Parenthood,  Travel Tips

What it's like to travel to Spain with children

For those who remember, in August, we were in Spain and it was another one of our crazy trips. I say this because, despite being a long and far away trip, we decided half a last minute and we always go to the whole human family. In the end, this was not our first long trip to four, had a small /large tour of the United States when Diana was not even 2 months yet … Jeez… you can check here the first post of that series …
But guys, there are so many cool pictures to tell the whole story, I don't even know where to start. As I do not know how to count the causes without the photos (and many), will be long posts full of photos, right?! Warned! Hehe

Tired, but happy… 🙂
Making the most of the day…

Before the trip

I know a lot of people program themselves for more than a year for big trips like this, but we decided about 10 days before departure. The rush was great to set dates and times of airfare, hotels, trains and of course, select the tourist attractions we would like to visit.

Start of the trip – one way to Toronto
Our process begins with the purchase of airline tickets. We chose to fly, round trip, leaving Toronto this time (we drove there and dropped off the car at the airport) and making a stopover in the USA, Toronto > Philadelphia > Madrid. A medium in parallel to the search for tickets, we decide which cities we will visit, we search means of transport within the country and I will mount on google maps the tourist attractions of the places to be visited. I mark everything on the map, with notes and tips relevant to each attraction, type schedules and such, since we do not always have internet during the day.
Map with attractions in Barcelona


I must say it's exhausting and sleep almost doesn't happen, at least for me. But overall, we were lucky, because Alice buried herself watching movies and Diana (besides needing an explosive diaper change, just at the time of takeoff) was very quiet and slept a lot of time. The spindle that was very complicated, because we arrived at 8 am there, but for us it was actually 3 in the morning still in the canadian time zone … Afff.. needless to say, the day was tiring.
I think it's easier to travel with babies even before they start crawling/walking, because they get distracted by toys and other things more easily. Nowadays, with Diana a thousand, I think it would require even more patience and options for fun, because she still does not pay attention to drawings and movies, for example.

We can fix everything.
Madrid Airport
New comers to Madrid


The bags were another challenge. We chose to travel with little luggage to make it even easier, especially with so many means of transport involved. We decided to for a large suitcase (23kg) only, one carry-on bag, one more personal item for each of us (backpacks) and of course, the baby stroller. What we have done to compensate for the smaller laundry options, is to make use of the hotel laundry (if you have the machines for yourself to wash, never the laundry service, which I think carríssimo!) or a laundry style laundrymat, where you go there and put everything in the washer and then in the dryer. It worked well for us on two or more trips already and we intend to keep doing.

My helper in packing the bags
Laundrymat in Valencia


I should mention in the following posts the hotels we choose in each of the cities, but overall we search hotels by and for the best prices, reviews and location, within our budget. We specify only one child at the time of booking, as Diana does not yet require an extra bed (she slept with us in the big bed) and we noticed a lot of difference in prices and availability of hotels, even if adding a baby in the reservation.
Some hotels have a cot, but some in Europe charge an extra for it, so it's worth reading the information for each hotel well in case you need to use it with your baby.


One thing that helped us in the days in Madrid, was that the hotel where we stayed had baby carts (umbrella type) to lend to guests, which was a hand-on-wheel for our days full of walks and the amusement park we visited. The cart was simple, but Alice made the most of the leg rest.
In the other cities, did not have this option, so Alice ended up using more ours and Diana stayed in the "kangaroo" that is our inseparable companion in travel (appears in several photos) and that despite the heat, we could use for tours and naps.

There were times when only one bun would solve…
Ready to catch the high-speed train
Almost boarding…
On trains between cities, we share 2 banks to save money – children up to 4 years old can travel free of charge…
And the mommy here sits on the floor…
Stretching legs on the train

We decided to visit four cities, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Sevilla, making the journey between it by train (Renfe). And although we squeezed into two armchairs and all the logistics, hotel > train station > hotel with suitcases and children, everything went well. We walked a little by taxi, so it wasn't hard to find us pulling the family and all the bags through the streets, between the subway stations and the train stations, when it was necessary.
We walked veryoooo, basically all day, but we found it better to feel a little more of each city.

Metro in Madrid
Metro in Valencia
Cercanias Train in Madrid

What is not so practical in Spain is the accessibility on subways and trains. It is not everywhere, but several times we had to take the stair cart up or down, because some stations did not have elevators. Some had escalators, but according to the warning, they did not allow carts, but we ended up using it anyway. All I know is we work out the biceps well.


Another thing to mention is that it's not a piece of cake! Alice, mainly, was very tired and upset about some of the rides that had nothing for children (in her opinion). The heat was also relentless and made us take many extra rests, to replenish the energies.
In addition to a lot of patience, we tried to find something interesting for her whenever possible, a playground or anything else that she showed interest.
You couldn't forget her favorite toys, snacks and some sweets, to "buy" a few more hours of walks with her.

Mandatory stop on all that was colorful — according to Alice
Too many helados!
Alice tested several playgrounds – basically everyone we crossed…
Super cool public playground at El Corte Inglês (supermarkets/department store) in the Salamanca district.
Peak of the trip for girls (or rather to Alice): Warner Park, near Madrid


We found the food very interesting in Spain, with lots of ham, paella and tapas, but almost no restaurant had children's menu as we are used to 99.9% of the restaurants here in Canada. So we had to be creative, do some shopping in the super, having a good breakfast and take some extra snacks for the day full of tours.

For babies, no problems, supermarkets are full of food options, salty and sweet. And I found the little papers super good! What's more, it has plenty of fresh fruit in the super and public markets in each city.

What's more, Diana breastfed her and had no problem breastfeeding her in public places, with the clothes or pan covering (for our privacy, basically). We often stop at parks and public places for snacks, breastfeeding and even diaper changes.

Seafood paella in Barcelona
Jamón, jamón and more jamón (ham)
Many options of papinhas
Emergency shopping at the supermarket in Valencia
Snack break
Breastfeeding outdoors
No bathroom in sight – the diaper change was on the bench in front of the tourist attraction… no problem… 🙂

Next post i start our discoveries by Madrid… but I can wait!! 🙂