We’ve been debating whether to take our kids on a European vacation this fall. We’d like to travel somewhere culturally interesting but stimulating enough for our toddler. Travel time can’t be too long from the East Coast (one or two planes max), or hard to get around once we’re there (good public transportation is a must). A walkable city (Lisbon? Copenhagen? Barcelona?) or walkable neighborhood in a larger city (somewhere in London?) seem ideal. No rental cars (that rules out Tuscany) or big resorts.
Marguerite will be 3 and JJ 6 months. I’m imagining myself sipping an Aperol Spritz at a cafe in some neighborhood square in Venice with local kids playing soccer and Marguerite running around with them. Am I nuts?
We’ve gone through every scenario in our heads:
- Bring a babysitter (but expensive to pay for their flight, meals, hotel)
- Stay somewhere with babysitting, maybe a cruise? (but would we trust the stranger?)
- Bring our parents (they might not want to go)
- Leave the kids home with a sitter (would we miss them? would it be just as expensive as the sitter’s flight?)
Some days when there are tantrums and no naps I’d like to take off and not look back for eight days, but other days, like today, when Marguerite is filled with wonder about her latest discovery (monkey’s swinging from ropes at the zoo!) and JJ is all smiles, I can’t imagine the experience without them.
What do you think? Take ‘em or leave ‘em? And any suggestions on great kid-friendly European cities, towns or hotels?