Planning for Italy

March 13, 2015

We leave for Italy in just a little over a month (April 16)! It seemed so long ago when we had first booked the tickets, but now the time is finally near. This will be our first trip abroad as a family. Yes, we will be taking little Erin with us. She probably won't remember anything from this trip, but I will! I can't imagine traveling to new places without her anymore. 

Planning for this trip was very different because Erin is now in the picture. We didn't want to plan a million things so we actually have a very open schedule, which is the weird part. Ken and I are very big planners and when traveling, we like to do and see as much as possible. We have a list of things we’d like to get done, but we haven’t made any specific plans to do it on a certain time or day. With a toddler coming along, we had to accept the fact that we won't be able to do it all and our plans won’t always go accordingly to plan. We will be visiting only 2 spots in Italy: Rome and Cinque Terre. We will most likely have time to visit a third spot (hopefully Pisa), but we'll play that by ear and see how things go when we're actually there. Our trip will be a total of 11 days: 7 nights in Rome; 3 nights in Cinque Terre. Rather than staying in hotels, we booked vacation rental homes through airbnb. The last time I was in Europe, I stayed in a rental apartment and it was great. Lots more space/room to run around and they've got washing machines and a kitchen to cook if need be, which will be perfect when traveling with a kid. I'm hoping I have the same positive experience in Italy.
Deciding what to take to Italy has been the most challenging (I’m mentally packing right now and have started writing out my packing list). We've been on short trips with Erin and we've gone on a week long camping before, but this will be the longest Erin has been away from home. I don't want to pack too much and I don't want to forget anything important. Besides all the usual traveling essentials, here is what we've decided to take with us:

1. Hiking backpack. We're planning to do a lot of hiking in Cinque Terre (weather permitting - crossing fingers). Ken will be carrying around Erin in one of these. 
2. Brica portable changing pad. I imagine we'll be doing a lot of diaper changes in random places, streets, tables, etc. I bought this one specifically for traveling. It's a little on the big side, but I like that it can store a lot and that it’s also padded enough for comfort.
3. Inglesina table high chair. People have told me that there is a high possibility that there will be no high chair available at the restaurants we eat at. We use this thing all the time here, so this is a must for traveling.
4. Instant rice and Korean food. The great thing about staying in a vacation home is that there will be a kitchen to use. Erin's a pretty picky eater so just in case she decides she doesn't like Italian food, I want to make sure we have something I know she'll eat. She's a true Asian and loves her rice. 
5. Ergo baby carrier. I'm lucky that Erin still fits into this thing and that she doesn't weigh too much. Hopefully she'll take some naps in this thing while we're out and about.
6. Ipad. This was a no brainer. We don't let Erin use the Ipad too much in general, but I'll be taking this for the plane ride there and back. I'm dreading the long flights with her and I hope that if need be, the Ipad will make things all better and keep everyone happy.
The one thing we decided we will not be taking is our stroller. Our friends that have traveled to Italy told us that the cobblestone streets will make it difficult to walk through with a stroller and it might even ruin the stroller.  So we’ll rent a stroller there if need be. I imagine I’ll be getting some good work outs in each day from all the walking and carrying of stuff/baby.
We’re hoping that Italy won’t be too crazy packed with tourists since it will still technically be off season. Hopefully we’ll be able to get a lot done. Here’s a list of what we plan/want to do (I’m going to write a post about my trip after I get back and cross off the things we actually did end up doing):
  1. Colosseum
  2. Vatican City - Sistine Chapel. St. Peter’s Basilica
  3. Trevi Fountain (I hear it's still under renovation)
  4. Pantheon
  5. Eat Gelato at least once a day
  6. Roman Forum
  7. Spanish Steps
  8. Campo dei fiori
  9. Explora Kids museum
  10. Bioparco in Rome
  11. Hike through Cinque Terre
  12. Visit Jewish ghetto
It’s not a very extensive list, so I think it’s doable (hopefully). 

But all in all, I am SO excited to be doing some traveling abroad, especially with my family. Besides the dreaded flights; the concerns about whether Erin will eat/sleep well; adjusting to the time change and dealing with jet lag, I hope this trip is a successful and fun one! 
I’m excited to see what kind of pictures Ken takes on this trip.

1 comment:

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