Post # 1
Happy New Year! My husband and I were recently talking about some of our goals for the year. The two biggest being step one-save money. Step two-get pregnant. Our house is almost completely done and we both have secure jobs. We are at the point where we’re excited to start a family.
However, one thing both of us wants is to travel more. The way our current jobs are, it’s hard to take time off work. We don’t need to vacation ASAP or anything, but we really enjoyed our honeymoon to Europe and would like to see more of it. In all reality, how hard is it to travel overseas with little ones? Does anyone have experience with this? I feel like most people that say traveling with little ones is miserable but most people haven’t taken their kids abroad much.
I would ideally love to take a babymoon or something before we have kids but if we can’t make that a possibility I would like to know we could still travel when our children are maybe toddler age? I just need your thoughts!
We live in the US by the way and I would love to do a European vacation once a year or every other year.
Post # 2
It’s probably very dependent on the child. We just took ours on a train from NM to CA and had 10 bags/objects between us. He was pretty good on the way out; it was new and a little intimidating plus he wasn’t feeling his best. On the way back though… yelling for fun while he made faces in the mirror, reaching across seat backs to touch strangers, trying to climb on the dinner table, fussing if dad left the room for a bit… ugh. Obviously we stopped most things immediately but how do you stop happy yelling on a 16 month old without causing angry yelling?
on the other hand, my cousin and his wife got a little surprise while working overseas and she’s a little jet setter. I don’t know how much effort it requires, never asked, but they don’t look as though they regret taking her along. One thing though, in their situation of getting paid US money in very poor countries, they can easily afford a nanny to help out.
I guess what I’m summing this up to be is: will your child be a pain in the neck or a very active thing, or will they be easy-going and easy to handle? You have no way of knowing and neither do I, of course. It could make all the difference in the world, as can the amount of support that you have while traveling.
Excuse me, I think mine just figured out how to open the pantry again.
Post # 3
I know some people basically never travel with kids. Yeah, I could never do that. We’ve traveled abroad (halfway across the world) since our daughter was 7 months old. It takes some planning when they’re younger because they have so much stuff, but it gets easier with time. On our recent trip to Italy, our daughter had turned 3, and we had a pretty relaxed time. She’s potty trained and doesn’t need special food or snacks packed! She eats what we eat. And, we are NOT the type of parents who insist on kids menus- yeah, we’d never be able to eat anywhere nice. Kids eat what we do, as soon as they’re able.
Our first trip was to Hawaii when she was 10 weeks old. She slept most of the flight and was really very easy. The only real hassle was hauling her bottles, my pumping gear etc.
I was quite hesitant about traveling with her early on, but I learned to ease up. The sooner you start, the easier it is on everyone! And also, kids feed off your energy. If you’re stressed, they can tell and it’s not going to help them.
Post # 4
Another alternative- do you have family or close friends who would be willing to take care of the kiddo(s) while you go on the big trips? That’s what my parents did with me starting at about 18 months- dropped me with my grandparents or aunt/uncle- I have some of my greatest memories just hanging out with my out-of-town cousins, that felt like so much more of an exciting trip for me at age 7 than going to Germany with my parents! This option also depends on the kid though- if they tend to get anxiety about not being around you it might be better to take them with you. I know my mom worried about me but apparently I always did just fine!
I’m 11 weeks right now and already thinking about whether I’ll want to bring the baby with us on a family cruise in summer 2020. I also definitely am planning on following the philosophy that we will need to take extra care to focus on our relationship once kids are here, and taking trips sans kids definitely falls within that.
Post # 5
It really kind of depends on the kid. Some are easy going, some are not. Some will sleep in a stroller, some won’t. Some will wake up a thousand times in an unfamiliar sleep environment, etc.
My dd did not sleep through the night until she was 14 months and that was /with/ sleep training. So yeah, traveling wasn’t even a consideration at that point because I was so damn tired. My idea of a “vacation” at that age would have been 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep, not lugging a bunch of baby crap through an airport and sight seeing.
However, I would have no qualms with taking my now 3 year old on vacation. I mean even if you have a tough baby, they aren’t little forever. If worse comes to worse, this too shall pass and you can go back to taking your vacations in a year or two.
Post # 6
that is completely fair. I do realize some children are completely high needs and would never travel well. Others are completely laid back and easy going. That’s good to know you have a cousin who travels with a child though!
That is awesome! I’m so glad you guys can still travel with a little one! I also feel like it would make things easier the more and earlier you travel with little ones. I guess they just get used to it. Thanks for your reply. I was hoping someone had experiences like yours!
Unfortunately my Mother-In-Law lives about 4 hours away and my parents are a 27 hour car ride. Yikes! But I wouldn’t mind flying to my parents for babysitting and then flying out from there for a vacation. Good suggestion!
Good point. It’s true that they always get older and travel is always waiting 🙂
Post # 7
I think traveling with a baby is one thing, but traveling to Europe is an entire other animal. You are talking TONS of walking, cobblestone streets (likely) where a stroller is not usable, needing to transport or rent a car seat, etc. If you guys are interested in traveling Europe, I would do that now, either before you get pregnant or while you are pregnant. My husband and I love travelling and usually go to Europe once a year. We’ll definitely continue to travel with kids, but won’t be doing any big European vacations until our kids are old enough to meaningfully participate. I guess it depends on where you want to go in Europe, but I’d think it would require quite a bit of effort and planning. I think the logistics of getting there aren’t any different than traveling anywhere else, but significantly more difficult once you are there than other places.
Post # 8
Lots of Europe is perfectly suited to kids. My parents took me and my brother on annual vacations in European destinations once a year from we were around one year old.
Some kids are more difficult that others but it doesn’t mean vacations abroad are something you can’t do when you have a kid!
Post # 9
I completely disagree, how can you say the logistics of getting there are similar to most places but once you get to ‘Europe’ – a continent by the way is difficult with children?
How do you think people do outings with kids when they live in these countries? littleanchor :
Post # 10
Travelling in the early years is definitely tough. Dealing with bottles/pumping/diapers, plus having to fit in naptimes can make the whole thing more trouble than its worth. However, once you’re out of that stage travelling becomes much easier.
Post # 11
As a European … Europe is super easy with kids. We took our son to Greece this year (he was 18 months old) we also took him to Dubai when he was 10 months old.
yes it takes planning, but there are loads of places in Europe where you don’t need a car to get about. My husband travels to Sweden a lot for work so likely we’ll be doing a family trip there soon.
Post # 12
So that’s actually exactly what my parents did! We lived in Louisiana at the time and my grandparents were in Missouri and my aunt/uncle in Massachusetts. (Much easier to get to Europe from the Boston airport than the New Orleans one!) Plus it made it an extra special trip for me since it was family I didn’t get to see on a regular basis.
Post # 13
it probably depends on both you and your kids temperaments more than anything. As well as expectations for the trip. Toddlers can be out of control and do not have impulse control. There is a popular saying that if you are taking kids then it is a “trip” not a “vacation” haha. It’s very true. Trips are still great, but your expectations need to be adjusted.
So if you expectation is to spend a day in a museum I would not suggest that. You want to have older, school age kids. I have taken our kids (toddler age) to local museums and an hour or so is best unless there are structured kid-friendly activities. You also have to account for nap times (2x a day until 1 and then around noon-2pm or 1-3pm until the kid is at least 3 yeras old). Also goes back to temperaments. Some babies love to be carried (and will sleep in it) and some hate it. Sometimes as a parent you will hate it when you realize your kid is 95% for height and you don’t want to carry around a 3′ tall 1 year old on your back. Some kids are great sleepers and others are awful. My youngest wokeup 2-5x a night until 1.5. Would I want to spend my vacation exhausted with him in an unfamiliar place sleeping worse than normal because he doesn’t have his own room? No, I wouldn’t. So we left them at home lol.
I will say, my oldest is now 4.5 and is much easier to travel and do things with. She can mostly walk on her own for awhile if needed (my new 2 year old will run off or refuse to hold my hand) and is potty trained and doesn’t need a nap. So I think it is much doable as they get closer to school age.
Now something like a trip to a beach where you’re going to hang out at the pool/beach and do more kid friendly activities and close to your room/house for naptime might be better for toddler age versus Europe where a lot of focus for some (including me) might be more museum-heavy which little children don’t do well at very long. I’m not interested in taking my children to somewhere like Europe until they are school age.
Post # 14
We have taken our kids all over (were in the US, last year we took them to both coasts and the gulf twice) and they’re three and 10 mos. that said, taking them does limit some things (they go to bed early, so late dinners or shows are often a no go, we see a lot of parks and zoos, etc) so I guess it depends on the type of trip you’re looking for. On our last trip to Portland (it was two lengthy flights for us), we took along a grandparent so that we could do a wine tasting tour unencumbered and enjoy some kid free time. So, if you can swing it, that’s always a good option. Also, we do take trips without them and I would totally encourage that as well. I also agree with PP- it depends on the kid (and the parents). Good luck!
Post # 15
easiest to travel when they are babies. they sleep anywhere. toddlerhood has it challenges.
we haven’t traveled internationally yet. but we do travel by plane and car frequently. some short trips, some long trips.
if you are a traveler, you will make it work and it becomes the new normal. people who don’t travel are the ones who make it such a hassle.
related in a sense, i like to stay busy. i’m an outdoorsy person. my kids are 2.5yo and 1yo now. but from the time my first was born, i didn’t let that stop me from hiking and being outdoors. you just prepare a little differently and babywear. now i wear the younger and the older one leads the hikes.