Our European Trip Continues – Arriving in Venice, Italy
Hello again! Here’s Day 3 in our European vacation with Erika, me and our 3 kids. This time we’re in beautiful Venice, Italy! The purpose of this video and blog series is to show people that you can travel across Europe with 2 young kids and a baby – it’s not always easy, but, if you have the right attitude and are prepared, it is doable and enjoyable. My wife is originally from Mexico and I’m from San Diego, California. We enjoy these travels with our kids because we’ve done it on our own before. I always loved seeing Erika experience something for the first time and being excited about it on our previous vacations in Europe. Now, we both share the same delight in seeing our kids enjoy new experiences on their first trip to Europe.
Checking in to Our Hotel Room
Having just landed in Venice, we start off the day on a taxi-cab on our way to the hotel. We decided to skip the hassle of taking the metro and just get a taxi instead. It’s a more expensive, but it’s worth it for the convenience and comfort – especially when you’re travelling with two tired boys and a sleepy baby. Due to vehicle restrictions in the heart of the old city, the taxi will get us so far in Venice and then we’ll have a seven or eight-minute walk to our hotel, which isn’t too bad.
We decided to hire a porter to help us with our luggage, and it was definitely worth the 20 euros he charged us. It was probably the best 20 euros we’ve spent all week. We’re definitely going to use a porter again to help when we leave Venice. As we walk through the city, we can’t help but marvel at the beauty of Venice. I tried to look up the route to our hotel on Google Street Maps, but it would only take me so far. It was weird, but now I understand why – the area we’re walking through is so narrow that it’s not visible on the map. But that’s part of the charm of Venice – discovering hidden gems and narrow alleyways as we explore this beautiful city.
We arrive at our hotel and it turns out I’m the only one that fits in the elevator since it was so tight, so we’re going to take a second trip for Erica pushing baby Emma on the stroller. Despite the tiny elevator, our hotel room was amazing. It’s a big room (by Venice standards) with more than enough closet/storage space and a nice shower. We’re all excited to get settled in and explore Venice over the next couple of days, but first need to do laundry. Thankfully there’s a laundromat within walking distance of the hotel.
Venice Travel Tips – Venice Times Hotel
It is always difficult to find hotels that caters to families, so I would like to highlight The Venice Times Hotel, which exceeded our expectations. Its location in the heart of Venice let us explore Venice’s iconic sites from our front door. Our room was great – spacious (by European standards), comfortable and well-appointed. Breakfast was a highlight, with a variety of choices. A great choice for staying in Venice with kids.
Folding Laundry in the Streets of Venice
When it comes to laundry, we usually pack for 7 nights and do laundry every 5-7 days. We prefer to travel lighter when we can, as traveling around Europe with more weight can be a pain. Even though we still felt like we were traveling with a lot, it’s mostly due to the kids, especially our baby Emma. We did three loads of laundry, and while the machines were spinning, we decided to go and get some lunch. There was a restaurant nearby with good reviews online that we tried – and we weren’t disappointed. These days looking up reviews online makes it easy to find great places to eat – just make sure the people behind the reviews are real and not fake. Focus on reviewers with profile photos who have left multiple reviews.
After our meal we went back to the laundromat and got our clean clothes. There wasn’t enough room at the laundromat so we had to fold our clothes in the street. We got the kids to help and they had a blast – except when Aiden dropped my newly cleaned shirt on the ground on some dog doodoo. You can make every outing with kids fun if you get them involved in the activity, which Erika always does a great job of doing.
Venice Travel Tips – Doing Laundry in Venice
Laundry can be a hassle while vacationing across Europe, but it’s not impossible. Many hotels offer laundry services, but they can be expensive. Alternatively, you can use laundromats or self-service laundry facilities.
Water Taxi Tour of Venice
After laundry we decided to take a private water taxi tour of Venice. It was like having our own private boat. The VIP treatment was great, and we looked comfortable as we cruised along the canal. Initially, we were going to take the vaporetto, which is like a city bus on the canals of Venice, but the line was crazy. So, we decided to spend more for a private taxi. While we were at the laundromat, a lady told us how she recently got robbed on the vaporetto. They took everything from her purse – wallet, IDs, cash – everything. Her story put me off them, even though Erica and I have used them in our previous trips to Venice.
Overall, it was a great day in Venice – even with the laundry mishaps.
Venice Travel Tips – Using a Porter in Venice
Porters are essential to get to your hotel in Venice with a lot of luggage since the entire city is a car-free zone. Porters are familiar with the city and can help you navigate the narrow streets and canals.
Here are some specific benefits of using a porter in Venice:
- Porters can help you carry your luggage to and from your hotel, train station, or airport.
- They can help you navigate the narrow streets and canals of Venice.
- They can help you find your way to tourist attractions and restaurants.
- They can help you with your luggage on public transportation.
- They can provide assistance with other tasks, such as loading and unloading your luggage from a taxi or boat.
Here are our take-aways from Day 3 in Europe:
- When travelling with children and especially babies, think about how you’ll do laundry during your trip. Pack accordingly and plan out your laundry days.
- Use a porter to help you with your luggage when in Venice! The expense is more than worth it. Remember, cars aren’t allowed in Venice city center and you’ll have to walk to your hotel.
- Involve the kids in daily activities to get them engaged and interested.
- Find good places to eat with online reviews, just make sure the reviews are authentic.
- Bring a stroller if travelling with a baby! I cannot stress this enough. We typically travel with the GB Pockit+ All City Stroller. You can buy one used and sell it after your trip to recover some money. Airlines allow you to put it in the overhead compartment which is a huge bonus.
- Be very careful around crowds in Venice, especially around the crowds waiting for their water bus. Pickpockets are sadly common and tourists are easy prey.
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