First trip with 2 young families

Old Mar 25th, 2014, 07:43 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 31
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
First trip with 2 young families

-2 couples (1 pregnant) + 2 1-year olds
-2 weeks in June
-would rather not rent a car or fly during trip, prefer trains and easy comfortable public transportation
-would rather not travel too much, 3-4 places max
-prefer to have at least 3-4 days on a beach
-nice to have some nature (lakes, mountains, etc.), light walks/hiking in addition t city
-current ideas - Spain or Portugal or Slovenia+Croatia or Latvia
-never been Eastern Europe

We have travelled extensively all over the globe, but with kids, this is a first!
Just looking for rough ideas/itineraries right now - thoughts?
sg123 is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2014, 08:33 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Pregnant women and mothers of very small children who aren't able to converse yet often prefer to travel in countries with easiest access to English-speaking high quality medical care in event of unexpected needs. Lisbon and its surrounding area would be my choice for June given the options you have named. But I would also consider Belgium, partly because kids that small will need to stay out of the sun for most of the day in most of the places you've mentioned and there is less hill and stair climbing in flat places like Belgium so you can push a stroller. Public transportation in Northern Europe tends very comfortable. Food is kid friendly in Belgium too. Amsterdam or Paris could be the city of choice for a Belgium-themed vacation. You will get less reliable beach weather but I would prefer that as a trade off for the other pluses.
sandralist is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2014, 08:34 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
http://www.theguardian.com/travel/20...eaches-secrets
sandralist is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2014, 08:51 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 31
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree with your points. I will add that we are flexible on the driving, as long as it is reasonably easy with good roads and orderly driving. For example, I found driving in Turkey quite stressful in many places, in Germany and Italy was not too bad.
sg123 is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2014, 12:25 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Provided you understand how to deal with the highway tolls in Portugal (you rent a device from the rental car agency) then driving outside of Portugal's cities is generally orderly. I would not count on that being the case in Slovenia or Latvia, where you will have the added stress of road signs in a language whose basics are more difficult for you to decipher. Also bear in mind that once you get out of the car, much of Portugal is not necessarily small-kid terrain unless you go to a resort with family amenities. You cannot push a stroller easily and some locations are incredibly steep and public transportation is crowded. There are child-friendly resorts in Portugal that are quite popular (especially with British families).

How many months pregnant will the pregnant traveler be? Will she easily be able to handle eat, lift luggage, climb stairs, being in cars or buses for how many hours? Don't you need to stay in places with kitchens so everybody can get optimally nutritious meals -- which argues for longer-stay rentals?

Loads of pregnant women and mothers with small children have lovely vacations in Europe. But it probably works best if you pick a place with a mild climate and rent a long stay apartment near a charming village that largely is car free, and just relax and enjoy the European charm. You can combine it with a city stay but I would pick a city with nice wide sidewalks and modern amenities and good places to get take out food!
sandralist is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2014, 12:27 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I noticed I made a typo. I meant to write: "Will she easily be able to handle heat_° But speaking of eats is there any indication that she would really do best in a place with more meat than fish or a familiar rather than new diet?
sandralist is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2014, 12:56 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 31
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sandra, your post brings up a lot of important and useful questions!
How many months pregnant will the pregnant traveler be?
8 months!
Will she easily be able to handle eat, lift luggage, climb stairs, being in cars or buses for how many hours?
Luggage would not be a problem, buses probably not the best idea, in a car I'd say 3-4 hours, eating would need alternatives to seafood only.
Kitchen would be great, and a long-stay rental would also be great.

You say:
Loads of pregnant women and mothers with small children have lovely vacations in Europe. But it probably works best if you pick a place with a mild climate and rent a long stay apartment near a charming village that largely is car free, and just relax and enjoy the European charm. You can combine it with a city stay but I would pick a city with nice wide sidewalks and modern amenities and good places to get take out food!

Can you suggest a charming village that is car free and a city with nice sidewalks, modern amenities and good food take out places? I know this may be outside of my original country list, but thats fine.
sg123 is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2014, 01:17 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think you could pick most of the historic cities of northern Europe and find large neighborhoods with wide flat sidewalks, huge kid-friendly parks, good food shops and vacation rentals in apartment buildings with elevators-- London, Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen... etc and also smaller historic cities like Antwerp, Ghent, Maastricht, Munich, Cologne, and even Torino or Lucca in Italy -- all reachable by train.

And then from there you could drive or take a train to historic smaller villages in a rural setting where it would be pleasant to hang out and shop in the local markets and enjoy the scenery, maybe do a little easy sightseeing with a car.

Sometimes these things are easier to decide if you know what kind of food you would like to eat for 2 weeks -- or what kind of vista you like to look at out the window when you are not in the city. Farm country and gardens? Chateau or castle? Sea veiw? Lake view? Mountain peaks? Windmills? Sheep?
sandralist is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2014, 01:42 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 10,125
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
At eight months at the start of the trip, the pregnant lady should be fine. Just note: Some airlines have no restrictions, but some do have restrictions related to pregnancy. Some do not allow flying the last 30 days. Some say all flying on a trip must be completed by week 36. Some require a Doctor's signed form indicating the health of the woman and the due date. Get trip insurance.
Sassafrass is online now  
Old Mar 25th, 2014, 01:51 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 74
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"Also bear in mind that once you get out of the car, much of Portugal is not necessarily small-kid terrain unless you go to a resort with family amenities. You cannot push a stroller easily and some locations are incredibly steep and public transportation is crowded."

?!

I don't know if i write this before or not, but...

There are two main types of topography in Portugal: the north is mostly mountainous, the south is mostly plain. The main division of this is defined by the Tagus.

South of Tagus and also most of the country's litoral is hardly high except in some selected places; so, you don't have to worry about it, there's more than 1200 km's of coastline to choose from (2500 km counting the islands), some places have some proeminence, a lot of places are close the sea level.

I mean, for the sake of example, just from Lisbon until Guincho you have about 50 km of road near sea level with many beaches around and places with small height around.
Lisbon_Eagle is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2014, 03:03 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 54,777
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sandra, your post brings up a lot of important and useful questions!
How many months pregnant will the pregnant traveler be?
8 months!>>

as someone else has said up thread, airlines often have restrictions on carrying women towards the end of their term - and insurance companies may not want to insure the trip. if you are planning to fly, you need to check this out first. And even if they will let her fly, does she really want to risk giving birth away from home?

if you've got that issue out of the way and are still going to do the trip, then given the age of the children and the pregnancy of one of the party, I would aim for the following:

1. a max of 2 bases, preferably one.

2. self-catering accommodation, either with a pool or close to a beach so the pregnant lady can swim or at least wallow. [essential if you go for somewhere hot].

3. Somewhere level, as suggested above. Good for walking and for pushing buggies as well.

When I was quite pregnant with my first, we went not to any of the places you mention, but to Lake Maggiore. The italian lakes are great for this sort of trip as the environs are mainly level, there are boats for getting around the lakes, there's plenty to see and do, and great italian food to eat. If you want somewhere that is likely to be less hot, I agree that the Belgian coast is a good idea too.
annhig is online now  
Old Mar 25th, 2014, 05:17 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Not sure what airlines you are looking at but many will not allow women 8 months pregnant to fly at all - esp since lower air pressure can sometimes bring on early labor (esp in a woman who already has given birth). (A colleague of mine recently had to get a letter form her MD testifying that she was only 7 months along to fly from Portland to NYC).

In that situation I would want to be in a major city with immediate access to high quality medical care - both for the mom and the infant in utero as well as the small kids. IMHO this is not the time for a very active vacation - or one where the mom is more than 10 minutes from a toilet.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2014, 06:38 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 31
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ok. I apologize, I made a typo above. Pregnant lady will be 5 months pregnant. Oops.
sg123 is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2014, 01:58 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lisbon Eagle

I don't disagree with what you've posted but I think in my post I was also fairly careful to indicate that I was only talking about some locations being steep. Unfortunately Lisbon is one of those locations and Porto is even worse and if these travelers with 2 very small toddlers would like some city time then Portugal has some challenges.

I also think that there is a limit to how much small children and pregnant women can tolerate a vacation that is mainly about beach or pool in a very sunny hot place.

I'm actually wild about Portugal and think it is terribly underrated as a European destination and of all the places the OP mentioned I picked Portugal as the best. But I do think they should pick their locations inside Portugal with an eye to minimizing climbs and overexposure to the sun.
sandralist is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2014, 06:16 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 74
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The problem with you're posted is that you sounded like Portugal is Switzerland, when even our system range of mountains are far from being that high - no mountain in the mainland is above 2000 metres high, and there's only 3 above 1500. Actually 70% of mainland Portugal is below 400 metres and less than 12% is above 700 metres.

"I was only talking about some locations being steep. Unfortunately Lisbon is one of those locations"

See? There you go.

I just wrote before that from Lisbon to Guincho there's 50 km of consecutive road near sea level - in Lisbon only there's a riverfront of more than 20 km's - meaning there are many people living close to sea level, not to mention the hotel offer.

Just because there are some "steep" places in Lisbon (which it's true) that doesn't mean #all# Lisbon is placed in a "very high mountainous range", which is nowhere near the truth.

The problem of tourists in Lisbon is that they most of time don't understand the city and left it full of clichés - one of those is thinking that Lisbon is "very steep", and don't realize the opposite: Lisbon is actually fairly plane after its real geographic center - for a reason Lisbon is nowadays is betting more and more in bicycle roads.

My point is, don't worry at all about the height of Lisbon - there are plenty of offers near sea level or near the real geographic center of the city, which is plane from then on for many km's (i mean from Saldanha to Campo Grande).

I'm not trying to sell " my fish" - i just think that there are a lot of misconceptions and pre-concepts about my country and city.
Lisbon_Eagle is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2014, 07:18 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lisbon Eagle

Absolutely nowhere in my post did I write that Lisbon is placed in a "very high mountainous range". No one else said that either. You are creating a straw man to knock down, and I don't know why.

I think it is very bad advice to tell the OP traveling with 2 very small children and 5 months pregnant in June "don't worry at all about the height of Lisbon." If that is your point, I encourage her to ignore you. This group doesn't need an eagle's eye view of Lisbon. They'll be tourists on the ground.

Personally I would not want to travel all the way to Lisbon and be confined to only its flat areas. The hot June sun, the small-stone surfaces of the sidewalks, and the crowded trams will present challenges to enjoying the city (that group won't be bicycling). You can enjoy Lisbon without climbing all over the Alfama (I've never been) but it is pretty hard to see the loveliest parts of the city if avoid all the hills -- many of which have quite steep uphill grades even if they aren't as high as Swiss Alps. Those grades would be slow going with 2 one year olds.

Lisbon is a great city and the ingenious people of Lisbon have built many wondrous mechanical devices to get them up those steep grades without breaking a sweat. If the OP wants to go then I as well as you will help her and her group find optimal accommodations and give transporation tip. But it is appropriate to point out that with 2 small kids sightseeing in the city is going to be tougher to navigate than in some other capitals and one needs a plan for that.
sandralist is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2014, 07:46 AM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 31
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm sorry ti interrupt your p*ssing match here, but I wouldn't mind getting some suggestions on a good balance. Something else I'm looking at - Copenhagen or perhaps a different Eastern European trip focussing on Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Slovenia using trains only and visiting 2-3 cities.
sg123 is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2014, 11:00 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 54,777
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ok. I apologize, I made a typo above. Pregnant lady will be 5 months pregnant. Oops.>>

well, that makes a considerable difference, sg. but it really doesn't change my advice. IMO the combination of pregnant lady and 2 1 year olds is not a happy one when it comes to city touring. i would be looking for a much gentler experience.
annhig is online now  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Starr59
Europe
10
Mar 5th, 2016 12:00 PM
lily3
Europe
20
Oct 25th, 2013 04:56 PM
utrechtman
Europe
4
Apr 9th, 2009 07:21 AM
travelyes
Europe
4
Jan 4th, 2007 01:16 PM
Gingerbaker
Europe
7
May 15th, 2003 08:15 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:20 PM.