We recently survived a trip to London with our very active 15 month old. Here’s a few things we did to enjoy our time together.
- Pack light. I’ve been working on this for awhile now, and I think I got it down. I knew our hotel had a washer and dryer so this made it easier to pack light. I was able to fit my husband’s, our toddler’s and my clothes in 1 medium luggage with the help of travel organizers- this is what we used //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=mrsabbys-20&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=B016YQPZ80&asins=B016YQPZ80&linkId=64d51ec210b1758183ad288df313f775&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>here. I packed bottoms that were able to mix-and-match with different tops. The travel organizers really helped with only packing what fits in each one of our cubes. When we got to the airport, our luggage weighed less then 40 lbs! We also had a small carry-on luggage (but we checked it in) full of her diapers and wipes. This is totally optional, but I’m glad I packed it because diapers and wipes at the store near our place were so expensive. As we used her diapers, we put souvenirs in that space. We bought a new stroller for this trip, too. We got the UPPAbaby G-Luxe (you can get it //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=mrsabbys-20&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=B01ITTRIM6&asins=B01ITTRIM6&linkId=fdb4172b9fdb5ba386c60f6a5f72b8fd&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>here). We chose this umbrella stroller because it reclines and extendable sunshade. It’s easy to fold and carry, as well.
- Research. I highly suggest you look up where you are staying and locate the nearest store, hospital and what their emergency number is, especially when traveling with a child . In London, their emergency number isn’t 911, but rather it is 999. We stopped by the store almost everyday to get milk, drinks and snacks (ya know toddlers love their snacks!). Also, I researched things to do in London with a baby by reading blogs, reading TripAdvisor reviews and watching YouTube videos. This was our first international flight with our little babe, and we didn’t know how jet-lag would affect her, so we did not book anything for the first day. I did read to beat jet-lag, you shouldn’t sleep right away. We landed at 9 AM, checked in to our hotel, freshened up and hit the London cobblestones! Luckily, our hotel was walking distance to plenty of tourist attractions: Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye and the Thames river. We, also, found a cute park with a playground nearby- score! (click here to find out where we stayed) Tip: When going down the escalator, stand on the right & walk on the left. They won’t say anything to you, but they will stare & think impolite things 😉
- Learn the lingo. I watched YouTube videos to help finds things to do with a baby. Also, I found videos on how to pronounce words and use the local lingo. For example: lifts are elevators, rubbish is trash, nappy is diaper, buggy is stroller, queue is line (Londoners love their lines- very proper lines!), chips are fries, crisps are chips, toilet is restroom (do not say “where is the bathroom” they will look at you confused thinking you are asking “where is the shower”), the Thames river is pronounced “tems”, Westminster is not “WestminIster” (don’t add that extra ‘I’ in there). I watched a lot of videos from this YouTube vlogger who lives in London, find her here.
- Ask a local. There were SO many helpful and friendly people here. We loved it! It even started on the airline. We flew British Airways and the lady at check-in gave a seat to our little babe. It gave us a whole row to ourselves! The flight attendants also gave us plenty of milk for her when we asked. When we were in the airport and using the tube for the first time, the workers helped us navigate to our stop by telling us which line to go to and when to switch to another line. They told us which lines would have lifts by finding the handicap symbol on the map, and figuring out if we should get an oyster card or not (if you are staying more than 2 days- get it, you get a refund when you return the card, too!). When we finally got to our stop, we had to push our luggages and stroller to our hotel. We were met with a long stairway down the riverbank. Hubs started to carry down the 2 luggages then back up to help me bring the stroller down. Some nice man walking with his wife helped carry the bottom of the stroller (we didn’t even ask!) and we got everything down in a swift. Also, little babe brought her baby doll, Carol, with her in her stroller, but then would throw her out randomly. Ole Carol would always be returned by a friendly stranger though- even they were in a rush. While eating in a cafe, a man gave Eloise a balloon which made her day. I could go on with all the of friendlies we met.
- Know your child. Weird tip, huh? What I mean about knowing your child is that you will know when your child needs to stop, get out of the buggy and want to run around. For us, we booked things to do in the morning time (our little babe’s prime good mood time) and left the afternoon open. If she wanted to keep going, we kept touring around. If she wanted a break, we found a cute park with a playground and had a picnic. I loved it! The picnics were one of my favorite memories.
THINGS WE DID:
- Hyde Park- picnic by the lake
- Kensington Garden- Cute Princess Diana play ground inside with a carousel
- Buckingham Palace- changing of the guards is at 11:30 AM
- The London Eye- preorder tickets online, must fold up your buggy
- Jubilee Gardens- cute playground area by the London Eye
- Westminster Abbey- there was a long line and cost $$ to get inside
- Big Ben
- Cruise on the River Thames- we booked with the London Eye here
- Be sure to eat Indian Food (Mmmm)- we ate at Salt ‘n Pepper by Trafalgar Square
- The National Gallery
- Tower Bridge
- London Bridge
Click here to see our London video.
If you have tips to add, please leave them in the comments.