Family Trip of a lifetime

Old Feb 27th, 2008, 04:21 PM
  #1  
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Family Trip of a lifetime

I have the unique opportunity of taking 4 grandchildren and my daughter to the UK late this summer. The last 2 weeks of July 08 is our travel window.
The children are (3 age 11, and one age 3).
We have an opportunity to visit Woburn Abbey and Village as well, in Bedford I believe.
I am hoping for some good advice on family oriented hotels or cottages, as well as some economic tips.
I would dearly love for this to be an educational vacation as well for the 11 yr. olds.
Any advice will be appreciated.
Thank you
TIGGS
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Old Feb 27th, 2008, 05:44 PM
  #2  
 
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I'm not totally sure what you mean by "We have an opportunity to visit Woburn Abbey and Village ". It is open to the public so everyone has that opportunity. Do you mean you have a special/personal invite - or have friends/relative who live near there - or ??

Besides that - your questions are very broad. Do you plan on staying the whole time in Bedfordshire? Or are you asking about other places to go in England? London?

Give us more details and we can help more.
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Old Feb 28th, 2008, 04:13 AM
  #3  
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Hello,
Thank you for the response. Yes, I have some friends in Bedford we will join up with during a portion of our trip. We would like to stay in or close to London so the children may see the sites and some of history.
While researching London for a stay, I have learned that most hotels are not family oriented I believe. With the exchange rate as it is, we will need some good advice on eateries as well. What to avoid, etc. would be a big plus too.

Thank you
TIGGS
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Old Feb 28th, 2008, 07:20 AM
  #4  
ira
 
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Hi T,

>Any advice will be appreciated.

Repost with UK in the title.

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Old Feb 28th, 2008, 08:51 AM
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TIGGS: I don't know what research you have done or who told you about places not being family friendly. You will not have a problem finding suitable accommodations.

But London hotel rooms are usually small and you would need to get two rooms. So for LOndon - renting an apartment would be better for the 5 of you. There are lots of threads on here about apartment rentals in London - if you give us your budget we can suggest apartments.

Also - for the time you are in the countryside Bedfordshire and elsewhere) do you plan on driving or taking trains/buses.

W/ 2 weeks I might suggest 6-7 days in London in a flat, and then split the rest of the time between Bedfordshire and one other area -- the Cotswolds, or Kent/the south coast, or Yorkshire, or Norfolk/Suffolk.

But before we can help more -- you need to tell us 1) hotel/apartment budget? 2) which airport you are flying in/out of? 3) do you plan on renting a car?

Those sorts of thing plus where other than London and Beds, if anywhere, you are considering visiting . . . . .
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Old Feb 28th, 2008, 10:56 AM
  #6  
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Hello again,

Since we decided to do this, one additional grandchildren, also age 11 has been added to the troupe. So, this means 2 adults and 4 children.
I am at this point looking at the airfares, reading about when and where to purchase, seems a general consensus is 2- 2 1/2 months before departure, which sounds reasonable tome. (I hope this is close to correct).
The apartment idea sounds fantastic. I do believe you are absolutely correct regarding the need for 2 rooms, if a "flat" is not available. I also have condo timeshares which may be a possibility. As to my budget, gosh ......whatever is safely feasible on the economic plan. I suppose I am looking at, if I need to rent, about what? 700-1000US$ for the week. (This is my first excursion of this nature, so I am unsure how to budget. These forums help a great deal.
Driving would be ideal, and I am hoping more economical, but unsure. I was thinking we could do the scenic training also for a portion of the stay. Perhps even "chunnel" to Paris for a day or so.
Your 6-7 days in a london flat sounds ideal......that frees us up to see a bit more of this country.
I believe we will be flying out of NYC, but there is a possibility we will also leave from SDF in Louisville, Ky.
Thank you so much for directing me to the right areasto obtain this advice.

TIGGS


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Old Feb 28th, 2008, 12:42 PM
  #7  
 
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I only have time for a VERY short response now but will try to get back later. (BTW - ira's suggestion to re-post w/ "England" in your title is a good one to get responses from others. There is only one forum "Europe" - so your "Family Trip of a Lifetime" could be asking about anywhere in Europe)

but just 2 quick comments:

"seems a general consensus is 2- 2 1/2 months" I would definitely disagree. The lowest airfares are the first ones to sell out and the closer to departure date, generally the more expensive the flights. Many people book flights 5, 6, 8 months ahead or more.

and you really will need to reconsider your budget. $700-$1000 is only £350 to £500 - and that is not enough for a week for a flat large enough for the 6 of you. Many moderate hotels would cost that much per night for two rooms. I would plan on a minimum of $1500/$1700 for a 2-bdrm flat and it could easily run $2000/$2500 or more.

Rates are lower out in the countryside, but even inexpensive B&Bs can run around $250-$300 a night for the 2 to 3 rooms you would need.
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Old Feb 28th, 2008, 09:09 PM
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Tiggs:
The first thing to do is to get a solid itinerary for your trip. On my family's last trip to the UK, I booked the flight in January for June trip, and I thought that I was late. Will you be flying into Heathrow, Gatwick or where?
Once you have the itinerary and flights, accomodations for six will need some research. My family stayed in an apartment in the South Kensington area of London a few years ago. It was very comfortable and near the tube.
I would say, do the first things first and then begin to get to specific needs as you decide the "big" things. This board is a good place to post an proposed itinerary for suggestions. The more you know about where and when, the more specific help you will get.

All the best,

d1
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Old Feb 28th, 2008, 10:21 PM
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Totally disagree with your assesment to wait and book airfare. It doesn't get cheaper closer to date, plus if there is a sale you won't be able to snag six seats on same plane,,Book now.
I think with a budget I would spend less time in UK, the pound is worse against the dollar then the Euro, so get over to the mainland!
I agree with apartment renting, too many kids for a hotel, plus this way you can save lots of money by giving them breakfast and snacks in the room, otherwise you will be doling out alot for restaurant food, and 3 yr olds like snacks all the time!
I also think getting out in the countryside if you stay in UK is a good idea,. London is wicked expensive, why not consider a few days in Brighton,, near the beach, or consider Normandy in France, kids love the beach.
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Old Feb 28th, 2008, 10:27 PM
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Sorry bozana, but " the pound is worse against the dollar then the Euro" simply is not true.

The £ at $1.98 is actually a better exchange rate than the € at $1.52 -- it is buying power we are talking about - not raw numbers. Apples and oranges. Now - neither is great of course, but the € is at historic highs, while the £ is not . . . . .


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Old Feb 29th, 2008, 07:26 AM
  #11  
 
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To get a general idea for some budget/modest lodging choices in London and Britain generally, here are two big chains on about a Motel 6 level:

http://www.premierinn.com/pti/home.do

http://www.travelodge.co.uk/

Once you get an idea about budget, I recommend you book your airfare first, then arrange for accommodation whether hotels or an apartment. If you put down a nonrefundable deposit on an apartment and then try to find airfare that "fits" it could be a problem.

Search airfares on www.kayak.com
This site does not sell airfares, it just compiles them. You can also try www.orbitz.com
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Old Mar 13th, 2008, 10:00 AM
  #12  
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I can not thank all enough for the solid advice. I am booking airfare first, yes, makes sense to me. I believe we may have a line on a wonderful stay, but will watch carefully all suggestions.
I will also add this to the "England" thread as suggested. This is actually quite exciting in the planning stages as well.
TIGGS
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Old Mar 13th, 2008, 10:10 AM
  #13  
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Family trip to Egland, UK
Reposted as recommended.

Author: TIGGS
Date: 02/27/2008, 07:21 pm
I have the unique opportunity of taking 4 grandchildren and my daughter to the UK late this summer. The last 2 weeks of July 08 is our travel window.
The children are (3 age 11, and one age 3).
We have an opportunity to visit Woburn Abbey and Village as well, in Bedford I believe.
I am hoping for some good advice on family oriented hotels or cottages, as well as some economic tips.
I would dearly love for this to be an educational vacation as well for the 11 yr. olds.
Any advice will be appreciated.
Thank you
TIGGS


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Old Mar 13th, 2008, 10:35 AM
  #14  
ira
 
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Hi T,

>Family trip to Egland, UK
Reposted as recommended.

I meant that if you posted a new message titled "Family trip to England", that you would get more response.

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