Traveling in Europe with your family, especially if you have young children, presents its challenges. You will find yourself limited in some ways with what you can see and do. Traveling with children is also expensive, with convenience and exhaustion often causing you to choose more expensive hotels or the first restaurant you happen to come across. However, traveling with your kids can also be fun as you create lasting memories with them and open their eyes to the wider world.
Where to go in Europe
The first decision to make is where to go. Unless you have some skill in a European language, you may want to make your first family trip to a country where English is commonly spoken. Ireland and the UK are excellent first destinations. Here, you will find major metropolitan cities such as London, Dublin and Glasgow only a few miles from historical castles, gorgeous natural landscapes and even sandy beaches. A family trip to London also offers the options of a day trip or mini-break across the English Channel to northern France or even Paris.
If mainland Europe has more appeal to you, Germany is an excellent choice for a first trip. English is widely spoken here, though the German language is easy to pick up. Germany offers splendid wilderness to explore, including ancient forests and majestic alpine mountains in the south. You can take the family on a trek into the Tyrol and spend the night in a cozy stable, or plan your visit during the autumn Oktoberfest in Munich.
Planning a family trip to Europe
Traveling with children means planning for meals, rests and mood swings. Be prepared to change your plans if needed when arranging your itinerary, and include daily meals, rest periods throughout the day, and remember to get plenty of relaxation and sleep at night. Keep packing as light as possible, and encourage kids to pack their own backpack for daily excursions, including snacks and perhaps something to read, or music to listen to, while traveling between destinations.
You may want to take a family trip within the US beforehand in preparation. The travel company Outdoor Traveler has many destinations throughout the US where you can enjoy outdoor activities such as trekking, fishing and winter sports. They are specialists in the field of adventure trips, so if an adrenalin rush is what you seek Outdoor Traveler will definitely be able to provide it. The company also caters for those wishing to take a less adventurous vacation by visiting museums and other attractions. Such a trip would give you and your family the opportunity to practice traveling before taking a big trip abroad.
Many people are intimidated by traveling with their children, but proper preparation and planning, as well as a great deal of patience and willingness to just relax and have fun, will make a trip to Europe with your family a memorable experience worth repeating.