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Tour around Western Europe, please help with our itinerary

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Hi, We are a family from UK, mum, dad and 2 ADHD children aged 5 and 7. We are going to take our children for a trip around Western Europe (Belgium, Germany, Czech Rep, Austria, Italy and France) for the whole of the summer holidays. We would like the trip to be a mixture of learning, fun and getting to know the real countries. The children are always running around, and aren't very well behaved, despite our best efforts! so this needs to be taken into consideration for any activities we do as we don't want to be trying to keep them quiet for too long. I think we perhaps need some more child orientated activities, especially in Italy, and I have no idea where to go in France. The Disneyland 4 days at the end of the trip is already booked. We will be taking our own car but would like the children to experience public transport in an area if it adds to the experience. I would really value comments and suggestions on our itinerary as we haven't been to these places before. Monaco is a flying visit to dad can see it but we aren't going to stay there. Thank you for your help.

Date No of night Country Town Itinerary


24/07/2013 2 Belgium Travel to Brussels, check in, Grote Markt
25/07/2013 Belgium Brussels, Belgium Mini Europe and oceade €90
26/07/2013 2 Germany Boppard, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Eltz Castle (munstermaifeld), Cable ride (Boppard)
27/07/2013 Boppard, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Boat ride up Rhine, relax
28/07/2013 2 Germany Heidelberg, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany Heidelberg Castle €32, Heidelberg Packaging Museum
29/07/2013 heidelberg, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany Märchen Paradies €14
30/07/2013 2 Germany Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany Toy Museum 1/2
day €16, walk around town
31/07/2013 Nuremberg Relax day
01/08/2013 2 Czech Brno (Pusty Zleb), Czech Relax day
02/08/2013 " Punka Caves, Brno 420 CZK
03/08/2013 2 Austria Vienna, Austria Relax and explore
04/08/2013 " No Idea
05/08/2013 1 Austria Linz, Upper Austria, Austria No Idea
06/08/2013 2 Austria Salzburg, Austria No Idea
07/08/2013 " No Idea
08/08/2013 2 Austria Zell am See Saalfelden Bob slaying,
09/08/2013 " Grossglockner High Alpine
Pass é33
10/08/2013 1 Austria Bolzano Krimml Waterfalls, brenner pass €16 onto
Bolzano
11/08/2013 1 Italy Venice, Veneto, Italy - stay at keycamps? Or similar?
Trip up Grand Canal, visit churches and eat ice cream
12/08/2013 1 somewhere north italy relax day
13/08/2013 3 Italy Maybe stay in Ostia Antica or somewhere outside
Rome. Visit Ostia Antica, then beach - take car and
find somewhere not so busy
14/08/2013 " Rome - am sightseeing, relax
pm, Trevi, Navona, Colosseum evening
15/08/2013 " Extra day?
16/08/2013 2 Italy Maybe stay in gragnano or pimonte, or bomerano
(hotel due Torri?)
Italy train: - pompeii and vesuvius €40 inc Herc
17/08/2013 Italy " Train to Herculaneum
(ercolano) then Naples: Archaeological Museum,
Amalfi Coast drive to Sorrento in eve?
18/08/2013 Italy " Oplontis, Stabia and
Antiquarium of Boscoreale??
19/08/2013 3 Italy Siena Siena
20/08/2013 Italy " Florence
21/08/2013 Italy " Pisa
22/08/2013 Italy Levanto Monaco
23/08/2013 France Avignon, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France??
24/08/2013 France ?
25/08/2013 France ?
26/08/2013 France ?
27/08/2013 France ?
28/08/2013 France ?
29/08/2013 2 France Paris, ÃŽle-de-France, France Eiffel Tower,
Louvre Musee ???
30/08/2013 "
31/08/2013 4 France Disneyland Paris, Marne La Vallée, Île-de-France,
France
01/09/2013 "
02/09/2013 "
03/09/2013 "

  • Report Abuse

    WOW! That's quite a trek!

    <<24/08/2013 France ?
    25/08/2013 France ?
    26/08/2013 France ?
    27/08/2013 France ?
    28/08/2013 France ?>>

    The Dordogne would be perfect for two rambunctious kids for 5 days.

  • Report Abuse

    Take a deep breath because your choices as a parent are likely to be the subject of some pretty interesting responses!

    Are you and your spouse seasoned travelers and have your children ever traveled for any period of time in the last couple of years. I ask because I count around 20 unique stops (more or less, it is hard to tell on some days if you mean to move on or do a day trip) by the time you reach France on Aug 23 or in about 31 days of travel. That is an incredible pace and if you have never traveled at that kind of pace before it could prove be a daunting and exhausting experience.

    I hope that some other posters can come up with some child centred ideas - beaches in Italy? - that might help you keep the boys interested and give you the option of some longer stays.

  • Report Abuse

    I am not an expert on ADHD - but I know many kids with it function better when they have some sort of structure to their days - naturally interspersed with activity. But just hours and hours of random activity can only worsen their lack of focus.

    If it were me I would do several different places for a week each - so the kids are not constantly being exposed to new cultures, languages, sets of rules and different ways of making things work.

    Really what I would do is consult with their pediatrician - to see what s/he recommends as being most supportive. Also what to do if they need their meds adjusted while traveling.

  • Report Abuse

    Hello everyone. Thanks for your responses. I am interested in any suggestions of where you think I could improve the itinerary or if you really think we are being too ambitious. We have one boy (7) and one girl (5) so need to find things to do that suit them both. They both have boundless energy. They are at their best when they can run, jump, climb and explore. They need a full itinerary as they are at their worst sitting around relaxing. I only mention their ADHD as it has some bearing on where we could visit, ie quiet places or places where you have to stay still for more than 5 minutes could be problematic. It won't make much difference where we are, as long as they are interested in what they are doing and they can move, they will be ok. Mum and dad are the ones who need rest and relaxation!! (it's just a dream ....)! I have tried to vary the days, finding things to do that they wouldn't usually do and things that they will remember when they are older. I have included relaxing days, and none of the activities are set in stone, but I have used the activities as an anchor to determine our next stops. This isn't supposed to be a holiday in the normal sense of the word, although it would be great to enjoy and relax as much as possible, but it is essentially for the children to experience new places.

    We will be travelling light, just taking the bare essentials, so hopefully won't have loads of stuff to pack and unpack. We're not sure what to do about washing clothing, we thought we might buy cheap undies and t-shirts and just throw them away after use rather than accumulating loads of dirty washing - is this a good plan?

    I have decided to split the stops down to 2-3 hour journeys so that we are not spending ages in the car each time, a kind of little and often approach, rather than long hauls that tire us out. I was thinking of staying in various types of accommodation, mainly B&Bs, and maybe a holiday camp near Venice to break things up.

    I thought I should break the trip down to make it easier for you to comment, if you don't mind helping?

    Book 2 nights in Brussels
    24/07 Travel to Brussels, check in, relax in Grote Markt
    25/07 Brussels,visit Mini Europe and oceade


    Germany
    26/07 2 nights in Boppard
    Day 1 visit Eltz Castle (munstermaifeld)including Cable ride
    Day 2 Boat trip up Rhine followed by relax time

    28/07 2 nights in Heidelberg
    Day 1 visit Heidelberg Castle followed by a quick visit to Packaging Museum
    Day 2 Visit Märchen Paradies (theme park)

    30/07 2 nights in Nuremberg
    Day 1 visit Toy Museum followed by walk around town
    Day 2 relax day

    01/08 2 nights in Brno, Czech Republic
    Day 1 Relax day
    Day 2 Visit Punka Caves

    What do you think so far??

    Thank you

  • Report Abuse

    Hello everyone. Thanks for your responses. I am interested in any suggestions of where you think I could improve the itinerary or if you really think we are being too ambitious. We have one boy (7) and one girl (5) so need to find things to do that suit them both. They both have boundless energy. They are at their best when they can run, jump, climb and explore. They need a full itinerary as they are at their worst sitting around relaxing. I only mention their ADHD as it has some bearing on where we could visit, ie quiet places or places where you have to stay still for more than 5 minutes could be problematic. It won't make much difference where we are, as long as they are interested in what they are doing and they can move, they will be ok. Mum and dad are the ones who need rest and relaxation!! (it's just a dream ....)! I have tried to vary the days, finding things to do that they wouldn't usually do and things that they will remember when they are older. I have included relaxing days, and none of the activities are set in stone, but I have used the activities as an anchor to determine our next stops. This isn't supposed to be a holiday in the normal sense of the word, although it would be great to enjoy and relax as much as possible, but it is essentially for the children to experience new places.

    We will be travelling light, just taking the bare essentials, so hopefully won't have loads of stuff to pack and unpack. We're not sure what to do about washing clothing, we thought we might buy cheap undies and t-shirts and just throw them away after use rather than accumulating loads of dirty washing - is this a good plan?

    I have decided to split the stops down to 2-3 hour journeys so that we are not spending ages in the car each time, a kind of little and often approach, rather than long hauls that tire us out. I was thinking of staying in various types of accommodation, mainly B&Bs, and maybe a holiday camp near Venice to break things up.

    I thought I should break the trip down to make it easier for you to comment, if you don't mind helping?

    Book 2 nights in Brussels
    24/07 Travel to Brussels, check in, relax in Grote Markt
    25/07 Brussels,visit Mini Europe and oceade


    Germany
    26/07 2 nights in Boppard
    Day 1 visit Eltz Castle (munstermaifeld)including Cable ride
    Day 2 Boat trip up Rhine followed by relax time

    28/07 2 nights in Heidelberg
    Day 1 visit Heidelberg Castle followed by a quick visit to Packaging Museum
    Day 2 Visit Märchen Paradies (theme park)

    30/07 2 nights in Nuremberg
    Day 1 visit Toy Museum followed by walk around town
    Day 2 relax day

    01/08 2 nights in Brno, Czech Republic
    Day 1 Relax day
    Day 2 Visit Punka Caves

    What do you think so far??

    Thank you

  • Report Abuse

    And here's the rest of the trip:

    Austria
    04/08 2 nights in Vienna
    Day 1 Relax and explore
    Day 2 Any ideas?**

    06/08 1 night in Linz
    Day 1 Any ideas?**

    07/08 2 nights in Salzburg
    Day 1 Any ideas?**
    Day 2 Any ideas?**

    09/08 2 nights in Zell am See
    Day 1 Bob slaying in Saalfelden,
    Day 2 Spend the day on Grossglockner High Alpine pass

    11/08 1 night in Bolzano
    Day 1 Visit Krimml Waterfalls, then onto Bolzano via
    Brenner pass

    Italy
    12/08 2 night near Venice??
    Day 1 Trip to Venice - Trip up Grand canal, visit churches
    and eat ice cream
    Day 2 Take time to Rome or stay somewhere in north of Italy

    14/08 3 nights near Rome
    Day 1 Visit Ostia Antica, then beach
    Day 2 visit Rome - am sightseeing, relax pm,
    Evening: Trevi, Navona, Colosseum
    Day 3 Any ideas?** relax?

    17/08 3 nights near Naples, Maybe stay in gragnano or
    pimonte, or bomerano??
    Day 1 Train to Pompeii and Vesuvius
    Day 2 Train to Herculaneum, Evening:Amalfi Coast drive to
    Sorrento
    Day 3 Oplontis, Stabia and Antiquarium of Boscoreale??

    20/08 3 nights in Siena
    Day 1 Visit Siena
    Day 2 Visit Florence
    Day 3 Visit Pisa

    23/08 1 night in Levanto
    Day 1 visit Monaco for a quick drive round, then onto
    Levanto for the evening to break up journey

    France
    24/08 5 nights in France – not sure where yet, Avignon??
    25/08 any ideas?**
    26/08 any ideas?**
    27/08 any ideas?**
    28/08 any ideas?**

    29/08 2 nights near Paris
    Day 1 Visit Paris - Eiffel Tower, Louvre Musee
    Day 2 Relax
    31/08 4 nights Disneyland

    Thanks everyone.

  • Report Abuse

    << if you really think we are being too ambitious>>

    Unquestionably. Moving around that much will be worse - the kids won't know where they are from day to day and they'll be constantly stopping and going from place to place. Completely disorienting to the little blighters regardless of their energy or attention spans.

    NYT's suggestion of "If it were me I would do several different places for a week each" is the minimum.

    You have a possible six weeks on the road, that means four places for 10+ days each and side trips from each destination. Get apartments in each major place - that's now "home" and you can do "home" stuff (wash, eat, sit on your bums, etc.). Go to Paris, Rome, Vienna, Prague and engage the kids in the differences between each stop. Do not do what you're proposing to do - a point to point to point to point to point to point to point to point to point to point, etc., car trip around Western and Central Europe.

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