Traveling with children should be fun, as you watch them discover differences, explore and delight in the change of scenery. However, traveling with kids to Europe can also be difficult, long and inconvenient. If you’re considering traveling with kids to Europe, there is hope. You can still get there in one piece and can actually learn to enjoy the trip. In this article, we’ll provide you with step-by-step instructions for how to travel with kids to Europe and make the transition smoother. Sound interesting? Let’s get started.
Try to plan the vacation to last longer than a week. Why? Well, traveling to Europe will leave you and your children in a bit of a fog because of the time difference. With jet lag and cranky children, it’s not a recipe for a great time. Consider that it takes you two to three days to get your children back on a good sleeping schedule. If your trip is only for a week, you won’t even have time to get them accustomed to the difference before it’s time to head back home. If possible, plan for this adjustment time so that there is plenty of time to enjoy your time in Europe with well-rested, happy children.
Try to schedule a flight around your child’s nap time or bedtime. If you schedule the flight around your child’s sleep time, they will be less restless on the plane and more likely to nap through the trip. Even if they won’t sleep the entire time, they’re sure to sleep a while–and when they wake up, they can enjoy the adventure of being on an airplane! You can even let them wear pajamas or other comfortable clothing–but make sure it will be appropriate to the temperature when you arrive.
Bring food that your children are accustomed to. While most of the typical foods that children are accustomed to are easily available in Europe, you should still be prepared. Since dinners are later, your little ones may get a rumbly tummy long before it’s time to eat. By ensuring that you have your own food, you can feed them something they enjoy which will help them last until dinner time.
Make time for tourism and time with your kids. Just because there are so many different things to see and do, it doesn’t mean your kids won’t want that special time with you each day. While you’re ready to run out and explore, your kids might just want you to play with them in the hotel. Be sure to schedule some down time so that you can take advantage of the hotel and spend time with your kids in between sight-seeing.
Pack a stroller for smaller children. This could be a priceless tip for you. While you wouldn’t normally think about taking a stroller, you definitely should. Smaller children can relax and even sleep in a small umbrella stroller while you explore — and when they’re ready to walk and sight-see, the stroller can be a useful place to carry souvenirs, needed supplies and more.
Although it’s often difficult to travel with children, the tips above can help you make it easier and more fun to travel with kids to Europe.