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Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Traveling with kids

Traveling is not what it used to be. No spontaneous vacation, not packing-at-the- last- minute. We have children now, and traveling has become more difficult. We have to pack more stuff, not to mention the huge red double stroller. It has also become more expensive, the hotels became better. It is more difficult, but it is possible. 

Before I had children I thought that traveling with them will not be possible at all. I thought it was stressfull for children and parents alike. We have always traveled a lot, very often with very little preparation. When I was pregnant, I spend my time going between Hamburg, Bremen and Delft. This worked, but I was worried about my child. Since I was feeling quite well, and had no complaints, I just went. I even flew to Warsaw a few times. This can't really be described as vacation, but it was possible. 

When my first daughter was born, I could forget about traveling. I was too tired and I was thinking that maybe my traveling days are over. But when she was 6 weeks old, we moved from Germany to the Netherlands. I recovered, and she became a lot more quiet. I could relax more, go shopping and for long walks. And then my husband needed vacation. We decided to go to Nice, France. We stayed there for 3 days and I was surprised. Klara took it really well! When she cried on the plane, she got a pacifier or I nursed her. But mostly, she slept. We managed to see a lot.

Encouraged by this positive experiences, we decided to go to Spain. Then to Malta. This was followed by a trip to France (again) and the UK and then Spain again. Visiting family in Poland and Germany can't really be considered vacation. Neither can our short train trips to Dutch cities close to Delft. But we went there and it was good! We took her everywhere, and I have never heard a better art review than my daughter's short "Ga!" applied to a Picasso painting. 

Then I was pregnant again and my daughter would not be carried around everywhere anymore. Now she could run and we had to wrap our lives around her needs. Again, I thought "my traveling days are over". We then took the train to Germany to visit family there. she could play in the train, and my little girl was still little and didn't really mind where she was as long as we were with her. I thought: "OK, we can go by train, but flying would be difficult". 

And then we flew to Warsaw. Both girls survived the flight really well. The elder was in a good mood and slept through the whole flight back to the Netherlands. The little one was also happy, and slept as well. This was our first flight together. And it was possible.So were our next trips. What a relief!

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