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MOTORHOME TRAVEL WITH KIDS

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Nov 25th, 2013, 07:50 AM
  #1
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MOTORHOME TRAVEL WITH KIDS

We are 2 adults and 2 children( 11 and 8 years old)
We are planning a 21 day trip to Europe from mid August to September with a motorhome.

Places we hope to visit are as follows;

1. South Germany (Some parts of Munich,Dachau, Eagle's Nest..) (in 2 days)
2. Austria (Salzburg, Hallstatt) and Wien (in 3 days)
3. Budapest (in 2 days)
4. Sarajevo (Vrelo Bosne, Bascarsı) in 2 days,
5. Mostar and Blagaj (in 1 day)
6. Kotor (in 1 day)
7 Dubrovnik (in 2 days)
8. Split and Brac İsland (in 2 days)
9. Plitvitce NAtural Park (in 2 days)
10 Bled Lake (3-4 hours)
11. Venice (in 3 days)
12. Lake Como, and Lugano (1 day)

Can any experienced travellers give me some advice about;
1st, if this vacation plan is realistic (Do you believe if we can visit that many places in 21 days with a motorhome),
2nd if this is possible with my 2 kids.
3rd which place (s) must be skipped on this route?
4th Is this route safe for spending night out of camping sites (In case we are late to find one sometimes!!!)



Thanks in advance
tulo1 is offline  
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Nov 25th, 2013, 09:03 AM
  #2
 
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I'll preface my comments by saying that I've never driven a motorhome any place but I have driven in Europe.

Most of the places you mention are cities which means that you will need to find parking/camping outside the cities and then commute into the cities for sightseeing. This will add to your expense and reduce your sightseeing time.

I think it would be stressful navigating some of the small, winding roads in a motor home, especially around Lake Como, Lake Bled, etc. I'm not saying it can't be done because tour buses do these roads but it might take away from some of the enjoyment.

I think your itinerary is ambitious, especially with young children who are more apt to be happy moving around rather than strapped to a car seat.

I would use viamichelin or mappy to plot out the driving times, add 25% to their times and then factor in time to make stops every few hours. I think you'll see that some of these locations should be removed from your itinerary.

When you have a day or 2 to visit a town you need to factor in the time it takes to get there. For example, your 2 days in Dubrovnik needs to include getting to Split (or getting there from Kotor so you really don't have 2 days in Dubrovnik.

Are you using the motor home to save on expenses? If so, you might consider taking trains and staying in hotels. Some countries offer economical train passes for families and hotels/hostels have all price ranges that accommodate every budget. The driving sites include fuel and toll estimates which can severely use up your budget.
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Nov 25th, 2013, 09:43 AM
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Agree with the above. 2 nights somewhere gives you 1 full day and that doesn't include travelling in and out if town centre.

I think you need to factor in time to actually see these places and not just driving around Europe.
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Nov 25th, 2013, 10:11 AM
  #4
 
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Is this a hired vehicle, if so have you seen the drop off fees between the countries.
How big is the 'van you are hiring?
I would also suggest you ask this question in a forum dedicated to camper-vans.
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Nov 25th, 2013, 10:13 AM
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I'm sorry but the only way you can visit all of those places in 21 days is with a helicopter.

You have 20 places in 21 days - so no time to do anything but drive - and frankly I don;t know that some of the distances are not too far to drive in one day in a motorhome (with speed limits and on some mountain roads).

Not sure why a motorhome - but it will absolutely slow you up.

And with 2 kids in 21 days I would do 5 (FIVE) places max - not 20.

You really need to look at distances, times, and list what you want to see day by day to see how totally impossible this plan is.
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Nov 25th, 2013, 10:19 AM
  #6
 
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Sorry - if you try this you will have the 2 grumpiest kids on the face of the earth - ad I wouldn;t blame them.

There is not enough money on the face of the earth to get me to do this trip and we have done more than 20 road trips in all parts of europe - but by car - and with WAY fewer stops per trip.
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Nov 25th, 2013, 01:44 PM
  #7
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Thanks for the comments.

It might seem weird to you all but I live in Luxembourg and I have a nice/brand new SUV. This travel plan has been a dream for my family for quite a long time.

Especially my kids have been asking for this trip with a motorhome.

To be honest I have never driven a mobilehome before. But the vehicle is not so big. It is a 4 people vehicle with shower/WC.

This motorhome is a friend of mine's and this will not cost me too much. But the cost is the last factor that will be affecting my choice. Our first motive is the ability to be able to stop whereever whenever we we want.Second, the confort that we will never have to pack up every other day from hotel to hotel. However I can imagine the problems (Hooking at camp sites, drain water and WC cleaning, emptying, camping ground fees, driving in narrow roads in tiny villages' narrow roads etc..) of camping as well.

I do understand that I have to reconsider my plans. I believe that I either should lessen the number of places to visit or rent a helicopter


Do you believe this tour can be done with a car inthe same time frame?


Anyway, thank you all once more.
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Nov 25th, 2013, 02:33 PM
  #8
 
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If you are based in Luxembourg and borrowing a friend's campervan, then the trip is feasible. But you are trying to cover too much ground, and the start of your trip is still in peak season with congested roads, resorts and caravan sites. While many places offer out-of-town hook-up places for campers, your kids will enjoy the greater facilities offered by commercial sites (like swimming pool; Croatia's public beaches aren't great, often just a concrete jetty). I would drop anywhere that's not on a direct route to Croatia, such as Budapest and Vienna (visit another time). And book sites in advance for popular Croatian resorts.
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Nov 25th, 2013, 02:56 PM
  #9
 
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Depends...do you want to spend most of your vacation in a vehicle driving...or seeing the places you are driving to? If the latter I would cut your destinations down by at least a half...more for my taste but it's your trip!
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Nov 25th, 2013, 07:01 PM
  #10
 
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Car would be easier than Motorhome - since you can drive faster and get closer to the center of towns than with a motorhome.

But I still don't see how you can possibly do all of those places in so little time.

I wasn;t kidding about the helicopter - that really is the only way to do that itinerary - unless you want to just drive past many of the places on the highway.
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Nov 25th, 2013, 08:08 PM
  #11
 
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Does your friend's insurance allow you to drive it for 3 weeks?

But even if it does -- that is a horrendous itinerary IMO. What do you plan on doing w/ the vehicle while you are in all those cities? If it was me - and IF I could legally drive a friend's motorhome -- I'd plan a 10 day to 2 week trip of maybe 2 or 3 stops where you can settle in to a campground(s) and have a combo of cultural/city excursions and all the outdoorsy things on a beach or in a forrest.

As for your current plan -- you will have next to no time out of those seats in the motorhome. You have taken no account of all the travel time -- you will only have a few hours in many of those destinations.
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Nov 25th, 2013, 09:29 PM
  #12
 
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You should practice with that motorhome in Luxembourg before signing up to drive it across Europe. You should also look for some forums specific to RVers, rather than a general travel forum.

You might find this blog interesting - http://www.soultravelers3.com/ - a couple from California and their daughter RVing in Europe.

I agree with the others - far too many places in far too little time. What do you actually want to get out of this trip?
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Nov 25th, 2013, 11:37 PM
  #13
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Thanks all.

As said, I would prefer seing and enjoying the cities I am interested to visit rather than spending all my time driving across them. I totally agree with Janisj that I will have next to no time out of those seats in the motorhome. I should have taken account of all the travel time.

I will most likely cut the part of my itinerary (Hungary and Vienna part) or change my travel method (By my car).

Best Regards
tulo1 is offline  
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Nov 25th, 2013, 11:58 PM
  #14
 
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we rented a delux motorhome in new zealand...just two of us adults and it was great
but upon our return to the base we talked to a couple with an 8yr old who told us it was very uncomfortable for the young girl..very bumpy and so the mum and she took turns sitting in the front
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Nov 26th, 2013, 02:14 AM
  #15
 
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If you take a motorhome trip in August, you had best have campsite reservations. Living in Lux you must be aware that camping holidays are very popular with Europeans and August is the busiest month. Sites are usually rented for a week or more so while not impossible, pulling up late and expecting a slot is down to luck.

Best advice I've read on this thread is to borrow the motorhome for a long weekend and see how you get on with it.

Your itinerary is overly ambitious, with or without a motorhome. Reagarding Dachau, be sure both children are fully prepared.
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Nov 26th, 2013, 04:59 AM
  #16
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For Dachau, I was not aware that there might be some scary stuff. Is ıt?
tulo1 is offline  
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Nov 26th, 2013, 05:08 AM
  #17
 
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You're really not aware that there might be 'scary' stuff at a concentration camp?

You might start by reading a guide book to some of the places you want to go to.
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Nov 26th, 2013, 05:32 AM
  #18
 
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Can't believe your comment on Dachau! When I visited Auschwitz it took me several days to recover from the experience, and I am an adult who had done a lot of reading on the horrors of WWII. I repeat, what do you want you and your kids to get out of this trip, aside from crossing places off a list?
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Nov 26th, 2013, 05:33 AM
  #19
 
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Though I agree with the others about cutting your itinerary shorter to enjoy it more, I have some suggestions about Croatia. We traveled there this last July with our kids. You could easily cut Brac, since it's an island, and even (heresy!) cut Dubrovnik--it's way, way down the peninsula. You could see Plitvice (really worth it!) and add in, instead, Rovinj with a side trip to Pula for the ampitheater.
The swimming in Croatia was great, and there were campgrounds everywhere that were right by the water--it would be a great place to have an RV.
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Nov 26th, 2013, 05:33 AM
  #20
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Dear mjdh1957,
I had visited Sachsenhausen Camp near Berlin before planning to include this location to my plan. We had no problem at all. As you can imagine, I did not explain "everything!!!" to my kids in detail. I will not do it either in Dachau.
I did not think there could be some scary staff around except for seing the empty buildings. What I planning to do was having an audio tour which will tell to ME not to the kids. If you have visited there and you think it is scary for the kids (May be because of pictures, animations, etc...) please let me know about it.
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