This is the time of year when getting away, or planning to get away, is at the forefront of our minds (although to be honest it was always at the forefront of my mind in Arthur’s first year…)
Unfortunately, if you’re not blessed with qualified grandparents, then you have no option but to take them with you and the whole business of travel and babies is hardly relaxing.
Still, you have to be brave and so when Arthur was eight-months, we opted for a city break to Prague.
On the whole we chose well. It was a beautiful sunny April weekend, not too cold or hot, and the medieval sights, food and drink made the stress of the plane journey worth it.
But there were many moments that were far from ideal…
Each morning Arthur awoke at 6.30 and there wasn’t much else to do but to take it in turns to leave the apartment while the other had a lie in. On the first morning, having no time or inclination to look at a map, I got incredibly lost because I was too busy concentrating on maintaining a fast enough pace to keep Arthur happy.
By the time I got back to the apartment we decided we might as well wait until Arthur had his morning nap. So much for setting off hand in hand for a lovely long breakfast while deciding on the plan for the day…
The next mistake we made was to venture out with the pushchair instead of the babybjorn carrier which was only so Arthur could have his afternoon nap in it. Not a good idea on the narrow, crowded medieval streets.
Fortunately we found the perfect place for lunch – a boat with a restaurant on deck, moored in perfect view of the castle.
With the gangway between tables big enough to push Arthur up and down to get him off to sleep, we could enjoy a lovely relaxing lunch and decided this was exactly the sort of sightseeing to be done with a baby in tow.
We spent the rest of the afternoon slowly drinking our way through the contents of the bar, while taking it in turns to walk Arthur around the deck, pointing out things of interest and waving at the boats sailing past, and thought we might as well stay on for dinner as well. All in all thoroughly enjoyable, if a bit limiting on the exploring front.
When we next decided to have a weekend break, we opted for Centre Parcs. It might be a bit lacking in the interesting architecture stakes, but for rest and relaxation this is the near-perfect place to go, so I thought as I received my Volcanic Mud Wrap Dry Flotation with Facial at the spa.
There are also loads of activities to do although perhaps with toddlers more than babies. But Arthur loved the Subtropical Swimming Paradise and wanted to spend most of it in the heated whirl pool, which I didn’t mind one bit. (Especially as this is free the entire time you’re there.)
Also the accommodation is totally set up for having kids. You can prepare all your own food – or order take-aways as we did, which seemed completely justified being on holiday after all.
I hope you might find this useful if you’re thinking about booking something. And please write in with your tips (or disasters) on mini breaks with a baby.