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Wanderlust with a baby - are adventurous trips crazy?

(19 Posts)
Twicelittledragon Fri 07-Nov-14 13:25:09

We have a 5 month old baby and I am desperate to travel in the next few months... I kind of wish I'd travelled more before having a baby. I can't believe I was so broody I couldn't just wait one more year to get some big trips out of the way first!

I want to go on a Europe trip. I'm tempted to go interrailing before I turn 25 next year (or is it 26) to take advantage of the cheap youth passes. Or I'd be happy to go further afield too. Either alone with baby while DH is away on business at some point, or all of us.

Would it be crazy to try some kind of adventurous trip? I know we wouldn't be able to drink in bars or do any of that fun stuff... Would it be a total waste of time and effort?

Anyone else been on any nice trips with baby besides the usual family visits?

Inter-railing would be hard with... Well with nappies! We have met several families at European camp sites using paternity leave to do extended travel for 3 months or more around Europe in camper vans though - seems to be a very realistic thing to do but much more expensive than interrailing...

revealall Fri 07-Nov-14 14:00:52

I think it's quite doable and I travelled with mine. TBH it is much easier the smaller they are. Once they stop sleeping most of the time and like a routine it gets more tricky. Also they get a bit heavy for the backpack/ sling so you have to factor in a buggy.
I went long haul with a one year old and the hardest bit was keeping him amused in the apartment as you can't drag round loads of stuff.
Could you not try a quick trip to France or something to test the water? See which bits you might struggle with and which bits work?

BlueberryWafer Fri 07-Nov-14 14:06:35

"We wouldn't be able to drink in bars or do any of that fun stuff"

hmm

SophieBarringtonWard Fri 07-Nov-14 14:17:37

I think it is perfectly do-able too. It just depends really - do you find your baby easy? Do you mind not getting much sleep? Do you get stressed a lot? Those sort of issues are likely to be compounded by travelling round with the baby!

Also know of several people who did the camper van thing.

What about picking several cities, renting a flat and doing a month or so in a couple of different places, using it as a base for trips out around the country? Might be quite dear though.

Thinking of trips we did that weren't just visiting family & friends… Between 0-2 we went to Orkney, South Africa, Swaziland, Paris, India and Nepal. (It's slowed down a lot since then! In 2-6 we have been to various UK camping locations, Germany, Abu Dhabi. Gets a lot more expensive as the kids increase…) So it is perfectly do-able, and indeed enjoyable.

Flingmoo Fri 07-Nov-14 17:17:38

BlueberryWafer Trying out the local drinking hole would usually be a fun part of travelling, but not with a baby of course. Why the sceptical face about that comment? confused

We've driven from UK to Switzerland with baby in September which went well enough, didn't stop on the way there but stayed a night in France on the way back, DS was terrible in the hotel overnight, woke up so many times! They didn't have a travel cot though so we had an uncomfortable makeshift sleeping arrangement for him, which might be why.

I've been griping to DH about how I'm desperate to travel soon and he suggested going 'oop north as a compromise. Maybe we'll just go and stay somewhere nice in Scotland or something to keep the wanderlust at bay and go on a big trip another year. Tempted to go off galavanting with DS by myself if DH does end up going away on business though!

mummymeister Fri 07-Nov-14 18:22:32

the secret to travelling with kids is planning. before and during. personally, I would not try going on a train with a wriggly teething child. 5m at the moment will be toddling very soon and will not want to be cooped up on a train. If you are going to travel on a train over long distances then you will need a thick skin! I would hire a van and travel around in it like a shot. as others have said as they get older it gets harder, then it gets easier again. also make sure you aren't travelling anywhere that needs jabs or has mosquitos. again needs a lot more thought and planning. the days of sitting drinking in bars have gone (for a few years anyway)

specialsubject Sat 08-Nov-14 18:42:21

the sceptical face is because you can get pissed at home. The point of holidays is to see and do things which aren't at home. Seen so many gappies wasting mummy and daddy's money by guzzling all night and sleeping all day.

in some ways a small baby that doesn't move and doesn't need entertaining is quite good to lug around; but you won't be welcome in many hostels or in some other accommodations. Also places that need jabs or tabs are probably no-nos. But that's not Europe - although it is now winter...

Artandco Sat 08-Nov-14 18:49:17

We took ds1 18 months, and ds2 8 weeks travelling around Vietnam a few years ago ( they are 4 and 3 now). Had a great time. Medium size backpack for dh and I, dh had ds1 in sling on front, I had ds2 in sling. Packed little, travelled often. Worked well. We did have a good budget though so paid for convience at places ie nice hotels, dry cleaning, fast trains etc

Heels99 Sat 08-Nov-14 21:18:35

Do a long train journey in this country first and don't forget baby may be be n
More mobile by then and less inclined to sit on a train for hours. Would a camper van be better option then you can stop when you want and have more flexibility

sashh Mon 10-Nov-14 10:57:49

One of my friends took her new born on a tour of the middle east to visit his relatives (father Palestinian).

I think the only time she thought 'oops' was driving out of Baghdad with the tanks on the other side of the road rolling in. This was 30+ years ago.

Do it.

Flingmoo Mon 10-Nov-14 16:38:03

Wow - I'm not adventurous enough to visit any war-torn countries quite yet!

The point of holidays is to see and do things which aren't at home I do agree with you there although I do see it as a nice bonus if I can enjoy a nice quiet drink somewhere with character or scenery.

I am thinking maybe we could just go somewhere in Europe that's not too far, like Bruges or Rotterdam, maybe somewhere with Christmas markets, to keep my travel-hungry soul happy for a while smile

WaitingForMe Mon 10-Nov-14 16:51:49

Perfectly doable IMO. A friend took her 8 month old through Europe in a camper van. I took 20 month old through Switzerland and France by train.

It depends on what kind of parent you are. When DS was 8 months old we self-catered in Spain and he slept in his buggy while we had dinner with DSS's one night. He then woke up and was really cheerful so we sat outside a bar while the kids played. When he got grouchy we walked home. I don't really see it as much different from being at home.

mimolette Sat 15-Nov-14 23:07:23

They are pretty portable at that age, before they get too mobile. So, yes, definitely do some travel if you are in the mood for it. But personally I would stick with a few separate long weekends away to different cities or countries rather than putting it all together into a multi-week inter-rail trip. Babies tend to sleep worse away from home - sounds like yours is no exception - so a long trip with lots of different hotels may get exhausting and will also be hard work to plan if you want to make sure that you are staying in places with cots etc. Also depends on how happy you are to change nappies any-old-where, how bothered you are about particular brands of nappies or baby food etc.

LetTheRiverAnswer Sat 15-Nov-14 23:26:59

We went to Romania when ds1 was 18months. Not wildly adventurous by any means, but a part of the world neither of us had been to before. It was pretty easy but felt more exciting than France or Spain just because it was new and unknown. (Id be pretty excited to go anywhere now, 3 children in and 5 years since my last foreign holiday. Babies or childreni can imagine travelling with. Toddlers,not so much!)

Flingmoo Sun 16-Nov-14 21:20:27

Thanks all - I decided to rein in my wild travel ambitions and go for a nice short weekend break to Bruges just before Christmas smile Can't wait!

Amateurish Wed 19-Nov-14 08:16:01

It's definitely possible, and the sooner the better in my experience. Once they start walking, it gets much harder. So in the next few months would be ideal. We took our eldest at about that age on the train to Prague (Eurostar, Thalys, then sleeper train) and it was a great trip.

But make no mistake, it is MUCH harder with a baby in tow.

Amateurish Wed 19-Nov-14 08:17:45

We also did a trip in a camper van to Germany which was a total nightmare, since DD wouldn't sleep.

Solasum Wed 19-Nov-14 08:30:33

I think finding a home from home base would be the best bet. I regularly take DS on a 90 minute train journey on my own, before he was mobile it was really easy and fun, now it is a bit of an endurance test. Particularly dealing with nappies. I certainly would not look forward to long train journeys like I did when interrailing. That said, I think sleeper trains could be doable, but the sort where you buy a mini compartment to yourself, though that doesn't come cheap. Air travel is generally pretty easy in my experience, especially through Gatwick.

I am planning on doing a big trip just before school age, when DS will hopefully be able to remember a bit in years to come, and there will be no need to carry nappies etc. something to consider?

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