It feels like it was in another lifetime we went to Rome with all that’s currently happening, especially with Italy being the epicentre of where this pandemic truly showed us how dangerous it could be. We were there just one month before the reality hit and had no idea of the enormity of what was about to happen, even booking accommodation in Lisbon for two months later. How wrong we were.
I am yearning for a time when the world can travel again. Seeing the world is something higher up than most things on my bucket list in life. Rome didn’t disappoint. I had a lot asking us about travelling to a city with a toddler so I thought I’d give you a quick list of things we found eased the whole trip for us. I hope this post provide a little escapism amongst the chaos we find ourselves in right now.
Take Hand Luggage
For us, we wanted to make the travelling side of it all as short as possible. Taking hand luggage meant we were in and out of the airport quicker. We were in two minds about whether to take a pushchair but I am so glad we did! That couldn’t be used as hand luggage which was a shame BUT at least we were only waiting for one item at the other end and both time it was quick and easy. It also meant we had everything Freddie might need to hand on the plane, whether that be a change of clothes, nappies, books, games and so on. Of course, there were two of us. Had I been travelling alone I’m not sure this would have been as helpful with less hands to cart stuff two and fro (Kev was essentially a donkey while I took care of Fred!)
Don’t Be An Itinerary Wanker
Ok, that’s a bit harsh! I’ll admit. For some, plans are golden but we all know toddlers don’t give a flying f*ck about your plans. For me, a plan that didn’t go to plan would have brought instant stress. We simply had a list of the best things to do in Rome (thanks to you gorgeous lot) and took each day as it came. Cities often provide so much in the way of architecture that wandering round and sampling the local food is enough. We are quite happy doing that so it meant each day we could feed off Fred’s mood and pick our attractions accordingly.
Pick Your Quiet Time
I think it goes without saying that a city break with kids means drinking into the early hours and sampling the night life isn’t part of the package, but even with that aside, we found that eating out at lunch and opting for a simpler dinner time made for an enjoyable stay. We stayed in a lovely little guest house which had a small shared kitchen. A few times we took food back with us and sat in our comfies together in there. Fred had time to wind down and it meant he wasn’t grumpy and exhausted the next day as much. Likewise, we didn’t rush out first thing in the morning, but rather let him chill with a few toys or the iPad while we pondered around getting ready and mapping out the day. It sounds like the simplest thing but not rushing was really key to the success of this trip with him being just two years old.
Seek Out Things For Them
When it was my birthday, we took a day trip to Paris from Disneyland and honestly it was so hard with the kids. Reason being, there was nothing in it for them. So when we went to Rome we made an effort to find one small thing each day that would let him burn off some energy and have fun. We found a spot to walk with large areas of grass which meant he could run around freely for a while. We went to the zoo (although that was honestly crap!). I’m not a big van of zoo’s, I just don’t sit comfortably unless the animals have a huge space to roam freely and the whole time we were at this one I didn’t see one zoo keeper. Obviously Fred was none the wiser but personally, I do not recommend! We found a mini arcade and park one day which provided a good hours fun, and also sourced a toy shop where Fred found some superhero figures which we promised him on our last day if he was a good boy.
Lunch Time Break
As I said above we used dinner time to eat at home most nights, with the rest being small bites. We made sure that lunch was a proper sit down affair. Not gunna lie to you, we also let Freddie go on YouTube kids during this time too. It was so chilled. He would chill out with a bit of ‘telly’ and we would have a drink and work out how we fancied spending the afternoon based on how he was feeling. It gave him time to relax and take a break amongst all the stimulation of the trip and meant more often than not we could pop him in the buggy for a snooze with a full tummy after.
Other than this, things to note are that toilets are few and far between! Nappy changing stations were often public and not inside the loos and some places didn’t even have a loo big enough to change him. But hey, mothers are professionals at finding a way with situations like that so it’s really no biggy.
We adored Rome, so so much. St Peter’s Basilica was my absolute highlight and the pizza is genuinely to die for. I’ve all the bits we visited listed in my highlights on Instagram if you are wondering where to visit, but if you’re undecided on Rome as a place to visit, honestly, just book it. You won’t be disappointed.