We recently braved our first city break with small children - a short break to Berlin which I've written about in some detail on my blog, in particular visiting Berlin with young children. I've written about it so much, because despite our reservations we had a wonderful time! It was a real change from the typical family friendly holiday that we've taken in the past, and although it was hard work we all enjoyed it a lot.
We travelled with a four year old and a two year old, and I will admit that there were some challenges, so I've put together a few hints and tips if you are considering a similar holiday yourself.
- Stay in accommodation that is either central or easily accessible, so that you can return easily during the day if you need a break.
- Consider taking a pushchair, even if your child doesn't use one at home.
- Try and stay somewhere with a fridge in the room, and pack sandwich bags, plastic boxes and some cutlery. Then you can make up sandwiches and snacks to take out with you or to eat in the room. Remember to pack a night light too if you use one at home.
- Don't try and fit too much into a day. Keep the focus on child friendly activities and attractions, and take your lead from your child. If they start to tire, don't keep pushing them or else it will end in meltdown.
- Make a point of noticing all the things that are different from home. For example, in Berlin we saw trams, double decker trains and sausage sellers on the streets.
- Enjoy the slower pace necessitated by a small child, and see your surroundings from a child's point of view. As an adult, it's easy to miss things when you are rushing about, and there is always something interesting to spot, whether it's some beautiful carved railings, an unusual statue or an enticing shop window.
- You are probably going to be very reliant upon public transport. It's worth checking out the ticket prices in advance to see if there is a daily or weekly card that you can buy to save some money. If you need to take a pushchair, do some research as to how accessible the public transport system is. For example, Berlin was fantastic, London is very difficult with a pushchair.
- Don't feel frustrated if you can't see everything that you want to, remember it's a family holiday and it's all about spending time doing things together.
For us, the biggest advantage to taking a city break was the fact that we were able to take a reasonably priced holiday during the school holiday, instead of the more traditional family friendly options which increase their prices so much. City breaks are definitely something to think about if you have children that are in school and are looking for a short break, try browsing through some of the budget airline destinations.
Have you tried a city break with young children? Could you add any more tips to my list?
Image courtesy of Hannes Wolf via Unsplash.