ICE Train

ICE Train

I’ve discovered that traveling with 1 year old is completely different than traveling on my own. DA!! Yes, I didn’t realize some of the things I will mention below:

1. Cheap European airlines like Ryan Air and Easyjet often depart from airports with no train stations and at odd times like 7am in the morning or 9pm at night. This means you will either need to stay overnight close to the airport, which will add to the cost, or you will arrive in the middle of the night which is not advisable with a small child.

2. Small children can get sick easily and quickly. I never used to read any ‘cancellation policies’. This has changed because last minute cancellation might be necessary.

3. For flights you pay about 10% for your child up to 2 years. Older than 2 the fare goes up to 75%. European train travel is FREE for kids up to 4 years! Thus train travel is far more convenient and cheaper than flying.

Ok, so these were 2 of my most important learning points while planning a European city trip with Rosie to Munich, Prague and Budapest.

How did I go about it? Train travel is comfortable, quick and a BIG advantage is that train station always are in the middle of the city so it will be easy to get to your accommodation. German trains can easily be booked online through www.bahn.de. Your ticket will be emailed to you and you can pay with Master or Visa card. We’ve booked Aachen – Munich. From Cologne onwards we will board the high speed ICE train which is SUPER comfortable. Cologne is the only time we need to change trains.

If you’re looking for the cheapest option you might want to check out City Night Line Europe. A link to the pdf brochure with all the timetables and fares, you can find here. I found out about it a little too late but for our next European trip, I will definitely look into it and travel during the night so Rosie can sleep.

From Munich I found an Express bus which goes direct to Prague. I normally don’t like long distance buses at all but somehow the word ‘express’ appealed to me very much. The fare was only € 33 for both Rosie and me. As you will read in another blog post, I needed to cancel this trip and they refunded me with no hassle. I REALLY appreciate this kind of super service and will book next time with them again.

To find transport between Prague and Budapest somehow took me a bit of time but then I found Czech Transport web site. Communication was very easy. They replied to my emails on a Sunday morning within 5 minutes. Their cancellation policy is very strict though. No refunds whatsoever.

I used www.airbnb.com to find accommodation in both Prague and Budapest. I LOVE LOVE LOVE airbnb. There’s accommodation of all sorts and you can really find something which suits all your needs. I wanted to find nice hosts who could tell me about all the fun stuff to do in the cities. It also had to be child friendly, preferably on the ground floor, not far from the train station and city center and with a bath so I could bath Rosie easily. In Budapest I found the most friendly host, Ildiko, who has children as well and was super helpful and friendly with web links and information. She offered a private room for the incredible price of €22. In Prague I found a spacious private room, €38 per night, with Helena.

But then I cancelled Prague and Budapest and you can read here, why..