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Taking my baby to vacation in Italy. Transportation question and baby traveling tips?

ebcristebcrist
Sixth Anniversary 10 Comments
member
Hey all! This is my first post on the travel board!

I am traveling to Italy in four weeks with my husband and seven month old for a four week vacation. I have already purchased the tickets into Milan, but I have literally zero experience vacation planning so I am probably definitely already crazy. However, it has been a dream of mine for years.

I have three questions: 1) Do you have any international traveling tips for flying or traveling with a baby? I have flown internationally twice but only with a group.

2) Has anyone ever been to Italy and would love to share their travel itinerary? We are pretty much completely wide open right now!

3) What would you suggest for transportation while in Italy? I have heard the train is good, but do I need reservations? Is the bus a good option? We are hoping to do the major cities (Rome, Venice, Florence) and possibly Barcis. 

Thanks in advance!!!!!!!

Re: Taking my baby to vacation in Italy. Transportation question and baby traveling tips?

  • GilliCGilliC
    Ancient Membership 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    1. Call the airline (ASAP) and ask about getting a bassinet seat. Feed during takeoff and landing for the pressure.

    2. I've been a few times, but the longest was only 10 days. On that trip we started in Milan (Bergamo) and went straight to Florence for 4 days, during which we took a daytrip to Pisa and Siena. Then we took the train to Rome for 4 days before flying back to Milan for a day before our trip home.

    3. The train is quite easy. You can make reservations in advance if you have a plan. We actually just bought tickets on the spot, but I would suggest buying them at least a day ahead. For the trip from Florence to Rome we had to wait a few hours because the first few trains were sold out.

    We decided to fly back to Milan from Rome since we didn't have a lot of time, and we found a really cheap RyanAir flight (we had flown to Bergamo on RyanAir, so we were already traveling with lightweight RyanAir-friendly hand luggage).
    image
  • With no experience with vacation planning (and considering you are traveling to a foreign country), I highly recommend you work with a travel agent that specializes in Italy.  It should cost you nothing.  
  • Travel agents can be great for finding packages and deals, but honestly, it doesn't take experience to do it all from the convenience of your couch via the internet.  Everything is there and it's incredibly simple.
  • Travel agents can be great for finding packages and deals, but honestly, it doesn't take experience to do it all from the convenience of your couch via the internet.  Everything is there and it's incredibly simple.

    That's very true, but for someone who's never planned a trip before and is planning a four week international trip, it wouldn't hurt!  At the very least, it costs nothing!

  • 1) I've never traveled with a baby, but I have heard it can be nice to purchase a seat for your child. I know it sounds silly because they are so small, but my friends who have done it say it is so nice to have the extra space for all your stuff and for the 3 of you to stretch out. Not sure if it is too late for that?

    2) We went on our honeymoon in Italy in 2010 and loved it! We spent about 2 weeks and went to the Cinque Terre, Florence, Venice, and Maranello (outside of Bologna). When we build itineraries for trips we go through travel books and read blogs and articles and make a list of the sites and activities that sound interesting to us. Then we group them by city/area to see where we want to spend more or less time and use that to dictate how much time we want to spend in a place.

    When we were in Florence we stayed at Pensione Pendini and loved it. It is right off a main square, the room (and bathroom) were nice and spacious and the price was very reasonable, about 100 euro a night in 2010.

    In the Cinque Terre we rented an apartment in Riomaggiore through the agency A Casa Cinque Terre and had a great experience. We booked online and arranged to meet the apartment owner. They were so nice and friendly, it was a great experience. (We stayed in Gabriella 1) Our apartment came with a private roof-top deck with a view of the ocean. 

    3) For transportation we used trains most of the time and found it really easy. You can book online ahead of time or at the station when you want to travel. We usually book longer rides ahead of time so we can reserve a seat and know that we have that waiting for us for a trip that is 3+ hours or so. We haven't had any problems really booking trains the day-of either. Often, you can look up the schedule ahead of time so you don't have to wait around at the station.

    I agree with @BlueBirdMB that you don't really need a travel agent. If planning the trip is stressing you out they can be helpful, but I've heard more stories about people being overcharged and unhappy than I have of people feeling like they got great deals and support. There is so much on the internet and so many good travel books, you can totally do it on your own.

    Have you looked at TripAdvisor? Some people don't like it, but I love it. I love being able to see real photos and real reviews of places from people who aren't travel professionals. Sometimes the reviews aren't very helpful, but I find the photos really helpful for me to get a sense of what we'll experience before we get there. 

    Good luck with your planning! 4 weeks in Italy?! I'm really jealous! 
    :)
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