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Forums Other Destination advice 1 month vacation with 8 month old – any suggestions?

  • trader363 109 posts

    We’ve just had our first child, a baby boy! My wife is off for a year and I get 4 months paternity leave which I can split into 4 chunks. Thinking of taking a month off next year (likely July or August) and go on holiday.

    Given our baby will be around 8 months old, I’m thinking of Airbnb or a hotel room with a kitchen. We are considering somewhere in Europe as a “safe” option.

    I welcome any suggestions and thank you in advance

    Colin MacKinnon 298 posts

    In July and August I would forget the south of Italy, Greece, Turkey etc. You’ll fry!

    In Spain, Seville is known as the Frying Pan of Spain, but that doesn’t mean baby won’t be cooked elsewhere!

    Personally, I would try France, the Baltic coast and the Fresian Islands.

    Baltic coast is my idea for next summer, now that I don’t have to work all summer!

    Michael C 704 posts

    Does it have to be summer? So much more pleasant and cheaper literally any other month!
    You could look at northern Spain (Asturias/Galicia) – beautiful, amazing food, but sometimes
    with UK weather!
    And France must have many options, as C-Mac suggests.

    aq.1988 481 posts

    Echo other comments saying to go any other time but July/August. These will be your last few years where you aren’t limited to summer holidays, so make the most it whilst you can! But, yes, definitely go for an apartment that has a full kitchen, including washing machine.

    SamG 1,683 posts

    Congratulations!

    For a month I’d go to France on the ferry, you can take your car with unlimited baby paraphernalia, if you’re on formula / weaning you can take those products with you too. Definitely not July/August though. I’d do airbnb or Eurocamps style chalet or something similar where you can put him down to sleep seperately and have space that isn’t the empty bath to relax in 😂

    can2 575 posts

    Congratulations!

    Babies can be tempremantal. I’d narrow it down to a country where you can use the health care system — for example, if you’re not fluent in French, it may not be a good idea to go to France. Ours used to have a fever every other month, and dealing with the French healthcare system can be a nuisance.

    Having said that, we did New York when ours was as little and it was good. US is not really baby/pushchair friendly, but oh well..

    Once we had a suite for a week, and it was great with a kitchen and fridge. We insisted on staying in hotels rather than airbnbs just to be safe — we wanted to have someone/reception to call and ask in case anything happens.

    For a whole month you may have a lot of flexibility. I’d do either italy or spain with a road trip — well, it is a vacation for you, too not just for the baby.

    I, for one, do not agree with the heat issue — babies nap a lot and you can stay in and relax under an aircon during the hottest time of the day, and go out in the evenings or early mornings.

    Travelling with an infant can be easier compared to a 5-6 year old menace :), so enjoy while you can!

    NorthernLass 8,260 posts

    Congratulations, but have a look at prices for July and August compared with, say, June and September! (Unless you’re a millionaire and don’t care about being fleeced AND being knee deep in other people and their kids).

    Northern Spain is beautiful, as Michael C points out, but unless you speak Spanish you may struggle as there’s none of the mass tourism of the Costas.

    If the weather’s going to be warm anyway, I’d go for a short flight, and I agree that apartment-type accommodation is essential so baby can sleep and you can enjoy the time without having to sit in silence on your hotel bed!

    Loads of family-friendly places, I’d be pushed to choose between Spain, France, Italy and Greece.

    aseftel 279 posts

    I agree that you should reconsider your timings. 3-6 months old is a real travelling sweet spot. They’ll hopefully be fairly settled but won’t yet be moving on their own or weaning – both of which make travelling harder. As others have mentioned, pulling things forward also gets you gentler weather and prices.

    SteveJ 1,004 posts

    Tuscany

    BBbetter 774 posts

    Staybridge suites or similar (like residence inn) could be a good option instead of airbnbs.
    While the idea of airbnbs sounds appealing, I have been put off by practical issues like cleaning it before leaving (despite paying a ‘cleaning fee’), no breakfast, no room service etc.

    gtellez 163 posts

    We did Maldives when my son was 6 months in August 2021; out of 8 days, only one was raining. We enjoyed that trip a lot!

    memesweeper 1,296 posts

    – Canaries, Lanzarote — spent an extended period there with a new baby and loved it
    – also consider the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica in a simple bungalow — low-ish cost and amazing surroundings

    The real Swiss Tony 700 posts

    As a parent of three, again I’d echo the idea of avoiding July & August. We’ve had 15 years of being tied to the summer holidays and there’s still a few more years to go, yet.

    I guess the other thing to consider is what are your expectations from the trip? Thinking back to when mine were 8 months old, they don’t really need much (the journey to the park is as stimulating as the park itself kind of thing) so aside from the practical bits you can – to an extent – make it about you & your wife. I mean not Michelin star dining & art galleries… I was also bowled over by the hospitality afforded to us in Italy as a family (of 5, mind). The infrastructure wasn’t without its own challenges mind.

    And I guess I’d also just question a bit the idea of being away for a full month. Are you better off having a couple of weeks at home as a family and a couple of weeks away? Thinking about support networks (however informal they may be) and just the fact you’re going to be a bit offside out of your usual environment. My daughter was 7 months when we went to Australia for 3 weeks with her 2yr old brother – but we took my parents as well, so they did the more than occasional bit of babysitting to allow my wife and I quite a bit of time off.

    Venturelog 28 posts

    For a 1 month vacation\holiday you should go somewhere cheap like Bosnia\Croatia, even Lisbon where we went it’s cheap to get around (accommodation isn’t though but we stayed with family)
    I travelled with with 8 month old and they can get heavy on your lap for a long flight so would avoid anything over 3 hours (unless you brought a separate seat)
    As others have said I also wouldn’t travel in July August.

    trader363 109 posts

    All, thanks very much for the advice. Once back at work, I’ll see if I can avoid the summer months and do some research on the places mentioned above.

    Thanks again

    The Savage Squirrel 598 posts

    Echo existing comments on timings, and agree self catering will meet your needs best. You don’t say where you’re based or whether you have a car. Babies can come with an unbelievable amount of paraphernalia as you will have found already – so car based holidays can resolve that issue making things far less stressful. You don’t want too much driving or too much heat. Northern France (e.g. Brittany) may fit. From oop north we took our kids across to The Netherlands a few times on the ferry which worked really well. Wonderful country, child friendly and perfect English is near universal (see Can2’s comment). Hof van Saksen is very well set up for even very young children, for example.

    NorthernLass 8,260 posts

    +1, I used to joke that taking a baby on holiday is like going on tour with a rock star in terms of how much stuff they need.

    Also be prepared of the shock of not being able to just sit on a beach or have a quiet meal in a restaurant – I also used to say that it’s not a holiday, it’s looking after you child somewhere else 😂

    TooPoorToBeHere 267 posts

    You are just doing childcare somewhere else, that is fact.

    I strongly second the “travel while baby is still hand-held and not crawling” idea, if you have a choice.

    Before planning long drives, be aware that you have no idea what your baby’s personality will be. One of mine would sit happily in a car seat for hours, content to look around. Another would howl – continuously – for hours – when confined to a car seat. The baby suffers no harm from this but the parents nerves sure do.

    NorthernLass 8,260 posts

    Mine was a howler, he absolutely hated being confined to a car seat. As soon as he was old enough we invested in the technology of the day, which at that time was a portable DVD player and some books on CDs! I did spend many hours singing “Old MacDonald” and “The Wheels on the Bus” 😂

    trader363 109 posts

    Haha I hope mine isn’t a howler but don’t know yet – only been on a 5 minute drive to the midwife so far!

    We do have a car and live in West London however it’s electric so less likely to drive.

    Very different to my original request but I see a lot of people taking their <1 year olds to Dubai for a first holiday. The flight seems far but seems like a “safe” and “easy” destination once you’re there. Thoughts?

    Thanks

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