For those of you who have been reading my blog or following me on Instagram for a while you know that when it comes to traveling with my children my motto is: if kids live there, kids can visit. For me, unless I wouldn't go there myself it's free game to go with my children. With that said I know everyone's comfort level is different and for parents just starting to travel with their children here are some things to consider when choosing a destination to travel to.
Does the city have great public transportation? Cities with great public transportation make it so much easier to travel with kids. You can forgo traveling with your car seat, avoid constantly taking the kids in and out of the car and wondering what to do with your car seat when relying on taxis. Public transportation is also typically the cheapest way to explore a city and most kids under 5 ride free and significant discounts are given to older kids. Most European cities have great public transportation and many offer unlimited transit passes in 24hr increments.
Are you okay with having your child in a car without a car seat? If you're visiting a place with poor or non-existent public transportation and not renting a car there is really no way your child can use a car seat. If you're traveling by taxi out of the country a lot of them don't have seat belts in the back seat so you wouldn't be able to install the car seat. If they do, unless you have an infant car seat with the Car Seat Caddy it will be extremely difficult to walk around a city, museum, etc., with a heavy toddler or convertible car seat. In a lot of other countries there are no car seat laws and using car seats are not the norm. To avoid this, sometimes we have been lucky enough to find tour companies that provide infant and toddler car seats but many times that option is not available.
What will you have to pack? Some countries don't sell the same things you can buy in US stores. If your child is on a special diet be sure to check if you can find what you need at your destination or be prepared to bring your own. For instance, in some countries pasteurized milk is not the norm and you will have to find an alternative such as Parmalat. The same goes for diapers and wipes. While every country sells diapers and wipes if you are particular in the brand your child wears, you may need to pack enough for your entire stay or have them shipped to your accommodations in advance.
Some of my favorite places to travel with the kids have been Thailand, Colombia, and Denmark and here are my reasons:
Thailand: While the public transportation in Thailand is no where near the greatest the girls loved the time we spent at the Elephant Rescue Park. They also enjoyed our boat ride on the floating market, had a blast at the beach and enjoyed the food and Buddhas at the Temples.
Colombia: The kids loved the colorful streets of Cartagena, Jordyn enjoyed rolling around in the mud at the Volcan de Totumo, and of course the beautiful beach at Isla Baru.
Denmark: The girls loved exploring the castles, going on the rides at Tivoli Gardens, and exploring the city by bicycles. Copenhagen has one of the best public transportation systems in the world and it was so easy to get around with the kids. Strollers are allowed on all buses and trains and you do not have to remove your child and fold it up.
What factors do you consider when choosing a destination to travel with your kids?