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Need advice in planning a family trip to Europe.

Need advice in planning a family trip to Europe.

Old Mar 26th, 2003, 05:59 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Need advice in planning a family trip to Europe.

My family and I are just beginning to plan a trip to Europe, possibly for this summer, but more likely for next year. It will probably have to be in the summer because of school ( We have 2 daughters, 13 and 21.) I don't know when and if we will be able to do this again, so would like to make the most of it. We are planning for probably 3 weeks, and would like to visit at least 4 - 5 countries, including England, France, Rome, Germany. I would certainly appreciate any tips on best methods of transportation between cities, lodging, best places to go and see, etc. With 4 people, cost is a consideration, but also want an optimum experience. Thanks in advance for any thoughts and suggestions.
jdspfs is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2003, 06:10 AM
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I think that you are trying to do too much. You can easily do one week each in London, Paris and Rome without seeing England, France or Italy.

I suggest 10 days each in England/France or France/Italy or Germany/Italy.
ira is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2003, 06:16 AM
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This is a huge question & requires some more info from you AND some homework on your part. What budget are you looking for (at least how much are you prepared to spend per nite on hotels). Will you want 2 rooms or one family room? What are your interests? Are you determined to see each of these "countries" (I'm sure you realize Rome is not a country. Assuming you mean just Rome in Italy). London, Paris and Rome are certainly doable in 3 weeks with maybe a day trip or two outside the city in each place. You could add one city in Germany as well.

"Best" transportation is subjective. The train is actually the fastest way to get from London to Paris because you're traveling from city center to city center. But it is actually more expensive than flying because of low fare airlines like Easy Jet. I would suggest you read best 5 or 7 day itineraries in each city you're interested in seeing on the Fodors website & then come back with some more specific questions.
mclaurie is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2003, 06:16 AM
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This is a broad question. You listed the countries England, France and Germany and the city Rome. If you want to visit multiple places in each of the countries mentioned, 3 weeks will be pushing it. If you are mostly interested in the major cities (Paris, London) then it's certainly more reasonable yet it will still be exhausting. In Italy, is Rome your main destination? Have you been to Europe before? I would allow at least 3 nights in each major city and in many cases that's not even enough. You also have to allow for travel time since you'll be covering a lot of territory. As far as budget, there is a huge range of prices and many different definitions of what is considered 'budget'. I would pick the major places you want to visit, and order them in the most logical way based on transportation. Then given an approximate nightly hotel budget, research places to stay.
MFNYC is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2003, 06:40 AM
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We've gone to Europe several times with our kids. I'd recommend limiting yourself to two countries, spending about ten days in each one, and visiting at most three different places in each country. This way, you have a chance to see things in depth, rather than spending all your time traveling and unpacking. Too, you don't want to cut yourself short by not being able to spend enough time in some of the European cities like Rome or Paris, which ideally require at least three or four days to really be seen.
Anyway, good luck with your trip. I'm sure it will be wonderful!
Weadles is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2003, 07:11 AM
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The trains would be a great way to travel, especially if you are seeing cities. However, your kids must be light packers, as you'd want to limit everyone to one roller suitcase and one backpack or carry-on. I think 3 nights in any particular city is plenty, especially since you are looking for a highlights tour, and not to explore every nook and cranny of every museum. If I had three weeks, I'd do one of two things.
If it were my first visit to Europe, and none in the party spoke the native languages, I'd buy a group tour with an escort. That way, too, all your transfers would be scheduled and taken care of. There is usually plenty of free time and optional excursions, so you could have some independent time, but it would certainly cut down on the stress factor.
The other option is to choose 3 cities, and one final spot - more countryside/local flavor. In that case, I think my itinerary would be: London, train to Paris, fly to Munich, and then one of two endings. Either head south into the upper Bavarian Alps and lakes region (Berchtesgaden), or fly to Florence for a stay in Tuscany.
Good luck with your plans. Please let us know what you decide!

Dreamer2 is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2003, 09:44 AM
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I have no experience with Germany, but how about this to minimize the wear and tear of moving about, and losing time.
Assuming about 21 days. Assuming that whether you drive or fly, you use up at least half, and often most of one day, getting from one place to another.

5 days London, including possibly one day trip to Bath or Windsor or Hampton Court or Oxford or Cambridge or...

Then Eurostar (chunnel train) to Paris. 4-5 days Paris, including possibly one daytrip to Giverny or Versailles or the Normandy beaches (a long day) or...

3 days one location in Germany (others will have to chime in here) and I can't help with connections

4 days in Rome, fly home from there.

Personally, I'd drop one of the above entirely and spend more time in the other locations doing daytrips or other exploring, but you said you wanted those 4 countries.

I have files on London, Paris,and Rome; if you'd like to see them, email me at
[email protected]

elaine is offline  
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