March 3, 2009

Venezia Senza Soldi, Con Bambina

If you follow his blog on, you know Matt Gross as the Frugal Traveler. To me, though, he'll always be the guy who took his wife and six-week-old [!] baby on vacation to Venice in the drizzly depths of January.

Old solo traveling habits die hard, I guess, and new ones--like being chill about breastfeeding in the Palazzo Ducale, coldcalling a sitter at the Guggenheim, and learning the Italian word for diapers--take time to acquire. [pannolini, btw.]

There's no denying the power of a little baby to melt hearts and start conversations, and a trip to Venice does make an excellent push present, and if it's on the company's dime, all the better. But still, six weeks. Mrs. Gross is a saint, a triathlete, or both.

Frugal Venice, Family Style [nyt]

UPDATE: Matt also posted a follow-up about the flight home. Money quote from the flight attendant: "'They're perfect travelers,' Ms. Miller said of newborns, adding that, unfortunately, things only get more difficult as they get older."


They must be pretty chill parents if they were willing to hire a babysitter for their 6wo basically sight un-seen!

Greg you summed up my thoughts about that article exactly. I also have to quibble about the "family style" reference in the headline... a six-week-old totally mobile, naps-anywhere, no-extra-food required baby may technically make you a "family" but it does not strike me as family-style travel. Signed, mum of two kids, age 4 and 1, who dreams of a European vacation but thinks it would probably suck if she actually took one.

I read that article over the weekend, too, and I thought to myself, "How fun could freezing Venice be with a 6 week old?" But hey, Europe is frugal when you might want to be there the least.

We took our 3 month old to Kauai last Fall, and we had to haul baby support stuff, but at least it wasn't coats and a lot of warm clothes. The biggest things were the car seat/base, and the jogger stroller (both in their travel cases/sacks). Both were stuffed with other baby things, towels, and recreation items.

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