Rome is one of those cities that we should all visit. And many people do, to the tune of nine million people a year. That’s a lot of visitors, which means crowds. Even in the shoulder and off seasons popular sites like the Colosseum and Vatican can still be jam packed with tourists. And if you are traveling with a big group of friends or family, visiting the major sites can be a major hassle. However, don’t let this stop you! Here are a few pro tips for planning a family trip to Rome.
It can be frustrating for seasoned travelers to have to deal with family members who are less than experts at navigating airports and crowded foreign cities. But if you are the self-appointed leader of your group, you just need to be proactive to avoid any unnecessary headaches, for you or your family. Help your group get prepared by taking charge and sending out a packing list and itinerary for what the trip will look like so they at least all bring what they need with them.
2) Set Expectations
Get an understanding of everyone’s fitness, interest and comfort level regarding sightseeing. If someone only cares about seeing the Colosseum, but not the Vatican, leave them behind when you do the Vatican. Forcing family members to do something they aren’t interested in or physically capable of completing will make the entire group miserable. And know that some historical sights are not handicap accessible and can be very physically demanding. So encourage each person to be realistic about how much physical activity they can manage per day.
3) Sign Up For A Tour
If you are traveling with a big group, wrangling everyone in a crowded place is not for the faint of heart, so hire a professional! The team at Dark Rome does this every day, they know the shortcuts, the ins and outs and the routes by heart. No need to wrangle your family and navigate a crowded museum all by yourself.
Let Dark Rome do the heavy lifting. Dark Rome offers extensive tours throughout Italy and has some fantastic tours around Rome in particular. Their three-hour tour of the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Roman Forum lets you skip the line and enter through the group’s entrance, guided the entire time by an expert guide who knows the best places to stop for photos and the shady spots to rest. Give yourself a break and sign up for a tour to let someone else show your family around!
J.Q. LOUISE4) Don’t Try To Do Too Much
Another pitfall many people fall into is trying to do too much on one trip. Especially, when you are traveling with people who may not be expert travelers, less is more. Cranky, tired people do not make fun travel companions. Pick one big activity per day and leave plenty of room in the itinerary so you aren’t rushing from one stop to another.
J.Q. LOUISE5) Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff