europe itinerary

Old Mar 5th, 1999, 02:32 PM
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europe itinerary

We are planning on traveling to europe the first 2 weeks of April so we are in a hurry to design our trip. We are traveling with 2 kids ages 6 and 9. We plan to fly into Frankfurt and proceed down to Karlsruhe where we have family.Spend 2 days there then off to paris (traveling by car) spend 2 days then go to Switzerland (Interlaten) spend 2 days then off to Venice for 2 days. Leave Venice and head to Innsbrook for 1 day then off to Salzburg for 1 days. We return to Karlsruhe rest for 1 day and fly out of Frankfurt.Does this sound reasonable? We want to see as much as possible.Thank you in advance for your assistance!!!
Old Mar 5th, 1999, 03:23 PM
Bob Brown
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Hopefully some of the veterans will get in on this one and offer the benefit of their experience. So much to see and so little time! But 2 days for Paris strikes me as being too little time for so many attractions. I guess it is the old question of seeing a small geographic area well, or a large area superficially. Munich is not on your list, nor is Florence. Unless you are skiers, why Interlaken? Jungfrau trip? (I was in that region for 7 days last last summer, and I liked it, but mountain trails will be snowed in when you are there. ) As widely separated as those cities are, you will spend considerable time on the road. Certainly Paris to Interlaken will take 6 to 7 hours total time. If your goal is to scout out the territory for future visits, the list is a good one, and you cannot see everything in 14 to 15 days.
Old Mar 5th, 1999, 04:01 PM
Bill Fleites
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Bob is right. According to Euroshell Karlsruhe to Paris is 551km and it takes at least 5hr 52min to cover. Paris to Interlaken is 738km and it takes at least 7hr 43min to cover. You'll be spending a lot of precious time on the road driving. My opinion is to skip Paris, and go to Vienna and Fussen (Mad King Ludwig's castles) both of which are a lot closer.
Old Mar 5th, 1999, 05:54 PM
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Hi Pat -

Do you really want to spend that much time on the road with two kids?

You know your kids better than I do but, this seem like a lot of time to spend on the road. Especially when a trip like this, a long way from home, can be very stressful; I don't think several long car rides would be a good idea.

My recommendation would be to do 3-4 cities (max. 4) in 2 weeks time. This, of course, depends on where you're going because some cities (like Paris) require lots of time, (at least 4-5 days for a 1st visit), and others, (small cities like Brugges), only need 1-2 days.

Last Sept. we did Brussels, Paris, and London in 10 days and that was pushing it. We flew into Brussels so we just visited for 1 day because we were already there. Then we went on to Paris (6 days) and London (3 days).

We could have spent the entire 10 days in Paris and still not covered everything.

Just some thoughts to mull over. We're going to Paris end of this month with my husband's kids (18 and 19) for 6 days. Even though we were just there, I'm really looking forward to it because there was a lot we didn't see!

Happy Traveling...
Old Mar 5th, 1999, 07:14 PM
Cheryl Z.
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IMHO, you're trying to cover too much ground in too short a time...and with kids!! You're going to be missing ALOT along the way with your itinerary as it stands now. You've got too much travel time. You can see a lot in two weeks, that's true, but racing thru several countries is not the way to do it. And with kids....! No matter how well your kids travel, get along with each other etc. etc. etc. remember it's going to be very stimulating (and therefore tiring and perhaps stressful) for them, not to mention yourselves.
Old Mar 7th, 1999, 04:00 PM
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The Bavarian region of Germany is beautiful and the kids should like it too. Driving around is easy and quick. Do Hohen Schwangau (Ludwigs disney castle)and other small quaint towns like Garmish- Partenkirchen and Oberramagau and the Linderhof castle.Rothenburg is great too.
Old Mar 8th, 1999, 06:06 AM
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Pat, I would advise dropping Paris from your itinerary. Paris would take you out of the way from your other destinations. As pointed out, Karlsruhe is 6hrs driving time to Paris so that will be a full day driving. With two little kids you will probably make a few stops which will add to the time to get to Paris. And if this is your first trip to Paris, you will get undoubtedly lost once you arrive.

I would suggest you do Germany, Switzerland and maybe Venice, but no more for a two week trip. I suppose you have no choice now, but it may have been better to fly into Frankfurt and out of Munich,Zurich, Geneva or Milan.
Old Mar 8th, 1999, 06:29 AM
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I think your biting off WAY too much!! Of course, you know your own children, but mine would never be able to keep up with this ambitious as schedule. We took ours to England at exactly those ages, and had to go SLOWLY into getting them accustomed to sightseeing. They needed to feel comfortable in a place before they wanted to see any sights, and then we had to go at a much slower pace and see things that might not have been a first choice if only the adults wre involved. I can't help asking: do you usually plan such ambitious trips with your children?
Old Mar 8th, 1999, 11:54 AM
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Too much territory. Suggest asking family in Karlsruhe for ideas. Also you have the opportunity to meet the locals--including children. Do your kids play soccer? My child would get more out of it (and want to do it again, which would be my concern) if I geared the trip to his speed and some of his interests. Besides, I want to enjoy my vacation!
Old Mar 8th, 1999, 12:42 PM
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Wisdom gained from experience: the more you drive, the less you see. Save Paris for a trip all of its own...and leave the kids at home. The above postings offer good advice -- heed it.
Old Mar 23rd, 1999, 09:58 PM
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Dear Pat,

By now, you've probably booked your trip, but i thought I would add my two cents in case you hadn't firmed things up yet. I travelled Europe a few years back with a two year old and a six year old. We frequently travelled together with a family with four children, ages 1, 3, 7 and 9. My kids are now 4 and 9, so I have a good idea of the interests of kids about the ages of yours. If I were planning your trip, I would skip Venice. It's a beautiful, unusual ciy, but there's not much to DO. It's really an acquired taste, in my opinion, and one I think the kids would not appreciate as much as some of the other places you are going.

I agree with the other postings to slow things down a bit. My kids loved travelling, did well on the trains and on long car rides, liked art museums, did well in nice restaurants and slow meals, etc. But we always tried to balance it with lots of fun kids stuff, too. For example, the toy stores in Germany and France are wonderful, and we visited some nice toy museums. If you go to Paris, you must go to the Luxembourg gardens and sail the toy boats--my daughter still talks about that. In Salzburg, the salt mines were a hit, as was the Sound of Music bus tour (touristy, but my kids and mother enjoyed it, and it was a very relaxing way to see some of the beautiful outlying areas. We needed a bus tour by that point in our travels!) I can't think of the name of the castle in Salzburg at the moment, not the big fortress but another castle you can tour that has amusing waterworks features. It's funny and was a hit.

In Innsbruck, we took a cable car up the mountain to make snowmen in May. Fabulous views, watched the crazy hanggliders.

Have a wonderful trip. Your children are a great age to travel.
Old Mar 24th, 1999, 02:54 AM
Jay Frank
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Too bad about Frankfurt -- Munich would have been a slightly better choice in my opinion.

I would vote against Paris. Strasbourg, on the other hand, is an outstanding destination, easily accessible en route from Karlsruhe to Switzerland, and quite suited to a 2-day visit.

I also agree that you might be better off deferring Venice to your next trip (although it's one of my favorite cities). Instead, take the kids to Schloss Neuschwanstein as you travel through Switzerland on your way to Salzburg.

Finally, Interlaken is a great base from which to visit the Jungfraujoch (alps). But, if that's not your primary intent, I'd suggest Luzern. Don't miss the trip to Mt. Pilatus! Whether you choose Interlaken or Luzern, try to spend a few hours on the Thunersee (Lake Thun). It's a beautiful lake with an alpine backdrop dotted with picturesque castles.

By the way, even if you ignore all this advice you're getting, you're going to have an outstanding vacation. I envy you.

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