travel tips and the cinque terre

One of the many joys of traveling for us is that we always have the chance to learn new things. Good thing (?) for you, this family has a lot to learn. Here are a few tips that we’ve discovered from the last day or so:

Tip #1:

If you are planning to take small children to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, be sure to come prepared to manage their expectations. And by this I mean, if your child is younger than 8 years old, when they say, “Can we please go up to the top, can we please go up to the top, can we please go up to the top??” 1,000 times in a row, be ready to answer each request with “You need to be 8 years old, you need to be 8 years old, you need to be 8 years old.” 1,000 times in a row.

This would have been super helpful to know before waiting in line to get tickets.

Ah, life lessons.

Tip #2:

After a morning of train travel to your final destination by the sea, find a local spot serving fresh eats, stat. Very important for road-weary travelers. Especially the mini ones.

Tip #3:

No matter how much you want to laugh, take your mini traveler very seriously when she asks you if the “little sink in the bathroom is just for HER.” (I’m sure Olivia will thank me when she’s a teenager that I told all of you this story. And also, now that she knows what this “little sink” is really for, I should probably not tell you that she loves loves LOVES having it all to herself.)

Tip #4:

No matter how much he/she resists, be sure that your travel companion brings eye protection from the sun. He/she will thank you later.

Tip #5:

After promptly filling your bellies, make sure all mini travelers have direct and immediate access to their swimsuit and the sea.

Tip #6:

Forget everything you’ve learned about beachcombing back home for colored glass and remain in awe of the local treasures you will find if you look closely.

Tip #7:

Ask the lifeguard to drop everything he’s doing to take several family pictures until he gets the right one. Repeat as necessary.

Tip #8:

Find a hotel that is a stone’s throw from life’s essentials.

Tip #9:

Eat gelato. Repeat as necessary.

Tip #10:

Draw a picture for your waiter (and OF your waiter) in hopes that …..

…..he’ll give you free limoncello (and a lollipop, not pictured).

Tip #11:

Let the mini traveler stay up a little past her bedtime. You’re on vacation, after all.


In summary, I have officially converted to Italian Time and can’t even remember what a to-do list IS let alone have one in my possession.

What are some of your favorite travel tips? I’d love to hear from you!

8 thoughts on “travel tips and the cinque terre

  1. One more tip: When traveling to European cities, make sure to screen photo ops for the random speedo-clad or topless local that will ALWAYS invade your shots (check out the hottie to the left of your husband in the sunglasses photo. I swear he is in every one of my photos from our last trip to Europe. I think he’s lost a little weight…. Say hi for me, ok?).

  2. I am now officially living vicariously through you … and so is my mini traveler (can I refer to her as a mini traveler, now that she’s taller than me?)!

  3. Great advice! My little sister loved the “mini sinks” in France when she was 6. Thought they were for foot baths.

  4. Relax, then relax some more. Apply sunscreen, seriously, red is not our color although I do love that red polka-dot suit. Leave the guy in the photo behind me, as was pointed out above, as it makes me feel better about my gut in the photo 3 pics later. Get a hotel with wi-fi in the room, or better yet none at all, so that you don’t have to sit in a hallway next to the lobby with the lights off working.

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