Need Help with 15 days in Europe

Feb 18th, 2013, 06:50 AM
  #1  
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Need Help with 15 days in Europe

My wife and I are taking our 7 and 11 year old children to Europe for the first time this Spring Break. We leave from LAX to Paris and fly home from Paris. The problem is my wife wants to see Paris, Venice, Florence Rome and Pisa. What is a good, easy itinerary with the kids using the train system? I was thinking of landing in Paris on Saturday morning, spend the night and take the overnight train from Paris to Venice on Sunday, stay two nights, take the train Florence, spend two nights, take the train to Rome, spend two nights, take the train to Pisa, spend the night, take the train to Nice, spend one night, train to Paris and then four nights there. Is this crazy?
2013travelor is offline  
Feb 18th, 2013, 06:57 AM
  #2  
 
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I think you answered your own question.

Need a revision.
iris1745 is online now  
Feb 18th, 2013, 07:01 AM
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Yes. With 2 kids that is way too much travel - and you are getting very limited time in too many places. And I think you will end up with kids that are really cranky.

You say 15 days - but does that include the day you arrive and the day you leave? If so you only have 13 days on the ground. And 2 nights in a city means you have 1 day - barely enough to become oriented.

Also - returning to Paris is a waste. You should land in your first city and return from your last (open jaw ticket - multi-destination tickets don;t cost any more than round trip ones).

In your time I would do 3 or at most 4 hotels - more than that and you are spending way too much time getting to places rather than actually seeing or doing anything.

If you are looking at 6 different places - one of them twice - in 13 days - IMHO this will be an exercise in frustration. All you need is a one day train strike (perfectly possible) for your itinerary to be meaningless.

Plus you need to leave you kids some time to be kids - to run around in a park or playground - how do you do that when you'removing every other day?
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 18th, 2013, 07:07 AM
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It sounds as if you already have your flights, but, if not, I'd fly "open jaw" into Paris and out of Rome or vice versa. Do you have 15 days IN ADDITION to you arrival and departure dates? I would concentrate on Paris, Rome and Venice and skip the rest on this visit. You basically "lose" a day every time you move. You will need your reservations soon.
jane1144 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2013, 07:11 AM
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There you have good suggestions from 'nyt'.

Open jaw, flying into Paris and out of Rome.

So, many options and here is one.

1. Say 13 nights. Paris [4]

2. Overnight train to Venice [3]

3. Train to Florence [3] Day trip tp Pisa

4. Rome [3]

5. If it's 14 nights, another day in Rome
iris1745 is online now  
Feb 18th, 2013, 07:16 AM
  #6  
 
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I second most of NYT's comments, but I too have done whirlwind tours and found them thriling.

If you are going to do this, make a list of what you really want to see. Is Piza "worth" the effort only for the tower, or do you have other interests there.

Also, identify all train travel (times and lengths) to see if it will work and how much they'll cut into your sightseeing. That may help you cut out a destination.

In the bigger cities, organize the sites geographically. Make an outline/plan so you can visit sites efficiently.

Once your decision is made, I would make your b&b or hotel reservations in advance so you aren't wasting time ON VACATION planning your vacation.

I've done Paris with similar age kids and Rome/Florence when younger and may have some thoughts on those as you develop your plans. In my experience, your kids don't need a park or playground. Just make sure you don't go to 5 museums in a row, so to speak. Inject some monuments, castles, Nutella Crepes and/or Gelato, and pizza.
Bitter is online now  
Feb 18th, 2013, 10:23 AM
  #7  
 
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I think your wife should plan a separate trip to Italy. This would be way to much for me to attempt...all those long train rides, all that hauling luggage around, all that checking into and out of hotels, all that hanging round train stations...ugh. And, as mentioned, one glitch in the plan and it all goes haywire.
StCirq is offline  
Feb 18th, 2013, 10:57 AM
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What is a good, easy itinerary with the kids using the train system>

Well yes try flying back from Rome for a more leisurely trip - taking kids on long train rides can be exhausting for you and them IME.

The experience of an overnight train could be fun - book a 4-person compartment on the Thello night trains (www.thell.com for fares including some nifty advance purchase discounts. Once in Italy trains are easy to get on as there are so so many - but if you want to get discounted tickets book very early on www.trenitalia.com - note that those tickets can be very hard to change or refund so be sure of your times.

For lots of great info on Italian trains and night trains in general check out these IMO fantastic sources - www.seat61.com (good info on discounted tickets); www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com.
PalenQ is online now  
Feb 18th, 2013, 11:59 AM
  #9  
 
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wife wants to see Paris, Venice, Florence Rome and Pisa. What is a good, easy itinerary with the kids using the train system?>

Well yes going back to Paris will mean a very not relaxed trip over that time frame - plus landing in Paris one day and taking a night train the next day to Italy is, even for me a peripatetic traveler! an exhausting proposal. Spend at least an extra day in Paris and yes fly home from Rome - then you have a manageable trip - do Pisa as a day trip from nearby Florence.
PalenQ is online now  
Feb 18th, 2013, 12:25 PM
  #10  
 
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OK, let's ask THE questions:

how cranky ARE your kids????

how cranky IS your wife if she doesn't get her way?

HAVE you made airline reservations yet?

DO you mind traveling this way...to lots of places and with not a lot of time to live your whole life, get married, and die in each city?

The answers will help dispel a lot of shall we say "assumptions" about you, your wife, your kids, and everything else.
Dukey1 is offline  

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