travel with baby, travel with kids, europe trips with baby

Our Adventures in Geneva, Paris, and Brussels in 10 days

· 5 min read

Traveling with children is an adventure in itself. With the added experience of a previous trip when our baby was just two months old, our recent escapade to Geneva, Paris, and Brussels with our now 7-month-old and 9-year-old was nothing short of memorable. Here's what we learned, and what might just be helpful for you!s

Challenges We Faced:

  1. Complex Flight Paths and Transits: Our journey involved multiple stops, starting from Austin to New York, then onto Geneva. On the way back, our route was Brussels-Geneva-New York-Austin. This made our travels longer and more tiring than anticipated. In hindsight, it would have been more manageable to reduce the number of transits within such a short timeframe. Extending breaks between flights, like an overnight stay in JFK before heading back to Austin, would have been more restful. Alternatively, planning our departure differently, such as flying directly from Brussels to New York, and then to Austin, would have made for a less convoluted travel experience.
  2. More Luggage, More Worries: Managing more luggage than necessary was a challenge. We checked in one large suitcase and the Guava baby portable crib, in addition to two carry-ons. A more streamlined approach would've made hopping between cities easier, especially considering our complex flight path.
  3. Jet Lag: With more extended and red-eye flights, adjusting to different time zones was a struggle, especially with our little one.
  4. Flight Arrangements: Though we failed to book a bassinet in advance for our flights, we were fortunate to have an extra empty seat next to us. This allowed our baby some space instead of being on my lap throughout the journey. However, it's a reminder of the importance of planning ahead.

Travel Gear We Swore By:

  1. Airplane Foot Rest: This nifty addition expanded the limited airplane space, letting our baby lie down comfortably.
  2. Ergobaby Omni 360 Carrier: This was a dream for lulling the baby to sleep during walks or while navigating busy streets.
  3. UPPAbaby Minu Stroller: This compact stroller was a game-changer, especially while transitioning between cities.
  4. Pacifier Holder & Nursing Cover: These kept the pacifier within reach and the nursing cover (especially the soft cashmere one) provided that extra comfort during feeds.

Items We Brought But Didn't Quite Use:

Traveling means preparing for every possible scenario, and sometimes, over-preparing. There were a few items we thought would be essential but ended up being unused or even cumbersome:

  1. Baby Noise Cancelling Ear Muffs: We anticipated needing these, especially during flights or bustling city streets. Turns out, our little one was pretty adaptable to the sounds around us.
  2. Baby Portable High Chair: Though we thought this would be handy for meals out, most places we dined at were quite accommodating with baby-friendly seating options.
  3. Guava Baby Portable Crib: This was a mixed bag. While it did come in handy occasionally, lugging it around from city to city wasn't the most convenient. Given a chance, we might reconsider its inclusion in our travel arsenal for short trips.

It's interesting to note that sometimes the gear you anticipate to be the most useful might not be, while the most unexpected items (like a simple spoon for our baby) can provide hours of entertainment. It's all part of the travel learning curve!

Exploring Europe with kids:

These are just the highlights, and we are excited to share a more detailed recount of our adventures, restaurant recommendations, tips, and more in our upcoming posts!

  • Geneva: Our time here was marked by peaceful walks while watching the iconic Jet d'Eau and indulging in delicious cheese fondue.
  • Paris: We explored the sacred grounds of Lourdes, took a private tour that included a scavenger hunt tailored for kids, gazed at the Eiffel Tower, and indulged in baguettes and gelato.
  • Brussels: A whirlwind of activities awaited us here: exploring Mini Europe Park, visiting Atomium, taking a day trip to Bruges, embarking on a bike tour, and satisfying our sweet tooth at three Michelin-starred chocolate stores. Fried delicacies and mussels were also must-haves.

Looking Ahead: Detailed City Guides

Each city we visited - Geneva, Paris, and Brussels - offered unique experiences, challenges, and memorable moments. While we've shared an overview of our journey, there's so much more to unpack! In the coming weeks, we will delve into each city's adventures more intimately. Not to mention our personal recommendations for the best restaurants, attractions, and kid-friendly activities that both our kids enjoyed.

Stay tuned for these detailed city guides to help you plan your next European adventure with your family!

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