2 Months Travelling around Europe with 6 month yr old(10 Posts)
My DH and I had been discussing taking advantage of my maternity leave to do some extended travelling around Europe for a couple of months. Our DS would be 6 months.
Advice/suggestions on all if the following:
Thinking Campervan is the best option. Anyone experienced campervan'ing with a baby. Any other options that others have tried??
Our DS would be 6 months. So any tips on travelling with a bub.
DH would also need to take a sabbatical from work. So I'm looking for advice on cost effective travel. What are your tips to travelling cheaply but still experiencing the trip to the full.
Finally, if anyone knows of blogs/websites that relate to anybody the above, then would be interested.
Considering something similar next summer! Am only in first trimester though so perhaps a pipe dream and no advice on travelling with a baby.
However, did spend 3 months caravanning around Europe last year. Will say it was surprisingly expensive. cost us about the same per month as our round the world trip. However, we did have to do quite a lot of driving fairly rapidly (i think we had 3 100km days) which obvs isnt the cheapest way to go.
pitches can be steep for short stays - much of Europe does the park for the summer type camping holiday. Sweden was gorgeous, ideal climate as never too hot, long days, very easy.
Personally I think a caravan is easier as you can park up and take the car on day trips. They are also cheaper to buy by a factor of 10. However, you can camp for free with a camper in more places esp France and Germany.
We had an amazing time, visited so many amazing places. loved the convenience if having our home. Strongly recommend a layout with a fixed bed, if poss.
Have you had the baby yet, and how experienced are you with travelling? I think if either are true then go for it, if neither, you might be attempting something massively ambitious.
Random stuff which occurs to me:
- Car seats. You'll have to make sure the van can take a car seat safely, which not all of them do.
- Sleeping arrangements. Are you planning to co sleep or use a cot? And what if your baby doesn't agree? Are both/either option safe to do in a campervan - with co-sleeping, thinking gaps in bed or mattress, older mattresses, difficulty attaching bed guard or bedside cot. With cot sleeping, thinking where will one fit, (It will have to be a full size at 6 months, not a crib) is it going to get in the way during the daytimes. How will you manage in such a small space after baby has gone to bed for entertaining yourselves? And - er - sex. Probably going to be a pain in the arse to do anywhere other than the bed, but if the baby is in bed with you, might not be safe/might be a bit offputting!
- Driving long distances with a baby is pretty hard going. You have to stop every few hours to feed/change. And think about how to dispose of nappies etc - you won't want them in the van stinking the place up.
- If baby is not here yet - what will you do if they are travel sick or just plain hate the car seat and scream constantly?
I don't think feeding should be too much of an issue - breastfeeding of course is portable, formula feeding would be more faff in terms of having enough fresh appropriate water to make up feeds, but obviously babies are born in every country so I would follow local guidelines if specific water has to be used. Nappies ditto - if you stop at any local supermarket you'll be able to buy some. Weaning should be pretty fun travelling around and babe will get to try loads of different tastes, so that will be good, look up "baby led weaning" or just mash stuff.
You'll want to get a decent sling for going out and about, ie not a Bjorn. Ask for advice on the sling board or find a local group. You may want to consider whether to take a pushchair at all, since it will take up a lot of room.
You're going to need storage for baby clothes to cover a range of temperatures and possibly in the next size up, over 2 months a growth spurt can definitely happen! Although I suppose you could just buy clothes as needed if this happened. Which also raises another point - depending on time of year you might have to deal with extremes of temperature which would be more pronounced than in a house, have you thought about how to handle that?
What will you do if the baby gets ill? Obviously you will have your EHIC cards so treatment is covered but just for routine/minor stuff, you might need to access local healthcare which might not be in English.
We have a camper van but no baby! It is a really cheap way to travel around as there are lots of camper van only places to stay. Some are free, some are 5 to 10 Euros a night depending on what is available. Ideally you need a van with a toilet as that makes it much easier. I would suggest looking at a motorhome forum for info/research I think the forum motorhomefacts has a specific section on the forum for campervanning with children,.
we did a lot of this when bubs were tiny, the most critical thing i would say is that in the night when bub is unsettled you need to be able to get up and stand up and the jiggle thing a bit, which works in a stand up tent, just make sure you have floor space and head space to be able to stand up with the baby in the night if you want to. everything else is easy. we camped and then if the weather was bad or we wanted a bath we checked in to a nice hotel for a night then got back on the road. use inflatable boat as a bath tub. take metanium good strong nappy cream just in case you are on the road longer than planned and nappy gets sore, and hand sanitiser. and off you go! maybe have a few fancy places on your itinerary just case you get a bit down with being gypsy for too long or want to get some laundry done.
be aware, making decisions for a newborn who is breast fed only and non-mobile is different to a weaned child, possibly on formula who is mobile! Both DCs were crawling and into everything between 6 - 8 months, so baby proofing will be important - just because you leave with a baby that sits still, doesn't mean you'll still have a still one by the end of your adventures!
driving a lot isn't really practial with a small baby if you have one who doesnt travel well (DC1 did fine, DC2 got car sick and would scream for full 2 hours of driving in a car, throw up on every journey more than 30 minutes - you wo'nt know until your baby arrives what you'll get! DC1 this would be a great idea, DC2 it would be a vision of hell).
Check out your baby's immunisation programme so you don't miss anything.
Otherwise, have fun, that sounds a great plan and you won't get that sort of time again!
oh for longer trips, you can get lie flat car seats, so can do more than 2 hours at a stretch - we did a drive down to south of France overnight when DC1 was 6 months (crossed so we got to France at 9pm - 8pm uk time so close to normal sleep time) and just drove down without having to break every 2 hours for normal car seat rests DCs need - however the flat seats aren't as safe as normal ones, you might not want to do that for 2 months - we just had the 2 journeys there and back in it on quiet roads so took the risk.
Thank you so much for all your responses. DS has already done a fair amount of travel, Australia at 8 weeks. I suppose that makes us somewhat confident, but babies are so variable that who knows how he will cope.
We travelled with DD in Oz for a month, but she was 15 months and was eating normal food. We would stop every hour or 2 to let her toddle around and just get some exercise (so effectively we doubled journey times). Staying put for a couple of days in 1 place was also a "must" (not least because of the mountains of laundry).
When she was about 3 months' old I remember her getting dreadful nappy rash on a trip down to Devon (nappy cream and regular checks became a must).
Others have mentioned slings, but I didn't enjoy carting DD around in a sling after about 6/7 months. We picked up a baby backpack from Freecycle after that. For Oz I used a hipseat a lot and a cloth highchair.
DD DID NOT sleep in the car when she was a baby. She was awake, VERY AWAKE. We used to play her music in the night (discovered Lullaby Renditions series of famous albums played on chime bars) so we drove to her music which we could just about tolerate in the car and kept her calm. She started getting car sick at about age 3 (she is fine with drugs and wristbands, but I would worry about doing it for a week, let alone 3 months, so it might be worth asking on the health forum whether young babies are troubled).
At Christmas I was chatting to friends of friends of friends (or maybe they gatecrashed), who had just done a road trip in a van. The seems to have a directory which included places where they could park up legally for free (or not much money). They described nights in vineyards and farms. I think they had to pay about £50 to get hold of the book.
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