5 Tips for Traveling in London with a Toddler

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.

 

 

 

  1. 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&region=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&region=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.
  2. 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 😉
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.
  5. 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:

  1. Hyde Park- picnic by the lake
  2. Kensington Garden- Cute Princess Diana play ground inside with a carousel
  3. Buckingham Palace- changing of the guards is at 11:30 AM
  4. The London Eye- preorder tickets online, must fold up your buggy
  5. Jubilee Gardens- cute playground area by the London Eye
  6. Westminster Abbey- there was a long line and cost $$ to get inside
  7. Big Ben
  8. Cruise on the River Thames- we booked with the London Eye here
  9. Be sure to eat Indian Food (Mmmm)- we ate at Salt ‘n Pepper by Trafalgar Square
  10. The National Gallery
  11. Harrod’s
  12. Tower Bridge
  13. London Bridge

Click here to see our London video.

If you have tips to add, please leave them in the comments.

Xoxo,

mrsabbys

 

Paris, je t’aime

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Our time in Paris was made even more memorable by taking professional family photographs (BIG shout out to Alex Baranda Photography for gifting us such a special gift). I would highly recommend it, especially in the city of love. Our photographer, Nadia from Better Travel Photos, was so kind, patient with our very active 15 month old and knew a plethora of information about Paris even giving us recommendations on a place to eat.

You will never regret capturing sweet memories of your family. I can’t wait to hang these memories on our wall.

Xoxo,

mrsabbys

**Disclaimer: All rights belong to mrsabbys. Do not copy.

Travel Diary: I dream of Marfa

I have been dreaming of spending some solitude in Marfa, more specifically El Cosmico, for a few months now. I really wanted to stay in a yurt, but the only time we were available to stay for a couple nights were in December. I did see that the yurts have a fire pit to keep you warm, but with a baby I can just imagine us constantly chasing her away from it. We opted for the airstream which included a heater and an indoor bathroom with shower! WooHoo! We, also, brought our little pup and celebrated her 10th birthday around the sun. It was nice to have our whole family there.

The drive to Marfa is about 6 1/2 hours from us. The last time we drove during the day with our little babe was miserable. We stopped frequently to feed and to change her and she still cried -a 3 hour road trip took 5 hours! We started to drive with her at night, which has been great since she just sleeps. This time, we were unable to travel during the night, but surprisingly she did so well during the day.

When we arrived in our airstream, it was a dream… an airstream dream 🙂 The countertop was hot pink, the comforter was this awesome rainbow color and there were supplies to make a pour over. The heater was already on so it was nice and cozy. I was so happy that Eloise loved their bed and stayed away from the heater or anything else that could be dangerous. She liked crawling to the windows and looking outside. We did bring a few of her toys to keep her entertained, too. The campground also included a communal kitchen and hammock area and you can rent dutch tubs or bikes. Since it was super cold when we went, we stayed inside most of the time.

We bought groceries and stayed in for dinner and breakfast the next day. It was so nice to just do nothing. Hubs read his devotional and I caught up on a book I have been trying to finish since summer. There were no distractions from the busy world. We were able to get closer to one another and to God. I know that might sound silly, drive 6 1/2 hours to find peace and quiet with one another and God, but it was nice to get away from any obligations or any electronic distractions.

We did do some “touristy” things. We checked out the Prada Marfa, which is 30 minutes away in Valentine. We were the only ones there so that was nice to snap pictures without people in it to make it even more desolate. Sweet Eloise fell asleep on the ride out there so she missed seeing the shoes and purses. There is a “love lock” fence in the back, where couples wrote their names on a lock and locked their love on the fence. We, also, went to the Marfa Lights, which was 10 minutes away. Eloise fell asleep again so I stayed in the car with her and hubs went to check it out. I was a little creeped out because it was dark and we were the only ones there! I did see something when we were leaving. We talked to a waitress that said many people believe the lights are demons, but it’s so sporadic that no one knows.

People have told us how much they love that we take our baby girl with us on our adventures and honestly, we love doing life with her. Sometimes, it can be tough if she is fighting her sleep and crying and everyone stares at you or you can’t stay in a yurt, but we feel like it’s worth it. We love showing her new things and letting her explore.