We were traveling throughout Europe with our baby by car for 4 months. We started when baby nomad was 7 weeks old (May) and finished when she turned 6 months (October). During these months we visited Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain and Portugal. And our baby learned to grab, hold her head, roll over and almost sit. We changed 856 diapers, traveled 4017 miles and inhabited 22 apartments.
It was much easier than we thought!
Of course I had a few concerns before the trip. But it turned out to be damn easy! Our baby tolerated the whole trip very well. Actually, the whole daily routine gets easier as you need to simplify many things and adapt to different situations. If you want to learn more, how we adapted daily baby basics (changing diapers, sleeping, bathing etc.), here is our article.
Sickness & medical check-ups & vaccination
Fortunately, our baby was not sick at all, except a few stomachaches. However, we had a very helpful first-aid-kit for our baby, that helped to treat the stomachaches. Read more regarding our baby travel kit here.
We did the medical follow-ups, as well as as follow-up vaccinations during the trip. Getting an appointment with a doctor who could speak English was not problem at all. Actually, much easier than in Germany 😉 If you want to learn more regarding baby (travel) vaccination, read our baby vaccination overview.
We guess that we spent approx. 4.000 € per month for 3 of us.
Here is an overview of our living and overall expenses (e.g. food, fuel, going out) by country:
Germany: 101 € per night, medium average expenses
Switzerland: 89 € per night, high average expenses
France: 63 € per night, high average expenses (especially food)
Spain: 60 € per night, low-medium average expenses
Portugal (peak season!): 75 €, low average expenses
Living expenses were by far the highest expenses. We tried to stay in the mid range and having nice apartments. You may for sure get cheaper alternatives.
Baby milk formula and baby food is widely available in all European countries. However, even if your milk brand might be available, the mixture might be different. Baby milk may be subject to national law and therefore needs to be adapted from country to country by the manufacturer.
If possible, we recommend to take several packages of your milk brand with you and store in the car. As long as the package is closed, heat does not harm it.
The older the baby, the easier it is to switch brands. These brands are widely available in Europe: Milupa Aptamil, Nestle and Hipp. Hipp is the only using organic products for their formula.
In most countries the types of milk are 1, 2 and 3 (the higher the number, the higher the energy level). Only in Germany there is „Pre“, 1 and 2. Pre milk is most similar to breast milk.
Baby food is available by the same brands and also other local brands everywhere.
Driving with baby
We were driving for 2-5 hours to get from one to the next location during the day. Usually our baby was sleeping. Sometimes she was annoyed, so we made more stops. Alternatively, we took her out of the car seat for a few minutes while driving.
Most of the time the weather was sunny but still not too hot. It got quite hot in Spain (July/August), so we stayed more at home during the day or strolled around shady streets. Even the heat was tolerated very well by our baby.
Our favorite spots were Lagos and Baleal, both in Portugal; and Ronda. Lagos is just a very pretty town right at the stunning coast of the Algarve. And Baleal has just this special little surfer town vibe, that we really enjoyed. Overall we loved Portugal but disliked the high season. You better visit Portugal in May-June or September-October. I was surprised to see that Ronda really is as beautiful as you see on pictures.
There was really a magic moment when we reached the sea with our baby for the first time. However, this moment was suddenly ruined when nomad dad tried to build up a tent with the strongest wind conditions we have ever experienced on this trip. I (frustrated and tired of holding the already crying baby) marched to a nearby beach bar. Here, everyone was amusingly watching the scene from a save distance. Meanwhile, nomad dad gave up and threw the tent angry in the garbage. His first official act entering the bar: ordering a BIG BEER 😉
Our favorite nationality were the Portugese. These relaxed and sincere people made our trip probably so special.
Our favorite persons were a big startup investor we accidentally met in Biarritz. Unfortunately, that evening was way too short to hear all the stories he had to tell.
But there was another person: a guy who worked for about 15 year for the army (e.g. in Afghanistan). Thereafter, he worked for a big private military company e.g. in random African countries guarding Diamond dealers etc. Until that day I always thought these kind of people only exist in movies – they’re not!
Flyboarding, kitesurfing, surfing