Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen

Planning an itinerary for dote pace

We’re beginning to realise that planning the daily activities for this trip is a previously unknown combination (to us) of dote friendly activities, snack breaks and using google to make sure everything is within easy walking distance (with public transport options if little legs get tired), all beneath the looming cloud that this planning may go up in smoke for any number of dote related reasons.  This holiday is going to be all about Lil’ D, though with any luck we adults will enjoy it too.

On past holidays Bear has done an excellent job of creating an itinerary that we tend to use as a strong guideline when we get to our destination. Not so, we suspect, when travelling with dotes. Should our idea of fun be diametrically opposed to that of Lil D we have a safety net in place.  We have prepurchased ourselves some Copenhagen cards that will gain us free entry to 74 museums and attractions, free transport and other assorted discounts.  Lil D goes free with one adult card. The card costs €79 for 72 hours and will hopefully prove convenient.

Copenhagen Card Continue reading

Snack Packing

Oh the fear.  Low blood sugar related grumpiness. A tired dote who doesn’t want to go any further.  Being out of time or out of options to stop and eat or worse still, unfamiliar “gross” food. With an early start, a bus trip, an airport wait, a flight and then a train ride the opportunities for frustrations, fatigue, hunger and grumpiness are many and varied. Hopefully, with a bit of planning we can lessen these odds.

We know from experience English breakfast tea is in short supply when in Copenhagen so that’s a definite packing must.  We also like to travel with extended snackage, i.e. not just for the flight, so further thought is required.  Making sure we start with familiar food when we arrive is also high on our list of to-dos.  Breakfast is included at the hotel so we will start our days well but out and about the whims of a dote need to be curtailed.

Research, research, research.  It seems like a constant task since we started on this path and internet, you have been less than helpful.  When you google travel snacks, or snack packs it’s the same list of 10 foods that seem a bit of a stretch for dote purposes.  True we want our snacks to be energy fueled, sustaining and generally not sweets.  Sugar rushes won’t make the days easier. But I can’t see me packing peanut butter and hummus.  We are trying to travel light here.

Ziplock bags. That’s what I foresee.  Cheerios, popcorn, grapes, raisins, cereal bars, yoghurt covered cranberries and Lil D’s favourite, chewing gum. D’ya think we have enough?

Snackage(And will they last til departure?)

An Ad Hoc Guide to Travelling with a Minor

So it seems flights and hotels aren’t your only considerations when you decide to be awesome aunties and take your niece abroad.

No sooner had we received our confirmation emails than the magnitude of what we were taking on hit home.

By ourselves we would have been happy to play fast and loose with travel insurance, pack light, explore all day on foot and eat when we found something we fancied.  It doesn’t seem enough when you have a dote.

EHICSo first up we both responsibly applied for the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card).  It’s free to apply and gives you access to state healthcare services throughout Europe at a reduced cost or sometimes even for free. In Denmark’s case – for free. Eims’ card may have come back with an error but even that was easily fixed with a quick call to the NHS. D-Daddy is applying for his, and on his he can add a child.  Peace of mind for free. Continue reading

An Ad Hoc Guide to Passports

{Phase One of Operation Dote in Copenhagen – 3 months before departure}

A Rummage for Passports

Dotes need their passports renewed every 5 years. Lil D’s has just run out. The UK Passport Agency quotes 3 weeks as the average turn around time for passport renewal but we wanna get in there quick so we can book our flights and hotel with some peace of mind.

The process

  • Quick trip to the Post Office for a Passport Renewal form. Easy.
  • Taking of photographs. Attempt 1 – photo booth. Not so easy.passport 001

Passport photo requirements say that children under 6 don’t need to be looking directly at the camera with a neutral expression but Lil D is 7 and (by the way) totally capable of looking directly and neutrally at a camera if only the photo booth chair would cooperate. Result – Lil D craning her head up into the photo, perched half on the seat, half on her tippy toes. Not a keeper. On to Plan B

Plan B – avail of the local chemist’s passport service. HUGE success.

For barely a few pounds more than the cost of a photo booth you can buy the immediate knowledge that the photos taken will fulfil Passport Agency requirements. Priceless when you’re on a deadline. You also have time to brush your dote’s hair, breathe between shots, ensure your dote’s face is neutral and have complete creative control of the photo you can’t get rid of for 5 years. Next time my passport needs renewed, I’m totally coming back. Continue reading

Travelling with dotes – The beginning of an ad hoc guide

Last year we {aunties} took a trip to Copenhagen, Denmark.⇓

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Best. Decision. Ever.

A New Year’s Resolution to travel more and a childhood fascination with Scandinavia had us looking to the Vikings.  Sweden was the dream (Norwegian fjord cruise the bigger one) but research soon opened our eyes to Denmark.  Direct flights from Dublin at too-good-to-be-missed prices and we took the chance.  Sweet serendipity!

Since our visit (and a subsequent trip to Stockholm) our hearts sing of Copenhagen as our happy place. We recommend it to absolutely anyone who will listen.  Even as we were exploring on our first evening, we had it marked out as a great place to visit with dotes.

The thought resurfaced when we were looking at Lil D’s summer schedule. When we suggested we just do it to Lil D’s daddy, little did we know what obstacles would lie ahead.  Just book the flight and hotel? Noooo, there’s a ton of other stuff to consider. Over the next month, pre-departure, we’re going to pass on what we’ve been finding out.

The road to taking Lil D on holiday may be fraught with new challenges but fingers crossed we’re in for a fairytale ending.

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