The scenario isn’t uncommon. You want to go on that perfect Italian vacation that you’ve been dreaming about since you were a kid. Problem is, you’re not a kid anymore. As a matter of fact, you’ve got your own. Would you give up on your dream vacation? If you’re wondering how you can plan the perfect vacation to Italy and, somehow, bring your young ones along, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are 5 things to know when traveling with toddlers.
1. Getting There Is The Hardest Part
The problem: If you’ve ever been on a long plane ride or a car trip then you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. Less than an hour in, you’re going crazy and, by the time you reach your destination, chances are you’ll be too exhausted to even continue.
The Solution: Research is key. Many travelers have gone abroad with children so look at travel forums (check out the one at Fodors’ ) that will help guide you through any worst-case scenario. Prior planning is the most effective way to make sure that your children are ready for travel.
2. Pack Smarter – Not Harder
The Problem: You’re not entirely sure about the equipment and items that you would need to bring to support your toddler. A stroller, a baby backpack, and a crib are all great things to bring during your trip to Italy, but how many items could you actually pack?
The Solution: It’s easy to get tunnel vision when you’re packing and forget some of the basic ABC’s of traveling. Keep in mind that there are plenty of shops in Italy that cater to bambini – Italian for children. Pack for transitions and travel but you should be able to find everything that you need once you reach your destination.
3. You Can Still Have Fun
The Problem: It’s not the honeymoon anymore and you’re starting to feel the stress. You’re thinking about your kids the entire time and your dream vacation is starting to turn into a nightmare. The grandeur of the Colosseum and the romance of the Trevi Fountain just doesn’t seem to be the same when you’ve got toddlers to worry about.
The Solution: The key is to find activities that you can do with your children. You’ll probably miss out on seeing some of the more touristy sites but there are certainly some excellent venues in Italy where you can spend some quality time with your children. Children’s museums are all over Italy and large parks such as Villa Borghese and the Boboli Gardens are thoroughly enjoyable for both adults and toddlers alike.
4. Transportation and Housing
The Problem: Italy can get pretty crowded, especially in major cities like Rome, Venice, and Florence. Understandably, finding the right place and the right way to get around is going to be a priority if you’re traveling with young children.
The Solution: Plan ahead. Hotels fill up pretty quickly, especially hotels with accommodations for toddlers and infants. A great economic alternative to hotels are local B&B’s and apartments as they usually have more space and tend to be more family-oriented. Trains and buses are usually packed so you’ll want to look at other options such as car rental or taxi service.
5. Making Your Kids Smile
The Problem: Just like any parent, if your kids are happy, you are happy. You’ve already bent over backwards as far as you can go for your children but they’re still not happy.
The Solution: Children may not always enjoy museums and parks but there are plenty of different ways to keep your toddler happy. Italy is very child-friendly and you’ll find fun options for your child in the Piazzas. Classic Italian toy shops, puppet shows, gelaterias, and family tours are always guaranteed to bring smiles to children of all ages.
After reading this tips do you feel ready to travel with you toddler? Let us know!