Tomorrow, Athena and I leave for Germany. It’s just us and planes, trains, buses, castles, parks, unique accommodations, bucket list adventures, family fun, and authentic cuisine. Without a doubt, I’m excited and so is Athena. We’ve been dreaming about it for more than a month, talking about all of the new experiences we’ll have and what we’ll see. What excites me, though, is equally matched by what scares me. I’m traveling internationally with a toddler who definitely exhibits moments of “the terrible twos.” What am I thinking as I plan for this bonding experience? Find out below.
Firstly, packing is a challenge in itself. I can’t decide if I want to bring the stroller or just a baby carrier. Athena is getting a little old for her Britax Baby Carrier but it’s made for children between 8-32 pounds and it’s easy to pack. A stroller, however, saves my back and can be used to carry luggage as well. We have the Joovy Caboose Ultralight Stand-On Tandem Stroller. If I bring that, Athena can sleep while I’m dealing with customs and when she’s tired and we’re on the road. I can use the extra space to store my backpack and the suitcase, leaving me with no extra weight. The problem is getting it on and off trains and buses. Even getting to the train or bus can be an issue because of stairs or escalators. Do I save my back and rely on others to help lift the stroller onto the transportation system or avoid the stress of waiting for help?
Diapers are another packing nightmare. Athena is in the middle of potty training, but that will all go down the toilet when we’re traveling for excessive periods on planes and trains. Alas, I’ll resort to diapers. Do I bring enough to last the entire trip or rely on buying while I’m there? It’s not like I’m going to extremely isolated areas so I’ve decided to bring enough for a few days and buy there. We’ll see how that plan pans out.
The flight is also a concern. It’s more than 10 hours on a plane with an active toddler and no other support. What should I bring for her to do on the plane? Remember, I have to carry it all when we arrive. Then, when we do arrive, it’s still the middle of the night for us. How will she transition when we have to wait in lines and hop on a train to get to our first hotel? Even though she has lots of international experience, this is the longest flight yet with the biggest difference in time change. Sleeping issues and activities while traveling are all part of the mystery.
We have amazing adventures planned including a trip to Europa Park, Neuschwanstein Castle, Kinderhotel Oberjoch, a boat trip to Forggensee, and an adventure bus (not sure what that is but it sounds fun). I’m sure once we get settled in and we’re actually there my worries will fade away and new ones will come up.
I have this opportunity to experience a new country and bucket list activities that I never dreamed possible and I get to do it with Athena at my side. Any worry that I have is well-worth it. Watch and read how it all turns out over the next two weeks.
See you in Germany!
****Our trip to Germany is sponsored by the German National Tourist Board but all thoughts, ideas, and options are my own.***