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2 months in Europe with almost 5 and 2.5 year old

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Hello, we are travelling from Australia with our two boys (almost 5 and 2.5) in Sept / Oct 2013. I have been trawling the net for advice and information on destinations, tips, travel methods, car seats, strollers etc and would love to hear any advice or suggestions you may have to offer.

My first issue is trying to narrow the trip down to an itinerary! Feeling a huge amount of pressure to choose the "right" itinerary given we are travelling from so far away and may not have this opportunity again for many years. Some vague ideas have been to spend a week in London, then fly into Europe - possibly greece, or Paris (the latter possibly by train), and work our way around slowly to somewhere else to come home from. I have done a fair bit of travel by myself in Western Europe, but my husband hasn't. Although I don't really want to revisit places already travelled, I realise I will be looking at them through different eyes having children now. I'm finding it hard to think of new places to go since I don't know much about them! But I really do want to see different places. Ideas are including greek islands, Rome and possibly some other spots in italy although i have been to a fair amount already, germany (have only seen Munich and Berlin), southern france - have spent some time here but it is so beautiful I dont think I would mind taking the family back, croatia, Netherlands, Belgium (these last three Ive not been to)... Obviously I dont imagine we will see all of this, but I'm just throwing around ideas and am hoping to narrow it down.

Realistically with kids we are planning to take it more slowly, and stay in less places for longer amounts of time. Maybe hire apartments or houses for 4 days or longer. I imagine we will need to take a car, but Im not sure how this would work in cities - maybe we have to ditch the car at those points. I'm also not sure if train travel is practical at all but perhaps a trip somewhere would be fun for the boys.

I also wonder if we should bring our own car seats?? Safety is so important but they are also huge, and its a long way to drag them.

Any suggestions to help me try and find a starting point would be so appreciated! Generally, we enjoy being outdoors, exploring and seeing wonderful scenery, interacting with people, eating great food. We're not looking to spend hours in museums (although I would happily do this on my own!), nor are we interested in lazing on a beach for a week.

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