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European itinerary with kids ages 7 and 9

European itinerary with kids ages 7 and 9

Old Feb 25th, 2013, 06:52 AM
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European itinerary with kids ages 7 and 9

I am planning a 4 week trip to europe with my two kids who are ages seven and nine. Please note that this is a once in a lifetime trip. We have been saving for years and it is likely that we will not get back to Europe. My plan is ambitious, but I feel like, it is see it all now or never. Fly to Paris for 3days, lease a Renault and drive to cinque terre Italy for three days, drive to venice for 2 days, ferry to croatia (not sure where yet) for 3 days, drive to Gmunden, Austria stay for 3 days, drive to cesky krumlov, Czech for three days, drive to rothenburge Germany, for three days, then back to Paris to fly home. The general plan is to stay in one quintessential spot for three days in each country and then drive to the next spot and stop for three days. Please note that I am not trying to see the whole country in three days, just one town in that country. The other thing worth noting is that we will be camping the whole time. We are avid campers. My husband and I spent three months in europe 15 years ago, obviously before kids. We camped on that trip too and loved it. I do realize that more time and money would be great, but it is not an option for us. My questions are: what town in croatia would you recommend? Would you consider the towns we chose the most unique/interesting? Any suggested changes, from people who have done a similar trip?
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Old Feb 25th, 2013, 07:08 AM
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The drive from Paris to Cinque Terre will take a long time - and many of the others will as well. You have to include days of driving between the locations you plan to spend 3 days in.
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Old Feb 25th, 2013, 07:18 AM
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when are you planning on going? I am going for 8/9weeks over JUne/July and have had a lot of help with accommodation. Good luck! I have been to europe before but not with kids. It looks like you are trying to fit a lot in. I am just going to do a day trip/ferry to "see" Cinque Terre and have some lunch somewhere pretty instead of staying there. Italy and France is amazing and in my limited opinion you could fill up 3 weeks driving from France through to Italy and then drop the lease and fly to Prague and train it to some other places. Not sure how to fit croatia in. Really listen to what the people say on here. They have been amazing for my trip planning! Good luck and enjoy this time consuming stage!!!
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Old Feb 25th, 2013, 07:26 AM
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That's an awful lot of hours in a car with kids that age, and an awful lot of expensive fuel and tolls. If, as you say in your other post, you're trying to do this PLUS feed all of you and visit any sites at all on a total of $100 a day, this simply isn't going to work.
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Old Feb 25th, 2013, 10:42 AM
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Ok. I am listening. I set up the itinerary to have a day of driving every 4th day. So, three days of very little car time then one day of driving followed by three days of hanging out etc.
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Old Feb 25th, 2013, 11:01 AM
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I set up the itinerary to have a day of driving every 4th day. So, three days of very little car time then one day of driving followed by three days of hanging out etc.>>

even so, moonlit, you have a high "driving to staying" ratio. do you really want to go all the way to Croatia just for 3 days?

given the combination of camping and kids, I'd look at having at least 2 longer stays of closer to a week within your 4 weeks.

I would swap an italian lake for the CT [easier to get to and more for the kids to do] and stay longer, then do a couple of nights in venice, then a week in Croatia, etc.
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Old Feb 25th, 2013, 11:05 AM
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I don't think you can do cities like Paris and Venice when your budget is so unrealistically low. You certainly can't "camp" there. Another obvious is that what you experienced 15 years ago is not the same today.
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Old Feb 25th, 2013, 11:06 AM
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If you cut the 4 weeks to a 2 week trip instead, you'd double your daily budget.
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Old Feb 25th, 2013, 11:07 AM
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I hear what you are saying. I like the idea of having two longer stays. Thank you for this advice. I know I am trying to cram in too much, which I do with every trip. "Anything worth doing is worth overdoing ". I do want the kids to enjoy and to remember, so I could cut back to accommodate that.
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Old Feb 25th, 2013, 11:09 AM
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Suze...
There are places to camp in both venice and Paris. I have been to both and have check that both are still open today.
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Old Feb 25th, 2013, 11:11 AM
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There are places you can camp NEAR most every European city, but not IN European cities, or at least not near any major attractions. Meaning you then have to pay transportation costs for 4 people to get into and out of the city every time you visit.
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Old Feb 25th, 2013, 11:14 AM
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Oh, and many of those campgrounds are in shall we say less than desirable neighborhoods AND cost $100-$200 a night.
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Old Feb 25th, 2013, 11:15 AM
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And you could find a nice apartment for all of you for less than that.
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Old Feb 25th, 2013, 11:19 AM
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I am guessing the camping in Venice is in mestre? So you would need to factor in transportation to Venice proper.

Have you considered choosing 5-6 places and renting apartments in the cities? That way you can buy groceries, settle in and then train to your next destination...? Eliminating the very expensive cost of the car/gas and being able to cook of yourselves may free up some of your budget so you can spend it on sightseeing rather than transportation...?
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Old Feb 25th, 2013, 11:41 AM
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Are you sure that train travel for four people is cheaper than car travel?
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Old Feb 25th, 2013, 11:44 AM
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Depends where you are going and how far you book in advance. Italy and France have very cheap fares if you book as far in advance as you can. If you compare to how much you will pay in gas and tolls...
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Old Feb 25th, 2013, 11:45 AM
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It's certainly cheaper than staying outside cities and paying for transportation into and out of them, especially if you buy tickets well in advance and take advantage of family discounts.

But it requires a lot more research than just leasing a car.
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Old Feb 25th, 2013, 12:04 PM
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It looks like the OP has left even though she posted a short while ago - her ID is no longer valid.
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Old Feb 25th, 2013, 12:12 PM
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Alas moonlit is gone. I think she did not like the answers to her questions.
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Old Feb 25th, 2013, 01:15 PM
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Too bad. A family camping trip limited to one country, such as Croatia, could have fit her budget and been really fun.
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