Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Name: Corinne McDermott
Occupation: Founder, HaveBabyWillTravel.com, Product Manager & Content Strategist, TheLoop.ca, Editor – Movie Entertainment magazine
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Residence: Toronto, ON
Short Bio: Corinne McDermott is the founder of HaveBabyWillTravel.com – a website with a mission to inspire, motivate, and help families travel with babies, toddlers, and young children. A noted family travel expert, Corinne is also a multi-platform writer, editor, producer, and best of all – mom to Megan and Riley. She launched Have Baby Will Travel in 2007, and has become a passionate advocate for the value travel brings to everyone in the family. Her kids ask “When are we going somewhere?!’ not “Are we there, yet?!”
How often do you fly: I average about one trip per month.
How many countries have you been to: 15
How many continents have you been to: 2
Favorite American city: In the past I would have emphatically stated New York City without hesitation, but on my last trip I kinda fell in love with Miami, so that’s a tough one.
Favorite international city: Glasgow, Scotland. My mom was from Glasgow, and we spent almost every August “home” when I was growing up. It’s been over ten years since I was last there, and I’m definitely pining for it. Every time I hear the accent I get a lump in my throat. Brave was a tough movie for me to watch!
Least favorite country: There’s good in everywhere.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Vieux Quebec (Old Town in Quebec City). It’s like a trip to Europe without the long plane trip and jet lag.
Favorite airline: Porter Airlines
Favorite aircraft type: One with seat back entertainment!
Aisle or window: Window
Favorite airport lounge: I’ve only ever been in the Maple Leaf Lounge in Toronto’s Pearson International Airport
Favorite U.S. airport: I love MIA, because I’m usually there either to visit Miami or to head further south! My daughter loves the seashell patterns in the floor.
Favorite international airport: It pains me to say this as a Torontonian, but Vancouver’s airport was pretty nifty. And I’m envious of their $8 rail link to downtown.
Favorite hotel: Disney’s BoardWalk Inn at Walt Disney World in Orlando. We’ve stayed there twice, and not only are Disney properties totally easy for traveling with kids, the nice thing about the BoardWalk is you can walk to either Epcot or Hollywood Studios. Plus, the BoardWalk’s décor is really lovely. Our last stay there was between Christmas and New Year’s, and it was so pretty all decorated for the Holiday Season.
Do you unpack into the dresser/closet? Or live out of your suitcase? Suitcase. If I unpack, I forget stuff in the drawers. I’ll only ever hang coats and stuff that will wrinkle too badly.
Favorite cruise line: I’ve only been on one cruise, but I think it would be tough to beat Disney Cruise Line. We did a three day sailing to Disney’s Castaway Cay on the Disney Fantasy. It blew the kids’ minds.
Favorite island: Cuba. As a Canadian we can easily pop down to Cuba, and I love how it’s a bit of everything. Beautiful beaches, glorious nature, fascinating history, incredible architecture… But truly – Cuba has the most warm and lovely culture we’ve ever encountered while traveling.
Favorite fancy restaurant: I am the world’s worst foodie, as it pains me to spend on one dinner what our family of four spends in a week on groceries. However, we recently went to the new Drake One Fifty in Toronto to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, and it was pretty great.
Favorite hole in the wall: Asteria, on Toronto’s Danforth (Greektown). The food there is the most reminiscent of the food I adored in Greece. I brought my now-husband there for our first date. And, it’s super cheap!
Favorite fruit: Pineapple – to me pineapple tastes like vacation. Or mango.
Favorite food: Greek. I love that it’s so simple, and I make a mean Greek roasted chicken and Horiatiki salad.
Least favorite food: Fish. I like sushi and shellfish well enough, but I am not a fish-fish person.
Drink of choice (In the air and on the ground) Wine and/or coffee – depends on the time of day!
Favorite travel movie(s): Shirley Valentine
Favorite travel show(s): House Hunters International
Favorite travel book(s): The Motorcycle Diaries
Right now I am reading: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg and Empowered YOUth by Jeffrey and Michael Eisen
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: I’ve never been a huge fan of travel magazines, as I felt they never really spoke to me. It’s actually why I created Have Baby Will Travel! Mostly my days now are filled with women’s lifestyle publications, and I love Real Simple, InStyle, and Martha, of course!
Favorite travel website(s) – besides JohnnyJet.com, of course!: theloop.ca/travel (I just might be a bit biased here) Ciaobambino.com & I’ll stalk reviews of where I’m staying on TripAdvisor once I’ve booked a trip.
Five things you bring on a plane:
-Diaper Wipes (even though we are FINALLY finished with diapers!)
-Snacks & water
-change of clothes
-iPad(s) and headphones
What do you always seem to forget: Toothbrush and razor. Every time!
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty free store? Booze.
Favorite travel iPhone app(s): Sad to say – my kids monopolize my tech when we’re traveling, but that’s fine! My daughter’s currently addicted to Minecraft (which I’m pretty ok with) and my son loves Endless Alphabet, which is awesome.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Once when I flew solo with both kids I was wearing a new pair of jeans that I was excited about because they fit perfectly and were so comfortable. But about an hour into our journey, once they had stretched out a bit, these jeans kept falling down. And since I had my hands full with a 1yo and a 4yo (who both ended up vomiting on the plane) I had a tough time yanking them back up. A lot of people saw my bum that day.
Worst travel moment: My daughter tripped at the gate when we were flying home from Orlando, and split her eyelid open on the side of a chair. Paramedics were called, and advised that stitches were necessary. We had the option to leave and head to the ER in Orlando (not ideal since we already had to postpone our departure by a day because I was sick) or fly home and deal with it there. We decided to fly home; we’d been told she would likely start bleeding again due to the pressure change (and she did). We landed at midnight and headed straight for the hospital. Seven hours and seven stitches later we were home. Luckily there is minimal scarring, but that is one travel mishap I still can’t laugh about.
What’s your dream destination: I don’t know why, as I’m not particularly outdoorsy, but I am totally drawn to Machu Picchu and can’t wait until my kids are old enough so we can hike the Inca Trail. This makes no sense as I’m not a huge fan of heights either! If I see anything to do with Peru, I have to just stop and take it in.
Favorite travel charity: Make-A-Wish. Though I know it’s not technically just travel, but the fact that many of the wishes granted are for family vacations, to me that’s telling of the beauty of family travel.
Best travel tip: Be kind. And organized :)
I’ve said it before, but I really find women who travel (with children especially) not very interesting about which to read. I prefer reading about someone who goes on adventurous travel. But, I suppose there is a place for people who travel with children to write their stories. We traveled with our child when she was less than one year old — to Europe without any problems whatsoever, so I only have positive memories. But, I like the Johnny Jet site and read everything on it.