We recently did a long weekend in Rome, a metropolis of classical architecture, endless long pasta (& wine) fueled lunches, and ancient ruins at every corner. We consider ourselves to be pretty well travelled, but travel with kids is a whole different ball game – whereby you know you’ve got about 3.5 seconds between pure joy and unbridled chaotic meltdowns. Stir in a little 30+ degree weather, taxi strikes, motion sickness and you’re looking down the barrel of disaster.
Mostly, travel is unpredictable and that’s what makes it fun, however, there are a few tips to ensure that you and your family get to have your pasta and eat it too!
#1. Know your transport
Imagine arriving in a place ready to jump in an Uber to your hotel where a refreshing shower and a poolside cocktail awaits only to discover the city you’ve landed in doesn’t have Uber, or Bolt, or Lyft, or any other of the veritable ride share companies around. Tip #1 from us, is to know who can take you where. In Rome, we recommend downloading the local taxi app.
If you’re like us and have a particularly motion sick child, we’d recommend taking the fast train into central Rome, and getting your taxi from central station – limiting the long and potentially traffic heavy ride from the airport.
#2. See the Sights without the Stress
We all want our kids to experience some culture and history, sometimes however, they just don’t quite get the gravity of it, and aren’t really willing to appease you in spending 5 hours walking through ruins. So, we found a happy medium that kept everyone smiling the whole day! AirBnB now offers experiences in every city, and of course we found someone who does a golf cart tour, which shows you all the major monuments, sprinkled with interesting facts, and historical references, and takes several gelato stops on the way. I cannot recommend this highly enough, we didn’t need to schlep the streets to get to each location (and remained relatively sweat free), we learnt a ton about Roman history, and we got our sugar kick to keep us energized all day.
#3. Kneed the dough
Eating pasta is one thing (and you’ll find it in abundance in Rome), but it tastes even better when you’ve made it yourself. The whole family can have a great, messy old time learning from the best on how to make your own pasta. And if you’re still hungry, we recommend heading to Osteria Da Fortunata where you can watch pasta being made and chow down on some of the most delicious food in town.
#4. Travel in comfort
It goes without saying that kids travel better when they’re comfortable, and well rested. Whether you’re flying a long haul to Italy, or hopping a train from Amalfi to Rome, inflate your Plane Pal, provide the kids with some of our reusable squidgy stickers and watch the landscape out the window…with yours and their feet up.
And as they say that’s Amore!