Parenting after 35

Last Chance to Travel to Europe. Thoughts?

I have a Boston wedding Labor day weekend, and I'll be about 17-18 weeks along by that point. After the wedding, we want to do a last ditch trip to Europe, since after the baby it will be quite hard to do such a thing. When my sister was pregnant, she did this and went to London, Amsterdam and Stockholm. We were thinking of Barcelona, and then wander around Provence. The other option is Scandinavia or Ireland. We obviously don't want to go hard on ourselves, just walking around, seeing a few sights and eating yummy food. Any thoughts? Where would you go?

Re: Last Chance to Travel to Europe. Thoughts?

  • So, here is my list of places I love in Europe. 

    1) Brugges, Belgium. I have been to Brugges twice and am going back one more time for our last hurrah.  There is a Michelangelo Statue!!!!!!!  And the food, canals, people, and lace!  Oh and Half Moon Brewery!

    2) Normandie Region of France.  The WWII beaches/history, beautiful scenery, Mnt St Michel.  We spent a week and then had to go back again.  If you are interested, I have the most amazing Gite (apartments on a working farm) you could ever stay at. 

    3) the Mosel region of Germany/Luxembourg.  If you stay in Trier, you can travel up and down her Mosel river and drink some of the most amazing wines.  Then hit Vianden and Lux City Luxembourg.

    4) Malta.  

  • steverstever member
    London and Paris is easy because of the Eurostar, Chunnel train. And don't count out European travel after LO is born. We went to England a year ago to visit DH's family and it was no biggie. It requires more planning with a kid,but it's not that hard.
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  • Great Suggestions Llume and Stever! We're thinking that maybe Scandinavia might be a good thing for after the baby is born. England's a great idea too. I've only spent time in London, but haven't seen much of the countryside. We both love to travel, and don't want to give it up. 
  • oops, I meant to write llumine, sorry for the mis-spelling!
  • Europe isn't going anywhere, you'll have lots of opportunity to travel!  Kids love travel too.

     Are you looking for suggestions for a weekend, a week, or two weeks?  

    I adore Barcelona.  It's very walkable, the siesta is a great custom for a pregnant lady, and you can't beat the food.  The airport makes travel easy as well. If you enjoy the beach, you can catch a train for a quick 45-min ride to Sitges, which is a fantastic historic beach town, close to some ancient monasteries and castles and home to some great restaurants and hotels.

  • Femshep,

    Thanks for your thoughts on Barcelona. We're looking to spend about 12 days in Europe. My DH and I have traveled a lot, but this is the first time it'll be while pregnant, so I don't want to make this a whirlwind trip. I guess I'm trying to figure out what's the best way to enjoy our vacation while still making comfortable for me and safe for the baby. We were thinking about doing a little bit of a road trip, but I'm worried that if I have to pee as much as I am now, we'll never get anywhere, LOL.


  • I'd stick to London and Scotland (not really Europe but..) or maybe visit some of the ridiculously small countries like Lichtenstein or Monaco. 

    When I was pregnant, I was talking with an older couple at my DH's work party. When we commented about how having our baby would curtail our travelling they would not hear it! They apparently travelled to Tibet, India, and parts of Europe and even New Zealand with their kids when they were infants. As they pointed out (and we found to be true on our subsequent trip to the Caribbean after having our daughter), travelling with babies is not that bad! Especially when they're small enough to fit in airplane changing tables and be carried in a carrier.

    In fact, your LO can actually open doors for you.  Cultural walls break down around babies, because parenthood and children are a universal experience and people, generally, love babies and want to help parents of new babies. People will be more open, will approach and talk to you, will be more likely to help out with directions, suggestions, etc. etc. 

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  • imageauradawn:
    We both love to travel, and don't want to give it up. 

    As someone who did all of the above travelling WITH my LO (she was 9mo when we moved to Germany), it is very easy to travel with babies/toddler/children in Europe.  The ONLY issue we ever had was their rules about how many people could stay in a hotel room (two people to a bed, only one rollout cot - so travelling with 15 yo SS was a pain.  But all we did was go Bed and Breakfasts or rent apartments).

    The only "problem" with Traveling in Europe is the distance between major cities.  So we did all of our travel by Region.  When we went to Brugges, we stayed in a B&B and then travelled to the Coast and Ghent as well as doign Brugges. 

    My only suggestion is to look at the trip in terms of regions.  If you take out visiting museums, you can see a major city in  full day.  European cities are small, compared to say NYC or LA.  Amsterdam took me a day and that included the Ann Frank house and brewery tour. 

    So look at the surrounding areas (easily accessable by train) so you get more bang for your buck.

  • I could give you a million suggestions on where to go, but pp's have given you lots of good ones! The only advice I'd give is rest sooner than you think you need it, adreneline and having fun masks the need to rest. I was guilty of that when I took my dk's to Niagra Falls, went on a 7km touring walk, and continued on with some touristy stuff after.

    I was just shy of 34 wks with #5 and my foot suffered for it - I was wearing a pair of Merrell hiking sandals. What I really needed was my running shoes (my good Asics), the support would likely have helped avoid the pull I ended up with. It could just be the effects of it being #5 too though.

    And don't curb your travel plans, I take my kids travelling all the time, with and without DH, on planes too!

    Also, Brugges is fantastic!

  • This is all really fantastic to hear. Traveling is so important to DH and I that it makes me feel much better knowing this is still possible. I know of so many people who just give up on travel because they worry about their kids. I'd like to be that parent that exposes them to new things, even if they're too little to really remember it. I think what we may do is spend some time in Barcelona, train it to Avignon, and just explore with a car and take it easy somewhere nearby. I have my trusty Dansko's to walk around in, but won't go crazy like I usually do :)
  • I lived in Barcelona for 6 months and found it a very walkable city with lots of things to see, which you can do in as few as 2-3 days, or savor it over the course of a week (or more). You could spend a day on the Ramblas alone, depending on how many side streets you get pulled into. It's just a little far from other Spanish cities, so you're better off heading north to France like you mentioned.

    Also many European cities have bike rentals which are very easy to use and can sort of accelerate your tourist experience.

     Wherever you decide to go, enjoy it!

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • i agree with many PP ... barcelona is amazing.  so far it was my favorite european city.

    related ... we brought our 3 month old on our barcelona trip ... and we travel with the kids all the time.  it's different travel and you have to adjust your expectations, but travel doesn't have to end when the kids arrive. 

  • My favorite cities in Europe. 

    London, Barcelona, Florence, Prague.  If I had just one week I would do Barcelona and then head to Italy and hit Rome and Florence. 

    However, we just got our 14 month old her first passport.  We plan to start traveling with her in the next year or so. 

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • I haven't done international travel in forever, so I can't jump in on that, but I wrote a review of this book, which is a "poetic guidebook" to Prague:

    Basically, it looks at famous poems written in and about Prague and has a map of the sites mentioned in the poems if you want to visit them. The book was *beautiful*, and if I were going to Prague, that would be something I would check out.

    Happy travels!

    Mac and cheese lover!
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

  • I would recommend Ireland.  Summertime is the perfect time to visit Ireland yet so many other destinations in Europe can be oppressively hot.

    With 12 days you could easily tack on a weekend in Scotland or London...or even Paris is only a 1:20 flight from Dublin.

    In Ireland you would rent a car so your pace would be your own.  There are loads of opportunities to walk around but if you were to get tired you could just hop back in the car and rest while DH drive to the next destination.  Or you could swing back to your B&B for a siesta before heading out for the evening.  If you start/end in Dublin the route makes for a nice loop around Ireland, or you could do Dublin to Shannon airports (and see less or spend less time).

    yummy food in Ireland is found at the better restaurants. I'm one of the few who did NOT like the food is Spain - but I am not a big pork eater and I had JUST found out I was pregnant with #1 and so was a bit unsure about eating the soft cheese, which normally I'd dig in to.  Food in Paris was amazing.  But again, you wouldn't be able to enjoy the wine (as freely), just like I missed out on all the wine tasting in Spain.

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