how-to by The Editors

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“We started making Vista travel guides to take the stress out of planning a holiday,” says Julia Ashwood, the founder of The Vista, travel guides that cover ‘the good, the bad, and the ugly’ when traveling as a pack, revolutionising the way we look at family holidays; less chaos more calm.

Ashwood, who is based in Byron Bay, is usually travelling with partner Matty and her young children DD and Alby. “We are an inseparable gang!” As their travel logs prove, it is possible to plan the perfect adventure to almost anywhere with a family in tow. The Vista’s comprehensive, thoroughly-researched and beautiful-looking guides, often compiled in collaboration with other young families on the move, include stylish places to eat, shop, see and stop.

Here, Ashwood reveals her top travel tips.

Forget travelling light when you have a family – but pack these fail-safe essentials
We love travelling light – and then, we had kids! So now we have an Ergobaby, a Mountain Buggy Nano travel pram and a baby bjorn travel cot and that’s just where it starts!

In terms of clothing and skin care, brands like Matteau, All That Remains, Lucy Folk and Mukti Organics are standouts. I also can’t go past a good pair of everyday boots like RM Williams or Blundstones which double as a bushwalking boot too.

We travel with two cameras one film and one digital. A Contax T2 and a Fuji X100F. These are always a priority.

And don’t forget…
Patience and snacks – you’ll need a lot of both of them!

The best ideas come from local knowledge
I always find the best information is from people. I reach out; I talk to friends, I’ll even make a call out to our IG community for advice. Starting a conversation is always great – you’ll find out things you never even thought of!

When it Comes to Choosing a Destination, The Wilder, The Better
We love leaving the city behind – nature is where we find we are happiest with the kids too. On this year’s bucket list is a bigger US road trip taking in Arizona and onto New Mexico and Baja. Samoa is also in our sights a country and culture Matty, and I are very keen to explore (plus our daughter is obsessed with all things Moana!)  

WA and more regional Australian trips are also appealing – we love to get on the road!

Know what you’re willing to compromise on
I’m a sucker for a fluffy hotel towel, and I will never say no to luxe – but as long as there’s running water and great food, I’m a pretty happy camper.

Do your homework, but leave room for the spontaneous
Planning is essential when travelling but try to remain a little flexible – that’s when fate decides, and the magic happens.

If it all goes wrong…
Depending on how wrong we are talking (I have a bad hair day, OR I lose my credit card in India? Ha!) I guess I either laugh or cry; or do a bit of both normally!

Julia Ashwood is the Founder of The Vista. Travelling with Kids, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

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