Family Travel Tips Series: Entrepreneurs On-the-Go

Being an Entrepreneur is not easy. Working round-the-clock, finding time to travel could be pretty challenging. But, with today’s technology, working remotely while on a holiday has already been made possible, and these two hands-on dads couldn’t agree more.

We asked businessmen Mike Nocom and Ivan Calatrava to share why they travel with their brood and the lessons they learned from their years of seeing the world with their families, amid their busy schedules.

Mike and his wife, Aileen spend most of their time honing the skills of their high-achiever son, Axel, who just won the recently concluded Petron Karting Academy Championship. When they are not busy running their businesses, they are either out Kart Racing or traveling. To know more about Karting for Kids, visit their page, Axel Motorsports.

Ivan and Polly are Iloilo -based entrepreneurs who seem to frequent the beach on a whim. Having worked as flight attendants, they have an innate love for travel which they continue to nurture to this day, with their daughter, Aga, in tow.

Mike and Aileen / Ivan and Polly

Children:

Mike : 7 year-old son. We traveled with him to Hong Kong Disneyland after his third birthday.

Ivan: 8 year-old daughter. The first time my daughter rode a plane was when she was 3 months old. We flew from Manila to Davao to spend the holidays home.

What is the biggest challenge for you when traveling with kids? Any unforgettable experience you want to share? 

Mike: The biggest challenge is feeding [my son] because [he] is a picky eater. Also, [dealing with] sickness . Luckily, he never got sick during the actual travel, but, twice, he got sick before the trip so [we had to cancel the flight].

Ivan: The biggest challenge for us when traveling with our daughter is waking her up early when we have scheduled tours. When she was younger, we would bathe and dress her up even if she was still half asleep.

What is your favorite product (what brand) to pack when traveling with a baby /toddler/ kid? 

Mike: Lactacyd Toddler, Aquafresh Toothpaste and EQ Dry

Ivan: My wife always makes sure my daughter has her own water bottle in her backpack to keep her hydrated throughout the day. This also saves us a few bucks as we can easily refill it with water when we’re at a restaurant. We love the brand Takeya as it keeps the water cold for at least 8 hours. It comes in 14,18,24,32 and 40 oz.

What’s your favourite family trip so far? Why?

Mike: Singapore trip was the best, except [that we did not like] the weather [then].We watched an F1 race and went to 2 theme parks and a night safari.

Ivan: For abroad, our most memorable trip was seeing the Swiss Alps. It was our daughter’s first time to play, see, touch and taste snow. She loved Switzerland so much because of how clean their lakes and rivers are and because they have a lot of swans.
Here in the Philippines, our most memorable trip was snorkeling in Apo Reef which is located in Mindoro. It was her first time to see and swim with a baby white tip shark, stingray and hawksbill turtle-all living in the wild. She saw how majestic Philippine islands and beaches are.

Can you share 1 or 2 travel hacks that other parents could use when traveling with kids?

Mike: 1. I have a micro scooter luggage that my son can ride so that we don’t have to bring a stroller. 2. wear Skechers Go Walk.

Ivan: Pack activity books, pens and crayons, and pieces of paper in your child’s backpack. This will help minimize their gadget use during long haul travels. Bring a light jacket for your little one even if your destination is somewhere tropical. Kids usually get cold inside airports and airplanes.

What message can you impart to first time parents who are currently planning their first family trip and are very anxious about it?

Mike: Go to a country you have [already] been to if you are bringing your child for the 1st time.  Preferably, not a developing country.

Ivan : Traveling with a child is not easy. There will always be whining and tantrums and bathroom emergencies which will test your patience…when that happens, just keep in mind-you are on VACATION. Don’t sweat the small stuff. What’s important is the happiness you see in your child’s eyes.

Traveling with family is important because it teaches you to be grateful. You appreciate new places together while enjoying each others company. You get to realize that we live in a beautiful world and how blessed we are to experience this together. – Ivan and Polly

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