5 week Europe itinery with 2 children

Jan 23rd, 2013, 10:22 PM
  #1  
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5 week Europe itinery with 2 children

Hello everyone

We are planning a 5 week trip around Europe not 100% on where to go, our main targets are Italy, France, England and Croatia and maybe a few trips In-between. We are travelling with our two children aged 11, and 8. Our 11 year old loves architecture and coast lines. We are not sure whether we should stay long in England because there's so much in Europe. We're going to Leicester and the Isle of Man because thats where my husband and I are from. This is our itinery so far;

London 5 nights
Leicester 2 nights
Isle of man 3 nights
Devon 1 night
Bath 1 night
Oxford 1 night

Paris 3 nights

Venice 2 nights
Rome 2 nights
Florence 3 nights

Dubrovnik 5

We really want to fit in Switzerland for the kids skiing but not sure on how to fit it in we really are doing a lot of 1 day trips because it's the kids first time and not sure if we should give them a bit of a taste or to just do a long time in a few places.

Thanks in advance

Mase_777
mase_777 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2013, 03:50 AM
  #2  
 
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5 weeks is a lovely holiday time but it will go surprisingly quickly when you're covering such a lot of ground. The first question I would ask is how long it will take to move between these places.

Dubrovnik is absolutely out of the way for you and you will need to figure out how to get there. Your choices are fly or ferry and it's a long ferry ride. The budget airlines tend to only fly there in peak season.

And it's a long way to Paris for 3 nights.

Only you know what will interest you the most but I would stick to the UK and Italy, from the places you've mentioned. Maybe add in Paris or Dubrovnik or Switzerland but only one of these. (Having said that, UK, Paris, Switzerland, Italy by train would be doable.) Don't forget that usually two nights only gives you one day in a place. I also think it's important to mix cities and rural towns.

Stating the obvious, I would travel as lightly as you can, and get the kids to carry their own luggage.

We took our kids at similar ages and had a great time but we mostly spent at least four nights in each place. People will say 'let the kids choose' but at that age I reckon this is overrated - or at least it was with mine at that age.
dreamon is offline  
Jan 24th, 2013, 04:04 AM
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When are you thinking of going?

Venice 2 nights
Rome 2 nights
Florence 3 nights

Dubrovnik 5 why so long, given that it is a small town?
bilboburgler is online now  
Jan 24th, 2013, 05:38 AM
  #4  
 
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Are you going by train or car or plane or mixture of all the above?
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 24th, 2013, 09:57 AM
  #5  
 
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"Isle of man 3 nights
Devon 1 night
Bath 1 night
Oxford 1 night
"

This part just doesn't work. How were you planning on getting from the Isle of Man to Devon? I suppose you could fly to London and then train to Exeter or somewhere. But it would be a slog and take most of a day. If you are driving it would be at least a 10 hour journey. Probably more.

So either way, no time at all in Devon.

Then it is (depending on exactly where in Devon) is a 2.5 to 4 hour drive to Bath.

Bath to Oxford is only about a 2 hour drive -but then you'll have to deal w/ the car (Oxford is not at all car friendly)

The whole UK part of the plan needs re-tooling.
janisj is offline  
Jan 24th, 2013, 09:37 PM
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One night stays, not good, those are just transit stops, are those places important enough to visit, if they really are, then I think a two night minimum is due.. remember this , when you spend 2 nights somewhere you really only get one full day in that destination.

People have their individual travel styles, your style is too fast paced for me, and would stress my kids out, ,but you know your family best. I personally subscribe to the less is more therory so that your kids actually will rememeber more about their visits then the inside of trian stations..
justineparis is offline  
Jan 24th, 2013, 09:38 PM
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Ps Skiiing in Switzerland, overrated, and VERY expensive( espeically since you will need to rent everything) skip it..
justineparis is offline  
Jan 24th, 2013, 10:59 PM
  #8  
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Thanks everyone thanks for all the replays we are thinking of skipping Croatia and Switzerland and adding a few days to other places. This has been very informative and were thinking of doing something like this;
Hire a car in London and go straight to bath for 2 days
Then go to London for 3 days
Then get a flight to the isle of man for 4 days
Then arrive in Liverpool for 1 day to see a football game
Then drive down to Leicester for 3 days
Then after go back to London for 4 days
After take the euro rail to Paris for 3 days just to see the Eiffel Tower and the louvre
After fly to Venice for 3 days and hire a car
Later go to Milan for 3 days
Then drive to Florence for 4 days
And finally to Rome for 4 days

Thanks everyone and thank you again for all the help and in advance

Mase_777

PS: we are going August - September ....
mase_777 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2013, 11:24 PM
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OK,,, first if you go to Paris from London you need to book the Eurostar on the Eurostar.com website. The further ahead you book the cheaper the tickets, so I try to book soon as booking for date open, usually 120 days out. Second class is fine and comfy , take your own picnic and its a nice easy 2.5 hour ride city center to city center.

In Paris do take kids to the Invalids Army Museum,,, my kids all loved it, ( and they have been to Orsay, Louvre(x2) Carnelet, Cluny and Shoah Museums there also) uts actually a fascinating museum , it dates right back from premedival weapons and armour ( including horse armour)right up to modern day,, its definately "not boring" according to both my then 11 yr dd and 13/14 yr old sons.
At Louvre make sure you get downstairs to see Medival Louvre also, its usually more interesting to kids to see how the Louvre evolved from a fortified moated castle to a palace.. the Medieval Louvre is the excavated remains of the old moat walls.
Also , my kids loved the Catacombs in Paris. The wait time can be insane there though.. worse then museums!

Finally finding rooms for 4 ( and yes you need to book quads) is not that easy.. so I would start that research and booking now, the good news is, in Paris the rates can actually dip in August as there is a dip in business travel so room inventory goes up and some places will give "L'ete Promotions" summer sale prices..
justineparis is offline  
Jan 24th, 2013, 11:38 PM
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Hi in saying the catacombs my son actually read a book about them and found it really interesting and also how long would you stay in Paris and louvre not sure because we are on a tight schedule and I hope it doesn't feel to rushed but our friends have came back and said they would only do 3 nights not sure any help??????
mase_777 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2013, 11:40 PM
  #11  
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And where would you go if that time we are first timers to Paris and are not sure on where to go
mase_777 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2013, 12:06 AM
  #12  
 
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Take a map and draw out your new plan for the UK bits;

"Hire a car in London and go straight to bath for 2 days
Then go to London for 3 days
Then get a flight to the isle of man for 4 days
Then arrive in Liverpool for 1 day to see a football game
Then drive down to Leicester for 3 days
Then after go back to London for 4 days
"

It will look like that Cat's Cradle string game. Why hitting London 3 times?

And are you flying in to London long haul? If so you won't be in any condition to drive to Bath right off. You have 9 days before the football match. Why not visit London first - 5 days. Then hire a car, drive to Bath - 2 days, then up to Leicester - 2 days, Liverpool - 2 days, then ferry to the IoM for as many days as you want, then ferry or fly back to Liverpool to fly to Paris.
janisj is offline  
Jan 25th, 2013, 12:25 AM
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Sorry I do not know your friends so of course I do not understand why they thought three days were enough in Paris, to me that is silly( personal tastes are different)

My shortest visit to Paris was 9 days, and that was TOO short. There is too much to see or do, and I think 3 days is very short.

I am sorry you feel you need to rush around so much and rush but those are choices you are making in deciding you want to see so many places . Your schedule is rushed because you seem to want to visit so many places.
justineparis is offline  
Jan 25th, 2013, 08:40 AM
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<>

This is good advice that I give when I see daft itineraries, and your UK itinerary qualifies.

Simply said, if you draw it out on a map and have lines crossing somewhere, you screwed up.

When are you going? If it's June/July or July/August, which would be when school's out, then how would you be able to see a match in Liverpool when the Prem is on break?

Or else you're from Australia or New Zealand, which means you'll be having to contend with December/January weather, which will be a bit . . . er . . . bracing and will require more flexibility, not less, in your travel plans.

Your time in London should be consecutive - would allow you to rent a nice comfortable apartment (flat) and take interesting day trips with the hobbits. Architecture and coast lines = Dover for the cliffs and Dover Castle (fast train from St Pancras).

Your Paris visit is really short - there's a lot more than the Tower and the Louvre (which isn't even the best art museum in that city). There are military museums, smaller art galleries, and allegedly there are notable houses of worship.

Why Milan for three nights? Why "drive" to Florence? Take the train. You can't drive IN Florence - the city center is closed to traffic.
BigRuss is offline  
Jan 25th, 2013, 11:20 AM
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ttt
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 25th, 2013, 12:56 PM
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I think your itinerary looks better - got rid of those one night stops. I think an itinerary which has most stops at 3 or 4 days is fine. I know we'd all like to spend a week or more in each place but that means seeing less places and there is just so much to see!

All your Italian choices are cities. I would drop one in favour of a smaller town and unless you're dead keen to see Milan, that's the one I would swap for somewhere more rural.

With your Italian itinerary a car would just be a handicap. The trains are more efficient, more relaxing, more environmentally friendly and the car won't be of much value in the cities themselves. There's also a myriad of small towns on the train line between Venice and Rome to choose from.
dreamon is offline  
Jan 25th, 2013, 01:46 PM
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I agree with the other posters, your new plan is certainly better but still needs some tweaking. I'd drop Milan and add the time to Paris. I'd also lose the car in Italy and travel by rail. In the UK, it seems like you may have some family reasons that are driving your plans, which is understood. Just be sure to carefully think through the logistics of what would be most enjoyable for your family.
msteacher is offline  
Jan 26th, 2013, 03:37 PM
  #18  
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Hi everyone thanks for everything this is well appreciated and we are trying to take it all in but obviously everyone has there own taste

@Justineparis thank you for all the links and museum ideas we are looking everything up and they look very good we have booking the the eurostar right now we are also extending Paris
@Janisj we have a massive map ready and are marking out where to go thank you
@BigRuss we are going mid August so that will fit in the first game and we are thinking to ditch Milan
@thank you and we are swapping Milan to Liguria
@msteacher we are adding time to paris and we are dropping the car

Thank you evreyone we really appreciate it and all of this sounds very good. We are hoping to actually add a few days on and do something like this;

Fly to London from Perth for 7 days
To Leicester for 3 days
Drive up to Liverpool for 1 day
Take the ferry to the isle of man for 4 days
Then fly back to London and get the eurorail to Paris for 6 days
After that get a flight to Venice for 3 days
Then take the rail from Venice to genoa for 2 days
Then get the rail to florence for 4 days
T
mase_777 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2013, 03:40 PM
  #19  
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Sorry accidentally pressed send continuing

Then to Rome for 4 days
After get the plane to Barcelona for 3 days then back to perth

Sorry I accidentally pressed send see you later I hope you all agree with this
Thank you for everything and in advance
Mase_777
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Jan 26th, 2013, 03:59 PM
  #20  
 
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getting much better

One point: "Then fly back to London and get the eurorail to Paris for 6 days".

You could fly from Liverpool or Manchester to Paris w/o having to return to London.

Flying down to London to catch the Eurostar (not the 'eurorail') is a hassle because you have to get from the airport all the way across London to St Pancras station.
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