Have Kids Still Travel! That is our Motto! Both of our kids had their passports by the age of 2! We’ve been lucky enough to travel quite a bit, but our favorite trips have been our two month-long trips, the first being to Barcelona, Spain, which was an amazing family experience!
We figured out that when traveling with kids you want to make it as low-stress as possible. Rushing around with jam-packed itineraries would never work with a one year old and three year old in tow. So, we figured that by staying a month, we could really embrace our surroundings and not miss a thing.
Something that many people don’t realize is that renting an apartment for an entire month allows for better negotiating on the price. We’ve typically experienced 30-50% discounts for a longer term stay. Now, even if you’re only staying for a week or two, you’ll still want to consider these kid-friendly amenities when looking for a rental apartment.
1) Bath tub (in Europe they are often hard to come by)
2) Elevator (another luxury not all European buildings have) But don’t expect it to be big enough for your stroller. Speaking of strollers DO NOT bring a double stroller (side by side seats) because they will not fit through the metro stations entrances, or in some elevators) You are much better off with two single lightweight strollers.
3) Balcony (is it safe for children?),
4) Laundry Facilities (kids will be kids, but don’t expect a dryer)
5) Kitchen Necessities (ask if there is a microwave, highchair, or booster seat)
6) Extra Bed Linens (2 words: Bed Wetting).
7) Bunk Beds (Ask if they have a safety railing or if they can be separated)
We found our apartment at Apartime Barcelona and we were very pleased with everything! The first night our 3 year-old daughter sang from the Balcony “Barcelona, Barcelona, I Love this City!” Once you have settled in I would recommend walking around your new neighborhood a few times just to get your surroundings and have a better sense of direction. While walking around you’ll want to locate the Grocery Store, Pharmacy, Bank, Hospital, and Metro Stations and take note on the hours they are open and closed.
The greatest resource I found while planning our trip was Anglo Info Barcelona Life in Barcelona.. .in English. This will have everything you need while you are in Barcelona! It is a great guide and resource for local news, weather, events, nanny, shopping, entertainment, nanny services, schools, parks etc.
My highest recommendation is finding out if there is a School or Daycare your children can attend (contact them before you go). We put our kids in Kinder Barcelona for 3 weeks from 9am -1pm , so we were able to explore the city and do all the not so kid friendly things in the morning. Our kids loved it, but we loved it more! I honestly didn’t think that they would say yes, but they had room in the English speaking class with an English speaking teacher so they let us enroll them! Our daughter McKenna learned the all the days of the week and the months of the year while attending school there and our son Hudson who just started walking was happily running and jumping by the 2nd week!
Call a Nanny Service, I found Tender Loving Canguros in Barcelona and most of them will have someone who speaks some English. You may even get lucky like we did, the Nanny they sent over was an American girl from New York City and had been living in Barcelona for 5 years. Her name was Gabby and was totally fluent in Spanish and it was like having our own Concierge! The few nights we had her come to babysit she pretty much planned our night for us, telling us where to go and the best way to get there. Because of her we went places of the beaten path, where the locals go and was able to skip all the overpriced tourist traps. This was an amazing added bonus to our trip!
A part of me is still shocked that we took a 1 year old and a 3 year old to Barcelona, Spain to live for a month. Traveling with kids is not impossible, but it is not for the weak either! My husband asked me on the flight home. Would you do it again? To which I replied, Absolutely! And we did, a month in Costa Rica was our next adventure!
SEE THE WORLD