This is the start a new chapter of my travel stories as my daughter Ellie is travelling with us now. No more hostels, no more car sharing, no more all-day-without-food walking. Now I have to book kinder-friendly hotels, choose best transports and every 3-4 hrs , need a feeding-changing break for her. We went to Bohemian countries this time for our summer break and I would not say it was perfect for Ellie. She did have some long gaps , some meal skipped. But we tried our best and learnt a lot of things as well, which will smoothen the future travel for her. I thought to share some of my learning with moms who wish to travel abroad , but hesitate because of small kids. No worries, it is possible if you follow some simple rules and plan well.
Travel with buggy / kinderwagen and or car sits:
It was of great help for me. We bought a foldable travel buggy from baby1.de, and it was not super comfortable. But it is light, easy to handle and also had a sunshade . She really enjoyed travelling in it and walking in between. It also substantially reduce the difficulty of wrapping the baby with mom’s body when they are bigger. At least for me, using a baby belt around the chest would have been very difficult. It was 👍 for both mamma and baby 🤗🌼. We did not take car-sit because we wanted to travel light, but if you plan to rent a car or use car sharing or take a bus like flixbus, it is mandatory to have a car-sit.
Choose the right airline :
Most of us tend to buy air tickets depending on the price and at least for me, I try to buy the cheapest one! But choosing the right airline actually saves money. We chose Lufthansa because you can carry the folding buggy without any extra cost for luggage and it can be taken till boarding. Once the flight lands, you can get back the buggy hassle free. They also offers suitable toys for babies, which an unexpected sweet gesture 😃
Plan your trip ahead :
While travelling by ourselves, we used lots of cheaper options for transport like bus or car share and also stayed in hostels. Seasoned travellers don’t spend money on these, they use the money to travel to another place. But as parent, you know your life has changed. So , I needed to check hotels ahead for kid friendliness , if they are non-smoking , if they offer cribs etc. Also, I wanted to travel by flixbus, but decided against it because it wouldn’t be the best for the baby. So we booked all cross country trains and if you book little ahead, they are really not expensive and add lots of comfort to your journey.
Choose your hotel near the main attractions:
By main attractions I mean the things you want to do in your holidays. If you want to shop, maybe it is a good idea to stay near shopping malls or streets. Or if you want to see the museums , it is a good idea to stay near them. Sometimes, they are not so close to each other, in that case staying near Central station or city centre is a good idea from where you can get a steady transport. I did not realise this is so important until I figured out it is best for the baby to take a break every 3-4 hours. I went back to hotel after a morning trip and changed and fed the baby. Then I went for a second half of museums or sight seeing. This is how they are refreshed and happy. True, many museums have baby rooms, but babies will feel much better if they can spend half an hour freely. For Prague, it is a good idea to stay near the old town. We stayed in hotel Grand Majestic and it was very close to local transport, which helped. In Bratislava, most of the things to see are in old town, so we stayed in AChotel by Mariott in old town. Both hotels are buggy friendly, and offered separate crib ( for till 2 yrs). AC hotel is pretty new and did not hv a separate blanket for the baby, but otherwise it is a great hotel.
Buy city transport tickets :
Unless you are travelling with your own car, it is a good idea to buy day tickets or 24-72 hours tickets. In Slovakia, you can travel with 24 hours ticket in the weekends with your family and it costs only 4 euro for 100 & 101 zone where the most important sights located. In Prague, the attractions are quite wide spread specially if you want to visit their zoo. We bought 72 hours- ticket which proved to very helpful as we planned for zoo and palace garden. Be aware, in Pargue the transports are significantly reduced by 11 pm.
Pack well & wise:
Packing for baby is utmost important. I took both summer clothes and few full-sleeves because suddenly it becomes cold after rain in Europe. Number of clothes should be at least more than the number of your stay days. Also I packed a light coat , just in case. I took summer hat and shoes for her. For changing nappies, I took baby toilet tissue, dry tissue, wet tissue and a whole pack of nappy. It depends on the duration of your travel and availability locally. Both Prague and Bratislava have dm which is ‘the store’ for my baby supplies. So, I kept the option open of buying locally. Also I took a whole formula can for all 9 days, I didn’t take chance of finding the right one for baby. I kept the option of other foods buying locally from dm, but they did not have such a varieties or brands like Germany, which was a bit of disappointment. Ointment for nappy rash, milk bottle ans water bottle are also must. I did not, but it is a good idea to pack few basic medicines after consulting with her/his paediatrician .
Both you and the baby. This is the mistake I made, and it is really bad. Even the baby is not eating the solid food, please give juice, water, milk etc to avoid dehydration. It will make you refreshed and make the baby happy and comfortable.
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