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Step One. Where?

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Hi Everyone,
I am beginning the thought/planning process for a first trip to Europe year after next when I retire from teaching. Most likely it will be me (mom) and daughter (18 now). Possibly 20 something son, but he will be working, Dad, not a traveler unfortunately.

I went to England in college for a whirlwind spring break sports team week and definitely want to return to that country. Daughter is a fanatic about Shakespeare,and history. We both want to go to London, and would also like to spend some time in the English countryside. (I have read so many novels with that setting, it would seem criminal to me not to see it in person!)

While I would love to visit Paris, she likes the idea of Italy. If we had a budget of $5000 for the trip (not incl air - we would travel from any of the Washington DC airports) and probably no more than 10- 12 days ( so she could work her summer job), should we include Paris or Italy? Or should we just keep it to one country and really see a lot? I would love to go to Paris, she is keen on Italy, but I don't want to overextend ourselves.

I know that many of you take repeated trips abroad (I am very envious! :) but this seriously may be a trip that isn't followed by another one (at least for a looong time) What are your thoughts given your experiences? Thank you so much!

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