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Family of 5 traveling Europe in Late June - Looking for Great Ideas

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Feb 15th, 2015, 10:58 AM
  #1
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Family of 5 traveling Europe in Late June - Looking for Great Ideas

I am looking to travel with my family through Europe (12 yr old, 15 yr old, and 23 yr old kids) (first time for all) the last two weeks of June. We are looking at starting in Paris, and would like to include Florence and Rome into the agenda.

Please send ideas - this will probably the only time we can afford to go - so we want to make the most of it!

Thanks!
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Feb 15th, 2015, 10:59 AM
  #2
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We would also like to see Venice and some castles....
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Feb 15th, 2015, 12:13 PM
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I would start by buying or checking out some guidebooks from the library. Rick Steves has good books for travelers first visiting Europe.

Two weeks is not much time -- does this also include your travel days? If possible, try to fly into one city and out of another which will save you backtracking.

You will have to decide how you plan to travel between cities -- car rental? train? You do lose much of a day traveling between destinations.

One possible itinerary would be:

Day 1 Depart home (US?)
Day 2 arrive Paris
Day 3, 4, 5 Paris (extra time there to get over jet lag)
Day 6 arrive Venice
Day 7 Venice
Day 8 arrive Florence
Day 9 & 10 Florence
Day 11 arrive Rome
Day 12 & 13 Rome
Day 14 Return home

This is a pretty busy itinerary and would give you chance to see only some highlights of each location.
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Feb 15th, 2015, 12:58 PM
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I will assume you have 14 nights. Then:

4 nights Paris
3 nights Venice
3 nights Florence
4 nights Rome

Fly into Paris, fly home from Rome. Could reverse itinerary.

Take train between cities. Use Bahn.com for train planning. Note that Paris to Venice is about 12 hrs, 1-3 transfers( TGV train from Paris to Torino to Venice is a good route, others via Switzerland).Might look for low cost airline for Paris to Venice.

Rick Steves has city books for each of your cities which are very good for 1st time traveler and which have suggestions for how to spend 1,2,3,4 days in each city.

For a castle take a day trip from Paris.
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Feb 15th, 2015, 02:23 PM
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Hey there!

Yes, that will be a busy trip. I think what both guys above have proposed sounds very legit time-wise. You definitely shouldn't try to do more than Paris, Venice, Florence and Rome. It's already very stretched.

For transport in between cities, you can also use www.rome2rio.com - it compares different modes of transportation.

I guess you'll either rent a car or take a train, right? Car might be the most cost-effective, but it depends if there are more drivers in your family. There are road tolls in France and Italy, btw.

As for trains, you can look into family discounts, but I'm not sure if the offering's big.

In any case, have a great trip!
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Feb 15th, 2015, 02:27 PM
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I like KTravel's itinerary but would add one more day to Rome by far the bviggest cities with the most things to see and do - you can also take an overnight train from Paris to Venice - save time and the cost of a hotel.

Assuming you are going by trains as renting a car in one country and returning in another can result in a steep drop-off fee - anyway cars are a liability in Italian towns with large swaths of them off-limits to private vehicles.

For lots of info on French and Italian trains check not only Rick Steves' fine rail info (www.ricksteves.com) but also these goodies - www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.seat61.com.

Now for that castle... none really in the towns you will be in but if Versailles qualifies it is a short 30-minute metro/RER ride from Paris and a spendid castle or palace - one of the finest in the world.
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Feb 15th, 2015, 04:12 PM
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I agree, PalenQ, that Rome needs more time. It was hard to know where to pull from. If the 14 days doesn't account for travel days, I would try to add a day or two to Rome.
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Feb 16th, 2015, 10:58 AM
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Ideally they could add a few days to their trip!
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Feb 16th, 2015, 01:12 PM
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Thank you to all that have replied - please keep the suggestions coming!
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Feb 16th, 2015, 03:55 PM
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I wouldn't get a car for the places you've mentioned.

Other than castles, I can't get a bead on what interests you and your family. Why is Greece in your original post tag? You really can't do three countries in two weeks with ease for a family of 5.

Exactly how much time do you have and what are your interests? Is budget a serious concern?
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Feb 17th, 2015, 01:59 AM
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You are trying to force too much into too little, I can see no use for a car in your holiday except if you want to see a castle.

Do you mean a fortress with moat etc or luxury palace in stone or would a small walled city do? This makes a big difference in where you end up. For instance there are a bunch of walled cities (thin walls from the 1500s but very tall with gates and towers) near Venice which are easy to visit by train or you could visit Lucca from Florence which is a 1800 walled city (very thick walls filled with soil, which you can ride around). Luxury palaces are more the Loire thing and you can do a day tour from Paris or maybe even Versailles.

So you can see you need to read a bit to chose what you want to do and it will influence how many days you spend in each city. For my pennyworth I would want at least 3 nights in Venice, the lack of roads is almost unique and the possible island visits by boat make it great visit, but if you want to add say Padua/Verona/walled cities on a or more days out it will require you to stretch your time there. If, on the other hand, you decided to focus on Florence, you could enjoy the town itself (min 3 nights) and then Lucca/Siena/Volterra/San Gim and maybe even the tourist heaven that is Pisa which would require you to look at a car and more days.
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