Note: This post originally appeared at travelocity.com.
For a lot of Americans, Europe is the first major international trip they take with their kids. That makes sense – Europe is extremely kid-friendly, it’s easy to navigate, and there are flight options from most US and Canadian cities. I receive a lot of questions from people heading across the pond with their kids for the first time. Here are my best Europe travel tips for families.
Plan in Advance
You can’t just add kids to an adult-oriented vacation and think that they will have fun – long lines and five-hour museum visits aren’t kid-friendly. You’ll have a better trip if you arrange kid-friendly walking tours, museum visits, cooking classes, art classes and other activities in advance. In short, make the trip about the kids. And if your kids are old enough, involve them in the planning process – it will make them excited about your destination.
Learn a Little of the Language
A month before you’re departing, start teaching your kids a few words and phrases from the country that you’re traveling to. Hello, good morning, goodbye, please, thank you, good night and 1-10 are good places to start. Some language skills will help your kids connect with the destination and culture a little more, and locals appreciate when kids make an effort. My daughter’s third word ever was “ciao”, learned when we were living in Italy for a summer.
Please click HERE to read the rest of this post at Travelocity.com.
Wonderful tips. Glad I came across them now, when I really needed them. Since I am headed to a trip to Europe in couple of months with my 3 years old. And a bit nervous about how she will take the first 2 week long vacation of her life in a foreign land
Eric Stoen says
Have a great trip! I’m sure it will go well. Kids adapt really easily, and three is a good age for long flights – easily distracted by technology/entertainment!
D Ehnes says
Great tips! Thank you! We are planning a trip for the year 2020, probably May-June or April-May for about a month. I will have 2 teenagers by then. My concern is dietary. We are gluten and cow-dairy free. Any advice on that front? I’ve heard that many folks who are gluten free (not celiac) seem to handle European breads OK. But I’m still nervous about it.
Eric Stoen says
I’m sorry D – I don’t have any gluten-free or dairy-free tips for Europe since my family doesn’t have food allergies/issues. The best website out there about food travel is http://www.legalnomads.com. Jodi is a celiac but her gluten-free guides should work well for you.
I’m planing to visit London, Paris and Bretton with my teenager kids. Their father and I are divorce but he doesn’t have any problem giving them a permission to go. My question is, how specific does the notarized letter from their father has to be?
Would it be enough to have the dates and hotels information? do i need to include airlines and flights?
Eric Stoen says
Did you see my post with my letter text? It’s here. In my experience it doesn’t have to be specific as to the travel. I only do one every other year at this point and use it for 20+ trips. It’s more important to fully document the identity of the kids and the parents.
I love that you acknowledge that you can’t just plug kids into an adult trip. Recipe for disaster! Planning around your kids makes for happier kids which makes for a much better trip for all!!