Equipment to Take when Traveling
Berkeley Parents Network >
Going Places >
Equipment to Take when Traveling
Baby Equipment for a trip to Europe
See also: Advice about Travel in Europe with Kids
We flew to France with our daughter when she was 11 months old, and overall
the trip went smoothly. We brought a carseat for car travel there, but
checked it for the flight. The flight went well -- a kid can do a lot of
exploring in a plane, which makes the time pass much more quickly than in a
car, and she slept during her normal hours. We went with a backpack (no
stroller) because our daughter liked it better and the places we were going
(Paris and the countryside) weren't particularly stroller-friendly (lots of
stairs in the city, no paved sidewalks elsewhere). A clip-on high chair was
terrific -- there's a brand called "Me Too" which weighs 2 pounds and folds
completely flat. It fit on our diaper bag with no problem. It was on the
expensive side -- $50 -- but we ended up using it constantly when we were
there and a lot when we got home. (It's good for when other babies come over
for dinner!) It fits most but not all tables, but we were very happy we
brought it. Jennifer
We travelled to Europe quite a bit when our daughter was a baby and
toddler. We generally travelled with a car seat, which we used on the
plane also portacrib, umbrella stroller, and a useful little portable high
chair which strapped on to a regular chair (we thought it was more
practical than the kind which attaches to tables, because you could use it
on more types of table). It was a lot of paraphernalia, but we were glad
to have it all -- she seemed more comfortable on the plane in her familiar
car seat, and we felt safer in taxis to and from airports as well as on the
plane itself. We didn't ever buy her a ticket, but she almost always got a
seat (if there is are empty seats on the plane, the staff is usually very
good about allotting them to babies traveling without tickets). Hannah
I am living (temporarily) in Paris, France and have traveled extensively in
Europe with my daughter who is now 18 months old. However, we moved here when
she was a mere 8 months.
1. We found taking a car seat on the plane to be more trouble than it was
worth, if you throw in the cost of an extra seat. We usually hold our
daughter in our laps, trading off throughout the flight. That's where she's
happiest anyway. Some of the European airlines give you a special
(pointless, in my opinion) seatbelt for the baby on take off and landing.
You should, however, ask if you can have the bulkhead seat because sometimes
they have bassinettes built in for babies. Our daughter slept all 17 hours
of a flight to Paris squished into one of those things. Around 13 months,
however, she outgrew them.
2. Bring a port-a-crib and sheets. Not all European hotels have cribs for
babies and some who do, only give you the crib and a mattress. No linens. At
12 months, our daughter was gettig too heavy for a backback but we used it
constantly before then. Some museums wont let you take kids in with a
backpack but we always at least tried that route. We also bought a portable
baby eating seat which attaches to ant table for hotels and restaurants.
Unless you're moving here, bringing an actual high chair seems a bit
extreme. A little umbrella stroller is the only one we cart around for
3. Most of the TIMEOUT guides include a section on Children and babysitting.
Some of them also offer child equipment rental. In Paris, there is a mom's
group called MESSAGE and they might be able to help you find some baby
4. The more stars attached to the hotel, the more supplies they are going to
have. Remember, a four star hotel in Europe is like a nice Holiday Inn in
the US. A Ritz or Four Seasons is your best best - assuming you're a dot.com
billionaire. I do't know of any specific baby friendly hotels in any of the
cities you mentioned.
5.I never see car seats on public transit. Our daughter sits on the bus and
metro/tube in a stroller. London and Paris taxi cab drivers do not require a
Have fun and good luck.
Travel with a 1 year old can be easy or difficult depending on how much stuff
you are willing to lug around with you.
1) ~Bring the car seat on the plane especially since you will need it in
2) I would bring a lightweight stroller that reclines, possibly a backpack
and a portable highchair. ~Highchairs in restaurants are very rare in Europe.
~Most hotels should be able to provide a crib. ~I would call the hotels you
are planning to stay at (if you know) and ask. ~If not, bring a pack and play
to save your sanity.
3) ~Children can ride in subways and on buses without a car seat but I would
definately use a car seat in taxis whenever possible. ~When not possile, I
think a snuggly is your second best alternative.
Good luck and have a good trip.
We took our daughter to the S. of France in Oct. She
was just a year old. On the outbound flight, we took
a direct red-eye flight into Paris. This was
manageable because our baby wanted to sleep during
most of the flight. Call ahead and ask for the
"bulk-head" seats. Some Reservationists will book
these seats in advance for you. Keep calling until
you find a sympathetic operator. The return (11AM
flight) was very difficult as she did not want to stay
in her seat. United does not require a car seat for
infants, so we did not use one, nor did we have an
extra seat reserved. Our daughter would not have
stayed in her seat if we had one. Most airlines have
a special lap belt for babies that secures to your
seat belt, for take off and landing. We did not bring
a car seat - we didn't want to lug it around. We
rented a Britex car seat (very sturdy and secure) with
Hertz. They should have car seats available in most
European locations. We called ahead and found a hotel
that had a crib, but when we arrived it didn't look
like the safest sleeping quarters for our baby. We
ended up putting our daughter in bed with us. We
toted her around in a Kelty Kids back pack which, for
us, made it easy to maneuver around the airport. Not
too many high chairs available in the places we stayed
at. We improvised (held her on my lap or fed her
picnic style). Public transit was not a problem in
Paris. The metro is a very easy, safe way to travel
around Paris. Hope this answers some of your
questions. The best advice I can give you is to be
I can't respond to all the questions but ... We've tended to do
without the car seat on flights where we aren't using a car on
the other end. It's bulky and hard to transport from destination
to destination -- of course, if you're planning on renting cars
you'll need it. Flying with the car seat is safer in cases of
turbulence but you have to balance all the trip necessities.
Definitely bring an umbrella-type stroller and gate check it --
a quality stroller is the thing to splurge on. In addition to
holding the baby, the stroller can hold his/her things and your
travel necessities. It's also a good stand in for a high chair.
Hotels: we've done best with studio apartment type set-ups. You
end up spending more time in the hotel with a little kid, and
also it is much easier to deal with their food when you have a
refrigerator and microwave. If you're nursing, you might want
to continue, because getting milk can be a hassle when travelling.
Also, it's much easier on the baby not !
to change hotels too much -- you might want to consider having
base cities in each area and travelling from there. Public
transportation -- you don't need a car seat for buses or trains
(you don't in the states, either).
Have fun! Also, I think there's a book called Travelling with
Kids, or some related title -- I saw it at Easy Going.
this page was last updated: Apr 27, 2012
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network