Travel Before vs. After Kids.

With kids, aspects of our travel style have certainly changed. Some of the biggest differences we see with travelling with kids include:

1.) Meals.

B.K. (before kids): We’d spend the morning wandering the streets looking for the best bakery we could find, grab a window seat and watch the city wake up over a coffee and a croissant.

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Prague in 2015 — sans kids, wandering and eating street food (slowly.  Don’t I look well rested hehe).

A.K. (after kids): I make “breakfast included” a requirement at hotels. Henry doesn’t care about reviews on what coffee machine a local cafe uses…he wants to eat and get playing. It is so convenient to head downstairs and have an ok breakfast, buffet style (no waiting!!!!) and hit the road.

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The beauty of breakfast included is that if nine days in a row your toddler likes swiss cheese, I promise you that day 10 they hate it and swear they’ve never liked it.  A buffet breakfast included in your stay lets you pick and choose without planning or budgeting for the change-of-heart tastebud moments, mid-meal.

2.) Hotels.

B.K.: Hotel Josef in Prague became our hotel to compare all future hotels to. It was clean, a convenient walking distance to the historic centre, fairly priced, and had a white duvet (an indication of recent updating in my opinion). Not a huge room, but comfortable for two.  We’ve often said “let’s just find a Hotel Josef” when booking stays meaning, a fairly priced boutique hotel.

A.K.: Truthfully, a lot of hotels won’t take all four of us in a room for fire safety codes, so that typically has us bumped into a bigger room anyway, but a little bit of space became key when Henry got big enough to move around. The Ibis chain is good for us in that they have family suites (a queen and a pull out couch) and breakfast included for a decent price. I would 100% of the time rather stay in a lower ranking hotel in a large room than a fancy hotel in a shoe box with kids.  Bonus if there is a park nearby or at least a bit of a garden for running around in as we pack up the car.

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This is the Mercure in Tetevo, Macedonia.  We got upgraded to this awesome suite which had the biggest bathroom we’ve seen, and below, is the other half of the room.  So nice to have some play space with kids, oppose to cramming in (when you can help it. Sometimes, like on a cruise, our budget doesn’t allow for play space in the room).

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Second half of our suite in Macedonia.

3.) Excursions.

B.K.: Non-existent. We’d grab a hotel’s city centre map in the morning, draw out a walking route and just drink coffee, people watch, and eat street vendor food before conking out at night.

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Here’s me, literally zero responsibilities in life, in Hungary, 2015.

A.K.: Coffee is now in to-go cups, on the way to a playground typically. We are more apt to pay for excursions though, typically at our son’s request. We’ve rented bikes in Croatia and Norway, and in Montenegro chartered a speed boat for a couple hours. I would hasten to say that the boat ride in Montenegro was the best day of my life — it felt so freeing to have someone else in control, taking us around so that we could just sit back and enjoy the views; watching Henry smile with the wind in his hair was so sweet. It was the most we’ve spent on an excursion on a trip, and something we never would have done as two adults travelling without kids, but turned out to be a life highlight!

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Cycling in Bol, Croatia. How beautiful is this waterfront path?

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Boat rental in Kotor Bay, Montenegro.

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Cycling in Norway — Tom and I hiked a waterfall while these boys rode bikes!

In what sort of ways have your trips changed since having kids, or have they stayed pretty much the same?

J xo

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