We are finally back from our much awaited vacation to Europe. Dan and I were VERY nervous that it would be less vacation-y and more stressful dealing with long plane rides and time changes with a 20 month old. Ben was such a rock star, I can’t even tell you! He did amazing on our first flight to Amsterdam, and only woke up once the first night and then slept through the night EVERY OTHER NIGHT. I know! My kid is awesome! The flight home was fine, too. We had an empty seat in between us which was nice (the flight there was totally full so he was on our lap).
My travel tips with a toddler:
- take the last row of the plane, and have the child in the window seat
- snacks and more snacks
- their favorite toy(s)
- NEW toys they have never seen
- bring benadryl if you want to make you FEEL prepared, but you won’t need it
- bottle or sippy and pacifier if you use one for naps (this helped him sleep). They will give you milk on the flight.
- don’t let them run up & down the aisles b/c once they are out of their seats it’s all over
- RELAX. I was way too stressed for days before and got myself sick the first 2 days in Amsterdam.
The trip was absolutely perfect. We had the best time visiting our friends in Amsterdam and taking a side-trip to Paris. We were in Amsterdam for Queen’s Day and rented a boat on the canals all day which is really something everyone should add to their bucket list! We did Keukenhof and saw the tulips which were a sight. We rented bikes. We went to the famous market. In Paris we drank wine outside the Eiffel Tower at night. Walked to the Louvre. Took the Metro to Notre Dame. Spent lots of time in Jardin des Tuileries. It was magical!
Ben is wearing an H&M hoodie, Gap jeans & TOMS boots.
Since everyone wears orange on Queen’s Day, Ben was wearing an orange bicycle Gap shirt (perfect for Amsterdam!!), H&M shorts & sneakers.
Above is the boat we rented…it was the best 3 hours! Good drinks, good food & great company. Also, the weather had been rainy and chilly, but on Queen’s Day it was sunny and 70! Perfect weather. The canals were kind of empty (in a good way!) since it was 11am, but as we were leaving they were getting much more crowded. I can’t imagine what it was like by evening! Mayhem.
Outfit change! Ben started out in jeans but as the day got warmer we changed him. He is wearing a Janie & Jack polo shirt, Janie & Jack shorts and H&M sneakers we bought in Amsterdam.
The area surrounding the Eiffel Tower is perfect for a picnic or relaxing. They also have a wonderful fenced-in playground where we spent most of our time. Ben could run around and be safe, and we could soak in the view of the Eiffel Tower right behind us. I didn’t realize how family-friendly the area would be. They also have a carousel right below and vendors selling drinks and snacks. Everything is very stroller-friendly also!
Ben is wearing H&M pants, a Gap sweatshirt we bought in France and H&M sneakers.
I didn’t really know about these locks before we went, and I wish I did. You can read the story about them here. Paris is such a romantic city!
Ben is wearing a Janie & Jack lobster polo and H&M pants and sneakers.
All in all, it was truly the trip of a lifetime! It was wonderful for Dan and I to spend 11 days together with Ben. I think it was much needed for Ben, also. He slept every night in our room and woke up so happy seeing us each morning. I never felt like we couldn’t do things because of Ben. We are already planning a trip back to Paris and Europe for next year! Hopefully we can convince some family members to come with us