Travelling to Europe with Children

Travelling the world is what I live for. Some live to work or work to live? I live to travel! Travelling to different countries and immersing yourself in other cultures gives you so many new experiences! Filled with differing perspectives and eye opening clashes to our own world, travelling abroad gives you a broader knowledge of the world around you. IT is for this reason, mainly, that both of my children had travelled internationally before their third birthdays.

There are a few “travelling with kids” blogs and there are a couple of guides published by reputable travel guide creators available to help you prepare for your first “family holiday”, but realistically the best preparation is to make sure you travel to countries that are suitable for the age that your children will be when you go. Probably better off not heading to Ibiza with a couple of toddlers, equally as best placed not to take your pre-teens on a river cruise on the Danube (unless of course you are certain you’ve booked a cruise on a more contemporary and family focused cruise). Here are some ideas for you and your family to think about, for when the time comes to jump on a jet plane and head for the clouds!

Travelling with an Infant

Ok so this is the easiest time. Travelling with a breastfed or bottle fed baby is a dream. The flight is much easier to handle at this age because of the magical power of the ascent and descent feed! Your baby will be fed and your flight will be peaceful- the environmental noise is also good for putting babies to sleep after they’re feed! In terms of destinations, I took my babies to Asia as well as the States. Europe is quite easily accessible so arm yourself with a good quality baby carrier that fits at least 2 adults on the trip and pack enough nappies to cover you! Baby goes where you go, catches transfers with you, sleeps in a portable cot in your hotel room and doesn’t need constant entertainment if you decide to go on a bus tour somewhere.

Travelling with a Toddler

From the easiest, straight to the hardest. Toddlers don’t sit still, they don’t focus for anywhere near a long enough time to let you have a breather, they can be fussy with their food, get irritable quite easily, and when they are unhappy they tend to be the ones to share it with the whole cabin. I recommend travelling close to home, or break up your journey to avoid long-haul flights either direction. When heading to Europe I recommend stopping over in your Airline’s hub city. Your consultant will be able to recommend something suitable for any airline we book. Stay at least 2 or 3 nights to refresh and start your time away- it’s better than starting a holiday off on the wrong foot because you just flew 33 hours with two stop overs with a grumpy 3 year old!

Travelling with School Age kids

This is the best age for memorable holidays- these are the trips that the children will remember for years to come. Now’s the time to think about where you could go. There’s EuroDisney in Paris, there’s the southern coast of Spain where every hotel is like a waterpark. There is Italy where Pizza and Ice Cream is the staple. There’s London and the United Kingdom, with Harry Potter tours and the Natural History Museum and heaps of history to explore. The ultimate destination for this age? Santa Claus Village in Lapland. Here you will meet Reindeer, visit Santas Village and possibly even stay the night in fully glass igloo. Definitely a bucket list trip for me! Make sure you do your research, or ask your travel consultant to try to find places that consider under 17 to still be charged a child rate. There is no real benchmark, so a “child” can range from anywhere between 2 and 17 sometimes. In some instances, 12 year olds are charged as an adult, which hugely affects the overall cost.

Travelling with Pre-teens

Depending on your family specifically, this can be a good age to travel. As long as you are all wanting to see and do the same thing. Perhaps a self-drive trip for a couple of weeks exploring Poland and Germany and the Balkans. Or blow their mind with a week in St Petersburg, followed by the train to Moscow for a week experiencing the Russian way. Trains are also a good option because no-one has to be the designated driver all the time, and everyone can enjoy the journey either entertaining themselves or interacting with each other. It’s a good option just in case the mood gets a bit tense, a couple of hours on a train with headphones in could be just the remedy.

King’s Day Festival (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

If you are young at heart and don’t mind enjoying a boozy holiday- maybe look into an Island Hopping itinerary with your 18+ children. Croatia and Greece are the ultimate Island Hopping destinations, each one offering a nice balance of beach front, sun and sand destinations alongside the party all night islands. Also along a similar type of destination you could go to Amsterdam with your teenagers, or perhaps Oktoberfest in Munich? If you want to show your teens how wonderful Christmas is in the cold, the Christmas Markets across Europe are unlike anything we have in Australia.

Europe Holidays specialise in tailor made, bespoke itineraries covering Eastern Europe and beyond. When it comes time to discuss your family’s trip to the continent, we are here to help. Get in contact with our team on 1800 242 353 today to help you build an itinerary suited for you and your family!