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Ten Tips for Traveling to Europe with Kids

By April 28, 2024Featured, Travel
Europe with kids tips
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Traveling, especially with children, inevitably invites a fair share of stress and challenges. Reflecting on our family trip to Europe last summer, we had a fantastic time filled with unforgettable memories, but we also encountered our fair share of hitches along the way.  As we plan to embark on another European adventure this summer, my agenda involves learning from some of the mistakes we made during last year’s trip.
Europe with kids

By reassessing what worked and what didn’t work during last summer’s trip, we aim to ensure a smoother journey this time.  Here, are my top 10 tips for navigating Europe with kids:

Ten Tips for Traveling to Europe with Kids

1. Be Prepared

Preparation is the key to dealing with any unexpected situations, particularly sickness.

During our first trip, we learned the hard way. Our initial unpreparedness led to a ripple effect of sickness throughout our entire family. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent in pharmacies with my translation app trying to decipher which medications were equivalent to ones from back home.

This time around, I plan to bring medications from home.  Furthermore, we hope to keep healthy by bringing Lysol wipes and hand sanitizers to prevent the spread of germs.

2. Fewer Destinations

Learning from our previous trip, one key takeaway was not to fit too many locations into one trip. In an attempt to see everything, one can compromise on quality time spent at each place. This tip comes directly from our kids – they would have preferred fewer stops and more time at each destination, hence less travel time.

Europe with Kids

3. Pack Light

I regretted not packing light enough last time, despite each of us packing only a carry-on and a small backpack. This time, I’ll leave some extra room for souvenirs and shopping.  I underestimated just how much I would want to buy during our travels. This time, I will have more room for all those souvenirs.
europe with kids

4. Book Minimum Three-Night Stays

Staying for a minimum of three nights per location ensures a relaxed pace, and is especially important when traveling with kids. It provides ample time to unwind and fully experience each destination without feeling rushed.  We stayed three and four nights at most places, but again, our kids would’ve preferred even longer.

5. Pre-book Activities

Saving time means skipping the long queues during the peak season. It’s essential to book well-known attractions like the Colosseum, Arc De Triumph, Westminster Abbey, and the Vatican far in advance. It relieves stress and allows more time to enjoy these famous sites.

Europe with Kids

6. Book Transportation Early

Pre-booking transportation not only secures seats together but can also ensure cheaper fares. Early bookings, particularly for train travel, offer peace of mind and savings.

Train tickets only get more expensive the closer you get to your travel date.  We booked a lot of our transfers and train trips as soon as the schedules opened months in advance.

Europe with kids

7. Book Places with Extra Space

Nothing beats the comfort of sprawling out in spacious rentals, especially when you are traveling with kids.  Using platforms like AirBnB or can be more economical for a family of four than traditional hotel accommodations. With the added benefit of a kitchen, rentals offer a homier feel and the option for cost-saving home-cooked meals.

Europe with Kids

8. Seek Restaurant Recommendations from Locals

A drool-worthy picture on social media doesn’t always equate to the same delight on your tongue. We learned to rely on recommendations from locals rather than chasing Instagram-worthy spots that often turned out to be mediocre, overpriced, and overcrowded.


Europe with Kids

9. Plan, But Don’t Over-Plan

Balance is key when creating your itinerary. Planning too many activities can lead to exhaustion and reduced enthusiasm during your trip. Aim for one to two key activities per day, ensuring plenty of downtime for relaxation or spontaneous adventures.


10. Be Flexible

Traveling, especially with kids, doesn’t always go as planned. Despite best planning efforts, always be prepared for unexpected bumps and hitches.

We had more than our fair share of things going wrong, especially in Paris. So much so, that I devoted an entire blog post to our mishaps in Paris. In just a few days, we dealt with illness, a transportation strike, the Louvre spontaneously closing on the day we had tickets, and the Eiffel Tower being sold out and gated off.  It was so much all at once that it was almost comical. But then again,  it’s these moments that often make for the most memorable (and hilarious) travel stories!


In conclusion, traveling to Europe with kids can become a pleasant experience with the right planning and a flexible mindset. So pack your bags, follow these tips, and treat your family to a well-deserved European adventure! Happy traveling!

If you want to read more about our Europe itinerary check out my post Europe with Kids: An Ultimate Three Week Itinerary.

europe with kids

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