Having a child brings about a large number of lifestyle changes. It is not usual to hear the parents of young children discussing the changes brought about by having children, often followed by the phrase “but once the kids are older.” One of the topics that elicit this response most often is holidays. Many parents act as if traveling with a child is impossible. However, that myth can be dispelled fairly quickly with just a quick internet search.
Paris is a popular destination and often on the “dream list” of young parents. If you fall into that category, there is absolutely no reason to put off your trip “until the kid is older.” Instead just adjust your mind-set and follow some simple rules.
- You have to do more planning – Prior to leaving for your holiday and while there, it is necessary to plan carefully. You need to figure out what items you need to take and which you can do without. This is especially important for outings while on holiday. Take too little and your day can be cut short, take too much and you find that carrying kilos of unnecessary items results in an aching back.
- Don’t over schedule – Everything takes longer with a child. Keep your daily itinerary fairly loose and flexible. Don’t try to rush, because you probably won’t be able to. Over-scheduling will simply cause frustration.
- Take the right equipment – A buggy is perfect for leisurely strolls in neighborhood parks or even for shopping at home. However, trying to take one on the Paris metro is a bad idea. Instead take along a really nice carrier. Most parents find front carriers work best in crowded cities.
- Pick where you go carefully – If you are visiting Paris in the summer some places like The Louvre can be hellishly busy and not the best environment for toddlers and younger children. Look for alternatives such as the ‘Arts et Metier’ museum which is full of steam punk type stuff and is a real hit with children young and old. In the summertime, Paris turns the banks of the Seine into a temporary beach known as Paris Plage which is full of kids’ activities, most of them free.
- Consider changing your type of accommodation – As we mentioned, everything with kids takes more time and requires a bit more attention to smaller details. Choosing a short term rental for you stay allows for greater flexibility and offers all the room needed for traveling with a child.
- Dining out – Perhaps the only change you may want to make when traveling with a child may be in your choice of restaurants. However that only really applies to visiting that 5 star Michelin restaurant you have always wanted to visit, but only due to the fact that your child will probably not appreciate the food or find an item that is to their liking. Otherwise, go wherever you wish. You’ll see that other tourists and locals as well have children in tow.