Traveling with 2 small children

Tips, cautions and bright ideas for keeping children safe and happy during travel in Turkey.
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abbas
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Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:47 pm

Traveling with 2 small children

Post by abbas » Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:54 pm

Hi there,

My wife and I are planning to visit Turkey (via Rome) in July with our two daughters (3 and 1). I wish I had found this forum sooner, but regardless, I'm hoping to get some advice from others on planning out our itinerary. We have already booked our flights to, and within, Turkey, so I guess our dates aren't very flexible at this point. Here is our itinerary so far:

July 11th - land in Istanbul from Rome, take a connection to Antalya
July 11th-23 - Spend some time in Antalya, then make our way to Nevsehir by way of Konya
July 23 - Fly from Nevsehir to Istanbul
July 28 - Istanbul to Rome

Given that we have two little kids, we aren't likely to do too many ruins. We're planning on bringing a light double stroller and possibly a baby carrier. I'd love some recommendations on:
[*]towns to stay in around Antalya (or are we better off in Antalya?). I was thinking Kalkan and Fethiye.
[*]how many days should we spend in Konya? Is it possible for tourists without a tour group to view the Sema ceremony at the Melvana center?
[*]how many days should we spend in Nevsehir? We'd like to do a cave tour, but again, with the two kids, this will likely be limited. We'd also like any advice on whether a hot air balloon ride is suitable for children or not. Are there safety harnesses, or something similar, for all passengers?
[*]would you consider taking a bus from Antalya to Konya (with an overnight stop), and then Konya to Nevsehir? Both our girls are good travelers and even-tempered.
[*]we currently have about 5-1/2 days in Istanbul. Is that enough, or should we spend more time in Istanbul and less in Antalya/Cappadocia?

I'll likely have more questions! Thanks in advance for your advice.

Abbas


turkeytom
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Re: Traveling with 2 small children

Post by turkeytom » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:58 am

Hi Abbas,
towns to stay in around Antalya (or are we better off in Antalya?). I was thinking Kalkan and Fethiye.
I'd suggest Antalya because it's got a good range of hotels to choose from, and lots of different activities. Kalkan is pretty tiny with not much beach; Fethiye is quite a ways from Antalya and not as nice as Antalya.
how many days should we spend in Konya? Is it possible for tourists without a tour group to view the Sema ceremony at the Melvana center?
I would think you'd want to spend more time in Antalya, Cappadocia and Istanbul than in Konya. If you (the parents) are interested in Seljuk Turkish architecture, you could stay two nights, otherwise one night would be fine. You could go from Antalya to Konya by day bus if you think the chlidren would support such a ride. There are also now nonstop flights from Antalya to Kayseri (Cappadocia) several times weekly, if you prefer that option.

As for dervishes, I can't say what possibilities there might be for seeing them in Konya during the summer, but there are opportunities in Istanbul that may be better:

http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/go/I ... ogram.html

A true sema takes several hours—not likely to hold the children's attention.
how many days should we spend in Nevsehir? We'd like to do a cave tour, but again, with the two kids, this will likely be limited.
No problem. Do see Goreme and Zelve valleys. Your 1-year-old can be in a carrier, your 3-year-old will love running around the paths and climbing into the cave churches. I'd also recommend an Underground Cities visit—for kids it's straight out of the Flintstones.
We'd also like any advice on whether a hot air balloon ride is suitable for children or not. Are there safety harnesses, or something similar, for all passengers?
Not possible, I think. You're in a big basket that comes up above an adult's waist. The 3-year-old would not be able to see anything, the 1-year-old, in a carrier, would not be safe. I don't believe balloon companies accept children that young.

The flights take place at dawn. If you could find a baby-sitter, you parents might be able to get away for a flight. You'd be back at your hotel by breakfast time.
we currently have about 5-1/2 days in Istanbul. Is that enough, or should we spend more time in Istanbul and less in Antalya/Cappadocia?
You must answer that question You know your interests. Lots of possibilities for things to do with the kids in Istanbul, including playground visits (the first that comes to mind is in Kadirga Park in Old Istanbul). Ferryboat rides, tram rides, bazaar walks, Galata Tower would all be good.

Have a great trip!

Tom Brosnahan

abbas
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:47 pm

Re: Traveling with 2 small children

Post by abbas » Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:41 pm

Tom,
This is great. Thank you so much for your help and advice. I'll definitely report back after our trip. Your site and this forum are such great resources, and I'd like to give back a little once we've had a chance to experience Turkey firsthand.
Abbas


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