Tips For Travelling With Kids In Europe
Travelling with kids to somewhere like Europe can be a richly rewarding experience for the whole family as not only will it give them lasting memories to keep with them, but it could teach them a thing or two about other cultures.
However, it can also be very stressful, so in order to help you if you are planning this kind of trip, we have put together a list of tips for travelling to Europe with your kids.
Location Is The Most Important Thing
As location, in much the same way it does with real estate, plays such a big part in whether a trip or holiday is successful or not, it makes sense that you should start by getting this part of the planning right. Take a look at any tourism site and you will see that many countries, Switzerland in particular, market themselves as being child-friendly holiday and travelling destinations. Some cities, such as Rome, Amsterdam and Paris even have completely dedicated sections to families. So choose a destination that will be suitable for all going on the trip.
Avoid Trying To See And Do Everything
Although there is definitely the temptation to try and cram everything into one small trip, even if you are able to logistically, you won’t have a very enjoyable holiday, due to sheer exhaustion. It is a much wiser idea to pick a few home base spots and then explore the surrounds of those areas with day trips. Look for a mixture of outdoor and indoor activities, while also getting to see some of the most iconic cites of a particular destination. Remembering of course that kids like hands-on stuff and places where they can play.
Schedule Time For Resting And Letting Off Steam
It’s all well and good to fill your holiday schedule in a foreign land with lots of interesting activities and day trips, but it is equally important to make time to just unwind and for the kids to be able to just play and enjoy playing.
Prepare Your Little Ones For The Trip In Advance
Simple things such as teaching them some foreign words (thank you and please) can help your kids to enjoy things a lot more on holiday. Also make sure you stock up on movies and/or books set in your chosen location, as this will help your children to learn some things about where they are going. For instance, if you were heading to France, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The AristoCats and Ratatouille are great Disney films for them to watch and the Madeline books by Ludwig Bemelman are also worth investing in.
Natural History Museums And Large Aquariums Are A Must
These kinds of tourist attractions are usually easy sells to kids of all ages, as it gives them things to look at, touch and even play around with (depending on whether there are interactive exhibits or not, of course). However, don’t avoid art galleries because you feel your children might be a little bored. There is no harm in them trying to have a look around a beautiful art gallery. You never know, it might inspire their creative side.
Take Full Advantage Of Freebies
Children usually have free entry to most European museums. However, there may be more free things you can find to see and do in your chosen destination. Look at sites such as whatsonwhen.com for information about celebrations, spectacles and festivals and to ensure they are kid friendly, you can choose to browse by category under Kids & Family.
Embrace The Slow Path
It is no secret that travelling with children, well going anywhere with children, is a lot slower than it would be if you went just as a couple or with other adults. The beauty is that you may as well embrace it. Find ways to do things that don’t require you to rush here and there.
Don’t Neglect Your Own Needs
While you obviously want to be dutiful parents and give your children the best holiday you possibly can, with lots of time spent with them; you need to recharge every bit as much as they do. So it’s important when you need to peace and quiet to find something for them to do so you have that time to yourself. A great idea when you need some personal r and r is to encourage them to start a scrapbook of found items from their holiday, such as ticket stubs, receipts, trinkets and sea shells they may have found on the beach.
Allowing them some TV is no crime, especially if your week is busy most of the time and besides, it can be rather hilarious to watch some of their favourite shows in German or Swedish, such as Spongebob Squarepants and Adventure Time.