Interview: Noelle Hilario & Kai’s European Trip

My all-time favorite travel blogger, Noelle Hilario and her little globetrotter Kai, traveled to 6 European countries in over 3 weeks. I’ve interviewed her about her recent Euro trip with her family primarily because I’m wanderlust-ing over Europe like crazy! This has been #1 on my bucket list for myself and my family for YEARS. I consider these interviews as sound research to help me create my very own kid-friendly itinerary one day! Enjoy!

berlin germany

1. Please share your itinerary

  • Paris, France
  • Stockholm Sweden
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Florence, Italy

    barcelona skates

2. Budget?
Since we traveled as a big group (10 of us in total!), we were able to save a lot on accommodation. We spent around P100K per person for 4 flights, 1 train ride and accommodations for 3 weeks. We booked via Agoda for hotels where we got really good deals on boutique hotels and 4-star hotels and for flights, we booked through Skyscanner. Our daily budget for food, transportation and entrance fees to sights and museums ranged from 40-60 euros a day (for both Kai and I) depending on our itinerary.

3. Favorite kid-friendly spots?
Most of our fave spots for kids were in Paris.

Jardin du Luxembourg has a little booth where you can rent a vintage sailboat and sail it on the pond. Kids of all ages will surely enjoy this.

Jardin du Luxembourg Paris

Musee de la Magie (Museum of Magic), a fascinating place with displays of antique magic sets and the entrance fee also includes a magic show. 

Galerie de Paleontologie at the Museum of Natural History houses a huge collection of animal fossils in a beautiful art deco building.

 Galerie Paleontologie in Paris travel blog review

Junibacken at Stockholm is a magical fantasy house with a Story Book Square, a play area inspired by Swedish children’s literature and a Story Train ride that journeys you to the world of Astrid Lindgren’s fairytales. This attraction also contains a bookstore, the largest children’s bookstore in Sweden.

The Spectrum Science Center in Berlin was very educational yet fun. It features 3 stories of different hands-on experiments for kids where they can learn about physics and technology in a playful way.

Spectrum Science Center Berlin

4. Recommended eats?
Since we’re lacto-ovo vegetarians we couldn’t really eat some traditional dishes from each country so these were our favorite desserts and treats in the places we visited:

  • Paris – banana nutella crepes, pain au chocolat (chocolate stuffed pastry)
  • Stockholm – chokladbollar (chocolate balls)
  • Copenhagen – flødeboller (chocolate-coated cream treats), danish pastries
  • Berlin Kaiserschmarren (shredded pancake served with jam)
  • Barcelona – churros (with hot chocolate or stuffed with dulce de leche), Filipinos (the infamous brand of donut-shaped biscuit snacks, it’s really good though!), Crema Catalana (similar to creme brulee)
  • Florence – Venchi gelato of course! (the best in the city), this shop also has a chocolate bar where you can buy mini chocolate pieces in different flavors per gram.

venchi gelato italy

5. What to pack for 4 weeks in Europe?
We travelled to Europe during spring time and coming from a tropical country, the temperature was still cold for us. We packed thermals for layering, long-sleeved shirts, pants, jackets, coats and boots. We also brought scarves and a beanie for Kai since it can get really chilly at night. I had a black sling tote as an everyday bag and I loved traveling with it since it’s light and small.

kai landrigan europe blog

When you’re wearing lots of layers, it’s good to have a bag that is handy and not bulky. Kai also had his backpack for his snacks and toys.

Since we also visited cities on the southern part of Europe (Barcelona and Florence) where it was a bit warmer, I also brought a short dress and sandals for myself, a pair shorts and some shirts for Kai.

florence sunset photo blog

Another essential for traveling to colder places is my all natural African Shea Butter from The Flow Shop! Cold temperatures causes skin to flake and dry so I use this as my daily moisturizer, plus it also helps me feel much warmer as it seals the skin. I also brought my travel-sized Laurin CocoMCT Oil which both Kai and I took everyday as vitamins to keep our immune system up while traveling. What’s great about this type of CocoMCT oil is that it doesn’t solidify in cold climates compared to regular coconut oil. Lastly, I packed my lavender essential oil to help ease jetlag and sleepless nights.

6. Tips for long haul flights?
I recommend for parents to prepare a goodie bag which includes your child’s favorite snacks, since kids always get hungry! Also travel-sized toys, 1 or 2 books, coloring materials and pad paper to keep kids entertained, as well as extra clothes just in case.

7. Lessons learned?

barcelona kid photo

I learned that children as young as 8 years old can enjoy Europe! Sure, they may not fully appreciate and understand history and culture but you can make it fun and educational for them in a different way. Kai learned how to say ‘Hello’, ‘Thank You’ and ‘Goodbye’ in six languages and tasted all sorts of food and treats from different countries. I also made sure that we had at least 1 day in each country where we did all the kiddie stuff, visited children’s museums and fun sights.

leaning tower of pisa photo

European cities have a lot of open spaces, parks, rivers and canals where you might spot an animal in their element from ducks to swans! I also always make an effort to make things fun for Kai. One time we visited the Royal Palace in Sweden, so to make it exciting I told Kai that we were going to a palace where the king and queen used to live and although that place may not be a popular attraction for kids, he actually enjoyed it! He marveled at the swords and jeweled crowns on display, elaborately decorated rooms and even took interest in portraits of kings, queens, princes and princesses. It’s such a great thing to witness your child  learn about new things and new places.

We hope that you learned just as much as I did from this interview! Got any tips or stories to share about traveling to Europe with kids? Email us at monica@mylittleglobetrotters.com

 

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