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First trip out of USA, in May, two teen daughters. Any and All help much appreciated!

First trip out of USA, in May, two teen daughters. Any and All help much appreciated!

Old Jan 3rd, 2024, 07:04 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by nyse
Have to ask ~ are your teen daughters following along on this thread?
I would think by now they’d have a good idea of what they’d like to do and see.…you’ll have a wonderful trip!
I'm beginning to wonder if the OP is following this thread. A lot of us have taken the time to give thoughtful advice, but we've heard nothing in return.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2024, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by P_M
I'm beginning to wonder if the OP is following this thread. A lot of us have taken the time to give thoughtful advice, but we've heard nothing in return.

I think you have accidentally missed the OP’s posts. Looks to me that the OP asked her first question on the 2nd and has responded twice already.
They are probably reading and trying to absorb all the suggestions and advice at this point and thinking about and narrowing down their options and what they want as a family. This is only the 2nd day after original post. The OP needs some time to think and consult with daughters and husband.

Last edited by Sassafrass; Jan 3rd, 2024 at 07:33 AM.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2024, 07:32 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Sassafrass
Not true.
The OP asked her first question on the 2nd and has responded twice already. They are probably reading and trying to absorb all the suggestions and advice at this point and thinking about and narrowing down their options and what they want as a family. The OP needs some time to breath and think and consult with daughters and husband.
I agree. The Original Poster (OP), springtaylor has been very engaged and expressed genuine appreciation for the inputs. Just because a dozen or 2 of us have all weighed in since the original post just 24hrs ago doesn't mean the OP needs to respond to every comment, or even report back at all. It's their trip, not ours. They don't need to get our approval or blessing on their plans.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2024, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by P_M
I'm beginning to wonder if the OP is following this thread. A lot of us have taken the time to give thoughtful advice, but we've heard nothing in return.
Originally Posted by Sassafrass
Not true.
The OP asked her first question on the 2nd and has responded twice already. They are probably reading and trying to absorb all the suggestions and advice at this point and thinking about and narrowing down their options and what they want as a family. The OP needs some time to breath and think and consult with daughters and husband.

Sorry P_M but I think that is out of line. I have to totally agree with Sassafrass. This thread is barely one day old and has more than 40 responses - we have dumped a LOT of advice and suggestions in their laps and it is a LOT to absorb/digest. I'm sure springtaylor didn't expect when they registered and made their very first post they'd get so much response so quickly
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Old Jan 3rd, 2024, 07:36 AM
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was posting the same time as J62
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Old Jan 3rd, 2024, 08:40 AM
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I agree, she has been responsive and very grateful and hopefully now she is honing in on flights and accommodations, before she returns.
She also has 3 other people to consult.

I also, only meant they have to be very specific about what nights will be where. I never think overplanning daily activities is a good idea. You have to buy tickets in advance to places that will sell out. Other than that, seeing how tired you are, the weather, places you just happen upon, and tips you get from other travelers along the way will shape your day.

I don't think the Olympic preparations will affect a trip in May, but I do think the competition for accommodations will be increased because of fellow travelers that want to avoid that time frame. My son and his wife are going to Paris at the end of May for that reason.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2024, 08:47 AM
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Another poster suggested this place on the Paris hotel thread. I like the idea of having a kitchenette and I think that location would be fun for teenagers.
https://www.guestreservations.com/ci...hoCMqEQAvD_BwE
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Old Jan 3rd, 2024, 08:49 AM
  #48  
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I am above and beyond appreciative for you all taking your time to give me such helpful advice and genuine feedback. Thank you for your kindness and understanding. I've had this page opened on and off between yesterday and this morning trying to read when I can. I, honestly, am surprised by the amount of help I've received already and I'm so thankful. My 17 year old came down with the stomach flu yesterday so, that takes up quite a bit of time.

My family loves the city, the country, theatre, architecture, the canals sound wonderful, we enjoy history, especially, my 17 year old, my 19 year old speaks Norwegian, we prefer not to rent a car unless we have to, the girls are hoping we get to ride a train, we all enjoy being active and having fun, we also love relaxing with one another in a park.

Something I've heard mentioned a couple times. The girls would like going out on their own or we can do our own things one or two days. Is it safe enough for our girls to be off by themselves? And yes, I'm a little overprotective. ; }
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Old Jan 3rd, 2024, 09:05 AM
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17 19 years could always go to dumb places, and let's face it cities always have some dumb places, but mainly they will be fine. Certainly 17 year olds are expected to get to school on their own. UK has few guns around. Other european countries have a few more about, but generally drive-by shooting, school shootings and the like are not really Europe's thing. UK doesn't have a law about jaywalking and of course cars come from the other side so take care crossing roads.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2024, 09:06 AM
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I am so sorry about the stomach flu, hopefully, you all don't get it.

I think it is very safe for the girls to go off on their own, I highly encourage it! It will be great for developing independence and a love of travel. They just have to develop city savvy, to watch out for scams and pickpockets.
It will also, be great for the 2 of you to have time for yourselves. Check into your phone plans before you leave so your communication doesn't cost a fortune, go over the transportation options before they head off, make them do some research on what appeals to them.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2024, 09:07 AM
  #51  
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Is it safe enough for our girls to be off by themselves?

Yes, defniitely - within reason of course. Not sure I'd want them going out clubbing late at night, but other than that this is a chance to trust the job you've done raising them......

The last trip I took with 2x 18yr olds, they (2 guys, related but not my kids) decided they wanted to go back to the watering hole we'd found (creek + waterfall) by themselves one hot afternoon, so they took 2 bikes and off they rode. A few hours later I hear a klink, klink, klink sound and their laughs approachnig. The klink, klink, klink was an EMPTY wine bottle in the bike basket. My friendly admonishment was 1 - You guys are dumb for drinking and jumping off the waterfall., and 2 - You guys are even dumber for bring the empty wine bottle back home for your parents to see.....

As hard as it may be, trust the job you've done, and let them spread their wings a little. As long as they have the address where you're staying and a phone, they'll get back to you sooner or later....

As for phone plans, I like to get esims from airalo.com. My old verizon plan charged $10 per day, per line to use outside the US and that would kill a large chunk of your budget right there. You can get a several GB sim card (data only) for about $5 for a week. Happy to give you more info about those if you need.

Last edited by J62; Jan 3rd, 2024 at 09:09 AM.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2024, 09:34 AM
  #52  
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My apologies to the OP and to all other posters. I was clearly mistaken.

Thank you all for setting me straight in a moment of insanity. I wish the OP a pleasant trip.

Last edited by P_M; Jan 3rd, 2024 at 09:58 AM.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2024, 09:49 AM
  #53  
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Knowing the length of the trip would be helpful. There is a big difference in 10 nights including transatlantic flights vs 14 nights not including transatlantic flights
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Old Jan 3rd, 2024, 10:12 AM
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The apology is so very appreciated.
My daughters are not on the thread, but I'm reading some to them.
We've decided on 14 nights in Europe. Of course I'm still looking at flights, so the nights depends on the costs of flights. Depending on cost we may stay 13 nights or 15 nights. Yes, I do know that we would be either paying for an extra night in accommodations or saving a night, but I will be factoring that in when making the cost analysis.

I can't remember if there were any other questions. I'll try and read through them in a little while.

Again, thank you all from the very bottom of my heart.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2024, 10:45 AM
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FWIW, I have always factored in the price of the plane tickets in my per day cost, since it is often one of the most expensive parts of the trip. DW and I used to take 7/8 day vacations across, but when I started looking at transportation, extending it to two weeks just made sense. Unless you have specific dates in mind, the Google Flights "Explore" option really gives you a broader picture of pricing on transportation only.

Also, when looking at open jaw tickets, IF you are considering in/out of London and Paris, you should strongly consider moving Paris first. In my experience, Paris first flights run about 10% cheaper than into London and back from Paris. That can eat up much of your budget, as a random search for 15 days in May/June showed a $190 per ticket savings on landing in Paris first, but either way, these flights eat up just about half of your total budget.

Last edited by apersuader65; Jan 3rd, 2024 at 10:59 AM. Reason: adding info
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Old Jan 3rd, 2024, 11:04 AM
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So glad you have a full 14 nights, two weeks. Based on that and your mention of the desire for the Riviera, I think, if the budget holds, you could easily include a third place or a couple of two-day trips with your bases. Knowing you do have to make some hard decisions soon, you can pick your main two places, then add or expand.
Examples:
London for 4 nts, Bath for two nts.
Provence for 7 nights, fly home from Marseilles.

London, 5 nights
Paris, 5 nights,
Amsterdam 4 nights (or cut either of the other two and add to the Netherlands.

Etc.,

Also, again, hoping not to add confusion, and knowing budget is an issue, with 14 nights, I might have a second look at London and a bit of Italy.
London & Rome
London, Venice, Florence
London, Rome, the AC.

Throwing one more grouping out there just because it can be done so easily by train.
London (5), Paris (5), Barcelona (4).

See if different departure days make much difference in airfare.

This is a lot to consider, but once the base places are settled, the hardest part is done and you can relax.

This might be considered poor advice by some, and I would never advise it on general principle, but IMHO, if in the end, you have to go over budget to get the trip you want, just do it. Charge it and pay latter. This will be a trip with your daughters that may never come again. Cherish it to the max. With travel, I have regretted only the trips we never took and the splurges I wished later that we had done.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2024, 11:17 AM
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You have a lot of great options! That can make narrowing things down more difficult, though.

We've done Paris/London with our daughter. It's so easy to get between Paris and London, and both cities are wonderful for teens.

We've also done Paris/Barcelona. Another great and not difficult combination.

My daughter leaves at the end of this month to study in England for a semester. We are meeting her for her spring break in April and traveling around England (Bath, Oxford, York), and then we're all headed to Amsterdam for a week before we fly back to Montana and she flies back to England.

I think the biggest takeaway I have for planning these trips, is to not plan like it's going to be your only trip. It helps me narrow down destinations and sights and helps me build in some time to just enjoy the pub scene or sidewalk cafes or whatever.

We usually choose apartments if we're in a location for more than three days. Most of the hotel rooms in our budget are so small!

Good luck with your planning!
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Old Jan 3rd, 2024, 11:25 AM
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With two teenagers having some down time is also a great idea. Since you haven’t been to London or Paris
your days will be filled with seeing the famous places and sites that both cities have and having some free afternoons for your girls to go off and explore neighborhoods and stores and cafes would be good. I probably would just do the two places. Fly to London and get over jet lag there where everyone speaks English and then take the Eurostar to Paris. Your kids will get a wonderful train experience and also go underneath the channel. Looks like booking.com has apartments listed and the citadine Marais Bastille has small kitchenettes. Assuming there are places in London like that. Happy to pass on some fun cafes and restaurants, stores and sights in both cities. I’ve been many times to both cities and I love them both. I lived in Paris long long ago but have visited many times in the last decade and a half with teenagers and twenty somethings.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2024, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by macdogmom
Another poster suggested this place on the Paris hotel thread. I like the idea of having a kitchenette and I think that location would be fun for teenagers.
https://www.guestreservations.com/ci...hoCMqEQAvD_BwE
A kitchenette, in Paris? a place where people go for the ABOVE AVERAGE food?

I'd hate to think of cooking in a kitchenette for 4 days to save money on a (perhaps) once-in-a-lifeime trip, as a result never having:
  • a pain au chocolate aux amandes
  • a croque monsieur
  • REAL bouef bournginon
  • a coffee grand creme
  • a GOOD bottle of wine for 3 euros
  • etc etc etc
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Old Jan 3rd, 2024, 03:17 PM
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We have loved having a kitchenette when traveling with our kids. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. All of the suggested Parisien food experiences can still be had.

We enjoyed making coffee in the morning, a hearty breakfast, making sandwiches, storing leftovers, and having snacks: yogurt, cheeses, etc. We still ate out most of the time, but it is not a hardship to bring in the fabulous Paris prepared food, occasionally. A 2 week food budget can be stretched quite a bit this way.
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