Traveling to Greece with an infant

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Xtina, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. Xtina

    Xtina Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 1, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    My husband and I are planning our son's first trip to Greece. It's also my husband's first trip. I used to go as a child a lot, since my family is Greek, and it was never stressful, but now I find myself really stressing out. That's unpleasant because I love Greece so much and I don't want to have a horrible vacation. But all the responsibilities of traveling with a child and a husband who doesn't speak Greek and has never been abroad are starting to overwhelm me. So I thought I'd come here for travel tips and advice.

    My first and biggest concern is the car seat situation. Honestly, I don't even think people in Greece use infant car seats! I'm bringing mine of course, but I'm terrified that the taxi driver from the airport is going to think I'm loony bins and they may not even want to give us a ride if it means a lengthy car seat installation process. Then, we have to take a bus from Athens to the family's village, which is even more terrifying because buses don't have seat belts, so I won't even be able to use my car seat. I'm very concerned about safety.

    Then, of course, I'm wondering what to pack for an infant who's going to be away from home for two weeks and traveling on a plane. Is there anything I shouldn't forget? Having family there makes a big difference. I don't have to worry about bathtubs or cribs...that's all taken care of. I'm not planning to pack a stroller even though my seven month old son is obviously not walking yet. Is that a mistake? I've started to make my packing checklist, so any advice you guys have will be much appreciated.

    Finally, have any of you ever been to Greece with an infant or unprepared, American husband? If so, is there any advice you have for me?
     
  2. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Quote:I traveled to Greece with a two week old infant. Not any different than if you are traveling in the States. Pack what you normally would for a vacation trip and you will be fine. We used infant car seats, no problem what so ever.
     
  3. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    You're terrified of what a cab driver will think?

    I would bet if a cab driver doesn't like the baby seat, that another cab driver right next to him, will be, 'ok fine come on down sure put the thing in my cab', and the cab driver who DIDN'T like it would not only be slapping himself in the head the whole day for missing a good fare, all the other cabbies would be making fun of him the rest of his life. Most of them I don't think are in that luxurious of a position that they can thumb their nose at some business. Further, a tourist who insists on using a baby seat would probably be the most not-unusual tourist they see in 100 years.

    I don''t know why it would be a problem. I think some people in Greece use baby seats already anyway.

    What I would suggest is get a seat that is easy to install and uninstall, and practice installing it a few times so you do it smoothly. I would try a couple at the store and compare them. If the one you have is easy it would be fine.

    I would take a foldable stroller if it was me. I would want one I liked and was used to using, especially when I was tired from traveling. The models available at stores in Greece might be a little different and you might not feel as comfortable with them. There are strollers that fold completely flat and are great to travel with.

    I have gone to countries by myself without speaking the language, to places in the country where virtually no one spoke any English.

    It really sounds like maybe you're worried about something you're not mentioning? How your relatives will react to your husband? Otherwise I don't understand the concern.

    I think of Greece as an exciting, beautiful country wiith early Christian churches, cliffside resort towns with steep, winding streets, beautiful farms, rocky, arid climate, vibrant cities full of culture, beauty and art. It also can be a traditional country and people can be conservative and old fashioned in some circles. But all in all, a beautiful exciting place to travel and visit.

    I think your husband could easily learn a few words of Greek, 'Thank you', 'How kind of you', and there are always certain phrases a visitor can say that will endear him in what ever country he visits. If family is conservative there are always ways of dress and manner a person can learn in a few minutes, that make a visitor welcome. Sometimes the best way to endar oneself is to go 'mmmmmm-mmh!' over Grandma's cooking, and hold your plate out for more.

    BESIDES. You have the number one guaranteed insurance policy for the traveling visitor to be loved.

    A BABY.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  4. StupidBird

    StupidBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, it was some twenty years plus ago (ack, now no old fart comments) but I flew to Germany with my first baby, and only a few sentences in the language.

    I used a backpack, not a stroller. It had a folding bit as a stand. Made seeing the castles and such easier, and everyone keep volunteering to carry. I tucked a lambskin in there, and blanket and spit cloths. Breastfeeding really cut down on packing.

    Something about flying spurred the eruption of baby's first FOUR teeth. All at once. I don't think I slept that week - spent the nights pacing back and forth softly singing and using teething toys, cold wash cloths, etc to sooth. Later, I heard the neighbors thought it really sweet, hearing my lullabyes all night.

    One trip I left baby with other relatives. that was worse; worried and missed baby the whole time. Then the ones who said, bad idea to bring baby, REALLY ended up missing the baby.
     
  5. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

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    Who cares what the cab driver thinks about your carseat. Safety first.

    I would bring a stroller. Kids can get awfully heavy in the airports, to say nothing of during your visit, particularly if you have to carry other things. I found that even when my kids weren't in the stroller, it was helpful to have to cart baggage, shopping bags, etc. Definitely bring it.
     
  6. Rozzie

    Rozzie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    The best possible tip I can give you is to take the least amount of STUFF with you that you possibly can. Take your carseat. Then take as little else as possible.

    Remember, if you forget something and it is vital, there are stores in Greece...lots of them.

    Also, don't stress over your husband not knowing Greek. It is NO big deal. I spent weeks there a few years ago. The only Greek I learned were a couple of greetings and a pile of curse words.
    Seriously, Greek is not easy for most Westerners to pick up.

    Consider taking the Subway system whenever possible in Athens. It is super easy to use and quite safe.

    I encountered very few people in Greece without at least a basic knowledge of English that could be used to communicate sufficiently with tourists. If you are going to the countryside, you may encounter a few more (especially older folks). Seriously, though, your husband will be just fine.
     
  7. Rozzie

    Rozzie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Oh, as for what to pack for baby:

    Onesies (those little cotton one piece outfits)
    Sleepers
    a blanket or two because the plane may be cold
    thermometer & baby tylenol (just in case...)
    pacifier (needs something on the plane for ears)
    Bottles & formula if not breastfed
    diapers

    Car seat or something of the type - will you plan on baby sleeping in the car seat at night or will there be a bassinet or baby bed where you are going?

    Seriously. That's all. Babies have survived for tens of thousands of years with less.
     
  8. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    Quote:Yup. Agree ^ 100%.
     
  9. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    Quote:You might also toss in a bottle of the Mylicon or Gas-X drops for babies... the pressurized cabin can cause havoc with their tummies just like it can their ears. Bless their little hearts -- A screaming hurting infant is no fun for infant, mommy, passengers, or crew.
    ETA: I hope you and your family have a blessed, safe, fun, relaxing, memorable trip of a lifetime!
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  10. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    When the plane changes altitude get them sucking on a bottle or if older chewing on something, breast feeding is fine too, sucking, chewing, clears their ears. Another trick we learned was - the lights in the plane. Little one is crying? Turn the lights up. Lights already up? Turn 'em down. Amazing. Little dude will start staring up wondering what is going on and stop crying.

    DO - bring some sun tan lotion and some sun hats. It is a very sunny place. Onesies may not be the best thing. Something very light and airy with sleeves might do better.

    These are cute -

    http://www.solartex.com/servlet/the-Babies--dsh--Sun-Protection/Categories

    But sometimes all you need are some light sun cloths - I've used clean cloth diapers to just drape over them. I am not sure it is wise to assume you can buy everything in Greece for a baby. You might want to read this -

    Advice on traveling with babies in Greece - note that little ones are not allowed by law to travel in the front seat of a car - this is a law in several European countries.

    http://www.babycentre.co.uk/baby/travel/greece/

    more:

    http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/general_advice_tips/1009391-Car-seats-in-Greece

    babies and flying:

    http://www.travelwithyourkids.com/on-the-plane/should-you-use-a-car-seat-on-the-plane

    more about not putting little ones in the front seat:

    http://www.babybitz.co.uk/rear-facing-baby-seats.html

    from fodor, the travel experts:

    http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/babies-car-seats-strollers-and-europe.cfm

    Also - be sure the car seat you have is approved for use in the European Union if you want insurance coverage to apply. Since rules are constantly getting changed the best thing to do is check the most up to date source and ask lots of questions of the airline etc.
     

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