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Just got back from a great trip to London with my toddler!

Just got back from a great trip to London with my toddler!

Jan 2nd, 2002, 03:36 PM
  #1  
Malena
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Just got back from a great trip to London with my toddler!

This is for all of you folks who are afraid to travel with your toddlers - don't be! We had a great time!

We started by explaining to our two year old about the plane trip - how long it would be, and what would happen when we arrived. He was wonderfully behaved - both ways! Of course, the extensive children's TV selections available on the Airbus 300 we took REALLY helped a lot.

Our most effective strategy while in London was simply to operate on the lowest common denominator.

The first day there we took it easy, allowing him a little nap or two, but trying to stay up until at least 8pm. He woke up from midnight to 2pm, but we just rolled with it, and gently walked him down again after some quiet reading time.

We quickly settled into a routine that worked very nicely. We chose one activity for the morning, let him take a nap in the stroller while we had a nice (and blessedly quiet lunch) and then another activity in the afternoon. For example, one day we spent the morning touring the Tower, lunched at the nearby Plantation restaurant (wonderful Indian food and very reasonable at 11 pounds for a set menu), and then visited Westminister Abby after lunch.

We tried to make sure that somewhere along the way we inserted fun things for HIM to do each day, like the interactive exhibits at the Science Museum or the Princess Diana Memorial Playground (that has to be the most incredibly wonderful playground I have EVER seen).

We tried to eat dinner early at restaurants that appeared to cater to children (ie had a children's menu). The Rainforest Cafe, though it is a chain, is a wonderful place to go. There are all kinds of things going on and enough noise to mask the loudest of kids! Eating dinner at 6pm at most places means you are probably the only folks there - your money is welcome and the kids' rambunctiousness is not so bad if there are no other patrons to be bothered!

I think that the key to our success was that we did not have really high expectations about getting to a lot of places. No stress, no fuss! By the way, I highly recommend the Big Bus type tours as a fun way to get the lay of the land - and the kids love the ride!

We stayed at the Copthorne Tara Kensington - nice location in terms of convenience, but hard to believe they would put a 4 star hotel on top of the subway! Yup - rumbling every 5 minutes. Luckily, we are heavy sleepers. Hey, at 40 pounds a night through Priceline for a nice 4 star hotel, who is complaining?

 
Jan 2nd, 2002, 04:32 PM
  #2  
topping
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Topping for Malena
 
Jan 3rd, 2002, 02:36 AM
  #3  
andrew
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Malena - Great trip report and I'm glad you enjoyed your time over here - I remember your original questions and it's always so nice when people find the time to let others know how things went
 
Jan 3rd, 2002, 05:51 AM
  #4  
Dawn
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Malena, I am so happy to hear you had a good time. This past summer we took our daughter (1.5 years) to London and Paris and she loved every minute of it! We too took it easy, and had our least stressful vacation yet.., we saw so many new things. If you did not get a chance, the next time you go to London you have to go to Hamley's, it is a toy store on Regent Street, and we spent two-three hours there one morning! In Paris we took it easy there also, and have a great picture of her playing on the playground outside of Notre Dame with a cute little French boy. It is darling!

Anyway, I am so happy to see a post that speaks nicley about traveling with young children. I love traveling and love it even more with my daughter!

I agree Malena.., people should not be afraid to travel with their toddlers!
 
Jan 3rd, 2002, 05:38 PM
  #5  
Malena
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Dawn, I knew about Hamleys but I'm afraid I was not as courageous as you - I was afraid to go there in case I could not find a way to lure my son back out! Lol!!!
 
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