Is a holiday to Austria with a 3 year old a daft idea?

(18 Posts)
omama Sat 22-Feb-14 22:28:32

Hi all

I'm after some honest opinions if anyone is willing to share smile.

We're struggling trying to pick somewhere to take our DS for his first holiday abroad in June, when he'll be 3.10.

A few years ago (pre-ds), DH & I did a summer holiday in Austria - stunning mountain location, great hotel, lots of walking, cycling, eating cakes..... had a fab time & its somewhere we've always said we'd like to go back to. Out of interest we priced it up & have found a pretty good deal with free kids places.

However.... we're not sure if its the right kind of holiday to take ds on. There's no beach, & hotel just has a basic pool, kids play equipment & games room, but there is a huge public swimming pool with both indoor & outdoor pools & splash park & playground just up the road. We realise we couldn't do the amount of hiking we did last time, DS can barely manage a walk up the street without moaning his legs hurt, but we think he would probably enjoy going on the cable cars, and we could hire bikes (with ds in a child seat) & there is decent public transport to take day trips out to waterfalls & glacier amongst other things.

Everyone we know (& the travel agents too) keep saying we should be looking more at the typical sort of family destinations such as Balearics/Canaries hotels with splash parks & kids clubs or a Keycamp type thing as DS will then have both beach and pool. Its getting me worried we're being daft even considering Austria. We'd never make use of the kids club anyway (no way DS would be willing to be left with strangers), but I do appreciate the point about beach & pool. And I guess benefit of Keycamp type place is we have our own space so in the evenings we're not cramped in a hotel room in the dark while ds is asleep.

Tell me straight - should we listen to everyone else? Is ds going to be bored & therefore a total nightmare going on cable car rides & visiting waterfalls?

Anyone done this sort of holiday with such young kids successfully?

DaffodilShoots Sat 22-Feb-14 22:44:52

We did this and it was great.

I did take a buggy and it was useful on some of the "motorway" style paths up in the mountains. We find (we have been back a few times now!) there are usually lovely play parks up at the cable car stations. We meet very few Brits with kids but loads of German families.

The public pools are usually superb if pricey.

MooseBeTimeForSnow Sat 22-Feb-14 23:02:35

Sounds great to me. Have you considered one of those really structured backpacks you can carry a child in. Might make a longer hike a bit more practical if you can carry little legs for a while?

MissHC Sat 22-Feb-14 23:06:53

My parents went on holiday to Austria every year with us and it was great. Do it!

Yy to those structured backpacks. And picnics in the mountains. Gorgeous.

Wiifitmama Sat 22-Feb-14 23:30:10

We have done it 4 times. The first time our eldest was almost4 and out youngest was 1. The 4th time was recently with 3 kids from 5-12. It is our favourite type of holiday. Austria is extremely family friendly. Take a buggy and enjoy smile

omama Sun 23-Feb-14 23:37:19

Thanks for the replies.

Daffodil whereabouts did you stay? Dont recall any parks at top of lifts where we stayed, but then it was pre children so prob wouldnt have noticed!

Moose & missHC backpack sounds a great idea. DS is 32lb/14.5kg so well within the weight limit & am sure dh will rather that than carry him on his shoulders!

Wiifitmama wow great going, esp with under 4's the first time!

Well I think we've decided to go for it, just got to decide when to go. Choice of 28th May, 11th June or 2nd July left for the hotel we want. May much cheaper but not sure if it'll be hot enough for swimming outdoors?

DaffodilShoots Mon 24-Feb-14 11:45:41

omama I feel as though I've been everywhere! Wherever we have been there has been some sort of lovely outdoor park, either in the town or up on the mountain, or both! I never noticed these thing before children either.

We are booked to go skiing in France at Easter for practical reasons but I just wish it was Austria instead. I prefer Austrian food as well!

oranges Mon 24-Feb-14 11:51:42

we just had the best holiday of our lives in Austria with a 3 year old. Have you looked at kinderhotels? Also, there is a lot of lake swimming which is much more small child friendly than a seabeach. There are tended 'beachfronts' for splashing but no salt water or sand.

cathpip Mon 24-Feb-14 11:58:34

Last year we did a hiking holiday in Grindelwald Switzerland. The dc were 3.5 and 1.5, they loved it, cable cars up a potter down, picnics by streams and ice creams at the cafés (most also had a play park)on the way down smile. We did take two child carriers so that we could be out all day, but most paths are fine if you have a robust enough buggy! We are saving up for our next alpine hiking holiday as we loved it sooo much smile

dingalong Wed 26-Feb-14 00:59:06

Another recommendation for kinderhotels. They usually have all terrain buggies and structured backpacks. We had a lovely time with dd (2). We did some hiking (I was 5 months pregnant) so took it reasonably easy.

Lovewhereilive Sun 02-Mar-14 00:21:41

Book it! You will all have a fab time. Austria is a great holiday with little ones, so much for them to do. We have been loads with our 3 boys and there is so much for them to do, definitely recommend it!

omama Sun 02-Mar-14 15:51:51

thanks again everyone.

For those who stayed in Kinderhotels - did you book direct & arrange flights yourselves?

The hotel we wanted is now all booked up so we're looking at alternatives, but am struggling to find any flights from UK except from Gatwick. We're up North so its a bit of a trek for us.

wearymum200 Sun 02-Mar-14 17:07:45

Go for it. Def not too young. We went with dc when they were 5 and 2.5. Used hip seat for littlest, but she is a dot ,so would prob go for proper back carrier if u want proper walks.
We stayed at hotel called Inntaler hof nr seefeld, which was much cheaper then kinderhotel, tho less childcare. Easy access via public transport.
And yes, booked travel and hotel separately. We went by train and made journey part of the fun. Via Munich was easy (can you fly to Munich from airport nr you? Is v easy to get train across to Innsbruck and gorgeous scenery).

itwillgetbettersoon Mon 03-Mar-14 15:02:18

Sounds like a great holiday. We have always done the non traditional holidays and have had great fun. Children stay up later so you will be able to get a drink in the bar or walk into the village- ours sometimes fell asleep in their push chairs. By 11 we are tired anyway but we never sat in dark hotel rooms trying to be quiet!

SooticaTheWitchesCat Tue 04-Mar-14 10:40:56

I've not done that kind of holiday but there is no reason not to, why should you have to do the same as everyone else? I'm pretty sure my parents took me to Austria or Switzerland when I was little.

mabelbabel Tue 04-Mar-14 10:46:47

Austria is brilliant for kids. We've been there and stayed in Eurocamp tents. Much more low-key than most Eurocamp type places, but still had pool etc and easier for us than a hotel room. Had lots of fun in the mountains, and there are amazing playgrounds everywhere!

ShanghaiDiva Thu 06-Mar-14 10:34:25

Austria is great for kids - I know I lived there with mine.
Great playgrounds, swimming in lakes or public pools and good food. My kids loved the cable cars and the Rodelbahn. May is unilkely to be warm enough to swim outside.
Not sure where you are going, but when I lived the low cost operators were flying to UK to Salzburg and Linz.

omama Thu 06-Mar-14 12:45:02

Quick update - found some availability with the hotel & room we wanted through booking.com. And we've booked!!! Austria here we come! grin

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