Travel Highlights


Budapest to Brussels


Brussels is just a two hour flight from Budapest. We consider Brussels a weekend getaway or rather another European city with sights that you can plan a few days visit for. We visited the Grand-Place which is a historic site, a medieval square in the center of Brussels and next to it the Town Hall (Hotel de Ville).

Brussels 4

We also saw the Tintin Mural Painting during our walk along the Comic Strip Trail.

Brussels Tintin



The other classic Belgian cartoon character is the Smurfs.

Brussels Smurfs

One area that I like is the Place du Grand Sablon. There are many exclusive and upmarket chocolate retailers here with beautiful storefronts showcasing their special chocolates with unique packaging.

Brussels

We also passed the Notre Dame du Sablon on the final day before departure.

Brussels 3

Brussels Grand Place

This part of the city is quite worthwhile, seeing the top of the architecture with features plated in GOLD:

Brussels Tip

Some landmarks which is overrated is the Manneken Pis. This bronze statue of a little pissing boy is not just an irreverent symbol of the city, it is totally overrated. We didn't see it with a costume (which would have been better if we did). The entire street leading to Manneken Pis is so touristy, you can see chocolates with packaging and anything called 'souvenirs' printed with the Manneken Pis statue.

Brussels MannekenPis

On the first walk from the hotel we stayed to the square, we tried the Belgian waffles and hot chocolate. I must say the hot chocolate is very delicious indeed! There are two types to choose from: dark chocolate or milk chocolate, and they are attached to a stick, for you to dip into the hot milk and for slowly stirring it in.

Brussels Hot Chocolate

Here we write more about our taste experience.

Flemish waffles, Gaufres à la Flamande (Belgium)

If only it is more convenient to go to the Atomium, I think we would have gone there to see the seminal totem in the Brussels skyline. We didn't. But we went to a place that serves more than 100 different types of beer as recommended by our friend who lives in Brussels. The name of this place is called Le Bier Circus located at rue de l'Enseignement, 57 1000.

What makes our traveling from Budapest to Brussels different from our previous travels is the entire planning as we travelled with our 5 month old baby. First from the booking of the flight and hotel accommodation to the packing list.

Two items that are a must are the diapers and wet wipes. You really cannot do without it!

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We packed enough for the day of flight to first day upon arrival, considering the remaining diapers to be purchased locally (so as to lighten the weight of our baggage). The collapsible stroller or baby carriage is a bit of a hassle. However, considering the fact that we needed it, we try to carry it with us until boarding. We ensure the gate-checked of this item. And there is an inconvenience of bringing it along. It all begin at the point for its storage in the overhead bin of the airplane.

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The other point is upon landing. It took a while for the cabin staff to bring it back to us. And you are actually waiting with the baby, all out in the cold. So for this, we are recommending you to check this item in as luggage totally. Of course, this decision has to be if your baby is adapted to the baby sling.

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As we have booked a family room, we didn't need to bring along the blanket. And since our baby is already five months old, we do without an inflatable baby bathtub. While the solution is to bathe together with my baby in the bathtub which was very relaxing!

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For nursing the baby on the flight, I am using the baby sling and my own shawl to cover and lay it on baby to provide warmth inflight. The sling is indeed a very useful item to allow a hands-free way to keep the baby close to me. We also needn't bring the car seat for the plane travel with this alternative. You just strap yourself as per normal with the baby in the baby sling. I noticed it also makes the baby feels more secure since he/she is very closed to you.

Family Room in Brussels

Travel packing for the baby: We packed our baby's sippy cup, baby formula, some water, and baby food. Since we have already started our baby on pureed baby food, we also have to ensure her feeding utensils are easily accessible in the hand carry bag. I also think that bringing along several washable bibs as an important detail. Some useful items like plastic bags in various sizes can be handy too. 

Even the sponge is in the shape that is fascinating for the baby!

There are limits on the amount of liquids you can bring on flight. So for our hand carry luggage, we brought with us only one pot of BIO baby food. I have also packed some water to ensure hydration of the baby on flight. The security staff of the airport made sure they checked the baby food and drink items at the security gates. This particular hotel which we stayed, provided the smallest detail such as the baby liquid soap and shampoo, thus we didn't have to worry about it.

</span>Even the sponge is in the shape that is fascinating for the baby!<span class=
Even the sponge is in the shape that is fascinating for the baby!

The other must haves are tissues and wet towelettes which are great for easy cleaning if the baby messes up during meal time. If you bring along your baby's favourite pacifier, teether toys, it will help greatly for the taking off and landing. For hygiene on the go, I also bring along my bottle of disinfecting hand gel and a disposable changing mat for use during diaper changes. They usually do not provide this on the flight's toilet nor in public places with diaper changing facility.

It also helps a lot to prepare the list (to pack) a week before the journey. Being the first trip with a baby, as and when, you could jot into the list what to bring. The other tip is to pack baby's socks and baby clothings which are so tiny and small, all into one zipped bag to find them quickly. Attitude-wise, being flexible is an important rule of thumb when traveling with a baby. 

For the trip, I've also ensure I have enough batteries on my digital camera, and enough memory/storage space on the camera's memory card.

Brussels is not an entirely family-friendly destination. For example the roads are still having a 'steps of a few cm' and it is not really so friendly for the baby carriage wheels as you got to constantly 'tip up' the front of the wheels to get going. In Budapest, the roads has more 'little ramps' that facilitates the mobility in comparison. Both cities have pretty much cobbled-stone streets.

Brussels streets

As we have chosen the autumn time for this trip, it was not so over-crowded to go to places with a baby. It was rainy for a few days, so equipping yourself with the baby buggy's raincoat is very important! We almost lost it when it was together with the baby buggy for storage at the front overhead bin of plane. Fortunately, it arrived together with the baggages on the belt. Weather-wise in Brussels at this time of the year (November), it was pretty chilly, we brought along the baby autumn coats and that helped a lot. Oh yes, do remember to bring gloves for the baby too!

To avoid dehydration on the plane, we got to buy some mineral water for the flight. Feeding the baby on the plane is not so easy if it is not breast-feeding. Our baby felt comforted when being breast-fed during taking off and landing.

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I also think that the selection of the destination is important when traveling with a baby. The place is best if there are sufficient rest stops so that baby is not constantly strapped to the baby buggy but instead could stretch his/her limbs and move around a little. We go back to the hotel in three hours usually, if not we would stop in a restaurant or eating outlet.

This trip is more like a 'full-dressed rehearsal' before our big trip to Singapore from Hungary which is going to be a long haul flight, with a baby.


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