I am new here and hope I am posting this in the right place!
We are a family of four. Two kids age 12 and 15. Kids have never been to Europe. We are not at all comfortable in planning a trip on our own and we assumed we would just sign-up for a tour. However, after reading another post about teens/tweens on a tour, and how much others thought they would hate it, I'd like to get some input on doing this on our own.
Is it really possible/safe for us to do this on our own? We plan to go for around 10-12 days in July. Would like kids to see London, Paris and possibly Rome. (Open to other third city options). Would like to keep trip around 20k. (Is that budget too small?) The only two things I have on our MUST DO list is the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre.
Using a Tour company is tempting b/c I like the idea of everything being arranged for us and may feel safer traveling with a large group. However, my kids (and to be honest myself as well) hate getting up early. We didn't realize we would need to be up and out of the hotel so early every day. I don't envision many happy, peaceful days with three out of four of us being grumpy travelers. The idea of having my 12 year old son who is ADHD on a bus for long periods of time each day is also not appealing to me.
However, the thought of planning it ourselves terrifies me. The transportation portion of it especially seems mind-boggling. And not being able to speak the language and having to use different currency and picking the right hotels...Can I hear from others who have done this on their own? Was it a success?
This is a very special trip for our family and I want it to be fun for the kids and enjoyed by all of us. The kids have mentioned wanting to see/explore a castle but that is all they are specifically requesting on this trip.
Sorry for the long post. I would GREATLY appreciate any advice/suggestions/input/opinions!
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Family of four - First Time Trip - Tour Company or No Tour Company?