So it’s my first time in Europe with a child, a toddler at that, and I have to say I was curious to see how we would find the experience. Firstly, because this trip isn’t just about me! It’s about us as a family. I’ve never been in Spain or England with a child. Secondly, winter in Europe and the way of life is a far cry from our small island tropical living where it’s 26+ degrees, we have nature as our playground and chickens as our friends!
So, how did it go?
Well, it’s fair to say on arrival it was a bit of a civilization shock. The bright lights big city, full on hailstone storm, & toddler meltdown in M&S at the thought of wearing shoes and a coat was all a bit much with the jetlag. However, once we got over this I discovered there were many things to enjoy about being in Europe in Winter with a toddler.
Top 10 Things I Love About Europe With A Toddler
1 Playgrounds – they are everywhere, inside and out. Great safe places to learn and develop and get rid of that toddler energy.
2 Parks – these are a big part of the European lifestyle with big open areas of grass, trees and places to run. To see ducks, deer, and just be.
3 Water out of the tap – this has to be a favourite of mine, water out of the tap to clean, drink and brush teeth. Oh what a refreshing and easy delight.
4 Closed spaces – having spent the last year running around after a toddler on an island that has no boundaries, closing her in a house is a delight! Great for her as she doesn’t have a constant shadow and it’s safe. Great for me so I can relax and rest a little!
5 Clean – the level of clean is blissful. Although the obsessive use of wipes by people living there rather amused me. Try living in tropical disease central.
6 Organic & healthy food – there’s variety in food and milk. Soya, nut, and rice milk and all at prices that won’t break the bank. It’s really nice to be able to easily feed my daughter healthy, readily available food and often at reasonable prices.
7 Pavements & places to walk – Europe is so pushchair friendly. You can walk and get some exercise, and they can rest.
8 Proper recycling facilities – so all the waste that ironically comes with so many things you buy for children can be properly recycled. Not a solution, but good it’s available for the unavoidable.
9 Kid friendly culture – the Spanish culture is extremely child friendly, much more so than the UK, making it social and easy to go out and about with a toddler.
10 Family & Friends – it was wonderful for our little love to spend time with her grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and vice versa.
So there it is, 10 wins for Europe with a toddler.
I was actually surprised to find how toddler friendly Europe is, or at least how it can make many things that are challenging in the tropics easier. Of course it also reminds you about the things that you love to enjoy about tropical island living, and appreciate the best of both worlds. Though I have to say, despite loving the cold for a while I would still choose the tropics every time.
Coming up next are my Top Tips on eco choices you can make when traveling to tropical islands. And don’t worry, I’ve not forgotten about sharing my Top Tips to kid friendly Bali and Nusa Lembongan. They will be to follow!
Until next time, enjoy where you are.