Four-time gold Olympic medallist and mother-of-three, Libby Trickett, loves travelling with her husband Luke and daughters Bronte, 2, Edwina, 3, and Poppy, 6. She shares some of her favourite family holiday experiences – and what she’s learned along the way.
We know you’ve travelled all over the world swimming, have you travelled much with your kids?
I have – but we haven’t travelled much since the pandemic. We did travel to Melbourne early last year in between lockdowns as a family, so that was lovely. We haven’t really had a chance to travel internationally since the kids were born, aside from the US for a very quick trip with Poppy and Eddie, who was four months old at the time.
What did you love about your US trip?
We went to Disneyland Resort in California, and it was just magic. Even though Poppy was three and Eddie wasn’t able to fully enjoy it at her age, it was truly the happiest place on earth. Poppy still talks about it to this day! The girls love also being in the water, and the opportunity to share a love of swimming with them in new places is so wonderful, no matter where we are.
Where are your favourite places to go for a family holiday in Australia?
One of my favourite places to travel in Australia with the girls is Hamilton Island. It’s such a great family-friendly place and so easy to get to from Brisbane, where we live. Before having the girls, Luke and I spent time in regional Western Australia with some work we were doing, and one of our favourite holiday destinations was Broome, so we’d love to go back with the girls. And, of course, all the coastlines are beautiful. With the pandemic and border crossing restrictions, we’ve been spending time on the Sunshine Coast, in the hinterland and at Noosa. They both have beautiful family-friendly areas, and we usually take our dogs along as well – it’s great to be able to find places that are dog friendly.
What do you love about travelling with your family?
I think the reality of travelling with a family is chaos! There is, of course, lots of logistical planning and distractions while managing kids while travelling, which can be tiring and difficult. However, the beauty of travelling with kids is the experiences we get to keep together, and what I love most about travelling with the girls is that we get to take them out of their comfort zones and introduce them to new worlds and experiences.
What’s been the worst thing that’s happened on a family holiday?
Probably the funniest and most terrible thing was when we were flying back from America with Poppy and Eddie, who was still breastfeeding. She has a dairy intolerance, so I hadn’t been having any dairy, but in my exhausted jet lag state, I had a premixed coffee on the plane with milk. I was talking about how the coffee tasted so good, because I’d only been having black coffee at the time, and within an hour after having fed her, she had the worst explosive poo and vomit – it went all over her outfit and me! Luckily she had fresh clothes, but I wasn’t so fortunate. It was the start of our journey home, so I sat in those clothes for another 18 hours. We got through it though, and definitely learnt a few things for future trips!
And the best moment?
On the same trip, we stopped for a couple of nights in Santa Monica, and there are two moments I distinctly remember. One was when we touched down in LA and Poppy announced to the entire plane “WE’RE IN AMERICA!”. She was so excited about the adventure, and it was really special to witness. The second was when we went to Santa Monica Pier; she was running in and out of the water, and everything was so new and exciting for her to be in a different place.
Why do you think travelling with kids is important?
I’m a routine-based person who loves having rhythm within our week, but I know I grow and develop more when I’m out of my comfort zone. I know how important that is for kids as well, so I always want to challenge us all and take us out of our comfort zones and routines. We haven’t done as much in terms of experiencing different cultures, but I believe it’s so important navigating the world in that way too. Travelling outside of Australia you realise how big, incredible and special the world can be, and it gives you that deeper perspective of the world.
What’s your best packing tip?
You will never read five books on the trip, so stop packing all of them! You will also never wear everything you think you will, and it’s better if you can pre-plan outfits rather than taking too many options and seeing how you feel on the day. I find that if I’m structured in that way, I pack more efficiently.
Where would you like to go for your next family holiday and why?
I’d really like to go over to the Western Australian coast. It would be really cool to experience it with the girls. I’d also love to go down to South Australia and see the sea lions. In terms of overseas travel, it would be great to go to New Zealand with them. I’m thinking about easier places for now while they’re still so young. I’d also love to go to Asia to experience all the different cultures and food, America again, Canada, Europe … I kinda want to go everywhere!