Traveling in Italy with a Kid: Lessons Learned from Lucas During Our Voyage, Travel Tips for Kids in Italy
I don't know about other parents, but in our little famiglia we are inseparable--we love being together. That's a big plus when you commit to being stuck on planes, trains, automobiles and in small apartments or hotel rooms together. But we planned well, we have a great kid in Lucas, and he helped us know what his needs were as we went along. So, here's some lessons learned--mostly Lucas teaching us--that might help with your family's trip to la Bella Italia.
Thankfully, if you have a child who wasn't raised on McDonalds, take-out or Chuck-e-Cheese pizza, Lunchables and Pop Tarts, you are ahead of the game, as we were with Lucas. So far, the only food he balked at was a whole lobster staring him in the eye up in Mystic, Connecticut. We were right in thinking Italian cuisine would not be a concern for Lucas. So, what will keep your kiddie well fed?
Electronics. By all means, this is no time to limit their iPod or smart phone use. Before you leave home, let them shop for and install some new games. Lucas kept one of our Kindles in the back seat of our car with Minecraft to keep him from getting bored. And he still put it down when passing by beautiful vistas, castles, and through crazy, windy roads like in Amalfi. Here's what tech things helped him from getting bored:
Education (disguised as FUN):
This is tricky. If you make them think you are going someplace just for their education, they'll shut down and act bored. We let Lucas choose some of his "must see" places while we were planning the trip. The Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Da Vinci Museum in Vinci were his top ones. Here are some other ideas from our trip:
Basically, we had a talk to Lucas before the trip and told him that when he felt tired, not to fight it and have a catnap. This helped prepare him, so when in the car, he would nap for a short while then feel refreshed. Once in a railway station he was so exhausted, he gave in to my pleading just to lay his head down on his rolled up jacket right at our cafe table. He was out like a light for about 1/2 an hour which really helped him. More ideas:
I hope this helps you plan for a trip with your kids. Kids are flexible when they fall, and very flexible when they travel. Besides, give your kids a trip to Italy and it will change their lives forever.
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