Germany 2015 for a large family

Feb 25th, 2014, 06:06 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 30
Germany 2015 for a large family

My family and I are looking to spend 2-3 weeks in June 2015 touring Germany. We will have my husband and I, 5 kids (20-7), and Grandma and Grandpa. We are interested in visiting WWII sites, castles, kid friendly sites, small villages, etc. We plan on driving and are not sure if we will need to rent one big van (do they come big enough?) or two cars. My biggest concern with a family of this size is where to stay! We don't really plan on being in one area long enough to rent an apartment. I'm wondering if anyone can give me an idea of what we can expect as far as accommodations go. We are very early in the planning process and I figured this was a good place to start. Any tips and/or suggestions regarding traveling Europe/Germany with a large family would be appreciated! Thanks!
Jenny_Peterson is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 06:19 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,812
For car size, just look at car rental sites. For example at www.autoeurope.com, there are several vans such as Volkswagen T5 that can carry 9 passengers. You realized that the bare bottom price of cars this big starts around $100/day for at weekly rental rate plus gas and parking. If your itinerary includes destinations connected by Deutschebahn trains, you can move all of you for about half the price without parking headaches by using offers like http://www.bahn.com/i/view/USA/en/pr...overview.shtml.
greg is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 08:26 PM
  #3  
Hez
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 506
I've done several trips with large family groups in Europe.

First of all, I would highly recommend getting two cars. There will be times that you'll want to split up, want to just pop down the road to pick something up (where a big van will be a pain), want to be able to park easily etc.

Secondly, it's difficult to move that many people (herding cats is the phrase that comes to mind!). You are much better off to pick a 3 bases and do day trips. This will also allow you to rent apartments/houses which will give you more family time, allow you to cook meals, and also give everyone more space. Another bonus of this is it gives you time to settle in and really experience each place - the kids can know the way to the local shop and be sent out to get bread and milk or whatever. We seem to always find a cafe or restaurant that everyone likes that we go back to a few times. Usually there's a day or two along the way that someone doesn't want to do whatever is being done that day (usually one or two grandparents and one or two small children in our family) and it's nice for them to be able to just chill out at the house and in an area they are somewhat comfortable with.

Lastly, one of the greatest lessons we've learned is that not everyone is going to want to do the same things all the time, and that spending weeks on end together all the time isn't necessarily awesome. So, we try to pair things together on some days that allow 2 choices of activity (hence the 2 cars). Kids are encouraged to pick the activity that is most appealing to them. It can be super interesting when one kid decides that he would really like to go to the mine because Grampa had been talking about his grandfather and other ancestors working in the mines, but another wants to go on the seaside walk because it's a beautiful clear day and the flowers are blooming.

Anyway, have a wonderful time! Germany is awesome. If I was picking 3 bases I would probably go Koblenz, Munich & Berlin.
Hez is offline  
Feb 26th, 2014, 06:56 PM
  #4  
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Join Date: Aug 2011
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That is wonderful advice, from both of you!! Thanks so much! This has helped a lot... Wonderful!
Jenny_Peterson is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2014, 05:56 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Reiterating what others have said--not everyone doing everything all the time together. You might even want 3 cars of a more "normal" size for parking, etc. Hotels--3 or 4 rooms--if for no other reason than bathroom space.
I think the bases and day trips is super good advice.
Gretchen is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2014, 07:16 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,863
I have rented apartments for as little as 3 days, some can be rented for only one night so I wouldn't discard that possibility
bigtyke is offline  

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