Hands-down, my favorite part about living in Europe is how accessible travel to other countries can be. Although a tinge of jealousy was felt with all the beautiful beach photos that flooded my Facebook feed over the winter holiday from my friends back in California, I was reminded about the perks of living in chilly France with our recent trip to Venice. A short hour and half flight and we were quickly transported from the French countryside to the beautiful canals of Venice. The destination was partly decided by an old Cookie Magazine article I had torn out about traveling to Venice with kids, and partly due to my research of what cities we could fly to direct from our local Bordeaux airport. We booked cheap flights on Volotea (a small European airline) and decided to splurge on a private water taxi (175 euros roundtrip) from the airport to the apartment, which provided so much entertainment for the kids and so many photo opportunities for me, it was totally worth it.
The apartment we rented via VRBO was in a great central location, located 5 minutes from the Rialto bridge and 5 minutes from Piazza San Marco. The apartment would easily accommodate a family of 4-5 and had a nice little rooftop terrace and beautiful view of a canal. My best tips for traveling with kids is to opt for an apartment over a hotel room and travel light. For our week long trip, I packed only 2 outfits per person in addition to the one we wore. I always book apartments that have a washing machine and run a mini-load each night and lay the clothes over the towel drying rack in the bathroom to dry overnight. Clothes dryers are rare in Europe but the warm towel racks are common and serve the same purpose with a bit more patience. Thankfully, my kids are big enough to avoid high chairs and pack-n-plays and no car seats are needed for this car-free city. However, I still cannot manage without our two umbrella strollers for Eero and Wilder. They enjoy walking to places, but are usually too tired to walk home and way too heavy to carry. We had to help each other carry the strollers over the many bridges which was a pain but often times another pedestrian would offer to help and the kindness and generosity of those strangers made up for it. Although with SO many bridges, I would certainly say that the city is 10x easier to navigate if you don't need a stroller.