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25th Wedding Anniversary

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Dec 20th, 2012, 03:35 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Dec 2012
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25th Wedding Anniversary

Planning my first trip to Europe. I am attempting to combine a family vacation with some time alone with my spouse. Ideally I would like to spend 10 days with children ages 15 and 17 in Rome, Paris, & London and an extra week alone with spouse in Italy.
I would like the first 10 days to be with a tour taking advantage of group rates for museums, travel, lodging etc. and the following week in Italy to be free time. Any thoughts?
emczer is offline  
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Dec 20th, 2012, 03:48 PM
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I can't imagine kids that age enjoying a group tour especially when Rome, Paris and London are easy to do on your own with a little advance planning.
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Dec 20th, 2012, 03:57 PM
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For your alone time with your wife, one word - Paris. Rent an apartment, head out the door each morning and walk until you can take no more.

Doesn't really answer your question about Italy. I would definitely look into renting apartments - look at sites such as VRBO - to save money and to make everyone more comfortable. Kids of the age of yours like to spend time alone, away from the parental units and depending on their interests, may not be as interested in museums as you may be. There are beautiful spots on the Amalfi coast to spend some romantic time alone with your wife. That is, if you don't follow my advice about Paris.
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Dec 20th, 2012, 04:38 PM
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I agree about the kids and tours. Mine would have mutinied if I'd made them do tours. And "taking advantage of group rates for..." doesn't necessarily work out. On tours you usually end up staying in mediocre hotels far from the city center, eating at poor restaurants, rushing around from site to site, sitting on a bus half the time, getting up at the crack of dawn (not something I've ever known teenagers to be very comfortable with, particularly on vacation), and potentially dealing with a mostly older clientele who will have little rapport with teenagers.

You can almost always plan a cheaper, better, far more enjoyable vacation yourself. And the destinations you've chosen are really easy to research - starting here on Fodors and with maps and guidebooks.
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Dec 20th, 2012, 06:04 PM
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I think that everyone is likely to have a far more enjoyable time if you travel independently, not on a tour.

Be sure to schedule an "open jaw" flight, in to London and out of Rome. Start in London, then go to Paris, and on to Rome. Send the kids home and spend the last week, depending on when you travel, either in Naples, the Amalfi Coast and Capri or in the Lakes. The later you go in July or August, the further north you will want to be for the best chance of moderate weather.
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Dec 21st, 2012, 03:33 AM
  #6
 
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If you want an extra week alone with your spouse in Italy, then the logic of your trip is to begin in London, take the train to Paris, fly to Rome, and then you remain in Italy while the teens return home. I agree that it will easier, cheaper and more fun if you don't take an organized tour for the family portion of your trip.

From Rome, you and your spouse have almost an infinity of choices of where to spend your week -- except time of year could have a huge impact on where you choose, as will what sort of things you and your wife enjoy. No point in suggesting Capri if you hate heat, crowds, get seasick on boats and are traveling in summer. No point suggesting the wine country if you don't drink, are afraid of driving in Italy, dislike climbing stairs and want a gondola ride.)

So to get helpful answers, you need to describe what sorts of things you and your spouse enjoy and what sorts of things you hate, make you sick or bore you to tears.
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