Well hello there! Long time, no chat. Sorry it's been so long since you've heard from James & June. Turns out December is just as crazy in Europe as it is in the U.S.!
I was thinking last night about all the do's and don't's I wish someone would've told me before we started our excursions across Europe. And with a toddler in tow, you can imagine how tricky it can be. So here is some advice for anyone wishing to travel with their toddler:
- The biggest regret we've had so far was bringing a stroller to Venice. We knew the passages would be narrow so we thought we were being smart by bringing our umbrella stroller instead of the big jogging one. WRONG! There are so many bridges and stairs throughout Venice that a carrier or even a backpack carrier would've been sooooo much better. Unless you feel like carrying a stroller (with toddler inside) up and down too many stairs to count.
- Snacks on snacks. Restaurant service in Europe tends to be a little slower than the States so now we know to prepare by having plenty of snack options for June to munch on while we wait on our food. And we're learning to bring more wholesome foods just in case the menu options aren't to her liking.
- I never thought we'd be the parents who let their kids watch videos at the dinner table. Well that quickly went out the window (a long time ago). But now instead of YouTube, we have to look for video options that don't require internet. I recommend downloading kid-friendly apps/videos before traveling. A lot of places have wifi, but it's not always a guaranteed connection (or a free one) so June gets to scroll through the pictures on our phone, make a selfie video, or play one of her games.
- There's only so many old buildings that toddlers (or even adults) can look at before they throw a tantrum and make it look like you're kidnapping your own child. So we started throwing in more hands-on activities throughout the day. If you're traveling to a larger city, chances are there's a children's museum around. Or maybe even just a large grassy area to run around in. Usually we can tire June out with a few of these activities and then let her nap in the stroller while we enjoy some sightseeing that she couldn't care less about.
We're constantly learning from our experiences so hopefully I'll be able to share some more good tips soon!
We hope you all have a great New Year! God Bless from Hungary!