Long journeys can be scary when you traveling with children, especially for the little ones. But many parents do it, so why not us ?
As any trip, but even more with children, everything is an organizational matter. We have even more to think about because it is also a question of thinking about the activities during the trip, the change, the food, etc. But nothing overwhelming ! A paramount concern for a car trip is the child’s seat, the more comfortable and tilting (for the youngest), the better the road will be. They tend to fall asleep easily while riding but always plan toys that are handy and space-saving for awake times. Entertain them a lot helps to make sure that the trip is always done in a good mood. It makes sense !
A break at least every 2-3 hours is highly recommended for both adults and children. And if you find playgrounds, it’s even better ! We were lucky to have some on our way and it was really great. Stop the time you need, the more the child will have played, the easier it will return in the car and you will leave quietly. On our side, we have stopped from 45 minutes to 1 hour and we were ready to leave !
Obviously children love novelty in general, they are fascinated when they discover new things but for babies, breaking the routine can be good as it can disturb them, especially during their sleep. That’s what’s been always going with my little girl. However, they will regain their pace very quickly at home. And it is a bit more difficult with jet lag, for sure.
This trip could have been done by plane but we would go only to the wedding where I was invited in July 2019 as a maid of honor of my best childhood friend. The wedding took place in France, in Lunéville, near my birthplace (Nancy). Meanwhile, my daughter’s godfather, who is also one of my best friends, offered to spend a few days in Normandy, his own region. As I always wanted to go, we decided to make a detour and finally we made a big road trip of 5000 km !
We decided to leave Lisbon at night, when we knew that our 2 years old daughter would sleep well to see what suited us best, traveling by night or day by car. The return was made in the day and without problem.
I organize my road trip with ViaMichelin, Google maps and/or Mappy.
I put the road trip planning below, a little bit improvised at the end.
- Lisbon -> departure
- San Sebastián -> stop more than 1 hour in Spain. A short tour of the city, with a magnificent view in the belvedere and almost no one at 8 o’clock in the morning.
- Nancy -> arrival at night at my parents house. Stay of 4-5 days. Wedding, family and see the city as if I were a tourist. Walking in the old town, Place Stanislas, Parc de la Pépinière, in short, the basics !
- Nancy -> departure in the morning for Normandy.
- Bondy (near Paris) -> stop for a few hours to lunch with a long-time friend whom I had not seen for a very long time.
- Etretat -> stop at the end of the afternoon which for me was mandatory, because it was one of the MUST to see ! I love the cliffs of Etretat, it’s just amazing ! (See my picture above)
- Villedieu-Les-Poëles -> arrival in the evening at the house of my daughter’s godfather for a few days. Visit to Mont St-Michel, Dinan, boat trip in Brittany, Saint-Malo…walking on the streets and sunset at beach in Saint-Malo. A good program ! Then we went back on the road to Portugal.
- Dax -> stop one night on the return.
- Lisbon -> back to home !
Basque Country (San Sebastián)
Airbnb (from €30 off)