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Europe road trip with kids - thoughts please!

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Jul 30th, 2014, 01:36 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Jul 2014
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Europe road trip with kids - thoughts please!

Hello lovely people

Would love your views on this trip - we are about to finalise a driving trip to a few countries in Europe. We live in London and will be hiring a decent car from Nice airport. After a week in France we have decided to extend by another 12 days and see some of Europe during August. We have two kids 2 and 4. Good in the car and little monkeys. We all love an adventure.

The Q...what are your thoughts on this itinerary? Too many stops? right amount of nights in each place?

Nice to Genoa
200km, 2.5hrs
Stay Genoa 11th/12th August

Genoa to Milan
150km, 1.5hrs

Stay Milan 13th/14th
Milan to Lake Como
82km, 1.5hrs

Stay Lake Como 15th/16th/17th
Lake Como to Lucerne
200km, 3hrs

Stay Lucerne 18th/19th
Lucerne to Black Forest
224km, 3hrs

Stay Black Forest 20th/21st/22nd
Black Forest to Basel
127km, 2hrs

Leave Basel airport on 23rd
nickclondon is offline  
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Jul 30th, 2014, 01:40 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,340
Honest opinion: terrible.

Moving around that much with small hobbits will be pretty bad. You cannot do it all, generally. And you especially cannot do it all with small kids.

You're European. Pick two places, spend a week in each, then get to the other places another time - you're close enough that the initial travel isn't as bad as it is for Americans or Canadians or (yeesh) Aussies.
BigRuss is offline  
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Jul 30th, 2014, 01:49 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,851
In middle of August? Temp will be what, the crowds will be how high? Are you crazy? (translation for Brits, does this seem like a sensible idea?)

If nothing else dig out http://www.bison-fute.gouv.fr/ for advice on your journey.

As BigR says get a couple of places (with a pool maybe) and do day trips. Genoa and Black Forest is a possible I'd look at.

What are your French plans?
bilboburgler is online now  
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Jul 30th, 2014, 02:21 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,431
When our kids were 9 and 10, we lived in Brussels and travelled extensively in Europe. We tried to avoid too much "big city". I would imagine that with kids aged like yours, that is even more important. The comments about heat in August are very valid, especially when you have to include the likelhood of traffic jams. In your calculations. I would increase the travel hours by aboit a third, if not half.

Perhaps you should just spend some time in Switzerland and in the Black Forest. The Luceren area offers many fun opportunities for kids. The town itself is maneagable; there are lake steamer trips tat need not be too,lomg; a trip up to the Rigi by cable car or steam engine might be fun, etc.

In the Black Forest, the Schwarzwald Taeler Strasse (Black Forest Valley road) might be fun; the Vogts Bauernhof (open museum of typical B.F. farms), would appeal to kids of all ages. In any event, I woukd stay in one of the town along the Valley Road. Check, if there are family farms where you can stay.
treplow is offline  
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Jul 30th, 2014, 06:12 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,646
Sorry - going to some odd places - esp for kids. Genoa? Milan? IMHO someplace in the Italian lakes will be more enjoyable for everyone as will more countryside time in Switz.
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Jul 31st, 2014, 03:26 AM
  #6
 
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Genova does have a great aquarium and children's science museum, though. Milan has canal boat rides.

Still, I agree that the itinerary needs a bit of trimming. This has been a very cool summer so far in Italy, but if it's hot, it will be doubly hot in Milan, and very humid as well. People from Milan actually head south to get away from the summer heat and humidity. Our little town in Le Marche sees a great influx of Milanesi in August.

No one has mentioned the cross-border car rental penalty.
bvlenci is offline  
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Jul 31st, 2014, 04:39 AM
  #7
 
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What does the heat have to do with anything? Like nobody travels in Europe in August because of the heat: absurd notion IMO. You do not say where on Lake Como you plan to stay which IMO can make a big difference. Wherever you stay there I would try to get a place that has a pool for the children if nothing else.

What kind of drop-off charge are you paying for that "decent car" you are hiring?
Dukey1 is online now  
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Aug 1st, 2014, 12:45 AM
  #8
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Join Date: Jul 2014
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First of all thank you everyone for the comments. Got to love the internet! Very helpful and all interesting in their own way.

We have reduced the stops and taken out Genoa and Milan. They happened to be on the way than a deep desire to visit! So a simplified trip with more nights in three places (Como, Lucerne & Black Forest). More countryside than cities.

Our little ones love the car and there will be plenty of stopping and toys. Car hire have charged to drop off at 220 euros one off charge. No mention of cross border charges but I i have asked for clarification. WE have an estate car booked to ensure we have space for luggage and strollers.

We are booked and super excited. Thank you so much everyone for the insight and help. Much appreciated. Take care all, Nick
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