Alex is one of our very first members to join Club Bebe Voyage and is one of our biggest fans — we love him too! On his recent trip to Paris, he struggled with getting his daughter to adapt to the new time zone (we were literally supporting him through it all night!), but also learnt to soak in the culture and successfully got his daughter to diversify her palate. Check out Alex’s travel lessons and apply them to your next trip!
Your baby’s age and name:
Annika – 23 months
Daddy – American
Papa – French
Were you traveling with anyone?
Just the three of us.
Where did you travel to and from?
From Washington, DC to Paris – direct flight.
What mode of transportation did you take?
UberFamily to airport; stroller to gate; RER (commuter train) and bus into Paris; family taxi to airport; stroller to gate; UberFamily home.
What airline did you fly and would you recommend them?
United, and I would recommend them for their direct flight, convenient flight times for this route, and lots of room in economy plus.
What was the most difficult part of the trip?
Daddy getting the stomach flu leaving Papa to care for Annika 24/7 for the first three days.
Our Little One refused to change time zones and for the first half of the trip it was quite frustrating. On the third day, I thought she went to sleep at 7 pm for the night – BUT IT TURNED OUT IT WAS JUST HER NAP! AHHHH! In the end we surrendered to it, and indeed she was on our home time zone upon our return.
What was your greatest success during this trip?
Banishing picky eating – well at least making some major strides! Books like French Kids Eat Everything and Bringing Up Bebe praise the French system where, well, French kids do eat everything. It was my goal to get Annika to try new foods and the new surroundings and choices really helped! By the end of the trip Annika was no longer eating pouches and was trying new foods. We haven’t looked back.
Can you share with us a baby-friendly (bébé voyage approved!) tip on Paris?
My favorite spot in Paris for this trip was the Jardin des Plantes (5th Arr) which in itself has a little zoo and some museums geared toward kids.
Also, explore your neighborhood; you do not need to venture far. We found ours had so much more to offer for kids than we could have hoped – playgrounds, kid friendly restaurants, fun walks and outdoor markets. A few days in we had developed a nice little routine in our new hood!
What is the best tip you have for fellow traveling parents?
Roll with it. It can’t be said enough. Sometimes it’s all you can do to get to the nearby park. Some days you arrive late to the family reunion convened in your daughter’s honor. Sometimes everything goes perfectly and on schedule and you do everything on your to do list!
Oh and the tip about having help upon arrival is – priceless.
What is your favorite travel app/ item/ accessory?
An umbrella stroller! I never thought we would get one because we love our full size stroller and lugged it all the way to Paris, but once we purchased a cheap one from Monoprix (Poussette Canne) we were magically able to fit in tiny elevators and squeeze through bustling cafes and buses.
Anything else we should know?
I really think our LO would have been able to give up her beloved “teti” or pacifier on this trip. (Maybe it is something about the change of scene?) She just didn’t seem that into it and kept biting through them and declaring them “broken.” But we got freaked out about the prospect of a long day flight home without it. Now she is back to her beloved teti. Oh well!