What Do I Need to Know About Traveling with Kids in Europe?

Traveling to Europe for the first time with children can be challenging, but it also brings a wealth of invaluable rewards for the entire family....



Traveling to Europe for the first time with children can be challenging, but it also brings a wealth of invaluable rewards for the entire family. Even the very best schools are limited in how much they can teach. Seeing the world offers more of a chance for hands-on learning that can’t be matched in the classroom.

Many parents feel it might make more sense to leave the kids at grandma’s, but in retrospect they find that they actually appreciated the slower pace traveling with children. It frequently offers a more authentic experience that feels more like living in Europe rather than being just a tourist. Kids allow you to live more like a European as they become your ambassadors, which can open up new experiences as well as relationships.

Of course, traveling with kids can be expensive and exhausting, but following these tips it can help ease the way to an unforgettable adventure for all.

Get the kids prepared

 

Get the kids prepared and enthusiastic and they’ll be much more likely to enjoy their European adventure. Before the trip, teach them about the countries or sights they’ll be visiting by encouraging them to read books, search online or even watch movies together that were set in the place you’re going to. When in Europe, they’ll be excited to see some of the landmarks they learned about in real life.

If you’re going to a country where residents speak something other than English, take the time to learn common foreign phrases. You might also dine at ethnic restaurants that provide the chance to try out some of your destination country’s specialties.

Avoid the urge to do too much

 

When traveling with kids, slow down and don’t try to pack as much into your schedule. You might visit just one or two sights a day so that you can take breaks as often as needed. Many families find that it’s based to choose one or two places as a home base and then explore the surrounding area on a daytrip. Search for a destination that offers a good mix of indoor and outdoor activities as well as iconic sites and parks or attractions.

Pack carefully

 

Be sure you’re prepared with the essentials, without weighing yourself down with an exorbitant amount of luggage. For the long airplane trip, you will need extras to keep kids occupied like portable DVD players, activity books and snacks. If you have young children that require a stroller, consider leaving yours at home and purchasing an inexpensive umbrella stroller after you arrive.

Journaling

 

Buy a journal for each child as a fun souvenir as well as a way to help the kids process their observations. It should be treated as a very important part of the trip – encourage them to record even the littlest moments of the vacation, including their feelings, smells and tastes as well as their reactions to any cultural differences. Smaller children might draw pictures or glue mementos like ticket stubs onto the pages.

Give yourselves a break

 

Traveling can be exhausting, especially with kids. Parents should occasionally swap child care duties so each one gets some alone time. Don’t feel guilty letting them watch television every once in a while either, seeing Spongebob in German could be considered an educational experience.

You might even consider hiring a sitter so you both can go out as a couple – some hotels and resorts offer this service as part of their amenities.

 

Related Europe posts:

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Money Saving Tips for Traveling Europe by Train – EuropeTravel.net

Five Reasons to Travel to Europe in the Off Season

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