21, 18 and 6 year old trip to Europe

Jul 2nd, 2017, 06:43 AM
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21, 18 and 6 year old trip to Europe

Hi...looking to do a transition family trip next June marking one graduating from college, one from high school and one from kindergarten! Looking for about a 2 week trip to Europe that would be fun for everyone. Some locations of interest include London, Switzerland, Amsterdam, Norway, Sweeden, Austria...i know it's a lot of different locations but their gaze is wide! Any ideas?
sdksavona is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2017, 07:57 AM
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Car or train?

Car- if drop off in country other than you rent it in could mean very steep dropoff charges - trains are fantastic but a family that size may like a car more.

Yet cars are useless in cities once you get there so if going to tourist mecca cities like most are want to consider trains.

Maybe land in London -take high-speed Eurostar trains under the Channel to Paris or Amsterdam. then either go north to Scandinavia or east to Germany or south to Switzerland.

Anyways for lots on trains and planning a rail trip check www.ricksteves.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com (especially their European Planning & Rail Guide with lots of rail itineraries in those countries) and www.seat61.com.

I would suggest London -Paris -Switzerland's Alpine wonder areas and fly out of say Zurich. In Switzerland base in a mountain town near Interlaken and have all kind of wonderful things to do.

If car I would drive thru rural areas like Rhine Gorge (Koblenz-Bingen) or Mosel Valley and eschew large cities.

Camping is very popular with European families and nice camps are everywhere - even on edges of big cities- great for kids to meet the locals say in the ubiquitous swimming pool.
PalenQ is online now  
Jul 2nd, 2017, 08:10 AM
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No one can decide which one or two countries you should visit. Every single country in Europe has reasons to visit.

Get the kids involved in the decision -- get some guide books and decide as a family which sites are 'musts'.

Just generally speaking - London is the largest city in Western Europe (by a long ways) and has something for everyone at any age.

Maybe think about a week in London and a week somewhere else. Perhaps the 2nd week divided between 2 cities. Fly open jaw in to London and home from the last city.

If it ends up being a city-centric trip -- than you wouldn't want/need a car.

If part of the trip ends up rural then a car could be useful for that segment - or not. Depends on where exactly.
janisj is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2017, 10:13 PM
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Any of those destinations would be great and only you can decide which would be best. But I would spend time in at least one or two places long enough for the older kids to feel confident to head out on their own for a few hours. A place where you can head off in different directions for a short time and meet for lunch or dinner.
dreamon is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2017, 01:44 AM
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How wide is the wallet?

Among your choices are some of the most expensive destinations in Europe, with London (and parts of Austria) coming out the cheapest at the moment.

Is there some activity that spans the decades and all the offspring enjoy in these locations? I'm trying to figure out why these European countries top the wish list as "locations of interest" (instead of Greece, Portugal. Denmark or Paris or Rome). Of course they are not uninteresting places to go, but what's the thinking that resulted in these choices?
frencharmoire is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2017, 06:05 AM
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Tossing our experience into this potpourri. We moved to Vienna when our children were in MS and HS; now one is a semester from Uni graduation and the youngest just completed Grade 10. A consistent favorite holiday has been the summer week we escape Vienna and head "out west" in Tirol or the Salzkammergut.

We rent a holiday home that either is on/very near to Wolfgangsee, or one that has a pool. For us, it's all about having the down time to hike; swim and engage in other water sports like SUP; ride the summer toboggans; climb up the mountains in the cable cars; and drop into the villages for market days or evening concerts. In each of these destinations activities for the younger set are plentiful, as well.
fourfortravel is online now  
Jul 3rd, 2017, 06:22 AM
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The kindergartener has years to travel with you, and you can find things of interest for him/her everywhere.

Let the two older kids research and each pick only one place, area or country. Just two, total. That is it. If they pick a city, do some day trips or combine 3 or 4 days in that city with the rest of that week in another nearby place. If they pick a country, you could spend the week in one place or divide time between 2 or 3 close together places.

Those are very different places, so depends very much on their interests and what activities they want.
Sassafrass is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2017, 11:42 AM
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It's hard to say, but on that list, I'd probalby throw out Austria as an outlier and doubt if it would be as appealing as other places, anyway.

In 2 weeks, I'd probably do London and some other parts of UK maybe (or even Edinburgh), or ast lest some day trips from London, and then maybe go to Amsterdam at the end. I think everyone should enjoy that trip. YOu could start in Edinburgh and then make your way down to London by train/bus.
Christina is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2017, 11:47 AM
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Or London to Edinburgh then for novelty take a ferry to near Amsterdam (Newcastle-Ijmuiden I believe). Overnight -kids may like.
PalenQ is online now  
Jul 3rd, 2017, 02:00 PM
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Let each "kid" pick a place.

Go those 3 places in your 2 weeks' time.
suze is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2017, 02:05 PM
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I bet the 6-year-old will pick Disneyland Paris if not the others too!
PalenQ is online now  
Jul 3rd, 2017, 04:08 PM
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The older two are travelling as adults and can meaningfully research and contribute to your destinations. The only one you have to worry about is the 6 yr old, who can do much the same sorts of things local children do at that age (so for instance, museums are off the menu because neither local children nor your tourist kid are up to much reading, but there are many other child-focussed activities). I would sprinkle in some amusement parks (for instance, Legoland (there are several but I know the one in Berlin), Euro Disney, sommerrödelbahn (a kind of a downhill slide on a hillside)), maybe a miniature train display (for instance, Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg), bike riding with the little one on a kid seat on the adult bike. Maybe some hiking in the mountains? All of these (maybe apart from Legoland) are interesting for the whole family. Depending on the child some forms of transport can be very exciting (trains? boat rides?).

Just throwing around a few ideas; many some will pique your interest.

lavandula is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2017, 04:14 PM
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I should say, museums are not off the menu but you have to pick and choose; applied science museums could be magic, musical instrument museums also good; portrait galleries maybe not so much ... you know your child best!

lavandula is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2017, 04:54 PM
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>>so for instance, museums are off the menu because neither local children nor your tourist kid are up to much reading<<

That makes no sense to me. Just in London the following museums are FANTASTIC for young children: Imperial War (yes, really), Natural History, British, Science, London Transport, V&A Museum of Childhood, Museum of London Docklands . . . And whenever I have visited any of the above they were full of local kids.
janisj is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2017, 04:56 PM
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Hi Janis, I realised what I said after I said it. I agree with you - there are many museums good for kids ...

lavandula is offline  
Jul 4th, 2017, 05:13 AM
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I thought PalenQ had an interesting idea with the ferry to Amsterdam.

Hiking isn't necessarily interesting for the whole family, some people dislike that. And hiking in the mountains, if that is meant seriously, is a destination trip in itself and requires special clothing and equipment. I presume real hiking is meant, not just walking. And hiking with adults and a 6 yr old requires special planning.

Of course we have no idea what this family's interests are. I have relatives who live in a mountain/rural area and they are out there hiking with the kids from a young age (but have to carry them a lot, on their backs, when young), but they do this all the time and have special equipment, of course, you need your hiking shoes and sticks, etc. I personally find that kind of holiday cumbersome to combine with a city holiday just in terms of packing.
Christina is offline  
Jul 4th, 2017, 07:05 AM
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With a 6-yr-old I would do walking on easy trail not hiking on any but a short time.
PalenQ is online now  
Jul 4th, 2017, 06:01 PM
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I would also pick London. But you can also do so many places in England such as the Cotswolds area home to Shakespeare theatre and Oxford University, then Canterbury, Stonehenge, etc. It is a small country but so much to do and see. History, castles, knights, kings, queens, it has so much.

I have two daughters and we, as parents, made the decisions because for you with 3 kids of various ages you may end up with unhappy campers, disappointments, etc if they make decisions and you basically have 5 people deciding on decisions. Keep it simple. The kids will have fun where ever you go.
nanabee is online now  
Jul 4th, 2017, 06:07 PM
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"I bet the 6-year-old will pick Disneyland Paris if not the others too!"

If they have never been to Disneyland in Anaheim or Florida then yes. My kids and grandkids were disappointed in Disney Paris because it was almost an exact replica of Disneyland in southern Ca only everything was in French.
nanabee is online now  

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