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Trip Report Quick TR: Parents and a 4 year old in Central Europe

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My husband and I took my 4 year old daughter on a trip in late May/early June. We visited the following places and enjoyed the following highlights:

1. Budapest - Szechenyi baths, Buda Hills/Children's train/chair lift down the hill, Hungarian State Opera, tons of great playgrounds!

2. Cesky Krumlov - rainy, but great quaint little town. We were only there 1 night. Another great playground.

3. Prague - rainy, stayed in Kampa Garden and loved the location. And amazingly, another great playground right under the bridge.

4. Brno, CR/ Sopron, Hungary - spent the morning visiting some friends in Brno, then drove down to Sopron for an overnight, en route to Slovenia. Enjoyed a great wine festival that evening in their old square. Great live music and crowds, got to try the Langos we missed while in Budapest.

5. Slovenia - stayed in Bled area, also visited Ljubljana and Piran. Took an afternoon off to hang out at an indoor pool/spa. Very relaxing. Enjoyed vintgar gorge.

6. Munich - a quick one night stay before our flight back. Spent the afternoon at the English Garden, rowing on the lake and hanging out at the beer garden/playground.

7. Amsterdam - 24 hour layover. Anne Frank Huis was the highlight for us.


Travel Logistics:
Flew into Budapest via 2 airports (LOVED the Chocolate Bar at Schipol) and then took the train from Budapest to Vienna. We then hopped in a rental car and drove through much of Austria and Czech Republic, briefly into/out of Hungary, and eventually into Slovenia, and back up to Salzburg, where we then took the train from Salzburg into Munich. Flew out from Munich. No problem getting all the various vignettes, though sometimes we did not have the right currency, so we lost some $$ here and there. We DECLINED GPS as it was going to be more than we wanted to pay. I had my Blackberry with me, so we relied on Google Maps the entire time. We did a great job navigating into and out of cities, if I can say so myself.

Traveling with the 4 year old:
Totally great and would do it again in a heartbeat. Debated taking the stroller and so glad we did take it. She took her only nap of the trip in a pouring rain storm as we pushed her stoller (no rain cover!) through Prague. Correction: she took another nap one afternoon as we drove down to Piran, Slovenia. Since we had a lot of driving, we got my daughter a Leapster (an electronic handheld game) that she used when on a plane, train or automobile, and used a RideSafer Travel Vest (much lighter and easier to use than a booster/car seat). She had no problems with several hour drives per day. My daughter is pretty flexible and has traveled a good amt. She still talks about going to Vienna, as that was part of our original plan, but we nixed it for Prague....we hope we can take her to Vienna sometime soon.

General Comments:
This was a fast paced trip, as we only had a little over 2 weeks for all of the above. I know this is not everyone's style, but it worked for us. Having our daughter was great., and she enjoyed the trip greatly. We were watching the Amazing Race this season, and when she saw the Charles Bridge, she totally knew it and pointed out where out hotel was (very close to the bridge). We did not do many fancy sit down meals, and did not get to do as much shopping as I would have liked, but overall, we loved our trip. We especially loved our time in Budapest and Sopron. Thank you all for your help as we planned our trip.

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