10 Tips for Traveling with Kids in Europe

You may have just booked a family tour from the USA to Europe for the next vacation. Europe is a place that is endowed with extraordinary natural beauty and is home to different and vibrant landscapes. Beaches, mountains, diverse cultures and people, Europe can offer the best holiday for any family. The very idea of travelling with kids in Europe may not be appealing to some parents.

Europe is huge and very diverse which makes it great to see. France, Germany, Spain, Italy are all fantastic countries to see but they are not underrated or unknown, rather they are well known tourist destinations.

Do not worry that your Europe tour will be an expensive one. If you have booked a family tour package, then they are to be planned and enjoyed accordingly. Perhaps your kids will show you new ways to make the best of your vacation in Europe. However, knowing a few tips while travelling with kids in Europe would help you have the best possible family holiday in Europe.

It will not be the same as a pre-kids trip. It will be harder in some ways, but easier in other ways. You will discover cities, countries, cultures in a fully different light than traveling alone or as a couple. Your kids might connect with local kids, you might connect with people who would otherwise just pass you by. Your kids might show you something you never would have noticed. You see things in a different way. Even if it’s a place you’ve visited or lived before, when you take your kids, it becomes a whole new world.

Here are things to note while traveling with kids.

Tips for Traveling with Kids in Europe

Now that you have already booked your tickets, you can avoid most of the frustration and exhaustion if you keep in mind the following handy tips for travelling with kids in Europe.

1. Pack and travel light

Packing cubes are indispensable. Take too much stuff and it just gets heavy, don’t take enough clothes and you’ll learn to hand wash (badly) pretty quick (or find a laundromat). You probably don’t need as much as you think you do. Always take a jumper and light, packable rain jacket for each kid, even on a summer holiday. Almost anything you forget will be possible to either buy, improvise or live without.

while getting to the destination, always have on hand: spare clothes (including for you), snacks, water, a few toys/games that can be played with quietly in a small space. Especially if you’re crossing time zones, ignore nap times and schedules and figure it out once you get there. The whole process is exhausting and you’ll be shattered anyway.

For this to be hassle-free, ensure that one parent does the entire packing and makes the list. Packing depends on age of the kid. If you have a baby under 3 years, you will need to carry more clothes as they get soiled frequently, diaper bag, diapers, disposable covers, feeding bottles, kettle, instant foods etc. If your child has a favorite toy/book, you can pack them.

Don’t over or under-pack. Pack what is actually required. Usually plan with a 2-day buffer. What if there comes a need to extend the stay? Google the weather conditions in the destination, pack clothes accordingly. Have a note on your phone, to keep adding things as and when you remember- this way you wont miss any. For every point on your note, mention if you have to buy them. A day or two before you start, it will help you to shop quickly.

If your baby is on diapers, and you are travelling to a remote place with less availability of shops - carry more of them. If you are travelling to a city/town - carry just one pack. You can buy again once they are used up. Lessen the burden on your suitcases with unwanted stuff, and stuff that you can easily buy at your destination.

Do not forget to carry travel pillows for kids. In many places in Europe, strollers are not welcome and so it may be better to leave the strollers at home. Ensure that all the important stuff is there (a baby carrier if you need one) and you are not at a loss when you reach your destination in Europe. Carry a list of all the items you are carrying and in which bag they are located.

2. Book your tickets with a family-friendly airlines

Book your Europe tour package from USA with an airline company that understands the need for kid-friendliness and comfort when families travel accompanied by children. From large comfortable seats to storing infant toiletries to offering nanny services in the sky, they offer a host of services.

You can even pre-order your kids' meals. They offer activity packs for the children while on the flight to keep them from bothering you. All kids get to do fun things and to say the least the vacation starts on a truly enjoyable note.

Some of the airline companies offer additional services like fixing up your accommodation, airport transfers, and sightseeing packages at very reasonable rates. This will save from all the hassles of having to do all of this on your own in a new country. Also, it is a good idea to book the entire itinerary on the same airlines as any delay in flight timings of one flight may lead you to miss the connection flight and add up to your woes of troubles.

3. Keep your documents ready

From printing your boarding passes at home before the flight, double-check that your passports are available and are valid for travel to Europe (they should be valid for six months after your trip). If by chance your spouse is not accompanying you for the trip, you must possess a letter of consent on your person. Make sure that you load a copy on a safe and secure Internet location and another set with a family member.

4. Location is of prime importance

Choosing the right location for your holiday with kids in Europe plays a large part in whether it turns out to be a success or not. Switzerland advertises child-friendly holidays for the visitors. Paris and Amsterdam, Rome and Paris offer dedicated locations for entire families. Choose destinations for your Europe tour that will make everyone happy.

Just in case you are visiting more than one country, ensure that you enjoy one place fully well before you move on to the next one. If you have the luxury of a few weeks, then it is best to enjoy a few countries. In this context, allow yourself a little more time than is needed. With kids around, unexpected events are almost sure to happen.

A 12-days’ Europe tour package would be refreshing and would allow you a little more space and time in place of a 6 days’ trip.

5. You may pack any finger foods, snacks

While discovering the local cuisine is something many adults enjoy, it can be overwhelming and just too much for some kids (and some adults, to be fair). Hungry tummies can utterly ruin an otherwise pleasant day. Keep a bunch of familiar snacks accessible at all times. Find out what cheap, easy, quick food is available where you are and try it when you’re not running on empty to see if it’s an option for you.

There’s no shame in going to McDonalds or getting the kids chicken nuggets in the fancy local eatery. Don’t stress about getting 5+ a day. Check out grocery stores for ingredients to make familiar snacks - be aware that “bread” means very different things in different places and it doesn’t always work for sandwiches. Accommodation that includes breakfast and/or a kitchen can be invaluable. If food is something that you can see could be a problem, consider buying and packing a small plug-in slow cooker or something similar.

Kids/adults of all ages will love snacks while on a trip. If you have smaller kids, its better to carry healthy stuff like rice cakes, nuts, energy bars, sweets, crackers rather than buy junk and unhealthy stuff. Pack a lunch whenever possible. With kids around, food and drinks turn out to be huge expenses. Stock up water, fruits, breakfast items, and snacks so that you end up spending only for lunch or dinner.

6. Medicines

Pack basic medications for - fevers, cold, cough, vomiting, motions. And if your child is on any other medications - pack them too.

7. Light sightseeing

On the day you reach your destination, keep a light routine and finish off all the sleep that is due to you and others. Unpack, relax and explore local sights. Use booked tours to see the different places of tourist interest. It may not be possible for you to cover long distances on foot when the children are around.

European river cruises provide a unique look at some of Europe's most captivating cities. Large staterooms, balconies and other amenities bring the comforts of a hotel to the water, and the all-inclusive cruise options mean you'll only spend money when you step off the boat for shopping or sightseeing.

You can travel along the Danube, Rhine, Rhone or Seine rivers, depending on the itinerary you choose. A river cruise offers a chance to make friends along the way while providing a guided tour of areas you might not have visited before.

8. Schedule time for rest

You know what your kid likes and what they’ll struggle with. Plan the days with that in mind, and relax your expectations. If you cross time zones, the first few days will be HARD. People handle jet lag in different ways. Getting exhausted and not being able to see what you wanted to can be depressing. Therefore ensure that you set aside time for unwinding and taking rest. This is for the kids too.

Get kids to bed as late as possible the first night - even keeping them up for a few hours after a late arrival, keep them sleepy, dark and quiet until as late as possible in the morning and get as much exercise, fresh air and sunshine as possible the first few days. Allow a nap but not late in the day. Stick to the local time zone immediately.

9. Having no control over your children in public spaces

Allow lots of extra time when walking, add breaks for a quick play on that playground or a detour down that interesting path or the 17th ice cream of the day. If there’s anything that must be scheduled for a specific time, make that the centrepoint of the day and plan flexible things around it, preferably nearby.

Letting your children run, scream or play around in restaurants, cafes, etc. You will be judged harshly if you let your children be a disturbance to others. Of course, tolerance applies for new-borns and babies crying or fussing. Teeth gritted when in close quarters with hysterical toddlers. To sum up, a public space is shared. Be mindful and considerate of others’ enjoyment, space and peace.

10. Prepare in advance

Ensure that you give the children an idea about the place they are going to visit. Books and movies about France or Rome will be helpful. If you are planning to visit the Scandinavian region, you can even invest in books set in Iceland or Finland to make your Europe trip a big hit. Make sure that visits to natural history museums, aquariums, and sound and light art shows that are typical of the land are a part of the travel itinerary. Most of the museums in Europe allow free entry to children.

There are sites that keep you informed about local festivals and celebrations in different places. Going through them beforehand can help you to time your visits and ensure that they are children-friendly. Make space for enjoying everything that is offered free to families.


Travelling with children teaches us quite a few things about new cultures and different ways to explore countries. A Europe tour with the children will surely be a fulfilling travel experience for the whole family.

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