Today I’m sharing ALL of the little details from our trip to Austria! As most of you know, I had this wild and crazy idea to pack up my suitcase and head to Europe with Leo to go visit Sammy, Dustin, and Hayden. I was soooo excited to finally be making my way there to catch up with Sammy and Dustin and see little Hayden once again … and to obviously explore with our little ones!! It was funny because I was getting a lot of praise and encouragement from a lot of people at first and I had no idea WHY … I mean, sure, travelling with a one-year-old was going to be a bit different than travelling by myself and it might be frustrating from time to time but it can’t be THAT hard, can it?? I mean, Leo is always with me anyway, so how different could it really be?? Welp, I’m here to tell you that traveling with a one-year-old IS A TOUGH FRICKIN JOB!!! Holy crap. It honestly didn’t take long for reality to slap me across the face!! I think I was just so used to travelling along and being on my own schedule that it was a huge reality check travelling along with Leo … because even though he can’t speak … it’s certainly up to him how our days unfolded! LOL!
Many people were wondering why I went to Austria and watched me over on my Instagram stories, eating, dancing, and drinking in Sammy’s kitchen. Welp. To be honest, I LOVED this time with Sammy, Dustin, and Hayden, it was perfect to be able to just be in the moment and hang out with them and catch up!! I wouldn’t have changed that for the world!! However, it’s funny looking at it from a bloggers perspective, let me give you a quick rundown as to why … LOL!! I thought we would be getting all of these cutesy photos while joyfully frolicking around Europe with a mug of warm Glühwein in hand, happy babies at our sides, days filled with amazing dinners out, shopping, … the whole nine yards. Yeah … that wasn’t the case. LOL. The reality was, I had all of these amazing expectations which was my first mistake. LOL! Our trip started off with lost luggage, which we all know, is never fun! The babies were cranky … on the third day we were there, Leo came down with a horrible fever, so while we planned to go to the Cinderella castle that day, instead we had to relax at home and not do anything because his health came first!
Actually, the very next day, after Leo’s fever subsided (thankfully!!) we ended up heading out to check out the Cinderella castle … they day before it was beautiful weather (nice, warm and CLEAR) but this day … it was snowing like CRAZY!!! We got the to castle, waited an hour and a half for tickets (after we trekked up a damn mountain to get there! LOL), once we got the tickets we were informed that we weren’t able to take our strollers in with us, so we were climbing tons of stairs with the kids on our hips … I was sweating BULLETS … the kids were squawking and we couldn’t take photos inside … which was one of the main reasons I wanted to go!! Well, I thought to myself, at least I could get a pretty photo of the castle outside … NOPE!! That was shut down as well because they were in the middle of construction and there were barricades set up but I wasn’t letting this keep me away. LOL!! I asked Dustin to hold Leo, I jumped the barricade (ssshhhhh … ), wiped out on the ice (karma, right??) and hiked my tired and sweaty ass up a steep trail to get a photo of the damn castle. It was worth it. LOL!
Hilarious right?? It gets better. The next day, we took a trip to Innsbruck and I was soooo excited to get there because there was a little vegan restaurant called Olive, (actually, the ONLY vegan restaurant in Austria) that I wanted to try out … so we finally get there and it’s CLOSED for a damn staff meeting. I couldn’t believe it. LOL! So, we ended up going to a dumpy little dive cafe, we were surrounded by stunning scenery which we couldn’t see because it was so foggy and gloomy!!
My last two days in Europe we decided to take a little trip to Paris … we stayed at the Shangri-La Paris and the hotel staff were nothing short of AMAZING!!! They had cribs set up for us including balloons and photos of our loved ones … it was so cute. To be honest, I have never felt so connected to staff at a hotel then the staff at the Shangri-La Paris, we only spent two days there but I left feeling as though they were family!!
The second day in Paris we had a photoshoot scheduled with Flytographer and we were soooo excited about it but that very day it was so foggy and hard to see the Eiffel tower which made it a bit challenging but we worked with it!! And then Hayden stopped eating … and puked all over Sam … things were starting to go downhill again. So, rather than going out for a nice, fancy, and wine filled dinner, we stayed in and made the most of it. LOL!!
So, while it was the most AMAZING and unforgettable trip, it was by no means relaxing … actually, it was probably the least relaxing trip I’ve ever been on. LOL! However, though it was chaotic and stressful, I certainly have no regrets about it and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world!! Below are a few things I learned along the way on this journey …
1. Lower Your Expectations
Seriously. Above all, just do this. Lower your expectations. So do yourself a favour and expect nothing, just go with the flow!
2. Work & Function in the Existing Time Zone
The time change definitely threw us out of whack and is one of the most challenging things to deal with as you can’t really tell a baby “Ok, it’s bedtime now” BUT the one thing I did learn (thanks to Jamie from WeeSleep!) is that as soon as you get to your destination work and function in the existing time zone. That’s right, forget about what you are used to and just adapt the best you can. I’m by no means saying this is easy, because it sure as hell wasn’t but I felt like after the 3rd or 4th day Leo started to get used to the new time zone and we became accustomed quicker than what we would have had we carried on with our previous time zone.
3. Don’t Stress About Your Luggage
I definitely overpacked for this trip but I don’t regret it … I was so worried about how much luggage I was bringing with me and how stressful it was going to be to haul it all around with me but in reality, you don’t really carry all of your luggage around with you much … you can honestly transfer it from the carousel to your cart and once you’re at your destination whether it’s at a relatives or a hotel, you are good to leave the bulk of it there until you leave! I had one big suitcase, a big duffle bag, a diaper bag, Leo’s stroller AND his car seat with us and thankfully the amount of luggage didn’t hinder our trip!
4. Re-Evaluate the Clothing You Pack
I packed all these cute outfits for Leo to wear in Europe like plaids and flannels and cozy little sweaters but I didn’t pack a snowsuit!!! I actually ended up buying him one when we were there and he wore it almost every single day. If I were to go back and repack for him, I would have brought three or four onesies, two snowsuits, and lots of touques because it was CHILLY there!!
5. Stick with the Bottle
I was contemplating taking Leo off the bottle before we left for our trip and I ended up deciding against it which I’m VERY thankful about!! His bottle was honestly my saving grace … when he was cranky, needed a nap or when he woke up in the middle of the night and was hungry, I was able to give him his bottle and he was a happy camper. This also came in super handy when I was trying not to wake Sam, Dustin, and Hayden when we were up in the middle of the night!!
I might get a bit of flack for this one but when Leo had his fever I gave him a little bit of Tylenol to combat it. I also noticed Leo was so exhausted and was fighting sleep so I gave him a tiny amount to help him catch the rest he so desperately needed.
I could NOT have imagined doing this trip without my Fawn Design diaper bag … I was able to pack it full with everything for myself and Leo and it was easy to carry around with me everywhere we went as I just tossed it on my back and was able to be hands-free!!
This little snack container is LIFE SAVER people … when your little one starts to get fussy or hungry, bust this baby out and turn that frown upside down! LOL!
9. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
If things aren’t going your way … just remember to breathe and don’t sweat the small stuff!
10. Just Have Fun
Whatever you do, just embrace the moment, for the ups, the downs, and the craziness because it’s worth the memories in the end!!
Do any of you have any tips or tricks for travelling alone with your kids?? If so, we ALL want to hear them!! Share your thoughts in the comments section below!!