemed like I was miles away.

The hotel

When I checked into the hotel the first thing I noticed was the beautiful lobby and the jar filled with cookies at the check in desk (a treat while you wait, I love it). I was also so impressed with the friendly staff who wanted to make sure we had everything we needed.

The room 

We made our way to our room on the 31st floor. I cannot believe the incredible ocean front views that we got to look out onto right from the comfort of my bed. You could see all of downtown Vancouver, the Lions Gate Bridge, the boats in the harbour, and the stunning North Shore Mountains. I have never seen such a beautiful view from a hotel window before.

Speak of the bed, I was so impressed with how comfortable it was. You truly just drowned in the pillows.

 

Dinner at Showcase

While it was hard to leave the beautiful hotel room, we did have reservations at Showcase restaurant. The hotel lobby restaurant has just launched a brand new menu right in time for summer and Chef Jesse Hauchhuasen was giving us a little taste.

We had  a little booth in the back and started off with some delicious refreshing cocktails. The first thing that I noticed was the wide variety of cocktails, wines, beers, and even food. While I thought a restaurant like the Marriott would be pricey, I was impressed with the reasonably priced menu for such a creative selection.

Chef Hauchhuasen came out to explain some of the dishes we were going to eat. What I loved is that he told us a lot of his inspiration comes from his Japanese background and his wife’s Korean heritage. He added that he has traveled to these places a ton to get inspiration for the dishes.

Appetizers

First up were two appetizers, the Albacore Tuna Tataki and the Seared Scallops and Pork Belly. I loved that the food was made with sustainable seafood approved by Ocean Wise. The Tuna Tataki was seasoned with delicious ginger soy vinaigrette and the savoury taste was matched with sweet mango. The Scallops and Pork Belly were seasoned with the most delicious carrot puree. I literally was scooping up the leftover sauce with my fork.

Main course 

Next up, the main course. We were treated to Miso Grilled Sockeye Salmon and Seared Ling Cod. The cod  was possibly the best dish I have ever tasted. The broth was perfectly seasoned with crispy onions and chili oil, while the baby bok choy was the perfect side to compliment the asian inspirations. As for the salmon I loved the sweet soy sauce and the rice crackers added a perfect crunch to the dish.

Dessert

Lastly, dessert. We were treated to the Chocolate Pecan Tart. I couldn’t think of anything better, chocolate and pecan tarts are my favourite sweets and so combining them together was genius. I also loved the added ice cream infused popcorn. It was such a unique and tasty treat.

Overall experience 

After a delicious and filling dinner and a few cocktails, it was back up to the room for bed time. I couldn’t believe the amazing views at night time as well. The whole city lit up as far as the eye could see. It was a beautiful sight and the perfect way to end the day.

The next morning I woke up feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. Just what the doctor ordered. I wasn’t ready to leave the comforts of the room but was thankful for a relaxing and wonderful stay.

If you would like to find out more about what the Marriott Pinnacle has to offer make sure to visit their website.

xo,

Mia