Maartje Diepstraten (40)
Mother of… Vito (3), pregnant with the second
Together with… Dirk (44)
Work Travels alternately around the world and often stays close to home to collect the best tips for Barts Boekje and Kids To Go
Books to her name: Little Escapes, Little Escapes in Nederland, Koffers en Koters, Los Little Escapos and Little Escapes just across the border, Cool Cape Town, Cool Cape Town Kids
Follow via instagram.com/bartsboekje
“I travel on average once a month for Barts Boekje. Preferably with Dirk and Vito, but often alone. Of course, that was different because of corona, but now more and more is possible. We were recently in Curaçao and Greece. Funnily enough, traveling so much has also made us really relaxed parents. Vito simply goes with us everywhere and adapts easily. He also likes other children and people the most, and says hi to everybody he meets.”
When I'm not traveling…
“We prefer to cocoon at home with the three of us and soon the four of us. The fact that we travel so much is also reflected in our interior. We brought that luxurious feeling of hotels into our home. Or at least, we try to…”
Biggest misconception about my job
“That I’m on a constant holiday. On holiday I prefer not to take my laptop with me (and that is the case during the majority of trips), haha!”
On holiday with kids
“The ABC islands are a favorite. You don't have to do anything on these islands, so we always come home relaxed. We also took Vito to New York. There you want to see so much that you actually come home very tired. One of the best working holidays with the three of us was to Bonaire. Vito was just one and very relaxed. The flight went well, the hotel was very nice and the place great. Everything was right.”
‘When it comes to traveling, with our second child we will keep our ‘just do it’ mentality'
Flying tips with kids
“Since we booked Vito his own seat, flying has become more relaxed. We also have a trolley that you can convert into a bed, very handy! Furthermore, we never save on travel luxuries, such as an upgrade where possible or the fast-line. We also always check with the accommodation or car rental whether there is a pick-up service. That saves standing in line again and hassle with the route and an unknown car. Most rental companies are happy to deliver your rental car to your hotel the next day. Everything for a nice start to your trip!”
Traveling while pregnant…
“Maybe I'm not completely representative (or maybe certain inconveniences are just being a little exaggerated on social media these days), but I don't really suffer from anything and my experience of traveling isn't really different now that I'm pregnant… Okay, sometimes I push my belly a little more forward to get a nicer seat. For example in those vans that take you from the plane to the terminal, but that's about it ;-). As for eating on long flights: there is always a vegetarian option, but I always try to eat well before a long flight (including when I’m not pregnant), so that I am not or as little as possible dependent on the meals up in the air.”
Traveling with two kids or more
“As soon as the second one arrives, we will just stick to or 'just do it' mentality. I know, it sounds very easy but to be very honest… Some people make a problem about everything. Traveling just isn't fun, ever. BEING somewhere, that's the fun! The end justifies the means, so to speak. My experience is that if you just behave 'normally', you follow the rules and take your fellow passengers into account, then everyone is willing to help if necessary and people bother with you having kids with you. And if so: well, so be it. Before you know it, you'll be off board again. Good tip: on a long flight it is really nice to bring mini presents for your kid(s) so that they always have something new to distract them and to play with. And long live the tablet.”
Traveling with a baby
“We tried not to fly at night with Vito as a baby, everything to keep the rhythm as normal as possible. Moreover, you often have less patience yourself. And now that he's three, it's exactly the other way around… Not convenient. It is also nice to reserve a seat for the plane, near the cockpit where there is a little space to rock your baby to sleep while standing. And always check if you can get a businessclass update if you haven't already booked it. Definitely not free, but worth it.”
The island feeling nearby
“Vlie-biza, or actually just Vlieland. The small island is predominantly white and wonderfully relaxed. The forest houses of Campsite Stortemelk are nice, for example, they are rented out all year round. The eighteen houses have a spacious terrace and are built sustainably. They are relatively small, but everything is included. Please pay attention to which type of cottage you book, because not all bedrooms are spacious enough for a cot. You can also rent a house in the middle of the dunes. Or bring your own tent, then you will be camping by the sea. And while you're there, grab a terrace at beach pavilion Gestrand Vlieland. Also kids-proof, of course.”
“Love camping? But not the walking with the dishes and toilet paper? Buitenplaats Beekhuizen is the place to be. Here you will find forty lodge tents and pods. The (Bush)Pods are wooden houses after a classic English design in a modern version, where you can relax not only in the summer, but also the rest of the year. Also nice: all cabins have an outdoor shower, just like Bali.”
“You will find this minicamping to the north of the Veluwe. In the summer the site is one large wooded garden full of nice corners and seating areas. Sleep in Camp Woodstock: a large tent house with enough space for six people. Be prepared though: the toilet is outside in a hut, just like the bathroom tent. So don't be surprised if you book in winter, that means cold buttocks.”
Children's paradise pur sang
“At Avontyr in Reek, North Brabant, you will find two great tree houses with enough space for up to 26 people. It is a great paradise for children: building huts, playing hide-and-seek, climbing trees. There is a central building where you can all eat together and there are seven bedrooms. Each with its own bathroom. Suffering from fear of heights? Almost next door you will find Hartje Groen with two different retro caravans. In Kip you sleep with two adults and two children. Lander has enough space for two adults and three kids. With a cozy interior.”
‘Spain is one of our favorite flight destinations with children.’
Flight destination nearby
“Spain is one of our favorite flight destinations with children. Mallorca in particular: short flight, white beaches and shallow sea. So wonderfully kids proof. That's why I have a whole list full of top tips, which you can find here. One of the highlights: s'Arenal in Porto Colom. There you can eat with your feet in the sand. Secretly a very favorite place, especially with kids, since you are here on a relatively large (especially for the Dutch standards) beach. And the blue-and-white shop is a holiday on it’s own, not to mention the delicious food. Also nice in Spain: Costa Blanca. Kid friendly without the crowds. We come here regularly, because my in-laws live there 6 months a year. Addresses to put on your list: The Beach House and La Siesta.”
Enjoy All Inclusive
“I've always said I hate resorts, but it's really nice with a little one. Especially if he still sleeps several times a day. One of our favorites is Hillside Beach Club in Fethiye in Turkey. Everything is right there. Here you can go to four restaurants, two spas and there is even an adults-only area that we could go to thanks to our baby monitor app."
Favorite beach bar across the border
“Indie Beach in the Côte d'Azur, near camping Kon Tiki. A typical Barts Boekje address with nice looks, lovely people, good food and not overcrowded. The south of France is a favorite anyway, also because you can get here by car or train. The advantage of the latter is that children do not need to be fastened and can simply sleep in their stroller. Every year in August, we go to friends who stay at the Kon Tiki campsite in the Côte d'Azur.”
Nice on Curacao
“I already mentioned it: Curaçao is one of our favorites. Nice beach bar: Koko's on Curaçao. Near the Morena Resort, child-friendly, comfortable and nice and small. Also nice: you can book a stay here via Bartboekt.com. And of all the ABC islands, Koko's is really our favorite restaurant, you will find it here together with other Curaçao tips. At Jan Thiel Beach.”
Cool Cape Town Kids
“Another great destination far away with a little one is Cape Town. There is no time difference and life takes place almost entirely during the day instead of night. I have collected all the tips for you in Cool Cape Town Kids.”
“For a holiday feeling, go to Club Zand in Castricum for a day. Tasteful and very contemporary, but not too hip. That's why I always find it relaxed."
More tips? Check BartsBoekje.com and Kidstogo.com.
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