Home contests Best Baby Travel Moments (Free Book Friday)

Best Baby Travel Moments (Free Book Friday)

by Shelly Rivoli

Here we are (I’m the one behind the camera) at Inspiration Point on our first trip as a family to Yosemite National Park. Yes, that’s a soul patch on Tim, and no we didn’t actually hike with our infants’ heads dangling like wet spaghetti. We try to make a pilgrimage to Yosemite each year, be it in spring, summer, or fall, whether we are lucky enough to have the highly competitive reservations for camping or the comforts and conveniences of staying in a cabin or lodge.

As with any place a family visits annually, seeing the pronounced changes in its children from one year to the next, Yosemite will always have a special place in our hearts. For us, it’s where Angelina took her first independent steps right in the Upper Pines Campground (the year after this photo was taken), among other great memories. It was also during the trip when this photo was taken, that Tim very innocently asked me, “So, what do you want to do next?” He, of course, was thinking in terms of eating lunch, hiking up the falls, or something of a more logical nature.


I, however, was thinking of the bigger picture: of how incredible it felt to be out in the world with our infant in spite of how hard it could be to simply get out the door with her at home, of how I would live my life as a new mother, of what I might do next with my writing career. And it was there on the valley floor that I first described what would become my second book: Travels with Baby: The Ultimate Guide for Planning Trips with Babies, Toddlers, and Preschool-Age Children.


We found ourselves back at Yosemite just a few weeks ago, coinciding with the 1 year anniversary of its publication. What an amazing journey it has been since that afternoon in Yosemite, when we had no idea just how many adventures were in store for us as new parent. The chiding barrage of baby-loving Buddhist monks Bangkok, the surprise grand escorted entrance at the Louvre in Paris simply because we had a stroller, climbing up ancient Mayan stone steps with my second-born on my back, watching my children climb all over the Alice in Wonderland sculpture in Central Park, watching my big girl riding her tag-along bike so proudly through Yosemite Valley.
There have, of course, been many challenging moments along the way. But while the words “travel” and “baby” are all too often followed with a groan by people who associate the two with noisy flights and slow-moving families at airport security, some of us know better. As the song “Moon River” attests, “There’s such a lot of world to see.” And who is luckier to see it than the mom with a baby on her hip or a child at her side?
Win a signed “Gift Copy” of Travels with Baby:
In celebration of Travels with Baby‘s first birthday, I’m giving away a signed and personalized copy of the book. The winner can keep the book as a gift for herself (or himself), or send it to a friend as a gift–in which case I will include some lovely wrapping and a gift note from you. Early holiday gift? Present to the new parents in your life? You decide who I’ll send your new book to.



Safe journey,


Shelly Rivoli, author of the award-winning guide Travels with Baby

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Alice March 13, 2010 - 8:30 pm

It must have been in the gran canarias where my girl was 4 months and diving in the pool – she really loved it!

Hakimtea October 6, 2009 - 8:31 am

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Anonymous December 5, 2008 - 5:13 pm

Our favorite trip was to San Diego. We rented a house rather than stayong at a hotel that made all the difference. My mom, sis, hubby, and 1.5 year-old were just a walk from the beach and could just hop home for our daughter to take her naps, eat, or get out of the sun. After our baby went to sleep we could cook a nice dinner together, enjoy some wine on the patio, and watch a movie … so much better than sitting in a hotel hallway!

Shelly Rivoli, author of Travels with Baby November 21, 2008 - 4:33 pm

Thanks everybody! Love your moments, and yes those are mis-matched red and green shoelaces as he’s worn in those same boots since before I met him… 14 years ago. Happy and peaceful? That’s Tim any time he’s on top of a mountain. 😉 Oakland Zoo: Yes, I think it is a best-kept Bay Area secret, and a great escape from the fog in summer. We’ve done the elephant, but I’m inspired to try donkeys in the new year, if not a camel, though a beer in the French Quarter sounds prety relaxing (probably not with my older kids though!). You are each an inspiration.

Amie November 17, 2008 - 11:46 pm

One of my favorite baby travel moments happened during my first scouting trip for Ciao Bambino. My husband, son (Devon, then 13 months) and I arrived in Florence, Italy and we were all exhausted after a 15 hour trip where nobody slept – not even for an hour! Needless to say the trip was not off to a good start and Devon proceeded to cry on and off through our entire first night. My husband and I looked at each other and said “This is the stupidest idea ever – WHO would willingly go through this with a baby?” Well, less than 24 hours later Devon bounced back and we were strolling him through Florence and experiencing the magic of that city with our new, extended family – he was soon sleeping away and we loitered in a favorite cafe – we looked at each other and said,”This is the BEST idea ever …” We laugh every time we think of how quickly perspective changes when traveling.

Stephanie November 17, 2008 - 9:49 pm

I love Tim’s red and green shoelaces (or is it the lighting?)!

Favorite travel moment…that’s tough because I really have enjoyed all of them with Lindsey. Our first big trip with just me and Lindsey was to Montreal and we had a tough flight home because of bad weather. Yet, I still remember Lindsey giggling and cheering people up while we were stuck on the tarmac, and then again when we had to unexpectedly deplane and spend the night in Denver. She cheered me up, as well as several other passengers.

Cynthia Jacques November 17, 2008 - 11:57 am

My daugther is a teenager now, and I have two sons in law (I`m a stepmother): one of 8 and one of 4 years old.
We live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and went, by car, to Acmpos de Jordão, São Paulo (another state), in a four hours trip up the hill.

It`s not easy making all of them happy at the same time because of the different ages. But this time they all had a great time: quadricicle ride on the mud, a pic nic at a lovely botanical garden, walking on tree trails (in portuguese we call “arvorismo” and I don`t know a word in english for that), and a delicious fondue for dinner!
The day was so good that we did almost everything again the next day!

I don`t know if it counts once I have no babies anymore… anyway, I thought it was a nice experience to share!

jamie November 16, 2008 - 5:11 pm

I’ll never forget the feeling of freedom I got from taking my infant daughter into San Francisco on BART in a Baby Bjorn.

It wasn’t a long journey, but anything felt possible to me that day.

Abaz & Ilse November 16, 2008 - 1:27 pm

While in Albania last year, I had to ride a mule with my 12 month old daughter, luggage strapped on behind, from my parents-in-law’s farm village in the mountains to catch a ride (by car) into town. My husband rode a donkey ahead of us, and our daughter dozed for most of her 1-1/2 hours on mule back with me! It was a beautiful ride, quiet and peaceful as the sun rose.

Heatheronhertravels November 15, 2008 - 9:34 pm

I had a wonderful time in Rome this Spring with my son and parents, and then afterwards, my mother sent me some photos of a similar trip to Rome when I was a child. You can read about it here.


Jessie V November 15, 2008 - 3:25 pm

what a sweet photo. and, i truly believe in taking kids along, no matter how old they are!

our favorite trip with our daughter was one of the times we went to seattle. she was 3. not only was she a hoot on the plane, but she remembered so many places that she was jumping up and down for joy and excitement to be revisiting them. THAT brought pure joy to everyone around us.

Soultravelers3 November 15, 2008 - 7:36 am

Sweet picture! We love Yosemite and always took our daughter there at Thanksgiving or between xmas and New Years before we left on our world tour. She was just 3 months old the first time we took her to see and experience snow!

Nothing on our world tour or before could surpass my daughter riding in on a camel to the Sahara and playing a violin concert for 6o Berber kids when she was just 6 years old. That one will stay with us all forever!


CanCan (MomMostTraveled) November 15, 2008 - 3:52 am

This is just one of hundreds of special sweet moments that result from traveling with a child, but in 2006 I took my 18-month-old to China to revisit places I had been and people I met when I worked there in 2002-2003. He wasn’t a good sleeper so one early morning we walked the streets of Xi’an and had all kinds of adventures. Everyone was outside doing morning exercises, and a group of seniors beckoned my husband into a game of badminton. Later we walked to a playground where a young girl was playing, supervised by her Yeye (grandfather). When she saw my son, her eyes lit up and she was so excited to have a playmate close to her own age at the mostly deserted playground! She ran over to him saying, “NI HAO! NI HAO! NI HAO!”. It was the sweetest thing. They played together on the slides, and it made me feel like we belonged.
Traveling with children opens up so many doors and breaks down barriers like language and skin color.

SOUP OF THE DAY November 15, 2008 - 12:58 am

Our first plane ride and long trip away from home was when Charlotte was 8 months old. We went to New Orleans for a convention my husband was attending. I wasn't sure how a baby would "fit in" in New Orleans, but I thought worst case scenario, I could just hang out at the Hotel.

After we arrived and got settled into our room, we put Charlotte in the stroller and hit the streets of the French Quarter.

One of my favorite moments was when we stopped into one of the busy casual restaurants in the French Quarter to have some fried oysters & crawfish, and a cold beer. We got a table in the corner, and since our daughter was not yet able to sit in a highchair, we just nudged the stroller right into the corner. She drank her milk, played with the table cloth and my husband and I had a wonderful (and fattening!) snack …. I remember one point where we just looked at each other like, Wow, this isn't bad at all! This is working out just fine and we're having FUN! What were we so worried about?

DeliciousBaby November 15, 2008 - 12:22 am

Our best recent travel moment was watching the kids gleefully chase each-other around a tile labyrinth in Santa Fe.

Don’t enter me in the contest though… I already have a copy of your book 🙂

Jen November 15, 2008 - 12:20 am

I love Yosemite! What a great picture.

One of my favorite travel moments is from a recent trip. I went to Jacksonville (about a five hour drive) with my two children by myself. We got stuck behind a massive traffic accident (luckily everyone was fine but a massive truck had lost his cargo) for over two hours. During this time we got out of the car and played soccer with some college kids in the median. We watched a movie on the dvd player, ate snacks and just had a great time! The kids were so good and we were able to make something, that in all respects was miserable, into an adventure!

k.a.t.calvin November 14, 2008 - 10:51 pm

I can’t imagine traveling with a baby but your husband looks so happy and peaceful! You must be doing something right.

amy November 14, 2008 - 8:01 pm

Does a day trip count? My favorite spot with my tots is the Oakland Zoo. We’ve visited several zoos in recent years but nothing compares to this leafy, animal-friendly wildlife sanctuary in our own backyard.

We always have a lovely time: My 4-year-old knows the difference between a Siamang and a Gibbon, and I get to sleep in my own bed afterwards 🙂

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