Travelling Around Europe with the Kids
Travelling around Europe with kids is a dream for many people, who hope to make incredible memories and spend quality time together. It is certainly true that a holiday around Europe as a family can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for both adults and kids! In this guide, we’ll look at how to make sure you have the perfect trip to look back on for years to come.
Before You Leave
Of course, planning a trip around Europe as a family takes a little more organising than it does for a solo traveller or adult couple. It’s definitely do-able, but there’s a few things to think about before you head off on your adventure. Here are some top tips.
Choose a kid-friendly destination
The first step to planning any holiday is to choose your destination! With fifty European countries to consider, you’re spoiled for choice! In terms of kid-friendly destinations, it’s best to look for places that are safe and have fun hands on activities for the little ones. Although you might love going to see museums and churches, it might not be so fun with kids in tow.
Some great kid friendly choices for travel in Europe include France, which has lots of great parks, sweet patisseries and, of course, Euro Disney; the Netherlands, and especially Amsterdam with its fun science museum, beautiful tulip fields and canals; and the Greek Islands, which have beautiful beaches for exploring and child-friendly resorts.
Travel slowly to maximise family time
Another important tip for your family holiday in Europe is to allow yourself plenty of time in each destination. Every parent knows the struggle of trying to pack everyone up and move them quickly, and that’s even more so the case when you’re travelling internationally! Allow yourself plenty of time in each place and limit the number of moves so that you can have more quality time to spend together, stress free.
Consider travel by train
One of the great things about Europe for family holidays is that it is incredibly well connected by train. While it might initially seem counter intuitive to take the slower train over the plane, in reality by the time you add up the amount of time you spend waiting at the airport, they’re often on par. Plus, train travel is much more stress free than trying to bring little ones through a busy (and boring) airport. Just be sure to bring plenty of fun games and snacks to keep them entertained on the ride!
Choose kid friendly accommodation
One of the difficulties with family travel to Europe is that getting those extra beds can be expensive. If children are little, you may be able to get free mattresses or cots for them, but often you’ll be required to pay extra or get a larger room. This can quickly get expensive!
A good option for families is renting an apartment, as not only do they often have two or more bedrooms, but there’s also a kitchen – great for fussy eaters or sticking to a budget. Another option would be a fun, all-inclusive resort that’s aimed at families, such as the Euro Disney Resort in Paris or the Gouves Park Holiday Resort in Crete, Greece.
Once You’re There
Great news! You’ve made it on your European adventure and you’re ready to start making those memories. Here’s a few additional tips to help make sure it’s everything you’ve dreamed of.
Avoid meal time disasters by picking kid-friendly food
One common frustration with travelling with a family is taking your kids to an incredible restaurant – only for them to refuse to eat anything except bread. It’s best just to admit defeat and look for restaurants and cafés that have kids’ menus with some basic home favourites. As mentioned above, having a kitchen in your accommodation is also helpful for picky eaters – so too is bringing snacks or favourites from home so that not everything feels so scary and foreign to your little ones.
Create scrapbooks as a family
While photographs are great, you’re bound to get lots of other moments of your amazing family trip to Europe – such as ticket stubs, brochures and maps. One idea for how to use these – and flex your creativity as well – is to make a family scrapbook of your album. Older kids (and adults) can also write in journal entries while little ones can draw pictures of their favourite things. This scrapbook is sure to become a treasured momento of your family trip.
Don’t worry too much when things go wrong
When you’re travelling as a solo traveller or a couple, it’s usual for there to be the odd disaster. With more people, there’s even more chance of something going astray such as a lost booking or tummy bug. While these experiences are frustrating, try not to let them ruin your trip or lead to arguments within the family. Practically everything can be swiftly resolved, leaving you with more time to enjoy together.
So, there you have it – some of our best tips for travelling Europe with kids, as a family. Travel can be an incredibly rewarding experience for children and adults of all ages, and with just a bit of planning and positivity, it can be everything you’d hoped for.