Published on Friday, April 20, 2012 14:26
Written by Spa TravelingMom
I was SO SCARED when I booked our family vacation to Italy
a few weeks ago. Frightened about the plane ride. Frightened about whether or not the kids would be able to keep up. Frightened about driving around in a foreign country. Frightened about the time difference.
You name it and I was afraid of it!
But we jumped right in because there really is no other way, right? And now that I am home and all the laundry is cleaned and put away, I can tell you it was truly an amazing experience.
My children are 4 and 6 and we pushed them to the utmost limits… and they survived!
Take Pompeii for example. I thought we would get a half hour out of them MAX, but we were in that historic city for almost 3 hours! As a family, we were able to soak in enough history to have made the visit worthwhile. We were so thrilled about that!
There’s a ton of walking involved and we are officially out of the stroller phase. So, it was walk or go home. And my kids WALKED (and walked and walked).
How did we do it? We had fun. We got rid of the agenda. We went with the flow. We took breaks. We laughed and played and sat on the grass as often as possible.
We threw away the rules book. The kids were able to really get into the story behind Pompeii and my husband and I were able to enjoy exactly what we would have if we went without the kids.
Here are my tips for bringing your kids with you to Pompeii.
- Bring a backpack and fill it with snacks, water and your camera. Leave the purse at home. It’s HOT. You will want as little as possible with you.
- Wear sneakers and clothing you don’t really care about. The place is dusty (as you can imagine). No use in dirtying up your good jeans.
- Don’t hire a guide. We didn’t and honestly we had a good time. When you buy your tickets, you get a book describing all of the locations you should visit along with a map. Save yourself the money. Besides, there are so many tours walking around – we kept bumping into one or another. We heard what most of them had to say by accident.
- There is an auto-grill in the center of Pomepii. You can get some ice cream if the kids look like they are fading.
- American children have to pay. European children do not. We were taken aback by this – so I thought I’d warn you.
- Let your kids lead the way.
- If your kids suddenly decide they want to run around and play – let them.
- Stop and stop often. There’s no rush.
- Bring journals for your children to draw in. They can document their vacation while you photograph yours.
- Realize the streets are made of stone. If your children are not steady on their feet, hold their hands or make them walk on the sidewalks. My son fell a few times. Again, just a warning.
Have you ever been to Pompeii? It was such a wonderful treat.