3 weeks Europe, 2 kids 7500€

Old Sep 25th, 2014, 05:50 PM
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3 weeks Europe, 2 kids 7500€

Hi !

first, some informations so you can can give better and more precise answers to me :

1) We are from Montréal Canada.
2) Both my girlfriend and I are teacher (not English be reassure, our main language is french !) so we doN,t have the choice of our vacations. It must be july or august.
3) We have been to France but not everywhere it could be an option. Italy too. In fact anywhere in Europe but Italy, Franmce, and Spain anre the more appealing now (Croatia and Hungary too in fact !)
4) For transportation we can use car or train. We would choose the best/cheapest way.
5) We are also open to rent 3 appartement for our trip (one week by appartement). So we could chose three towns that allows us to do day trip around.
6) We are not beach type, we don't like that much being at the beach so having access to one is not necessary. About the heat. We are use to get a lot of heat here in summer (with a lot of humidity). We don't like it much but we can manage it most of the time (the ideal would be to get a air conditionned room for the night !)

Thanks !
tostaky is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 06:27 PM
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I am not sure what your question is. Are you asking for suggestions of places to go? It sounds to me that with 2 kids you would want to rent an apartment. We stayed at an apartment in Amsterdam in August of 2012, with a 5 year old, and did day trips around Holland, including one to the North Sea. We combined it with a trip to Paris, where we also rented an apartment and loved it. August was not the month to be in Paris, but it worked out overall, because we spent a lot of time in Luxembourg Gardens and we went to Disneyland Paris.
Pintxos is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 06:30 PM
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Copenhagen is also a nice destination. Tivoli Gardens has a lot to offer to families with kids. Denmark is expensive, however.
Pintxos is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 06:31 PM
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To make the most of your time, do not book RT airfare to and from same city. Use a "multi-city" ticket [also called open jaw]. This eliminates having to backtrack to a city where you have already visited. The cost is usually close to the same as RT.

For example, fly from Montreal to Paris and then return home from Rome to Montreal.
DebitNM is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2014, 03:04 AM
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You don't say how old the kids are, so it makes it a bit difficult to recommend destinations. However, everywhere in Southern Europe the temperatures in July/August will be hot. Scandinavia is expensive whenever you go and your budget might not be enough to go there.

I'd head for Spain and maybe see Barcelona, Mallorca and Andalucia for a week each.
Rubicund is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2014, 07:27 AM
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Pintxos: maybe I wasn't clear but Yes i'm looking for some ideas to place to go. I know Europe is large and offer thousands of options !

Our kids are 3 and 6 years old. We know the heat can be high but this is the same here. Northern Europe is not ahead in our list but why not, maybe we could look at that option more closely.

Of course the worst thing about travelling in western Europe is to chose where to go, so many great options ! I must say that we are very thrill by a three week road trip between Rome and Barcelona. I don't know if that would really fit in our budget, but , for now, that's what we are looking for.
tostaky is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2014, 08:17 AM
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What's "Northern Europe" to you? If you mean Scandinavia, that's going to be REALLY expensive.

All you've said is you're not beach type. What do you like? Are you uncomfortable going places where French is a third, fourth, or fifth language?

Does the 7500E budget include your flights from Canada? If so, your budget is already cut in half.
BigRuss is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2014, 08:40 AM
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Bonjour, tostaky--

I think your budget is realistic for a three week road trip Rome to Barcelona as long as you don't plan to splurge, are comfortable having picnics from time to time, and taking other steps to same money.

If I were you I'd take a car and pick it up upon leaving Rome and drop it upon arrival in Barcelona.

You don't say whether you want to go anywhere except along the Italian, French and Spanish Rivieras. I'll assume you don't.

So book, as soon as possible, an apartment in Rome and one in Barcelona for the time you want to spend in each of those. I don't think there is anyplace central enough along the rest of your trip to stay in one place, as you'll probably want to see the area around the French Riviera and some of Provence, and that will probably mean at least two places---but you could get apartments in or around Nice and around Arles.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2014, 10:29 AM
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No - the heat is NOT the same in europe.

Southern Spain is hellishly hot in the summer - highs are often more than 100 and can reach 120. Madrid is almost a hot, barcelona somewhat better - so I would never do Spain in the summer - except the Atlantic coast.

Much of Italy is also very hot and humid - esp Florence - high 90s and humid is common..

I would definitely do July ( perhaps a touch less crowded) and would stay north of hte Alps(but then I find hot weather unbearable without strong AC).
nytraveler is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2014, 12:17 PM
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Thanks to all of you for your answers, it's really appreciated.

1) There's no probleme for us to go somewhere french isn't speak at all. We have travel across Canada, USA, Polanc and Czech republic withount any problem so anywhere in europe would be fine from that point of view.

2) The main concern everyone seems to have is the heat that can be unbearable. Like i've said, our vacation re always in summer so we don't have the choice to live with it. We walk less, drink a lot of water and try to found car and hotel with conditionned air.

4) yes 7500 Euro budget include airplane tickets. From what I can seen airline will take 3000 euro off our budget. That leaves 4500 for the rest. I guess is doable. Doing picnic is something we like a lot, we do'nt want to go to expensive museum or expensive restaurants since our kids wont really appreciate most of them.

5) It's true that with kid it may be better to stick to 4 or 4 city and make day trip from there. The problem we have with that is that so many place interest us :

- Italy
- Spain
- France (except for Paris, we already been there)
- Croatia
- Hungary
- Germany
tostaky is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2014, 12:44 PM
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I've been in Barcelona and southern France in July and it isn't unbearable to me. Thousands of vacationers agree. Barcelona is near the sea and not far from teh border of France, it's not any hotter than many cities in summer (like Paris or many in the US). Provence is a bit hotter, but it's not unbearable to me. I don't know about Italy and what it's like in July. I would not go to southern Spain, but I would Barcelona. IN fact, I think some places in cental Europe are just as hot (I"ve been in Krakow, Dresden, and Prague in July-August and they were just as hot as Barcelona, or close to it). Partly it depends on the weather but Prague isn't known as a cool destination in summer. I was in Dresden in a particularly hot summer, though. I think they may be hotter than Montreal, though, I was there in summer also and don't remember it being so hot, so maybe what is really hot to you is not. In Montreal, isn't the average afternoon temp upper 70s in July (about 24C max)? It's hotter than that in Barcelona and southern France, but is wasn't over 90F that much (about 32C) in Barcelona. It gets cooler at night in Provence, not so much in Barcelona.

You might choose northern Italy and then take the train to France, rent a car and drive east to west, dropping the car in Perpignan or somewhere and taking the train to Barcelona, if you can't easily cross borders with a car.

So I think your plan of driving to Barcelona through southern France is fine if you have a car with AC. It's just that renting cars to drive to other countries isn't very easy to do, it can cost a fortune, are you aware of that?
Christina is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2014, 01:26 PM
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All of us have many places we want to see, but only a limited amount of time to see them. You have only three weeks. So you're going to have to narrow it down. I think your dream itinerary is not too rushed for three weeks.

Christina's point on dropping rental cars in countries in which you didn't rent them is a good one. You'll have to price out whether you'll save money taking trains (with four people) plus renting a car will cost less or more than simply renting when leaving Rome and dropping on arrival in Barcelona.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2014, 02:35 PM
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We took our kids to Europe in August many times when they were similar ages. We never found the heat unbearable except when we spent a month in Salzburg (!) I think the key to our successful trips was that we tended to stay in most places for about a week each so there wasn't a lot of moving around.

Some of our trips:

- Venice-Lucerne-London (this was an excellent combo weatherwise, warm in Venice, slightly chilly in Lucerne, rainy in London)
- a month in Catalonia - 1 week Barcelona, 1 week farmhouse in the Pyrenees, 1 week farmhouse near Girona, 1 week Cadaquez + a weekend in Toulouse
- London-Wales-Scotland
- a month in Paris, with lots of day trips

Most of the places were chosen to coincide with my husband's work obligations, with the exception of the Catalonia trip, which was absolutely fantastic - affordable and a great balance of urban and rural, with lots of colorful Dali culture (although the kids were older). The experience was similar to Tuscany at half the price. One of the farmhouses we rented had a pool and the other was a few blocks away from a community pool, so we really integrated into village life, where there were lots of amazing festivals. Barcelona is a great city for kids with a cool amusement park that my boys still remember.

In Venice we stayed at the Lido so the kids could go to the beach everyday, but we could also go into town and do the touristy activities. I do think Rome might be too hot, but Venice was fine and somewhat quiet because a lot of the locals were gone. You might consider Venice combined with Lake Como and Lucerne, so you could do all your travel by train.

We just got back from Croatia and I also think that would be a fantastic trip with kids, but it is more beach oriented.
crosscheck is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2014, 02:53 PM
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Also, we got an incredibly cheap car rental (around $5 a day) for the month we were in Catalonia. We arranged it through Amex Platinum and it was a second-hand car, similar to a Rent a Wreck here in the US. I can't remember the name of the company, but friends of ours used it more recently and it still exists - the car was a funky Peugeot that smelled of cigarette smoke the first day, but was fine once we aired it out.
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Old Sep 26th, 2014, 07:53 PM
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I've take a look on that website (http://www.autoeurope.com/go/specials/) and the price for 12 days renting at Rome and returning it to Barcelona ( stay 4-5 days In Rome and Barcelona)is between 400 - 500$ us.
tostaky is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2014, 08:27 PM
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Thanks crosscheck for your answer, does seems like great trips ! Can you tell me more about the trip to Catalonia (transportation between site and in régions , links to place you have rent.
tostaky is offline  
Old Sep 27th, 2014, 12:15 PM
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The differences are:

1) in the US EVERYTHING has strong AC

2) on vacation you typically (or at least I typically) spend more time outdoors and active (since I'm not sitting behind a desk 11 or 12 hours a day)

Yes, NYC CAN be very hot and humid - or it can be 80 and breezy (this yer we only had 8 or 9 days more than 9 degrees).

So southern Spain is NOTHING like that.

If I were you I would look at Germany, Netherlands, Belgium or similar - tons to see and do and generally more moderate temps
nytraveler is offline  
Old Sep 28th, 2014, 10:38 AM
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I alreadu seen Netherlands and Belgium, maybe Germany can be cool. Like I,ve saif the Catalonia tour of Crosscheck have catch my eye too !
tostaky is offline  
Old Sep 28th, 2014, 10:46 AM
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for all about trains and travel by rail in Europe check out these IMO fantastic sources - www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com - download the latter's free and excellent European Planning & Rail Guide for lots of great sample rail itineraries in lots of countries.

Bienvenue au Europe! (Pardon mon francais!)
PalenQ is offline  
Old Oct 2nd, 2014, 10:26 PM
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Hi tostaky, I've been traveling and have the info in another computer. Will get it for you shortly.
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