Jade Szonyi has been an international flight attendant for over ten years. Married to Ben and loving Mum to her two children, Charlotte and Sol, Jade also has her own Travel Blog, Mum with Wings where; equipped with her decade long knowledge of the airline industry, she shares all things flying & airports, holidays & destinations and her love for the Mornington Peninsula.
MLTS: Thanksfor chatting with us Jade, we know you are one super busy Mama! Tell us a little about your two gorgeous children Charlotte and Sol.
Jade: Charlotte is 6 going on 26. She is a chatterbox who loves dancing and school. Sol is 3. His name means sun in Spanish. My hubby and I were engaged in Spain at gaudis Park in Barcelona. He’s a very chilled out little boy who loves fire engines.
MLTS: You were a flight attendant before you had your children, did you ever think you would have to change careers once you became a Mum?
Jade: I always knew I wanted to be a Mum so once I started flying I would quiz every flying Mum I worked with about how they did it! I remember a pilot once telling me, “I’m away some nights but on sports days at school I am often the only Dad there” Shift work does have its positives. I work part time so I only go to work three times in a two month roster. I am home so much. I honestly feel like a stay at home parent who just gets to go stay at a hotel in LA or Dubai once a month! My husband is hands on amazing. He is way more domesticated than me! He works 9-5 in the city but we always have dinner together and he reads the kids their bedtime story and baths them every night. My mother-in-law Pam helps with school and creche pick ups if I am away during the week. I am grateful for my support network.
MLTS: Like many parents, I dread travelling with kids but this is something you do regularly and enjoy…
Jade: I want my kids to experience the love of travel that I have. To widen their perception of the world. To learn and appreciate things. To experience different cultures and learn different languages. My kids love travelling.
MLTS: Being a flight attendant must bring with it some great travel perks! How often do you plan trips for your family?
Jade: Because I work off a 2 month roster every trip we do is last minute when I know that I have time off. I’m envious of people planning something a year or 6 months in advance and having all that time to look forward to it. Sometimes I’ll book our flights the day before! Because I work for an airline we travel on staff travel which means discounted trips but the downside is we are always on standby.
MLTS: With so manybeautiful places to visit in Australia (and around the world!) What makes you choose a certain destination to take your kids to?
Jade: I don’t know what makes me choose a destination. Recently we went to Darwin to see more of our own country. I traveled solo with the kids so I decided to go on a domestic flight and miss the whole international airport process. It was a breeze! Europe is always on my mind as is Sri Lanka and Japan. Last year we spent Christmas at Disneyland. The Christmas parade is magical.
MLTS: Disneyland at Christmas would have been amazing! Your children have been lucky enough to travel to so many amazing places with you, what’s been your most favourite destination?
Jade: Every where has been so different and amazing. Laos was pretty special. Paris was magical and LA Disneyland was awesome. London was special as we went back to where my hubby and I met. Bali is always relaxing and perfect too. Amsterdam has my heart.
MLTS: I’m sure lots of Mums out there experience major anxiety before they travel with kids, especially internationally! What are your top flight tips for Mums travelling with children?
Jade: 1. There is a post on my website, ‘Before flying with children” which is very useful and has lots of tips so I definitely recommend reading that! 2. Be patient! 3. Be organised. 4. Plan ahead. 5 Get to the airport early. 6. Check out another blog I wrote for Expedia, “Tips for flying with children” it too has lots of tips which will hopefully make flying with children less daunting.
MLTS: Mum with wings is a relatively new blog. We love the look of your website and you have already acquired a huge following on instagram, what inspired you to start a travel blog?
Jade: Friends and Facebook ‘friends’ were always asking me for advice for traveling with kids. So I thought why not condense the information into one place. I started a Facebook page and an instagram account (@mumwithwings) which has gone crazy in just 9 short months with over 13k followers. I love looking after families onboard and I love travelling with my own kids. So many people think that your life will be over once you have kids. That’s just not the case. You can still travel and sharing travel with you kids is amazing, you just have to be prepared.
MLTS: Two kids, a career as a flight attendant, an awesome blog, is there anything else you squeeze into your life that we don’t know about?!
Jade: I’m a trapeze artist. No! Haha! I wish I had an exciting answer for you! I guess just rest and the occasional massage. I give all my energy to my kids and my work and now the blog so I need rest to power on! I love the beach and my hammock and the relaxed Peninsula lifestyle. I’m honestly just like every other Mum. I just take it one day at a time. I have coffee in the morning. wine in the evening. I’m also lucky my husband Ben is such a great support and dad.
MLTS: You’ve been all around the world and lived in the UK for three years, what made you settle down on the Mornington Peninsula?
Jade: I grew up in Mornington. I was three when I moved here and spent every summer at Mills Beach until I was 18. Then I moved to Melbourne. Then London, Then back to Melbourne. I was still living up that way when I had my daughter 6 years ago. That’s when my husband and I decided to come home and bring her up on the Peninsula.We have been back for 5.5 years now. My hubby grew up in Moorooduc and now we live in Mt Eliza where we both went to school. People at work think I’m crazy living an hour from the airport but we have it so good down here with our beaches and relaxed lifestyle. It is seriously the best place in the world to bring up kids.
MLTS: Lastly, can you share with us any other advice for Mums (or Mums-to-be) about how they can balance motherhood and a career?
Jade: Take time for yourself when you can. UtiliSe your support network and just take it one day at a time.
You can follow Jade’s journey about motherhood & travel at www.mumwithwings.com.au