London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies
B for Barcelona with Baby! Our friends Laura and David shared with us in here their first holiday abroad with baby: exciting stuff, tips & few tricks!
Our long awaited first holiday with our 6 months old daughter F began less than auspiciously when our first Airbnb reservation was cancelled without explanation less than 2 months before we were due to arrive. It being my first experience with Airbnb I was less than impressed and I have to say I don’t recommend using them for travelling with a baby. Or perhaps I’m just too much of a worrywart!
The flight to Barcelona was entirely uneventful with F having a little cry on landing but generally being quite happy and chilled out playing with her toys and a long wooden necklace I had around my neck (perfect teething toy). We had ordered formula and some Ella’s pouches to pick up from the Boots on departure so it wouldn’t count towards our luggage allowance and everything went to plan.
The flat we got on our second attempt was large and perfectly situated near Montjuic but had seen better days- think basic IKEA furniture and a somewhat musty smell. Still, we were not planning on spending too much time indoors so dropped our bags and headed out! By that time Freya was knackered so had a little nap in the pram and let us enjoy our first beer of the holiday!
We were less lucky with dinner as she refused to go to sleep in her pram and we refused to let her do what she wanted so ended up with a very frustrated mummy and daddy walking around the block with an annoyed and not at all tired baby!
Lesson No 1 for us was not to get stressed about the schedule! Throughout the holiday F went to bed with us and woke up with us and slept pretty much through the night, despite being on a very noisy street in the middle of Barcelona. So when In Barcelona we did as the locals and let F have her own schedule which really worked for us. Unlike London where it would be unheard of to have a baby at the restaurant at 11 o clock at night, no one would bat an eyelid in Spain! Barcelona with baby – you live and learn!
And from there on, we had a pretty relaxed holiday- managed to see everything from the fountains in Plaza de Espagna to Mount Tibidabo to Parc Guell (yes with a buggy, and we are a bit mad!). We were recommended to take the tourist bus as it would be an easy way to see Barcelona with a baby. In fact, that turned out to be quite a stressful day as Freya didn’t like being confined to the bus and ended up throwing a massive tantrum somewhere near Camp Nou (which is in the middle of nowhere) and we couldn’t even get off the bus as it was the last bus of the day and we didn’t know how to get back from there!
So for the rest of Barcelona with baby holiday we decided to walk everywhere or take taxis where necessary, take it easy and not try and do too much. Which for someone who knows me was a bit of a challenge but nice to slow down and enjoy it nevertheless! My mum joined us halfway through the holiday and took on some babysitting duties on Friday night so David and I could go out for a fantastic last meal and some cool drinks to round off a lovely holiday in the sun.
Tips for anxious parents of little people (or maybe just like us first holiday abroad with baby):
-Don’t sweat it- easier said than done but not following a schedule worked for us
-All food, milk, nappies and wipes for F was brought from England bought in the boots at departures (not part of your luggage allowance)
-At that age (6 months) they’re just happy to do what you want so don’t worry too much about entertainment
No Tourist Bus for us!
Parc Guell with a baby is doable but better take a sling- we loved the ergo baby
A few places we enjoyed Barcelona with baby:
-Palo Cortao for a pretty impressive dinner on our last night (without the baby on this occassion though!)
-La confiteria for amazing gin based cocktails (try the Alice in wonderland)
-Manna Gelats (for amazing, natural icecream that even F enjoyed)
Read Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon before visiting to get you in the mood!
For more inspiration on Spain with baby, head to our Ibiza article in here. For 3 days in Barcelona by Zenbabytravel head here: perfect for a grown-up escape packed with fun, cultural gems, chill out by best rooftop pools, gorgeous architecture, great cuisine, fantastic clubs and nightlife ! A city that I got to know and love through great Spanish and Catalan friends and one of our most beloved in Europe – over 20 visits in the last 20 years !