Help plan euro trip with Infant.

Old Jun 11, 15, 8:09 am
  #1  
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Help plan euro trip with Infant.

Hi all,

I know people plan months in advance for a big Europe trip, but we are almost thinking of doing a euro trip this summer. I know I should have started researching earlier, but that's why I need your help.

My wife and I are green card holders so we will need Schengen visa, but don't know which embassy to apply, we live in Philly so I think we will need to go to D.C to get the visa, our son is a U.S citizens o he does not need a visa.

We are thinking of Paris, Munich and Amsterdam. for a 10 day trip. will it feel rushed? We have friends in Germany so will be most likely driving to Amsterdam with them, but from Paris to Munich can we get a train?

Also, is a French Schengen visa easy to get?

Any other tips would be helpful, and we are open to other countries as well.
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Old Jun 11, 15, 11:14 am
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Originally Posted by Sid369 View Post
We are thinking of Paris, Munich and Amsterdam. for a 10 day trip. will it feel rushed? We have friends in Germany so will be most likely driving to Amsterdam with them, but from Paris to Munich can we get a train?

Any other tips would be helpful, and we are open to other countries as well.
3 cities in 10 days in peak tourist season with an infant is nuts.

Reduce the number of cities.

Wait until fall.
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Old Jun 11, 15, 12:45 pm
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Fly to Paris or London - and train to Amsterdam - skip Munich. If you have friends in Munich you can take the night train from Amsterdam - called city night line or fly - the drive is too long.

All these cities are easy with an infant - but Amsterdam and Munich a bit easier than Paris/London.
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Old Jun 11, 15, 2:41 pm
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If your infant is <9 months and still isn't very mobile yet then I'd say visit as many places as you want to. IME before they start moving around you really don't have to plan as much around them because they just sit there, they can sleep anywhere, and they're still easy to feed. If you infant likes moving around though you may need to slow down a bit.
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Old Jun 11, 15, 3:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Big4Flyer View Post
If your infant is <9 months and still isn't very mobile yet then I'd say visit as many places as you want to. IME before they start moving around you really don't have to plan as much around them because they just sit there, they can sleep anywhere, and they're still easy to feed. If you infant likes moving around though you may need to slow down a bit.
There are so many myths about infants, and this post hits the main ones pretty effectively.

1. infants can sleep anywhere? I know dozens, if not hundreds of them who disprove that one. Some babies can, but many don't, requiring maybe a dark room, or specific bedding, or a strict schedule.

2. words like "colic" and "teething" come to mind. Colic earlier, teething later, but neither is predictable and can involve a lot of crying.

3. if the infant is still solely on liquids, they're easy to feed, but once any form of solids/purees are started, the process can be messy and time consuming.


I'm not saying don't travel with an infant, I'm saying plan carefully and make choices that optimize your chances of having an enjoyable trip. Stay in one place longer, spend less time journeying to and fro, book a place with separate bedroom and living space (less disruption to napping), try to get a kitchenette so not every meal has to be taken in a restaurant. Don't assume that the way the infant is today will be the way the child is in a month or two.

Most of all, be flexible on the road, because your child's needs and abilities may change suddenly - they stop napping, they start walking, they get diaper rash or colic, etc. If you are locked in a tight schedule of train trips and long drives, the child's new needs can make a mess of your plans.


p.s. Amsterdam is a very difficult city to navigate with a stroller.
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Old Jun 12, 15, 12:28 pm
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Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post

p.s. Amsterdam is a very difficult city to navigate with a stroller.
Most of Europe is like that. But Amsterdam is compact so that helps a bit.
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Old Jun 12, 15, 2:34 pm
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Originally Posted by erik123 View Post
Most of Europe is like that. But Amsterdam is compact so that helps a bit.
It's Amsterdam's combination of water hazards, rough paving and trolley tracks that make it so difficult for strollers. We didn't have the same trouble pushing the stroller in other cities.
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Old Jun 12, 15, 4:09 pm
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Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
3 cities in 10 days in peak tourist season with an infant is nuts.

Reduce the number of cities.

Wait until fall.
Agree. 3 cities in 10 days is probably too much. You move slower with a baby, and it takes longer to pack up and move too, not to mention getting settled in too. It can be done, but it strikes me as a recipe for everyone becoming miserable.

2 cities in 10 days would probably make things a lot less rushed.
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Old Jun 13, 15, 4:53 pm
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Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
It's Amsterdam's combination of water hazards, rough paving and trolley tracks that make it so difficult for strollers. We didn't have the same trouble pushing the stroller in other cities.
All true - a Dutch guy invented the bugaboo stroller just for those conditions, But it is still a very kid friendly city.
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Old Jun 14, 15, 3:16 pm
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Don't forget to account for baby jetlag.

Many years ago we took our daughter who was 11 months old at the time from Seattle to Europe. Getting her to sleep was awful. She refused to go to sleep before 10pm. But since that was 1pm back home, she thought it was nap time. She'd wake back up at 2am and stay awake for several hours, finally falling asleep after breakfast. It was exhausting. Took her 5 days until she finally was on some semblance of local time.

On the way back, we missed a connection and had to spend a night in DC, which actually helped things workout a little bit better in terms of the baby jetlag.
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Old Jun 15, 15, 7:47 am
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I think the idea of doing more cities in one trip on paper looks good, but in reality given we want to spend about 10 days, its going to be challenging.

We are still dabbling with the idea and may just end up with 2 cities. I was not aware that a stroller would be difficult in Amsterdam.
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Old Jun 18, 15, 9:37 am
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Ahhh yes. Babies will sleep anywhere! Ha. Some just don't sleep period.
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Old Jun 22, 15, 5:44 pm
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Not sure how old your infant is, but if you don't have a baby carrier, get one now! My top tip for travel survival with an infant is to wear them, and skip the stroller most of the time! But get a good carrier -- NOT a crotch-dangler like a baby björn, but rather an Ergo or similar soft-structured carrier (or a wrap, or a sling if the baby is still quite tiny). This was my saving grace on a variety of trips, and helped as my daughter would nap on my back in a carrier. Anywhere.

And I'd agree with the suggestions to plan for the unexpected, and that babies take a while to adjust on timing, so you/your spouse won't be on a normal sleep schedule!
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