Traveling with children, particularly infants and preschoolers, can be stressful but a little careful planning will help to mitigate some of the pitfalls parents encounter on holidays. Taking certain steps will ensure your Italy Tours and Vacation Packages are fun and enjoyable for the whole family.”
Here are our tips to ensure the most memorable moments from your vacation experiences in Italy are highlights of joy and laughter rather than outrageous meltdowns that would make the cut for one of National Lampoon’s vacations:
Preparing for the flight to Italy
Book wisely. We all know that a long plane trip is a challenge. Keeping little family members happy and occupied in a very confined space for an extended period of time is no small feat. Try to reserve the bulkhead seat so you have a bit more legroom (and no one in front of you for the tots to aggravate!). Some airlines even have bassinets designed to clip on the wall.
Coach and teach. In the weeks leading up to your family vacation to Italy, start teaching your preschoolers and young children what to expect. Get books from the library about plane trips and talk about how sitting on a plane is like being in a car - then they won’t expect to roam the aisles and explore the cabin and irritate every other person on board. This is the time to shape their expectations about the journey over, the food on board, and even the loud noisy flush of the toilet in the small little restroom on the plane.
Pack their carry-on. This is your lifeline for the journey over! Pack special games and customs-friendly snacks to dole out during the trip - new things that will captivate and keep their attention as well as, perhaps, a much-loved comfort toy (but be wary of losing it - you’ll need to keep tabs on that special stuffie or blankie!). Having plenty of snacks is a life-saver if your flight is delayed or stuck on the runway waiting to takeoff. Also refresh your repertoire of games like iSpy or card games for those times when you need to keep everyone distracted. If you are planning to bring devices or portable DVD players, try not letting them indulge in screen time in the days leading up to the flight so it’s that much more engaging onboard.
Pre-teens and teens. Some youth are not as excited about family vacations (insert eyeball roll here). Try to involve them in the planning so they get to choose excursions or day trips that they’re really excited to experience. If they get their goosebump-inducing night walk through Rome to hear ghost stories and legends, then they might be a little less sulky about touring the Vatican and Sistine Chapel. And who doesn’t want to see the ancient ruins of Pompeii?
Earaches. Be ready to nurse or feed babies and bring a sippy cup for tots because sucking helps alleviate the pain for little ears aching or sore from air pressure. Older children and teens will find relief from ear pain if they have gum to chew or hard candies to suck. For really intense ear pressure, ask flight attendants for warm cloths to apply behind the ears.
Another more stress-free travel option for families is to plan to visit Italy with pre- and post-cruise vacation packages.
Kid-friendly touring of Italy
Wear your baby. If you use wraps, slings, or baby carriers for your infant, leave the stroller at home. Babywearing makes navigating cobblestone streets, narrow alleyways, or crowded tourist destinations (not to mention stairs!) so much easier!