Tag Archives: Travel Tips

What to pack for venice italy

What to Pack When Traveling to Venice

This winter we were in Venice, as I have mentioned before, and had such a great time. Thinking back on Venice, it was just a great spot and I hope to be able to visit again some day. I shared my 8 must see sights in Venice and now I want to share what you should pack when planning your trip to Venice. It’s such a unique spot and you just want to go with the flow – but there are a handful of items that are very helpful when you are in Venice, Italy.
What to pack for venice italy

WHAT TO PACK FOR VENICE:
 
  • Smartphone with GPS enabled – We did not have any phone or data access while we were traveling, so we turned off our data roaming and cellular connection – but by doing so, and leaving it OFF airplane mode, we still had the GPS feature. This was SO much more helpful and useful than a paper map. We did have a map – and when all else fails, we could figure it out – but the canals and “road” ways are so confusing that a paper map is almost useless.
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  • Venice City Guide Map App (offline content available) – Having an offline guide of Venice was really useful since we did not have any data connection on our phones. It helps with maps, landmark locations, hours, times, or just figuring out what the heck you are looking at. Here are a few suggestions for free travel apps to download before you head to Venice: 

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  • GOOD walking shoes/sneakers – When you are in Venice, you walk walk walk ALL DAY and ALL NIGHT! There really is no way around this if you want to see the majority of Venice. There are no roads, there are no cars, taxi’s, etc. There are barely any bikes. You either walk, or you stay right on the grand canal and that would just be a shame! Bring at least 2 pairs of good shoes – if you are visiting when the water is high, it is very likely your shoes will get wet so having another good pair back at the hotel is good backup! 
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  • Layers! When the sun goes down and the air hits the canal – it gets chilly – at least in the off-season. Dress casual too. There are plenty days of rain, fog and cold air – there really is no reason to not dress comfortably. 
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  • Woman: Cross Body Purses Men: Small Wallet / Money Belt – Venice is virtually crime free and very safe, except for pick pocketing. The first night we were there, waiting for our night tour and Kyle saw two different people get pick pocketed in the matter of 2 minutes. If you are smart about where you keep your belongs and aware of your surroundings you will have no issues. Most of the pick pocketing happens on the Rialto Bridge and in St. Marks Square (when busy). I made sure I had a cross body purse that zipped completely. In crowded areas I made sure to keep it in front of me. Kyle put his wallet in his front pocket and put extra cash and credit cards in a money belt – just to be safe. We had no issues and it wasn’t a big deal – just be a little aware of it. Don’t be one of the MANY woman we saw that had purses wide open and behind them where someone would just reach in and take a wallet and walk away.
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  • Camera – Venice is so picturesque. It doesn’t even seem real sometimes when the sun is hitting the buildings just right or the moonlight is shining against the canal. You will take more pictures than you will know what to do with! 
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  • A Big Appetite – The food was SO good in Venice. The pizza – amazing – try the Salami pizza (the best “pepperoni” pizza you will have). The pasta was good, the wine was good, the desserts were to die for and of course the cappuccino and espresso were very needed! Plan on eating dinner late with the Venetian rather than the tourists and you will have a better experience. Walking around the back canals at night after dinner is pretty amazing too. 
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Have you been to Venice?
What is something that you would suggest packing?

Traveling with Kids - How to keep them happy

Traveling with Children: Tips for Keeping Everyone Happy

Kendra ThorntonToday I am happy to have Kendra Thornton guest posting today about traveling with children! Kendra is a now a mother of 3, who is a former director of communications at a well-known travel company. She has had the opportunity to travel around the world including 28 countries on 6 continents. So traveling is something she is very familiar with!

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While there’s something to be said for impromptu getaways, they aren’t really practical when traveling with kids. Without making the right plans, you’re likely to end up with a car full of cranky, overly tired little ones. Everyone should have a blast on a family vacation, and taking a few things into consideration can make all of the difference in the world.

Traveling with Kids - How to keep them happy

Five Ways to Keep Kids Happy While on Family Vacations

1. Avoid Painful Takeoffs and Landings

Adults generally understand why their ears hurt during takeoffs and landings and are able to swallow frequently to adjust to changing air pressures. Small kids don’t really get it, so alternative ways of coping are in order. Hand your kids hard candy or gum before taking off or landing. You can also have them sip drinks or eat snacks. If they are old enough, explain why their ears hurt and how chewing gum and doing other things can help.

2. Keep Theme Park Meltdowns at Bay with Quiet, Comfortable Rooms

Taking the whole family to a theme park is expensive, so you may be tempted to stay at the cheapest hotel possible. Getting a great deal isn’t worth it if the room isn’t quiet or comfortable enough to ensure a good night’s sleep for everyone. Read online reviews carefully to avoid properties that tend to be loud and uncomfortable.

3. Be Strict about Hand Washing

According to a survey by SCA, four out of every 10 adults don’t wash their hands after coughing, blowing their noses or sneezing. Kids are probably even less diligent about it, so it’s up to you to make sure your little ones are as hygienic as possible. That’s especially important while traveling because kids are out of their element and a minor cold can reduce anyone’s enjoyment of a family vacation.

4. Get Clever about Organizing

Your journeys will be much less stressful when kids’ things are kept in order. That’s usually easier said than done, but you’ll have a fighting chance when you keep organizational items on hand. A canvas shoe bag is a clever way to keep small toys, books and even snacks within easy reach. Let your child choose what to put it in and how to organize it.

5. Recreate Home in a Hotel

It’s crucial for kids to get plenty of sleep while on the road. Bring along your child’s favorite blanket, sheets, stuffed toys and other items to recreate home at a hotel. If your child uses a fan or noise machine at home, bring it along. You’ll find that bringing along the extra stuff is more than worth it. It is also great to know that many Orlando hotels also offer a quiet hours policy to ensure their visitors, especially children, get that solid night’s rest needed!

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No vacation is ever perfect, but planning things out as much as possible makes it easier to keep everyone happy, healthy and ready for fun.

Thanks again to Kendra for putting this together – I hope it helps some families who are thinking of planning their next family vacation!