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Italy, France, UK Mid Jan-Mid March with 2 kids!

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Dec 16th, 2011, 02:10 PM
  #1
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Italy, France, UK Mid Jan-Mid March with 2 kids!

We are a family of 4 about to undertake a trip of a lifetime.... My husband has to work in Italy and France from Mid Jan 2012 (yes we just found out!!!) and the girls and I are going with him. We Leave Australia mid Jan, probably fly directly to Palma, Italy as that is first port of call, stay approx 2 weeks ( work depending) then on to Brest, France. After that, we are thinking holiday time for all of us, up to Paris, then onto the UK, hiring a car and travelling up to Scotland. We have a wedding in Belfast on 10 March we have to be at. We are first time travellers overseas and very excited!! My girls are 8 & 13yo.
Should we fly into London and rest a day or 2, get warm clothes etc, and then head onto Italy? Time permitting?
Any ideas, hints, reccomendations or tips would be wonderful....
Rowiedek is offline  
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Dec 16th, 2011, 05:21 PM
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You will need a variety of clothing in layers since Italy is likely to be not as cold as Paris or London - and definitely Scotland can be really cold and snowy.

To stay in London first or not depends on if you have access to winter clothing where you are. If not - I believe that London stores have sales in Jan - but don;t know the details.
nytraveler is offline  
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Dec 16th, 2011, 06:58 PM
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I suggest you go directly to Italy with whatever warm things you have to bring and buy more as you need them. What you get in Italy may work perfectly well in France and the UK and, if not, you can find what you need as you need them. I see no reason to stop in London first since you'll be going there in the course of your adventure. Lucky family.
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Dec 16th, 2011, 08:16 PM
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Winter in London, Parma (Palma's in Spain) and Paris isn't going to be immensely different from a winter in Melbourne, though there's always the possibility of what all three places call "extreme" (or most North Americans call "very warm") winter weather - a touch of frost - from time to time. But it's just an ever-changing possibility, and there's no real reason to bring anything warmer than you'd use at home. Nonetheless, winters in Central Italy can also be spectacularly cold: the whole thing's utterly unpredictable up to a day or two beforehand. Pay no attention whatsoever to met sites that tell you about historical averages

It certainly isn't, in my view, a reason for organising your plans around buying up warm clothes in Britain first. For the odd extra scarf or whatever, any decent Italian hypermarket or UPIM will be fine (though cheap basics aren't what Italy's very good at, there are C&As in Fidenza, Florence and Prato, and an utterly extrordinary complex of cheap clothes vendors all over Prato, where it's claimed these days 30% of births are to Chinese mothers who've migrated there to work in garment factories)

Topping up on warm clothes gets a lot easier in France: C&A and the hypermarket chain Carrefour do this most cost-effectively (there is a C&A in Brest)

In the UK, Primark's your best bet for value, especially for topping up before venturing to Scotland where your likelihood of hitting a real winter is highest. There's absolutely no point organising yourself round UK Sales: the formal Dec 28 Sales will be winding down anyway by mid Jan, the entire garment retail industry's on permanent promotion right now and for keeping warm, no-one else's Sales price match Primark's or C&A's normal prices anyway. The Sales are mostly an opportunity to buy absurdly overpriced brands at the price proper shops like H&M or New Look charge all the time.
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Dec 17th, 2011, 03:57 PM
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There are two towns in Italy named Palma. One is in Sicily (near the monuments of Agrigento) and the other is in Campania, close to Naples. The one in Sicily is famous for inspiring the setting of the novel Il Gattopardo (The Leopard).

It's of course possible that the original poster made a typo, in which case she should pack warm clothes to arrive in Italy, since Parma is much colder in January than either Italian town named Palma.
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