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First time to Europe-family of 5

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We are debating on the best way to see Europe-our children are 19, 16, 15. We would go in June and would have about 10-14 days. Our budget is about $3,000-4,000 each. This will probably be the only time we could take a trip like this.

At first of course we considered doing the bus tour-seeing as much as possible, but the more I look into it, the less I think the idea is right for us. My husband thought we would see more of the "country side" being on the bus. While the idea of someone telling us where to go and what to do sounds like it would be nice as we wouldn't have to plan anything. I also know I don't want to be hurdled like cattle and we like to go off and explore on our own.

My husband does not like the open water, so we thought one of the Mediterranean cruises was out of the question. But I have him considering it as we would only have to pack/unpack once and I think the kids would get more sleep and we wouldn't be on a tight schedule. I know there are many advantages to this, but so many options of Cruise lines.

We also looked into the possibility of a river cruise, but I don't think we would see the major cities and I have read that water level may dampen the trip.

So, what advise do you have for us? We haven't told the kids yet as we are making sure it can happen first and thinking it will be a Christmas present. After we tell them, they will do some exploring online and tell us what they would like to see. We do have a meeting with a travel agent, but I know the more questions I ask here, the better I am prepared to meet with her.

Thanks in advance!

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