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taking children to Europe

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We encounter quite a few threads asking advice on European trips that involve adults and children. What age were YOU when you first went to Europe? Memories? Have you taken children to Europe? At what age(s)? what did you think were "hits" with them?

I first went to Europe with my parents at about 12 years of age - England, Ireland, Norway, Denmark and France. I am sure I drove my parents a bit batty as mostly what I wanted to do was feed the pigeons in the large squares.I was thrilled to purchase a "family" of damn dolls in Denmark (anyone remember those?) I'm not sure the trip was very enjoyable to me....food was a challenge, we visited too many churches, At the end, we went to a beach in France, not sure where - I did enjoy that. But in my young adult years I had no desire to return.

So I waited until my children were late teens and went with them on EF student tours - the typical rush thru 5 countries in 12 days. But at that point in my life, I was wowed - I think visiting Italy had alot to do with it. Visiting Europe (esp. southern Europe) became close to an addiction for myself and also my young adult girls. We often combined city time with beach time - a mix of culture and art with the enjoyment of outdoor cafes, bike riding, and sun worship.

Anyways, on this chilly winter day, anyone want to share experiences and maybe add some tips to parents planning trips with children?

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