Europe Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Travel Plans for Family of Six - Reaching out for Thoughts

Jump to last reply

We are planning an 2-year trip, of which Mar 2014 - April 2015 we plan to be traveling in Europe with a family of six. Kids are aged 14 down to 6, pretty sturdy, lived overseas most of their lives and have traveled enough to know that they can handle it.

I have ALOT of research, much of which only leads to more questions, and I wanted to see what thoughts others out there who know Europe well might suggest.

Given the visa issues for Americans (Schengan visa), our plan is to spend Mar - May 2014 in Italy and France (inside Schengan area), June-August in the U.K., Scotland and Wales (outside Schengan area), Sept-Nov in Germany, Belgium, Holland (back in Schengan area) then Dec - Feb in someplace warm (New Zealand, northern Africa, others???), and March and April 2015 in Spain and Portugal.

As far as routes goes, there are so many many different opinions. My favorite book has been Lonely Planet's Best Trips Series, which outline 30+ road trips for some of the key countries we'll be in. My current plan is to just combine a bunch of those routes.

The plan is to drive ourselves. We have explored a myriad of options, including renting or buying an RV, a very large van (Sprinter or similar) or a small 7-8 seater passenger SUV or Van. We are increasingly settling on the Peugot, Renault, Citroen car leasing programs, where you can rent a car for up to six months or so and just return it as is at the end. Given it is reasonably priced, includes all the insurance and they do have larger 7-9 seaters (the Trafic, the Expert Teepee and the Jumpy seem to be the various options), that just seems the best choice. We would love to find a place that would rent a Sprinter for a reasonable price with insurance, but they seem to be 3x the cost.

As to stays, our thought was we'd probably have to book things out about 2 weeks in advance as we travel for most of the trip, staying a mix of hotels, homeaway.com, vrbo.com and such places. Probably try to stay 3-10 nights per place, and limit the 1-2 night stays as it is just a hassle.

Does this overall sound reasonable and has any out there tried anything similar? Some questions:

- Any idea if the French car leasing programs are the best choice, and if so, which of the Trafic, the Expert Teepee or the Jumpy is the larger more roomy car?. I'm guessing these are tigher than big US SUVs or suburbans, just don't know by how much.
- Any thoughts on good websites to use for accomodations? We are budgeting about $300 per night for a family of six on average throughout Europe, is that reasonable? Any thoughts on saving on that by using the same chain of hotels, website, etc.? Our experience in most of the world is that we'd need two rooms at about $150 per room.
- Any experiences on the Schengan visa, and would the above plan work on entries and exits to the Schengan region?

I have so many more questions, but thought I'd start here.

Thanks!

25 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

  • Announcement: Writers Needed for Morocco Guidebook
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Apr 11, 14 at 05:51 PM
View all Europe activity »
  1. 1 Ireland 8 day Itinerary help
  2. 2 best time to book accommodation
  3. 3 London Tube strike scheduled for Apr 28 (2 days) and May 5 (3 days). Help!
  4. 4 Advice for budget trip to Venice, espec trains & Groupons
  5. 5 Venice canal boats--best deals?
  6. 6 Amsterdam / Belgium Itinerary
  7. 7 Mosquitos in Camargue---is it really that bad??
  8. 8 Crete/Santorini OR Positano/Capri - where to visit?
  9. 9 London visit
  10. 10 Anyone been to Rhodes,Crete,etc. over Christmas?
  11. 11 Trip Report Long Weekend in Lisbon - Loved it!
  12. 12 Two weeks in Paris ... how to fill?
  13. 13 Trip Report We saw a fox on Great Ormond St (and other sights up and down the Thames)
  14. 14 50 and Fabulous in 2015---need help planning my trip to Amalfi, FINALLY
  15. 15 Any experience with Cave Lodging in Loire Valley?
  16. 16 Getting to San Seb from Madrid
  17. 17 No points in Paris .....
  18. 18 Florence & Rome Itinerary, hotel, tour co. critique please!
  19. 19 Trip Report Basque Spain to Lourdes to Carcassonne to Provence! 12 busy days solo
  20. 20 Pompeii train to Naples
  21. 21 Small group for Colosseum
  22. 22 Cornwall Trip Addition
  23. 23 Planning 17 days Italy - Switzerland - Germany
  24. 24 Reviews on Adriatic Travel Agency?
  25. 25 Greece--Crete or Peloponnis?
View next 25 » Back to the top