"wrap around the world" : 4 results

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This is Solly Baby’s family traveling series “Wrap Around the World with Solly Baby”. Here you’ll find our traveling tips & notes from our five-week adventure across Europe with my husband and three children (ages 5, 3, and 6 months). 

Planning our locations and activities as we went along, as well as asking for suggestions from locals and other traveling families on our Instagram, we learned a lot and are sharing in hopes of encouraging other families to plan their own “babywearing adventure”. See more pics on our Instagram account @sollybabywrap and with the hashtag #wraparoundtheworldwithsollybaby.

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Stop ii: Oxford & The English Countryside

WHY 

Besides watching an absurd amount of BBC series over the years and always wanting to experience the English countryside firsthand, we chose this as our second stop for another major reason. Although I love the pace of big cities, Jared and I knew our little ones would burn out quickly if we didn’t give them space to breathe and run after each city. For this reason, we made the pacing of the trip: big city, rural, big city, rural… It made all the difference for such a long trip and this turned out to be one of their favorite stops.

Also, the Cotswolds, specifically, are BEAUTIFUL. Like, Downton Abbey, everywhere you look, stunning.

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STAY

We stayed in a hotel in Oxford overnight, which we loved and wished we’d planned more time for. Besides touring the campus, which is a trip in and of itself, there are lots of fun restaurants, shopping, and sites surrounding.

The bulk of our time was spent in a cottage in the little town of Pershore that we booked on Home Away. It was built in the 1600s and although it wasn’t super luxurious, it was such a charming experience and really gave us a feel for the area. It was also very inexpensive (around $100/night), which was a nice break from London.

TIP: If you’re staying > 3 nights, book a house through Kid & Coe, Airbnb, or Home Away. If you’re staying < 3 nights get a hotel. Homes were key for traveling for such a long time. We could all stretch out, do laundry, go to the grocery store and you get a totally different feel for each city. We loved using Orbitz for hotels because we kept earning Orbucks throughout the trip, which helped pay for the next hotel, flight, or car rental. 

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TRANSPORTATION

+ Train
+ Rental Car

TIP: If you haven’t driven on the right side of the car before, it’s not the easiest transition to make! It made us pretty hesitant to go out exploring, but there’s really no other way to really see the beautiful, rural spots since public transport only takes you so far and taxis are far and few between. 

TIP: Upgrade to first-class for about $5/adult and you will usually get a train car all to yourself! Absolutely worth it for any rides over half an hour.

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DO & SHOP

+ Stratford Upon Avon: Shakespeare’s hometown full of charming shops, historical tours, tea rooms, and a Harry Potter inspired shop that is just like walking into Diagon Alley. *Try the butter beer!
+ Castle tours: Check hours and admission costs before going as costs and hours vary greatly.
+ Picnics and parks

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset ( What most of our photos look like! )

+ Oxford: Harry Potter haunts, incredible architecture, darling shops and the best food we had in England

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+ Hikes
+ Quaint bookstores
+ Armory Museum ( of course my 3 year old loved this! )

Solly Baby England Armory kids

+ Antique stores
+ Quaint children’s boutiques and toy stores

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EAT

TIP: Don’t forget the grocery store! Rural areas are the best for eating at home. We would buy some food specific to the area we were in and our kids’ favorites to give them a taste of home while we were away. Macaroni and cheese never tasted so good.

+ Bakeries ( always and forever, amen )
+ Local favorites: Ask around and find out the locals’ favorites
+ Candy shops: So fun for the little ones and great to stop by before a traveling day

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WOULD’VE / COULD’VE / SHOULD’VE
We should’ve kept it shorter. We stayed for 7 days but 4 would’ve been perfect!

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REFERENCES 
Check out our Pinterest Board, Traveling with Kids, for our favorite websites and articles on traveling with little ones! London is toward the bottom!

Solly Baby England

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Tags : Tips + Tricks

This is Solly Baby’s family traveling series Wrap Around the World with Solly Baby. Here you’ll find our traveling tips & notes from our five-week adventure across Europe with my husband and three children (ages 5, 3, and 6 months).

By planning our locations and activities as we went along, as well as asking for suggestions from locals and other traveling families on Instagram, we learned a lot and are sharing in hopes of encouraging other families to plan their own “babywearing adventure”. See more pics on Instagram and with the hashtag #wraparoundtheworldwithsollybaby.

Dotted Line Solly Baby London

WHY: LONDON

+ London was our first stop for a few reasons: it was the shortest flight from LAX to Europe and they speak English. London is also absolutely charming. The homes, the shops, the parks, the palaces, the guards. All of it is perfectly magical, especially in early fall.

*Tip*

We knew we’d be exhausted upon arrival so we wanted to lessen the pain as much as possible. We spent the first three days getting over jet lag, not leaving the house until one or two in the afternoon, so we tried to maximize our afternoons and evenings.

Dotted Line Stay London Solly Baby

STAY

+ We booked an an apartment/flat in Kensington by the Natural History Museum through Orbitz that was okay, but right on the subway line which kept me up all night! The location was great, though. I always look for places near public transportation, a grocery store, and in a very central location so you don’t waste time and your little ones’ energy going in and out of the city.

*Tip* 

If you’re staying > 3 nights, book a house through Kid & Coe, Airbnb, or Home Away. If you’re staying < 3 nights get a hotel. Homes were key for traveling for such a long time. We could all stretch out, do laundry, go to the grocery store and you get a totally different feel for each city. We loved using Orbitz for hotels because we kept earning Orbucks throughout the trip, which helped pay for the next hotel, flight, or car rental.

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TRANSPORTATION

+ Taxis

+ Double Decker Bus (great way to begin a trip since you get an overview of big sites and then decide what you’d like to visit from there)

+ Subway

*Tip* 

London is an intense city. You can’t just meander down in the subway or you’ll get trampled and lose your kids. We preferred staying somewhere central so we could primarily walk or to take a taxi to an area we’d be staying in for the day. Taxis are pricier, but it made everything so much simpler that I wouldn’t have it any other way while traveling with little ones. Also, London taxis almost all have 5 seats so you can catch pretty much any taxi driving down the road.

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DO

*Activities*

Solly Baby Buckingham Palace

+ Paddle Boats on the Serpentine

+ Catch a double decker bus tour to see main sights (Queensway near Notting Hill is a good place to catch bus as well as Buckingham Palace)

+ Covent Garden for market and street performers

+ London Eye and surrounding playground

+ London Zoo

+ Find Britney Spears & Kim Kardashian! (Kidding, they were both there while we were and so we got this suggestions quite a bit)

+ Train to Windsor and Legoland

+ Kensington Palace

+ Stroll thru Notting Hill

+ Southbank to walk along Thames past Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (too much walking for our little ones so we viewed this from the double decker bus)

+ Walk over Millenium Bridge to St. Paul’s Cathedral

+ Buckingham Palace, changing of the guards

+ Trafalgar Square

+ Experience some East London vibes at Old Spitalfields Market or Broadway Market

+ Portobello Road Market

+ Chinatown

*Parks & Museums*

Solly Baby Hyde Park

+ Hyde Park: this is a huge park and has several playgrounds Diana Memorial is the most recommended, Kensington Gardens has a pirate themed playground, and we played at the Children’s Park and played with the ducks nearby

+ Regents Park

+ Natural History Museum

+ Science Museum

+ Tate Modern

+ Crown Jewels at Tower of London

+ National Portrait Museum

+ British Museum

*Tip* 

When traveling with small children, I would suggest “doing” things rather than “seeing” things. Long walks just to look at things are torturous for most little ones! Make it a walk to a chocolate shop or to feed the ducks and then look at Big Ben on the way rather than having Big Ben as your final destination. Better yet, do a double decker bus tour first to see all the big attractions and then just fill your itinerary with fun activities.

Dotted Line Solly Baby EAT

EAT

+ Bakeries (I know PAUL’s is a big chain, but it did not disappoint)

+ Portobello Market for lunch+ Wagamamas

+ The Orangery for tea at Kensington Palace (they were booked when we were there, but I so wish I could’ve taken my oldest daughter for tea time here!)

+ Monmouth Street Coffee

+ Camden Market

+ Borough Market

+ Mother Mash

+ Dishoom

+ Broadway Market on Saturday

*Tip*

We only ate in sit-down restaurants if we knew our kids were up for it and the food was amazing. I read a tip from Design Mom before we left suggesting to eat before or after busy hours at sit down restaurants for a less stressful dining experience and found that very helpful. Most of the time we’d stop by a bakery for breakfast and grab croissants and hot chocolate or juice and then we’d stop at the markets for lunch and try things. We’d get fresh fruit, sandwiches, and dessert was all too easy. We generally ordered dinner in from an Italian restaurant below our flat or pick up food from the grocery store. Our kids were always so tired by evening and London is not the cheapest city so this helped offset the cost.

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SHOP

+ Hamley’s Toy Store (6 floors of toys!)

+ Harrod’s Kids Floor & Disney Cafe

+ Liberty of London

+ Quaint children’s boutiques around the city

*Tip*

If your kids are anything like mine then they’ll fixate on the toy shopping idea and not focus on anything else until then. We quickly found out that it was best to tell them we would not be doing any shopping and then if they’d had a good day of listening and weren’t too wiped, we’d surprise them and let them pick out something small.

As far as the shopping I wanted to do, it just wasn’t feasible with 3 kids so we’d either split up for a bit so I could explore. It also kept me from breaking the bank. 

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REFERENCES

+ Check out our Pinterest Board Traveling with Kids for our favorite websites and articles on traveling with little ones! London is toward the bottom!

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Tags : Tips + Tricks

WAW Solly Baby

 

In honor of International Babywearing Week next week, we decided to go on the road with all three of our little ones and explore the world using a Solly Baby Wrap. Our little girl, Frances, is just passing the optimal time to use a wrap (0-6 months) so we wanted to get as much use out of it as possible before and, to be honest, we’ve had such a crazy year that we just needed to take a break as a family.

We’ll be sharing babywearing and traveling tips with you as we make our way across Europe with a 5, 3, & 6 month old and we’ll have some mega-amazing giveaways along the way.

xox

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