As one of the original members of children’s musical group Hi-5 and a Getaway presenter, Charli Robinson has racked up plenty of frequent flyer points. But she’s discovered travelling with a baby is a whole new ballgame.
Hi Charli Robinson, you welcomed your first child, Kensington, last December. How has the way you travel changed since then?
I always took pride in how light I could travel, but that’s gone out the window! I now travel with so many bags … but what a problem to have! Kensington is our beautiful baby girl and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Airlines are fantastic, allowing you to fly with car seats and prams for free, which makes it easier. She’s now been on 28 domestic flights and two international flights in in eight months – mostly to Newcastle to visit my family in Port Stephens or to the racetracks to be with my husband, Liam (a racing car driver). The Grand Prix in Melbourne was her first Victorian trip at three-months-old. She is a wonderful flyer, so that really helps.
Have you taken her overseas yet?
We’ve just returned from our first family holiday in Fiji. I travelled there for Getaway and loved it so much that Liam and I went back for our babymoon a month later. So, it seemed fitting to return with our beautiful girl. The Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay is our favourite spot, and with all Liam’s car racing and Kensington’s first teething experience we all needed a relaxing break. International travel was very different to quick domestic flights – getting her to nap and amusing her for hours made me feel like I was back in Hi-5 again! But as soon as we landed in Fiji it was all smiles. The locals are so natural with babies. They held her, kissed her and made her feel so loved. If you’re thinking of a family holiday with a baby, go to Fiji – trust me.
What’s the best thing about travelling with a baby?
Sharing all these ‘firsts’ with her. Life is just too exciting for her and that’s amazing. I’ve always travelled – in Hi-5 we’d tour nine months a year, which was great, but travelling with a true love like Kensington, and Liam, and experiencing life together is what it’s all about.
And the worst?
Not being able to explain to her where we are going or that it won’t be long and we’ll be there.
How is travelling with a baby different to what you thought?
I had no preconceived idea, I just knew between Getaway and my family living in another state we’d be travelling a lot. I worry what other passengers will think if she cries, but I’ve learnt that most people offer you a smile of encouragement. We are all on that plane because we need to be, we were all babies once, and I’ll be doing my best to keep her happy the whole trip. The more relaxed I am, the better she is.
Charli, what advice do you have for other parents travelling with a baby?
Show one toy at a time – it takes more time up. I also amused Kensington with selfies for ten minutes. Take two changes of clothes, even for the shortest trip, and use a dummy chain on their clothes. I’d also recommend the Silver Cross Jet Stroller. I’ve been telling every new parent because it’s the only carry on pram that can be used from birth. It’s stable, stylish and carry-on approved. And, lastly, take the trip! Those tears on the plane or in the car are over fast but memories last a lifetime.
Many people think being a getaway presenter is a dream job. How does the reality compare?
Well truthfully, it is, but we don’t really get the massage at the day spa or get to sip those cocktails into the night, we’ve got a tight schedule to keep. It can be cold in the pool or you might be missing home, but it is still my dream job.
What are your favourite destinations you’ve been to for the show?
Fiji, without a doubt – I’ve fallen in love with the islands. Singapore was brilliant too, and even my hometown Gold Coast stories.
Have you had to travel less since having a baby?
For work, yes, although in saying that I did my first Getaway story on the Gold Coast eight weeks after giving birth. The crew was amazing, and so was Liam looking after her by day, and I breastfed at night. Filming and motherhood – best of both worlds.
Where would you really love to go with Kensington and Liam?
We’re planning to visit Paris and would love to take her with us when Liam races in Europe again.