London and Tips

E: Mama, what do they speak in London?

Me: They speak English, just with an accent.  Like we say tomato and they say to-mah-to.

E: And they say spaghetti and we say NOOOODLESSSS!

M: Erm….right

Traveling with one toddler can already have me questioning my sanity sometimes, but deciding to go on a trip with three other moms and their toddlers seemed like a death wish.  Surprisingly, the trip went really well, which largely had to do with the positive and compassionate group of mamas I went with.  After seven days together, I’m able to pick up a few simple tips for traveling with groups and kids.

  • Make reservations and buy tickets ahead of time.  This is crucial for large groups as it shaves so much time off of waiting in line with squirmy children.  We’ve called up a lot of restaurants the week before we arrived and reserved as many as we could.  We bought tickets for the London Eye and other attractions ahead of time or online.
  • Plan for one or two major activities each day.  It’s good to make a rough plan to make sure we can cover all the major attractions that we wanted to see, but not to be overly ambitious and make it all about sightseeing.
  • But be flexible about doing more or less things.  Despite us being a large group with 4 kids, we were quite ambitious and ended up seeing a lot of things that we didn’t plan for, such as an audio tour of the Tower of London, art museums, and going to the top of Tower Bridge.  Even though not all the things were what I would’ve gone for initially (I’m always daunted by crowds and overly touristy spots), I ended up enjoying them.  It’s also totally ok to skip out on some things.  I skipped the Lion King show and went to Hyde Park and Kensington Palace with another mom.  All of us had a great time.
  • Put aside time for kids to just play.  As exciting of a city London is, toddlers can only take so much looking at palaces and castles and eating at foodie restaurants.  We took them to an indoor playground with ball pits and giant slides and go carts so they can let off steam and just play.  We also planned a special excursion to Peppa Pig World and as much work as it took, it was totally worth it to see their toddler dreams come true.


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