Taking kids to Europe can seem daunting but if you pack the right things it will be one of the best family experiences you can find. We’ve taken our kids to Europe more than once at various ages from 20 months to 7 years and we loved each trip but packing the right things is key, especially when taking a toddler. Below are my 5 must-haves along with some “sage” advice.
My first and probably most important piece of advice is to have fun with it and relax. They have kids in Europe too. You will be able to find whatever you need there should you forget. However, Europe is not the US so below are a few things to make your trip a little easier so you can concentrate on having fun.
- Travel Booster seat. Most restaurants in Europe do not have high chairs so bringing your own attachable seat is crucial especially for the wiggly toddler. Plus most restaurants there are not big so keeping your little one in a stroller may not go well. The seat I love has a little compartment for a few extra diapers a sippy cup, toys or anything else. It’s super easy to tote around and was a lifesaver so many times for us. My Fave: Munchkin Travel Booster
- Inflatable Car Booster Seat. One of our trips to Europe entailed a few days in a car touring the countryside. The inflatable booster was the perfect solution. Previously we had rented car seats in Europe and they were definitely not what I was expecting in terms of fit and function. If your kid is old enough and can sit in it properly, the inflatable car seat is easy to pack, easy to inflate and you know it’s been certified to the American standards. Bonus! we now keep these in my car for carpools etc. My Fave: Bumblebum
- Jogging Stroller. Not for jogging but for the cobblestone. Umbrella strollers although super easy don’t fare well on cobblestone. Our jogging stroller made it a breeze to go wherever we wanted and our little guy was always comfortable. If possible a jogging stroller with full recline is even better. Often times little guy would sleep in the stroller while we went to a museum—can we say win-win! My Fave: City Mini
- Snacks. I always pack a freezer Ziploc bag full of small snacks. Stuff that is easy to tote around and have on hand before the meltdown hits. Europeans eat dinner traditionally much later than Americans so snacks were key between meals. I often bought more snacks as we toured around and they find things they like or want to try but packing a bag to get you started so you’re not fretting when you arrive makes everyone calmer. I always find when my kids aren’t starving they are much more open to trying new foods which is so much fun for the whole family.
- Camera. Depending on the age of your child a camera is so much fun for them to have. I have old digital point and shoot cameras that I have given to my boys for when we travel. It gets them interested in where we are and is so fun to see their perspective of what they see.