I’m pretty stoked… and nervous. My family is finally taking a trip to Europe soon and I can’t wait to see family we haven’t seen since we got married and take my kids on an adventure through their cultural roots. I have a few months to plan, but as you can imagine I’m stressing over what we really need and what we don’t. My little guy will be 3 in June, and he’s potty trained and pretty independent. So, a good, lightweight stroller for his age is a must. My girls want to be more independent and asked to bring their own personal bags, but me, being a minimalist, prefer to have as little luggage as possible for 2 adults and 3 mini-humans. Traveling with kids isn’t new to us, but with a 7+ hour flight ahead of us, we are definitely flying into new territory.
Traveling Safely with Kids
While traveling in Europe, we will want to make sure safety is our top priority, so we will be bringing a car seat for my 3-year-old and boosters for the girls. We’ve looked into the guidelines for air travel with a car seat and have found out that airlines will allow you to check in your car seat for free, but you can also bring it with you on the plane to use as a seat for your child or to store it in the captain’s closet until you land. I’ve heard the good and the bad for checking in car seats, so I’m reluctant to hand over a car seat at the check-in desk. My husband, on the other hand, doesn’t want to be in a busy airport with 3 kids, lugging around a 25-pound car seat. We’re pretty mixed about this.
How many clothing changes do we really need?
This seems to be the question I keep coming back to in my head. My husband assures me we can do laundry there and we really don’t need as much clothing as my head tells me we do. Our summer clothes are generally small and light, but the thought of bringing a months-worth of clothing for 5 people is pretty daunting. I don’t even think I have more than 2 weeks of clothing changes anyway, so I’m banking on this elusive (for the time being) washing machine. Did I mention we have at least 3 events while we are there? So dressy clothing is a MUST!
Will Europe have our daily comforts?
Maybe this isn’t really a comfort item, but my little guy is so severely lactose intolerant, I’m STRESSING the milk situation. Yes, I will dry to decrease his milk intake since he will be 3, but the little man doesn’t ask for much, and he loves his lactose-free organic milk. So, I have to find a way to make sure he has his only comfort item while we are there, that doesn’t give him any discomfort. I’m in mom-groups on Facebook, which is a great resource for all the info I need when it comes to taking my kids across seas. They’ve assured me the standards for milk, in general, are much, much higher than here in the United States, but as far as lactose-free milk, I’ll be able to get my hands on it in most places but I will have to plan for not having it in some villages. Yes, still stressing this one right here.
Will Our Cellphone and Other Devices work in Europe?
Of course, us Millennials and our kids, we just can’t be unplugged for more than 3.5 minutes. Will the kids be able to use their iPads during downtime? Because despite them having the ability to see new things and get really immersed in their culture, the fact is we will all need downtime at one point or another. I’m still not sure what to do with my own device issues. Do I take my iPhone to Europe? I’ve read that I can swap out my SIM card for one down there that will allow me to make phone calls and have access to data.
Those are my current stressors right now, but I’m sure as the time draws closer I will either have new stressors or I will just wing it. If you have similar questions as me, stay tuned in the upcoming months for an update to these common problems you may run into when planning your trip to Europe with kids. I’ll also be sharing some of my top-travel items you’ll want to check out.