Surviving Our First Family Trip to Italy With HopperGO

We’re days away from heading off to Italy on our first family vacation! My wife and I have traveled together extensively, but this will be our very first trip with our daughter Melina. It will also be her first time on an airplane. As an avid traveler, I’m so excited for our first family adventure and to let you know about how we’re going to survive the evenings with our #FreeHopperGO. We will be gone a total of 16 days.


Why Italy?

We chose Italy for several reasons, but mainly because we can base ourselves in major cities and take day trips to smaller towns and villages. I also speak Italian, which will help tremendously in getting around and communicating. Also, my wife has never been to Rome, so this will be her chance to cross it off her bucket list. And lastly because Europe in the winter is a lot cheaper than summer (off-season). It also doesn’t hurt that I have some distant cousins living in the towns of Gubbio and Todi.


Photo from the last time I was in Todi back in 2013

During our two weeks, we’ll be staying in Rome, Perugia, and Florence but will be taking day trips whenever possible. We’ve rented an Audi A3 with a car seat already installed so that we won’t have to lug one around.

Traveling With Baby

Our plan is to see as much as we can within reason because we have the baby with us. A few “musts” that we’re making time for include:

Rome: Coliseum, Vatican City (Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and St. Peter’s Square), Fontana di Trevi, Spanish Steps, Piazza di Spagna, and the Pantheon.


Melina’s first world wonder and she’s only 9 months old!

Perugia: Old Town, flea markets, the Christmas markets, Perugina Chocolate Factory (where they make Baci chocolates), Porta Sole, and day trips to Gubbio, Todi, Assisi, and Cortona.


Can’t wait to try my uncle Aldo’s homemade wine again

Florence: Ponte Vecchio, Uffizi Gallery, Florence Cathedral, the David by Michealangelo, Piazza della Repubblica, and day trip to the luxury outlet mall.


One of Italy’s most iconic images, the Ponte Vecchio of Florence

In 16 days I think we’ll manage to see a lot, even though we’ll have to be home early for the baby to be in bed by her usual 8 PM bedtime. We booked family friendly apartments on Airbnb that come with washer/ dryer, full kitchen, WiFi, heating, and plenty of space for the three of us and our luggage.

Entertainment For Us


Since we’ll likely be cooking or bringing home take-out dinner almost every night, we’re bringing along our HopperGO, which is basically a pocket DVR that lets us watch our recorded DISH network shows on our mobile devices. It doesn’t require internet and we charge it on my laptop with a USB cord, which gives it 4 hours of battery life. Since it works on 5 different devices, my wife and I can both watch our recorded shows while we’re in Italy. The baby will be in bed early, so we’ll have plenty of time to catch up on shows we haven’t seen (the HopperGo holds up to 100 hours). We just got the device with their promotion: Get a FREE HopperGO with a new subscription to DISH.

Sound good? DISH is having a Cyber Monday deal! Any new customer who visits and calls from the promotion site, then installs up for any DISH package (and includes a DVR: Hopper 2 or Hopper 3) before Dec 11th will get a FREE HopperGO device this holiday season. Don’t forget you have to mention offer code Free Hopper Go”. Only valid for new DISH subscriptions. Restrictions apply.

Entertainment For Baby


Melina’s toys plus our evening entertainment (Italian wine not pictured)

After speaking with some friends of mine who’ve traveled with their kids before, we went out to get Melina some toys to keep her busy on the flights and when we’re “home.” These include a rattle ball, a couple of soft toys, toy phone, puzzle book, bath toys, and her favorite stuffed animal Violet who sings and says her name.

Remember to check back here in a couple of weeks – we’ll be putting up our guide to traveling to Italy with a baby where you’ll see what we managed to do with a 9-month-old with tips and suggestions.

Have you ever traveled to Italy with a baby? Leave us a question or share your experience! Leave us a comment below.

This blog post is part of a paid Megan Media and DISH HopperGO blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.