Ava Grace's Closet: Things I Learned on Vacation {Final} : Travelling with Young Children
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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Things I Learned on Vacation {Final} : Travelling with Young Children

It's funny, everyone that I told about my pending vacation to Europe solo with Ava couldn't believe that I was going, well, solo with Ava
Not sure why this came as such a surprise. 
I am alone with her ALL day, EVERY day and seem to manage pretty well. So, what's a little cross-Atlantic travel? 

She was an absolute joy to travel with minus one little ahem vomiting episode on the second leg of our journey to Zagreb. 
The flight from London was ridiculously turbulent. To be honest, I could have easily followed suit as, I later heard, so could half of the plane.
Once we arrived in our destination, the jet lag that I felt didn't seem to affect her at all and she quickly fell into a new schedule. 
Even though it wasn't super warm while we were there, {in fact it rained on more than one occasion while we were out and about}, she didn't complain once. 
I think she felt kind of sorry for me. 

Ava read the safety instructions on the aircraft about 10x and was giving me total anxiety. She of course was totally oblivious to it all. I remember those days. 

She sat in the window seat and we had a nice young man sitting on the aisle. He was not so nice once we asked him to get up repeatedly so I could take Ava to the bathroom
Mostly just to see it again. Flush the toilet again.
Note to self : aisle seat.

Definitely allow the airline to take your stroller out when you have a connecting flight. 
For about 30 seconds, I thought I might be ok to just receive it at my final destination.
And then, Ava fell asleep just as we approached London.
I don't know what I would have done without it. 

Not sure about every airline, but British Airways allows you to request a children's meal for your little one. SO brilliant!
Not only is it stocked with kid-friendly goodies like fresh fruit salad, organic yogurt, breaded chicken bites and a chocolate treat but it arrives a solid 30 minutes before adult's dinners start to come out giving you time to get them straightened away and later, enjoy your own meal. 
Well, as much as one can enjoy airplane food.

Don't forget to pack slippers for your little one. 
I did and found myself scrambling to find a pair the moment we arrived in Europe. Unlike North America, floors are cold. Everywhere.
I may or may not have slept with socks on every night.

Pack some food from home including snacks and, if you're child will eat it, instant oatmeal. 
This was a life saver! 
On evenings when dinner wasn't something she was used to {or non-existent} I could boil a little water and ensure she ate something wholesome. 
Eating a big lunch and next to no dinner took some getting used to. #iwasstarving

Never underestimate the amount of uninterrupted shopping time a single balloon can give you.

And also, do yourself a favour and carry a colouring book and crayons EVERYWHERE you go. Most, if not all, restaurants will not offer these and if you're child is like mine, fully expects these will come out alongside the menus. 

Fanta. That is all. 
See the rest of our vacation : one + two 


  1. Dearest Susan,
    Oh, we live in the comfort of air-conditioned cooled or heated homes and the walls and floors have absorbed the surrounding temperature. NOT so in Europe at least it will be the exception.
    You were smart about the stroller indeed!
    Yes, in The Netherlands they too have their big meal in the middle of the day... for most that is!
    It takes some adjustment to getting used to it.
    Love to you,

  2. So true Mariette! And it's funny how one forgets and just comes to expect that these luxuries are a standard.

  3. Sadly, we're past the stroller phase (though we could've used it a time or two on our recent trip). That's an awesome tip about bringing instant oatmeal. That never would've occurred to me.

    Side note - people always think I'm crazy for bringing my two littles everywhere. But it's just what we're all used to! I never thought it was surprising you were bringing Ava - I thought it was great!

  4. BLISS!!!! .... looks like Miss A. had a fabulous time .... gorgeous photos. Yes, it is amazing how spoiled we are in NA and expect things as standard. Travelling the world is the best gift (next to taking care of our self) we can give our self ... it really opens our eyes, mind and appreciation for all that we have come to expect as the "norm/standard". Looking forward to catching up over a cup of tea or cafe soon... hugs to you Celia M. (HHL)

  5. Looks like you all had a great time -- I love little Ava's haircut -- I remember going to Holland when I was Ava's age and I still remember tidbits of that journey -- she will never forget either!

  6. Loved this series of posts!! I once traveled with out a stroller (picked one up at the destination) and it was a disaster. I will travel with at least some sort of stroller until my kid is AT LEAST 5. I too always have crayons and a colouring book with me. Has saved me more times than I can count!!
    xo Emma

  7. WAHT A GREAT POST!! I'm so proud of you for doing this trip alone with her, and you picked up on some of the key points of being in Europe with a kid....aka coloring book and crayons are in every single purse that I own!!! I've done so many trips alone with my son that I'm totally no longer phased by the experience because you're right when you are alone with them day in and day out what's a little change of scenery!?

    p.s. I also sleep with socks ....

  8. looks like so much fun! I'll definitely try and remember these tips for future travels with our little girl.

  9. love your tips about packing food...we have done that for years...mainly b/c my kids are picky and i hte spending $10 on a meal per kid they dont even like...lol.

    So glad she did so well!!!

  10. I loved that she did so great! BA is our airline of choice when we do transatlantic flights - they are so helpful too.


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