When the vacation planning began, my husband (Rich) sent me a list of places he wanted to travel. I was open for anywhere but I knew if I chose a place he liked it would be easier to get his buyoff.
His list included both international destinations (Amsterdam, Barcelona, Venice, Dublin, Croatia, Copenhagen, Singapore, and South Korea), Canada (Toronto) and U.S. destinations (Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, South Beach Miami).
Let me start my saying I am a planner. I love to plan trips and research cities and places. So I put my planning hat on and began looking at the cities, determining the best time of the year to travel there.
Here is what I found on best time to travel for the International Cities:
- Amsterdam – April – November
- Barcelona, Venice, Dublin – May – September
- Croatia – May – October
- Copenhagen – June – August
- Singapore – February – April
- South Korea – Same seasons as US
From determining the best time to travel I decided my ideal travel schedule would be as follows:
- September 2019 – Amsterdam, Venice, Dublin or Barcelona
- November – December 2019 – Los Angeles
- January 2020 – South Beach
- March 2020 – Singapore (and Malaysia)
- May 2020 – Chicago
- June 2021 – Croatia
Next decision was to look at flights and see if we could find any deals. I was convinced anywhere we chose would be fine with a baby because we could make it work. Reviewing flights in September helped me eliminate some locations and narrow down our list.
We love to use google flights to research our options and find the cheapest times to travel from Philly to destinations. This helps us get the best flight deals and we always flex our dates based on cheaper flights.
For travel in September and October Venice was way too expensive and Barcelona was cheaper at the end of September. Here our dilemma arose – Lincoln starts daycare on September 16th. Do we really want to pay for him to be in daycare while we are on vacation?
So we locked in the dates in early September and narrowed it down to Amsterdam and Dublin. This is where the google flight map came into play. I saw Paris was cheaper to fly to from Philly then Amsterdam and I started to research how we can do Paris and Amsterdam.
At this point I started searched for “traveling with a baby” for each location and found blogs on both cities. Amsterdam had a lot of positive aspects of traveling with a baby and Paris seemed doable. The flights were affordable from Philly to Paris and Amsterdam back to Philly and the train was the best option for getting from Paris to Amsterdam. I put our flights on hold and the rest is history.
Well, it still took a little convincing from my husband and since our flights were only on hold for the next 30 hours (through American Airlines) we spent the day researching more about traveling with a baby and an hour before our hold was set to expire we did it, we booked the flight! Paris and Amsterdam here we come!
It is important to remember, when you book a lap child for an international flight you need to add them to your itinerary (by calling customer service for your airline). Most airlines charge taxes for a lap child which is typically 10% of the price of the airline ticket.
Next up – Get Lincoln a Passport and FAST!
P.S. – Although I have my ideal travel schedule as mentioned above, we have not yet planned any additional trips. As soon as we do, I will keep you all posted on the research aspect and our traveling with a baby plans!