Matt Baseley doesn’t work a 9-5. As a husband, father of three children under 5 years old, Sydney Weekender Presenter, and MC and Host, he works a mean schedule! So when it comes to finding time for a holiday these days, his travel habits have changed and his strategies have become tactical. We talked to Matt to learn about his best parenting-on-holiday tips, what are his best travel memories and what trips he looks forward to taking in the future.
Your schedule is unbelievable! What kind of leisure travel do you get to do these days?
I do an annual holiday with a group of mates and we’re actually up to our 5th year. We’re all new dads and we plan around the best times that we can get out between duties as parents and work.
Each year, we book a destination and play golf. So we base our trip on where the golf courses are and take it from there. One year, we went to New Zealand to golf in Queenstown and I have to say that Queenstown is quite possibly one of the most beautiful places on Earth. They have some of the best golf courses too. I was so blown away by the scenery and the food and wine. I thought it was just a snow village with backpackers, but it was anything but! It’s a place with views that go on forever and you never get scenery fatigue or feelings of boredom.
And it looks like you to get to travel for work. Can you tell us about some highlights?
When I travel with Sydney Weekender, I get to see some amazing places in NSW. Those trips remind me of the ones I got to do growing up. Our family would travel to caravan parks along the south coast of NSW. Those region holidays have a special place in my heart. And now as a parent, I see how good it is to let the kids run riot at the water parks so they’re exhausted by the end of the day and smash out a peaceful sleep!
Tell us more about what you’ve learned about travelling with little ones.
I’ve worked out that travelling isn’t a holiday. It’s parenting in a different location. And it puts a lot of pressure on you as a parent when the kids are really young. When they’re school aged, it’s so great to visit Bali or Fiji where you can leave the kids with the amazing nannies in the kids club. You have some cocktails at the pool and they have the best time.
Taking the pressure off yourself as a parent is the most important part. Just relax a bit! Parenting now is so stuck on routine and if you’ll do your head in if you try to stick to those routines when you’re travelling. If they go to sleep a bit later, it’s all right. If they eat pizza two nights in a row, it doesn’t matter. You can hide broccoli in their food when you’re home! Make it easy for yourself and you’ll have a good time.
Of all the trips you’ve taken for fun with family, friends, or even for work, do you have a favourite?
The most special trip was a trip to NY - I don’t know what it is, but I have a love affair with the city. I’ve been lucky enough to visit a few times but one of the trips was when I got to propose to my now-wife. It was just the two of us, it was our first time to New York and we both fell in love with the city and she said yes to marrying me! I still pinch myself every day, I can’t believe she said yes.
We actually did a lot of travel before we had kids. We’d been together for 11 years before we had kids and we just haven’t had a chance to get away since the kids have been born. So I’m looking for my 40th birthday to have a big birthday trip to visit places I haven’t been before. It’s long overdue!
Let’s do a bit of a rapid-fire: would you travel for… food?
I’m a big foodie and I’m obsessed with this one TV show that focuses on a chef and a restaurant in each episode. So one episode was about this restaurant in Barcelona called Tickets. And now I really want to go - it’s one of the top 50 restaurants in the world and if I could jump on a plane tomorrow, I would travel just for a meal there.
Would you travel for… a sport event?
I’ve done it! Before my first child was born, I was lucky enough to visit New Jersey in the USA to watch PGA Golf Championship Majors. I went to New York by myself, took the train over to New Jersey and spent 7 days at the Golf. And I would do it again for golf or cricket!
Would you travel for… a concert or a festival?
Back in the day, my wife and I loved to travel for festivals. We might be getting a bit old, but we still want to go to California for Coachella!
What’s left on the travel bucket list?
My wife’s background is Spanish and I’d love to travel through Spain with her to really learn a bit more about her history and heritage.
I’d love to get lost in a little village in the South of France. I’ve spent time on the coast but I want to head inland, get a little cabin, and just spend time relaxing there.
And I want to eat my way through Italy and come back 10 kilos heavier!