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Family trip: 5 days Italian Lakes, 5 days Provence, 5 days Paris

Family trip: 5 days Italian Lakes, 5 days Provence, 5 days Paris

Old May 31st, 2009, 05:19 AM
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Family trip: 5 days Italian Lakes, 5 days Provence, 5 days Paris

Is this too much? We're traveling w 3 children 8 and under. We've travelled a lot in Europe, but not with children. We'd like to keep the trip to a France/Italy/Switzerland or 2 of those countries. Any thoughts? Thanks!!
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Old May 31st, 2009, 05:36 AM
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I think that if you stay 4-5 days at one location in each of the 3 places that you would have a wonderful trip.

Consider an overnight train to maximize time. I have been on 2 and really enjoyed myself. I think your kids would get a kick out of it.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 05:47 AM
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When?
How many total days?
Do you plan to drive?
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Old May 31st, 2009, 07:08 AM
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There is a minimum of packing up and relocating in your plan, which is good.

I would work hard to get apartments rather than hotels. Apartments are often cheaper than two hotel rooms anyway.
If the children have a mid-day nap now, they will still need a mid-day nap in Europe. So location will be really important.

It won't be easy to find a rental car big enough for the family and your luggage. No matter what packing light will be essential.

I have never researched Provence travel by train. We have added Emilia-Romagna (Italy) to our June July trip because of the train service to the important towns.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 07:16 AM
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In theory your plan is fine, but you don't give enough detail to really comment. Provence, for example, can't really be enjoyed by train unless you just land somewhere there and stay pretty much put.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 04:53 PM
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Thanks for your thoughtful comments. We are planning on going in August. We are happy to drive and plan to do it in Provence. Should we do it at the Lakes or are we OK with the train and boats? Would we be wasting too much time traveling to Provence? Should we switch it to Switzerland insetad?
Any other thoughts? Thanks!
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Old May 31st, 2009, 05:18 PM
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I would avoid big cities in August. The Alps, Provence, and the lakes are perfect for your scenario. Wait until France to get the car to avoid drop charges.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 05:23 PM
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Where in the Alps do you recommend to have a base? Interlaken?? Annecy?? Zermatt?? Montreux?? Any other??
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 07:22 AM
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Definately the BO, but not Interlaken. With the kids, I would get an apt. in Lauterbrunnen which is in the valley between the major peaks on both sides. A good base location.
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 07:32 AM
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Big Red has a good point about driving. We were 4 adults in a station wagon and the car was way too big to drive in the lake district. Some of those roads are really small. We drove from France to the area around Lake Como.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2009, 03:35 AM
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Thanks so much, this is great information!!!!
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Old Jun 2nd, 2009, 05:44 AM
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I do understand the comment about the car being too big. You will need a SW and the roads are fine for that. I would stay on the west shore of Lago Como for easy access for your trip.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2009, 05:44 AM
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I do understand the comment about the car being too big. You will need a SW and the roads are fine for that. I would stay on the west shore of Lago Como for easy access for your trip.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2009, 12:14 PM
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Maggiore has the same issue w the roads, right?
Thanks!!!!
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Old Jun 2nd, 2009, 03:52 PM
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What issue?
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Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 08:34 AM
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Ztrip,

We had a car for our last trip, so I am not against rental cars. My point was since the front and rear seats will be filled with people, with the majority of European cars, the space for suitcases might be less than you need. That is why I said pack lightly. If you are getting a rental car then research the models that you might use. I see more of a problem getting all the items in the car. I don't see as much of a problem driving the car once it is loaded.

In case you have not heard, rental car companies charge more for cross country (inter-country?) drop-offs. They are not greedy, they incur an additional cost of some kind.

In the lakes region, your accomodations options will be reduced if you are trying to get a parking space included. Also there will be lots of cars competing for parking spaces in August.

Are we thinking August 2009 (or 2010)?
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