Even with all the potential pitfalls, I can't wait to travel overseas with my toddler.
My husband and I recently discussed travelling overseas, a conversation similar to one we had during our honeymoon about whether to travel before having a baby. Except this was about whether we should travel before having a second baby.
I completely respect parents who say travelling overseas with children is not worth the expense when the kids are too young to remember anything. But I don't agree. I never did the requisite European or American tour in my early twenties with other 20-somethings, because I always wanted to share the experience with my future family. I did think we would travel to certain destinations on our wish list before Ella was born, but our honeymoon turned out to be our only international holiday together before baby fever took over and our focus shifted. We then thought we could take some time away from Ella to travel as a couple, but I love the idea of standing at the top of the Eiffel Tower with Ella enjoying the view for the first time together, and we have been motivated by stories from families who have travelled together successfully.
Because we are acutely aware that travelling with one child will be much easier than two, we are taking the plunge and planning our first overseas holiday as a trio for later this year. Trying to finalise an itinerary that includes everything we want to see in three European cities, as well as child-friendly accommodation and flights timed to minimise jetlag, is taking a while. Thanks to all the blogs on travelling overseas with children, I have acquired some great tips about making the most of our time away, but I still wonder about the logistics of travelling for several weeks with a toddler. Sightseeing often involves rushing to be at the right place at the right time, and there are bound to be challenges involved in navigating our way around foreign cities on public transport with a language barrier and a child who doesn't sleep very well in her pram.
However, I hope that along with the many hop-on/hop-off bus tours and river cruises, there will be time for cafe lunches and visiting some of the beautiful European parks that are highly recommended on many blogs. I would like for us to not get swept up in a whirlwind that makes us feel on return as if we need a holiday to recover from the holiday.
If we can pull it off, we’ll have a great sense of accomplishment that we were able to overcome the challenges and see a bit of the world before baby number two arrives. If anyone has any advice about travelling internationally with kids, please send it my way!
Q: Have you ever travelled internationally with your kids? Which cities did you visit and what did you do?