They say “Birds of a feather flock together”. When Tarek and I got together in Cambodia, we had no idea how much of a roller coaster ride it was going to be and that the thing that would connect us the most, will be our spontaneity. In fact, nobody else apart from each other has been able to keep up with our spontaneous decisions, restlessness, and the driven need to follow our passion. Thus, it is no wonder that we are happiest when we travel together and an offspring of ours would be born with wings. Though we share four children between us, it is only our youngest, baby Akash who seems to be just like his parents. Easy to laugh, restless, volatile, and full of stubbornness, that little boy loves traveling and is happiest when on the move. Needless, to say, he has been traveling 4 weeks after his birth and went with us on a 30 days pan Europe road trip at the age of 8 months. That was our baby‘s first road trip and his stubborn parents had gone ahead with their crazy plans despite everybody advising us against it. Call us crazy or simply lucky, but that was one of our best travel experiences and we came back home after 30 days with some extremely memorable life lessons and breathtaking moments.

How we survived our baby‘s first road trip

Though the thought of a baby‘s first road trip can create a lot of anxiety, even to the seasoned travelers, in reality, it is quite an enjoyable experience. The secret lies in proper planning, packing, and keeping in mind, that all the aspects of the trip revolve around the comfort (and safety) of the little one. Driving at nights, taking small breaks, stopping at parks etc were some of the sensible things we did to make the journey comfortable for Akash and his favourite mobile was diligently strung on his car seat throughout the trip. His things, clothes, toys, and toiletries occupied maximum space in the car and during the day, I often sat next to him, holding his little hand, while Tarek drove alone for hours. We started from our home in Cologne one spring afternoon in March and drove through Belgium, to reach Paris in the evening.

Recommended Read: Tips for traveling with kids

collage from our baby‘s first road trip

Collage of travel moments of our baby‘s first road trip

An evening in Paris

In France, the glittering Eiffel Tower greeted us to the behemoth capital and we navigated out of the city with boxes of fried chicken dinner on our laps. Our first stop was in a little village called Petit Champs in Dordogne near Toulouse and I can vouch for the fresh misty prettiness of French spring. The medieval fortified town of Carcassone at the French Spanish border was our next overnight stop and we visited the Dali Museum in Figueres before heading towards Girona. Both Figueres and Girona were typically Spanish towns with clear blue skies, crisp weather, laughter, food, and relaxed pace and we ate our way through entire Spain. After Girona, we drove through the night from Catalunya to Andalusia and passed by the Roman town of Cartagena on a beautiful Spanish morning.

Catalunya to Andalusia, a part of our baby‘s first road trip

The obscure stunning desert town of Almeria was our next destination and we spent some of our best days there. In Almeria, we decided to skip Rhonda and Seville and took a long break at the magnificent erstwhile Moorish capital of Granada instead. Our next stop was Saragossa in the northern Spain and we stopped by the dramatic hanging houses of Cuenca on the way. That part of our drive was perhaps the most thrilling and breathtaking and the Don Quixote country was beautifully bleak. Our last impromptu decision was to skip San Sebastian and Pamplona and we decided to stay at a very relaxing resort at the French coastal town of Anglet. Though close to Biaritzz, it had none of its glamour and sheen and we saw some gorgeous sunsets there. Petit Champs was the final destination before heading back to Cologne and we passed by the awe-inspiring massive shifting sand dunes of Dune de Pilat on the way.

Traveling when pregnant? Check out these guides on traveling with a bump

Beautiful moments on our baby‘s first road trip

A beautiful sunset at Almeria

Fighting over doo doo diaper and tapas platter

It was a road trip encompassing more than 3000+ kilometers and the whole journey was peppered with exhausting, nerve-wracking, exciting, awe-inspiring, and hilarious moments. But it was not always a bed of roses and there have been times when our baby‘s first road trip nearly split us up as a couple. Fighting over who will dispose a doo doo diaper at the glamourous Avenue des Champs-Élysées, which tapas platter to order, whether to take the bus to the attraction or who will take turns in sleeping, many seemingly mundane reasons became big issues during the trip and it was a journey as emotionally dramatic as the places we visited. Exhaustion of long hours on the road, being constantly alert, aware, bombardment of new experiences, and having less space as individuals are some of the hazards of traveling as a family, and a crying baby in a small enclosed area like a car also adds the stress.

A journey is like a marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you can control it

Yet we managed to somehow survive them all and as mentioned before, the reason lay in our passion for exploring the world. The road trip also taught us one huge lesson in life. “A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it,” said John Steinbeck and when you travel with someone (even a baby), it is important to take large doses of patience and tolerance with your morning coffee. Today, in retrospect, I remember the beautiful experiences, awe-inspiring moments that we three shared together and as parents hope that someday, travel will form our dream child to be an open, warm human being with a heart of gold. In the upcoming posts, I will share the tried and tested tips of our baby‘s first road trip and how we managed to last 30 days on the road with a little one while having a lot of fun. Until, then, here is a sneak peek of our awesome road trip that spanned across Germany, France, Spain and back.

Cologne cathedral at sunset

Our starting point of Cologne in Germany

glittering eiffel tower in paris

Photo stop at the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Dordogne is very pretty in spring

Driving through Dordogne countryside

Spring in France is flower filled

Relaxing spring days of Dordogne

Carcassonne in France is a popular destination

The hilltop medieval fort of Carcassone in France

road trip with a baby

Our sleeping baby

Vineyards of France

Somewhere in south of France

Visit the Dali museum in Spain

The stunning Dali museum at Figueres in Spain

Traveling with a baby can be a lot of fun

A happy baby under the Spanish sun

Girona is postcard pretty

In the colourful town of Girona.

Cartagena is an old Roman town in Spain

Leaving a Cartagena sunrise

Almeria is in southern Spain

To the desert sunshine,

Almeria old town is pleasant to walk around

Bright candy coloured mansions,

casa puga in almeria is must visit for tapas

Legendary tapas bars,

Almeria street art

Vibrant street art of Almeria.

Poppies in spring in Spain

Cabo de Gata national park day trip

Beaches at Cabo de Gata national park

Beach days from Almeria.

beautiful moorish of Nijar

An unforgettable stopover at Nijar

Nijar is a day trip from Almeria

An old Moorish village

spring flowers of Spain

Located in the mountains near Almeria.

beautiful road trip to Granada from Almeria

The desert to mountains drive

Desert of Europe is in Spain

From southern coastal town of Almeria

Granada from a bird‘s eye view

To the magnificent Granada

carved pillars of Nasirid Palace

With its breathtaking Alhambra,

Monastery San Geronimo of Granada

Painted monasteries,

Cave flamenco show at Albaicin in Granada

And lively cave flamenco shows.

Central Spain highlands

The long drive from Granada to Saragossa

Visit Cuenca for its underrated beauty and heritage

Was via Cuenca.

The rolling meadows of central spain

Central Spain was

obscure towns of central spain

Was absolutely photogenic

The whimsical beauty of central spain

And dramatic like Don Quixote novel.

The flower filled countryside of Saragossa

Saragossa stopover was for recharging our batteries

enjoy sunset quiet moments on a road trip with a baby

Before moving on to

Anglet is near San Sebastian in Spain

The beach and wild flowers of Anglet in France.

sand dunes of dune de pilat

The incredible Dune de Pilat

The sand dunes of dune de pilat

And its massive shifting sand dunes

cherry blossoms of spring

Were our last stop of

family travel selfie

The mega adventure

road trip with a baby is not easy

Our baby‘s first road trip.

Stay tuned for survival tips, packing hacks and checklists for a hassle free road trip with a baby.

RESPONSIBLE TRAVELING-BECAUSE I CARE