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Here Goes Nothing: A Solo Trip with a Toddler

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Get ready for lots of selfies with me and Benton because we are traveling solo together for over three weeks leaving in . . . three weeks!! I know it seems a little rash to anyone who hasn’t heard me go on incessantly about all the places I am desperate to visit (sorry sisters); how my “bucket list” is about ten pages long; how I want to show Benton the world; how watching him experience and learn new things is almost more exciting as doing them myself. I pulled the trigger on some cheap round-trip tickets to London because, well, it felt like the thing I had to do. Timing with both personally and professionally meant that this was the best and maybe only time I could pull off a trip like this. I have great staff at my business and we are headed into a steady time where (knock on wood) nothing crazy should come up that would require only my attention.

I know it also seems crazy to think about traveling solo with a just-turned-two-year-old. This is not my first trip with Benton. He has now flown a number of times and traveled to France, Alaska and Ireland. He is generally an easy going dude as long as there are exciting things to see. Whenever we go for a walk in the stroller he is as happy as a clam as long as we are moving, but the second I stop to take a picture he is ready to jump out and run around. I am also very prepared to bribe him with ice cream, waffles and fries.

The next few weeks might be a little bit of a mad dash to get everything prepped and ready for my absence at work, while planning and preparing for a multi-city trip. We have three weeks to try and get Benton adjusted to sleeping in a bed and not a crib or pack-and-play. I have recruited the help of daycare to transition him to a mat for nap time so he will hopefully be ready for a big bed on this trip so every bed time won’t be the biggest struggle. A girl can dream, right.

So here’s the plan: London to Copenhagen to Cologne to Amsterdam to Brussels to Bruges back to London and then home. We have friends in London who are hosting us, which will be a lovely start to help get us settled into the time change and travel routine (not to mention saves a little $$). Then we will Airbnb the rest of the way. We will fly between our first few legs then take the train for the second half of the trip. If there is one thing Benton loves as much as good girls/dogs, it is things with wheels. I think he will love all the riding on trains we will do, fingers crossed because if not, I am in big trouble.

Please please please do not hesitate to share your recommendations for any of the cities we are visiting, particularly if you have been with a toddler. If you know the best neighborhoods to stay, museums to visit, parks to climb in, street food to eat, kid friendly restaurants let me know. Keep in mind that we are usually cashed out by 7pm so we will not be going to the theater or fancy restaurants.

I am so excited to see so many new places and have this intense one on one time with Benton, and simultaneously so nervous that I have made a terrible mistake and we will struggle to get through on our own. I have so much to do before we take off in a few short weeks, feels like I will be running around like a chicken with its head cut off until we get on the plane. Now I just have to carefully choose 4 kids books that I won’t mind reading 5 times a day for 24 days in a row.

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