I follow the EASY routine with Georgia and for months prior to our trip she was on a consistent eating and sleeping schedule. I time her feeding sessions and I’m obsessive over the number of hours she sleeps per day (down to the minute). For our vacation, I tried so hard to fit our holiday itinerary around her schedule but it was impossible to truly enjoy our holiday and see/do/eat the things we want to if we kept to a strict regiment the way we do at home for Georgia.
Anyways, by day 2 of our vacation, I decided to just stop being such a stickler for the rules and decide to go with the flow and that made for a much happier Joshy and Georgia and a more relaxed mama too. That’s not to say that I fed her less or that she skipped any of her daytime naps on holiday. It’s more so that if she decides to nap at 1030am instead of her usual 930am, that’s fine. If she isn’t hungry at the usual time, I don’t force her to feed. She was also getting over her jet lag too so it just made sense to be adaptable to what we called the vacay routine.
If you are having any doubts on travelling with your baby, squash them now! I really REALLY recommend you travelling before your baby turns 6 months (I say 6 months because that’s usually around the time they start solids). I mean sure, your holidays are different now. You’re on a much slower pace and you can’t pack too many things into one day, and it’s a mess just trying to corral husband, kid, luggage into a taxi, plane, train etc. But honestly everyone says this is the best age to travel. We met two sleepy eyed parents with their 2 year old at the train station in Bruges and they looked at Georgia and at us and were totally envious of us LOL! At that age, your babies aren’t mobile, they are still on a liquid diet and you don’t need much to entertain them. Your holiday is still yours, not theirs.
I’ll definitely share my travel tips with infants in a separate blog post but for now, I want to share our itinerary with you below! Be forewarned though that European cities have small door ways, entryways, restaurants, hotel rooms etc. We brought our UppaBaby Vista stroller which is a mammoth but we just rolled with the punches. I think we made the right decision because umbrella strollers wouldn’t have been comfy for Georgia on those cobblestoned streets plus we didn’t have to carry anything on ourselves; we just threw everything under the stroller. I also recommend cities where you can do lots of walking because your baby will just sleep in the stroller anyways.
AMSTERDAM – 2 days
Stay: NH Collection Barbizon Palace
See/Do: Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, Floating Flower Market, Anne Frank House (this is the only place we couldn’t bring a stroller into), Jordaan (food, shopping), the nine streets, canal boat ride (you can leave your stroller at the hotel or some places will let you park the stroller at their small office before you board the boat).
Eat: Do NOT leave the city without trying a rijsttafel (literally: “rice table”). Given the Dutch’s colonial history, Indonesian food features high on their cultural heritage! I grew up in Singapore so I’ve always loved Indonesian cuisine and was really excited to try it in Amsterdam. We went to Long Pura and it was AMAZING. The lady boss basically babysat Georgia that evening so we could enjoy our meal haha! For authentic Dutch food, ornate wood panelling and cozy dining atmosphere – go to Haesje Claes!
Getting Around: We walked EVERYWHERE! It’s great for walking with a stroller =)
Shop: Kauf Dich Gluecklich. It’s a beautiful concept store and they carry mostly Dutch labels, apparel, accessories, lifestyle gifts and there’s an in-house barista which is perfect for the waiting husband.
BRUGES – 1 day
Stay: Hotel Duke’s Palace
See: It’s a small town so just walk everywhere, explore the canals, see the swans, visit the market square and the churches, eat all the Belgium chocolates and try Belgium beer and stews!
Eat: Cambrinus – hearty pub, beer, stews. And of course Belgium waffles =)
PARIS – 5 days
Stay: Le Cinq Codet. It is a really nice, new boutique hotel in the 7th arrondissement in a quiet part of town but lots of bustling cafes, patisseries, bakeries in the area too.
See: Aside from the usual tourist attractions, you absolutely have to go to Montmartre! Birthplace of Moulin Rouge and all things bohemian beautiful, it’s a historic cobblestoned village perched on a hill. Just get lost in its narrow winding streets and discover her bohemian soul!
Getting Around: I had no idea that Paris is that MASSIVE! Get tickets on the Hop-on/ Hop-off Open Tour Bus (NOT BigBus) because the buses are wheelchair and stroller friendly.
Shop: Sezane. Effortless, vintage, authentically Parisian is how I like to describe it. Plus their main store is to die for gorgeous. You can shop the collections online here (their sweaters are great for maternity and beyond. I have a few myself!)
LONDON – 7 days
Stay: ME London on The Strand
See: Aside from the main attractions, I really liked Covent Garden. The main highlight wasn’t London per se. Our friends took us into the country into The New Forest and booked a bed and breakfast nearby (we stayed at the Lockerley Manor in Mottisfont). If you have a day or two to spare rent a car and do it! English countryside is not like Canadian countryside. It’s so charming and quaint. Imagine thatched cottages, small winding roads, nestled in a valley, dappled sunlight through the different colored trees. Loved our stay there!
Getting Around: The Tube, Bus, Cab. Everything is wheelchair and stroller friendly. And so cheap to get around on public transit too!
Eat: Borough Market (best outdoor foodie market!). High Tea at Sketch or at Fortnum & Mason (where we were). The Pig Hotel (in The New Forest). It’s foraged farm to table food and EXCEPTIONAL!
Shop: & Other Stories
p.s. I’ll blog separately on child travel tips after we land in Singapore. Yes!! We are leaving again on another trip in a few days and we can’t wait!! We are going back to where I grew up and spent more than half of my life. Can’t wait for Georgia to finally meet my family! Stay warm mamas while we are off to tropical paradise hehe.
couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do a maternity photo shoot for our holiday collection (fake bump included hah!). If you don’t already know, we’re expecting our holiday collection for maternity clothing in any time now and we can’t wait to show you girls how to dress your bump in style for the season! =)