Family drive/stay through central Europe

Feb 2nd, 2007, 06:26 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 35
Family drive/stay through central Europe

G'day from down under!
We're intending to fly into Zurich early April (The family of Husband/Wife and 2 kids aged 11 yrs and 9 yrs) to then do a drive and stay mainly around northern italy and south/west Germany. Being novices at the European adventure, any advice is very much appreciated.

The initial version of an itinerary is:
1. Fly into Zurich (stay 2 nights)
2. Drive Zurich to Innsbruck (2 nights)
3. Drive Innsbruck to Venice (3 nights)
4. Drive Venice to Parma (5 nights - use as a base for day trips to Florence, Pisa, La Spezia, Portofino)
5. Drive Parma to Lucerne (1 night)
6. Drive Lucerne to Europa Park (2 nights)
7. Drive Europa Park to Wurzburg (1 night)
8. Drive Romantic Road (3 days/nights)
9. Drive Fussen to Zurich and stay overnight at Zurich
10. Fly out from Zurich.

While I've highlighted the big towns as where we are driving, we are intending to stay in the smaller villages nearby where possible....
marketridge is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2007, 08:09 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 35
Actually, the more research that is done on this site, the more it seems like a good idea to use trains in opposed to driving?
marketridge is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2007, 08:20 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 379
I personally prefer driving for several reasons. With kids gives you much more flexibility, room for "stuff" and freedom to go where you want, when you want.

Another advantage is that you don't have to completely pack and CARRY everything every time you go somewhere like you would on the train. You'll find that there are some things that you just don't use often, and you can leave then in the trunk...extra shoes etc.

We saved a lot of money by having a cooler (I brought our own soft-sided one) and keeping cold drinks, cheeses, meats etc for snacking while we were on the road.

With 4 of you, I also think car rental would be a comparable price to the cost of 4 train tickets.

I wouldn't pick up a car in Zurich's too expensive to park in big cities and you won't need a car.

Have a great trip!

margyb is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2007, 08:30 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
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Thanks Margy, thats great advice...Your point about packing/repacking and carrying each time is spot on! Thanks also for the tip on the cooler...cheers.
marketridge is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2007, 07:32 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 43
We have traveled thru Europe with our kids 3 times and it was more economical to rent a car than to buy train tickets. Even with the expense of diesel and tolls. It was more flexible and easier to get around, and we stopped when we wanted, where we wanted. I had made reservations beforehand at our new location, so as long as we knew where we sleeping that night, it made for a very enjoyable trip. We had mapped everything out with sites to see along the way. In some places we stayed out of the city, because of the car, and took mass transit into the city, which my kids loved. They are always anticipating the next trip.
arce is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2007, 08:48 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 9,303
Your travelling in low season so you shouldn't be running into traffic jams too much. I think taking a car is OK but you'll be surprised at how expensive parking is.

Easter: In Switzerland, Good Friday and the Monday after Easter are considered holidays. Avoid the Gotthard tunnel and Swiss Italian border going south on Good Friday and going north on the following Monday.

Europa Park: April is a good time to go so long as the weather is nice and balmy. If you are arriving on a Sunday, you might want to take advantage of this special offer:
There are some hotels inside the park that have indoor swimming and evening buffets.

kleeblatt is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2007, 03:59 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 35
Thanks again for your replies and excellent advice.

I was waiting to see if others thought this was too much to do in too short a time....fingers crossed, we have have it close to correct?
marketridge is offline  
Feb 5th, 2007, 02:19 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1
I had kids 12 and 9,i have been to europe like u, twice, i let them have the choice of plan or car the said a plane would be more fun so the first time we went i took a plane, Success except when we flew from zurich

we flew on Qantas from zurich big mistake but kids enjoyed it i dont no if your kids like planes but u should think about it.
wats_up_doc is offline  

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