Family Travel Tips with EA and the Curious Cowgirl


Family Travel

My husband and I recently returned from a week-long family travel trip to Rome with three of our four children. My daughter has travelled overseas before, but for my step-sons, this was their first trip to Europe. We all had a fantastic time, and made memories together.  Today, I want to share some of my tips for traveling to Italy with teenagers.


Visiting Italy Tip #1:  Rent an Apartment

In this post, I spoke about the many benefits of renting an apartment in Europe.  Regarding family travel, with teenagers in tow, I feel even more strongly about this recommendation. Teenagers need space.  And they need Wifi….let’s just call a spade a spade. (Truth be told…me too!). Touring all day long is exhausting for everyone, and being able to come back to an apartment that has good space for everyone, a kitchen that has snacks and drinks stocked, and Wifi, helps the whole family decompress, rest, and keep up the daily touring pace.


Teens touring the Roman Forum


If you are feeling even a little bit overwhelmed, I have a FREE List of 7 Sites in Rome your teenagers will LOVE!  Click on the image below to get your FREE Printable List!


7 Sites in Rome Teenagers will Love button


Visiting Italy Tip #2:  All Pizzas are Not Created Equal

Here’s the thing that many tourists struggle with….when visiting a foreign country, the food is NOT going to taste like what you are used to eating at home.  Even a food as ubiquitous as pizza, is NOT the same in Italy as it is in America. Major differences? A tomato-based sauce is not a given on all pizzas!  Many pizzas are “white” pizzas.  Toppings are very different, and pepperoni, sliced in little rounds, is just not a thing in Italy….embrace the sausage and mushrooms, y’all! Most street-pizza is displayed room temperature, in big rectangular sheets, not rounds.  When ordering, you indicate how big of a piece you want, and then that piece is warmed up in a toaster oven. Bottom line…embrace the different! It’s part of the fun!


Teens enjoying gelato at Giolitti in Rome


Visiting Italy Tip #3:  When in Doubt, Get Some Gelato

Americans typically plan family travel with kids in the summer months.  And, Italy can get really hot! And you know what happens when it’s hot?  People get cranky. And teenagers can reach an epic level of cranky. I have found that gelato has magical soothing qualities.  No bacon and eggs for breakfast…no problem…get some gelato. Stood in a thirty minute line in the sun to see the inside of the Pantheon for 3 minutes…gelato will make that misery fade into a distant memory.  Gelato WHILE standing in line works too! Feet aching after a long day of taking in the sites…gelato, people! Three scoops….live large!


Family Travel at the Largo di Torre Argentina


Visiting Italy Tip #4:  Cover that Booty, Girlfriend

Hi all you parents of teenage girls.  Ya’ know how you always say, “I’m not buying those shorts, they barely cover your bottom.”  And your teenage daughter always says, “MOMMMMMM….this is what’s in styleeeeeeee now.” There’s possibly an eye roll.  Then you repeat yourself, and she repeats herself, and after escalation, you wave the while flag, and buy the shorts. Well, I have a daughter who is 99.9% legs.  And her shorts are short. But, it is absolutely a non-starter to go into a church in Italy wearing short shorts, and with bare shoulders. I’m not kidding. Don’t do it.  We had an uncomfortable moment in the Chisea Santa Maria della Vitoria…my daughter was actually shooed out of the church.  Proud parent moment.


Will Evans and EA eating gelato at the Pantheon


Your fashion work-around…try to lump your church visits together on one or two days, and have your teenage girl wear a sundress that gets as close to her knee caps as fashionably possible.  Throw a scarf or pashmina over her shoulders, and you will be good to go. Save the shorts for another day, and respect the custom!


The Curious Cowgirl and Family at the Roman Forum


Mainly, y’all…have fun with your teenagers!  Vacations are a great opportunity for forced-family-travel fun!

And….if you need help planning the most memorable trip to Italy ever….this post provides information on the most fantastic guide service company!


 International Travel Planning Guide & Check List

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