We took Levi to London and Paris for the first time when he was 3. While he does not remember much, he still got a lot out of the trip. The underground, trains and double decker buses were the highlights and are still popular. His second trip was to London and Wales at 5 to look at castles. He got more out of that trip. This recent trip even more. We firmly believe that there is value at any age. Just being in a different country with different sounds, smells, languages . . . has great value. Our children live in a much more global world than we did at their age. It is all about setting expectations on what you will do with your time. If this is a once in a lifetime trip then maybe it isn't a great idea but if you expect to return again then each trip builds upon the last. When we travel to Europe, we set out one (maybe two if it coordinates) things to do per day with time to relax and maybe hit a play park. Keep the agenda loose and flexible. We also try to stay on Chicago time. That means sleeping in and staying up late which works well in Europe. We always have general plans of things we want to accomplish on a trip without hard dates per se. I do lots of research ahead of time to figure out what are good activities, restaurants and locations of play parks. Right now I'm already planning for our trip in May/June. We are headed back for my 50th birthday celebration. The plan is to go to Copenhagen, I'm hoping to get dinner reservations at Noma, and back to London with day trips around London as usual, maybe if we have the energy run up to Edinburgh. I say take her, set modest goals and enjoy. I recommend checking out the babyccino blog on the babyccino website. There is a section on traveling to Paris with children under the City Guides tab. I found this blog when researching our first trip to London with Levi. I even reached out to Courtney, the London mom, for specific ideas. I'm sure Emilie, the mom from Paris, could give you some insights as well.
I think my major concern is Emily's food allergies. It overwhelmingly (if that's a word!) scares me to try and deal with that in a country that doesn't speak English. I know some French, but not enough to entrust DD's life to it!
Maybe starting out in England would be a better idea. We could take the Chunnel to Paris for the day.....
Now you've got me thinking. I agree with you on the value of travel. It opens up one's perspective so much.
Enjoy Copenhagen! DH and I were there in 2003. It was our last European vacation before kids.
I have to say that isn't an unreasonable fear. Dh was chatting with some at his office about our trip. The guy thought renting a flat like we did might be a good way to go with his family. They have two young children with food allergies and are also fearful of European travel. Taking the Chunnel train to Paris is very doable for a day trip, we have done it.
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