Doubtless much has been written about traveling with children and I can only add a few observations that surprised me in the first travel of our six month old. We are in London. It was originally to attend a job interview but as I just got another job and canceled the interview, this turned just recreational.
The possible difficulties of traveling with a baby may actually not be that surprising. Foremost, maybe just avoid staying in anything that insinuates hostel – either in name or pricing. I am sorry to be saying this. In spirit, I am all for the hostel way of experiencing another town (I write “in spirit” as I am too old to live in one anymore). The key issue is sleeping. Sleep takes a meaning and a tone of its own with a toddler, one that does not go well with paper-thin walls and listening to others partying and walking and shouting and leaving at 5am and what not. Which is how I would describe our “suites” that were indeed in my budget but not a good experience. You’re tired all the time anyway and it adds to the irritation to be waken up every 20 minutes.
Moving around is sometimes difficult but not extremely so. Buy a second hand travel buggy and carry it when need be. Anyway, London with its busses and elevators and ramps is very easily navigatable with a buggy. The thing even stores some stuff of its own that you could not normally carry with you (eg bottles of water to a restaurant…) This is not more difficult than in everyday life.
However, there are a lot more things that are good and surprised me. First, I sort of knew but had not anticipated that people adore small babies and absolutely show it. Maybe half a dozen people just came to greet M. while we were sitting around. Add with the tens of people that smiled and looked at her and us. When traveling with my partner, I seldom talk to anyone else, so it is a nice thing to draw more attention in my view.
Indeed, in my 20s I went to all these places alone. British Museum, Piccadilly, Oxford Street, I saw them in my own company. That was cool, but a child, even when she still does not understand maybe all of it, adds charm to many things. I just love walking her around where I live. So think how fun it is to show her – with all comprehension of how little she knows – London Eye, the Aquarium, that British Museum again etc. I don’t know why exactly but it simply adds to the experience.
In the end, it could be that tourism and the thrills of a six month old just align very closely. In my experience, babies just adore seeing new people and other children and being pushed around in their buggy (wherein they can sleep). Tourists, by default, walk a lot and then sit in places with other people. A perfect match. 🙂
However, as many people starting from baristas that have children have just pointed out to us, it may be easiest to travel now and gets significantly different in a few years or months…