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Please help! 2 weeks w TEENS that want to see it all.

Please help! 2 weeks w TEENS that want to see it all.

Old May 16th, 2024, 04:52 AM
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Please help! 2 weeks w TEENS that want to see it all.

Make way - another American wanting to see it all in 2 weeks. This is our first and likely only trip from Texas to Europe with 14 and 16 y/o non history loving teens. We want to make it fun but show them what they canít see here. Weíve eliminated several places already this is what we are left with.
would love advice on what to cut/add and logistics.
Houston to London (3 days) train to - Paris (2 days) fly to - Venice (3) - fly to Munich area (5) with TEENS

London: the touristy sites in London proper, Jack the Ripper.
Paris: Eiffel, Seine, cafes and local site seeing
Venice: several fun things to do on list for teens
Munich: need suggestions for smaller villages to see. Want to visit dachau, castles, paraglide.

Not listed but weíre on our first list: Swiss alps, Rome.

Want to avoid most of the museum, tours, etc with a few exceptions.

We are a hot mess.
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Old May 16th, 2024, 05:30 AM
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My advice would be

London
Paris
Amsterdam (where the canals are everywhere)
The Mosel (small German villages, castles, rivers etc)

Less flying, more trains, better for the planet and the wallet.

Amsterdam offers the chance to be abroad where people speak English very very well. Paris is almost as easy while London may be an issue with cadence and the left hand side of the road thing but again easy. Mosel is much harder but since it is a region not a city still interesting and cycling is easy. All 4 have easy public transport to get around and the Mosel has no art of museums to talk of.
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Old May 16th, 2024, 05:59 AM
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You are of course trying to do too much. Some thoughts and questions:
When?
Count nights, not days - 2 nights = 1day. Each move lose you a day effectively.
Does your two weeks include flying from Texas and back again?
How active are your teens? What are they interested in?

With two weeks London-Paris-Amsterdam ( or somewhere else) is enough, even if you never set foot in a museum.
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Old May 16th, 2024, 06:26 AM
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How are you flying? Round trip or multi city (in one city, out another)?

How many total days do you have on the ground?

Like mentioned above, what you want to see determines how long you need ro spend in a particular destination. You have to figure transit and logistics like checking in and out of lodging eat into your sightseeing "budget." Hence why it is best to count in nights vs. days. 3 nights = 2 full days sightseeing.

Also, not to mention if you sre planning for this summer: there is a big ol Olympics going on in Paris July/August. This may cause some bookings to be completely booked or even at a higher rate than average.And even some landmarks might be affected (I heard something will be at Eiffel Tower - which may mean tourists won't be able to tour it).

You also need to plan for your transit times. Although it may be "shorter" to fly, you have to also figure time getting to airport and time getting from airport in the plan along with security (and maybe having to check bags) and you maybe only saved 2 hours at the end of the day.

With many minds and thoughts coming together at once it is hard to come to a consensus, which might means someone has to compromise. My general rule of thumb: if a destination is really only to see one or two sites/landmarks AND is quite a ways or a logistical mess to get to from the others, it should be nixed, but for this trip. TBH, both Venice and Munich are the outliers. The suggestion to add Amsterdam is one I'd echo, actually. Especially if you need to return to London to fly home- it is easy to get to London via train from Amsterdam.

Last edited by Travel_Nerd; May 16th, 2024 at 06:30 AM.
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Old May 16th, 2024, 06:38 AM
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13 nights - flying into London (7Am arrival) and out of Munich at noon. The flights are set.
I donít even want to say whenÖ but we arrive in London June 1st!! 😳🤦‍♀️😭
(Death in family delayed planning.)
Iíd say not super active / kind of lazy but looking forward to paragliding and walking maybe light hikes at most.
Dachau is a must for all of us.
Venice is a heavy want.
Paris was lowest on our list.
Switzerland for alps but didnít see how to make it work.
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Old May 16th, 2024, 07:06 AM
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Welcome to Fodors OK - first think of 'night' instead of 'days'. You have a lot less time than you may think. To get three days in London requires four nights. 2 days Paris = 3 nights, Venice 3 days = 4 nights and Munich 5 days requires 6 nights. With the two days spent traveling to from Europe this is closer to three weeks than two weeks.

Precisely how long is the trip home to home? If you literally mean two weeks / 14 days, you'll have 11.5 days free for seeing and doing. Then you need to account for the half to full day you eat up with every city to city move.

So pick TWO major cities - London and Paris would normally be the obvious choices for that short a trip however (a huge 'however) - when is the trip? With the Olympics and Paralympics in Paris this summer makes the city pretty much a no go. So maybe London + Munich. Or How anout something completely different - London and Edinburgh. I love Venice but it will be vey crowded/hot

Now -- IF you actually have fully two weeks on the ground - a seventeen day trip all in - then you could squeeze in three destinations.

BTW Jack the Ripper is soooooooo far down the 'must see' list that you'd want to be in London at least two weeks before it even considering doing a tour.

Last edited by janisj; May 16th, 2024 at 07:09 AM.
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Old May 16th, 2024, 08:17 AM
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I agree with the above comments on days and nights. As for Jack the Ripper, we did the JtR night walking tour once. The original buildings for the locations are no longer there, so there is just a walk with a story-telling guide.
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Old May 16th, 2024, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by hfraymond
13 nights - flying into London (7Am arrival) and out of Munich at noon. The flights are set.
I donít even want to say whenÖ but we arrive in London June 1st!! 😳🤦‍♀️😭
(Death in family delayed planning.)
Iíd say not super active / kind of lazy but looking forward to paragliding and walking maybe light hikes at most.
Dachau is a must for all of us.
Venice is a heavy want.
Paris was lowest on our list.
Switzerland for alps but didnít see how to make it work.
I am sorry to hear about your loss.

When you say your flights are set, does this include your inter-Europe flights?

I really hate to be a jerk, but if your priorities are Venice, Switzerland and Munich, Germany and are the highest on your list, then why are you flying into London?!

If the main thing in London you want to do is the Jsck the Ripper tour, then it really does not substantiate being there, imho.

With less than 2 weeks to plan, you do not have time to compromuse. And if your inter Europe flights have been booked, maybe see if you can change those? There might be a fee, but this may be the only way to make your trip feasible is if you cut...many things. My suggestion would be to not see London and Paris and instead fly to Venice from London (same day) and work your way. But might be too late to do that.

I'm sorry, but even if you are able to make changes, working in Switzerland is just not going to work. You have too much.

Have you booked accommodations?

Last edited by Travel_Nerd; May 16th, 2024 at 08:39 AM. Reason: On mobile
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Old May 16th, 2024, 08:57 AM
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It seems like the flights are fixed and arrival is in almost two weeks, so I'm not sure that any suggestions for change in the main structure of the plan are too late? I assume that you also have the Eurostar and the flights to Venice and Munich also booked? If you haven't, stop everything and book them now or preferably yesterday.

And please scrub a Jack the Ripper tour from the itinerary. It's absolutely true that there is very little to see on the ground but above all who wants to celebrate the life of a mass murderer?
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Old May 16th, 2024, 08:59 AM
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Oh -- sorry. I didn't see your post #5 (maybe it was caught up in the moderation filter?? But I'm sure it wasn't there when I posted)

Originally Posted by hfraymond
13 nights - flying into London (7Am arrival) and out of Munich at noon. The flights are set.
I donít even want to say whenÖ but we arrive in London June 1st!! 😳🤦‍♀️😭
(Death in family delayed planning.)
Iíd say not super active / kind of lazy but looking forward to paragliding and walking maybe light hikes at most.
Dachau is a must for all of us.
Venice is a heavy want.
Paris was lowest on our list.
Switzerland for alps but didnít see how to make it work.
Sorry for your loss.

OK -- you really don't have enough time for all that. Even with a 0700 arrival, June 1st will be pretty much a 'non day'. What with arrival formalities, transit in to town, waiting for your room to be ready (you can leave your bags til check in but it is still a hassle) and general exhaustion / jet lag just don't count on doing much of anything that day. A walk in a park or something in the fresh air will help. Where are you staying in London? I'd plan on a minimum of 5 nights in London.

You could do 5 nights in London, 3 nights in Venice (It will be pretty crowded but not as bad as later in the summer) and 5 nights in Munich. This would be a decent trip.
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Old May 16th, 2024, 09:03 AM
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London

No itís not the only thing we want to see - itís something fun we plan to do in the evening since itís close and easy and kids will like it more than many options. I mentioned we plan to see a few things in London just donít plan to do some of the things further out (Stonehenge, Bath, etc.)
Iím trying to appease something from each persons want list.
Ive been a couple of times and am less worried about what Iíd like to see.
There are some good ideas here - I need to see what I can scrap together.
Flying directly to Venice is a fine option but still need to iron out specifics of smaller towns near Munich and if tacking in Switzerland is feasible?
keep in mind train travel is new to them so some degree of that will be fun as well.

Originally Posted by Travel_Nerd
I am sorry to hear about your loss.

When you say your flights are set, does this include your inter-Europe flights?

I really hate to be a jerk, but if your priorities are Venice, Switzerland and Munich, Germany and are the highest on your list, then why are you flying into London?!

If the main thing in London you want to do is the Jsck the Ripper tour, then it really does not substantiate being there, imho.

With less than 2 weeks to plan, you do not have time to compromuse. And if your inter Europe flights have been booked, maybe see if you can change those? There might be a fee, but this may be the only way to make your trip feasible is if you cut...many things. My suggestion would be to not see London and Paris and instead fly to Venice from London (same day) and work your way. But might be too late to do that.

I'm sorry, but even if you are able to make changes, working in Switzerland is just not going to work. You have too much.

Have you booked accommodations?
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Old May 16th, 2024, 09:14 AM
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Help, I'm getting confused. You seem to have already set some things in stone and then you are trying to keep everyone happy and force a quart into a pint pot.

On top of this you want to visit a continent with 50 countries in it and see everything.

I'm probably not really able to help, but do you have an old lamp around the house you could try rubbing?

I say this with all courtesy but that is what it feel like at this end of your thread.

What have you got absolutely fixed, unable to change without major financial loss? Once we have that clear we might be able to help.

Then could you tell which month and which year you are planning on coming?
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Old May 16th, 2024, 09:17 AM
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Iím feeling like this thread may not be people who would enjoy the same things as us.
This trip is about laying eyes on places woven into our stories and putting hands on the places that have captured my kiddos interest.
Traveling often and spending less time in any one place is of no deterrence to any of us.
We live in Texas - we are used to spending 2/3 of the trip getting to/fro and thatís part of the adventure.
However we are also used to having a car which we will not here hence why Iím looking for a bit of logistical guidance for the more nuanced sites.
This is a quick glance - and they can choose where theyíd like to dive deeper on another trip.
Our country is ďnewĒ in comparison and Texas is flat.
We arenít structured planners or tour guide / museum people with a few exceptions they get plenty of that virtually.
They want to feel the wind on their face and hear the sounds.
Thank you for your help - I think Iíve got a pretty good plan now.
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Old May 16th, 2024, 09:31 AM
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As others have said, too many places and too little time. If London and Venice are the priorities, do London and Venice. You can fly from London to Venice. As it looks like your flights are already booked, you will need to either be returning to London for your return flight or to wherever the return flight has been booked. Hopefully you have already booked accommodations in London. Things to see and do in London despite not being into history would include the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey or St Paul's Cathedral or both, the London Eye which is a ferris wheel with great views and would be something I would think your teens would enjoy, Beyond that there is of course, a boat ride down the Thames to Greenwich which is not only charming, there is much to see and do there, Hampton Court Palace which of course is historic but also has great siting and the hedge maze which is quite fun. For me, I would also include Churchill War Rooms and the British Museum. There are many art museums which are of interest to me, but perhaps not to you and your crew. You can do both Stonehenge and Bath by public transportation but not on the same day. Years ago I did a bus tour that went to both which provided only the coach transportation, with more time alloted to Bath, but that was prior to the redone Visitors Center at Stonehenge. The old Visitors Center was very limited.
It's been years since I've been to Venice. Hope you are aware of how crowded Venice is and the tourist charge to enter the core area. I would still go but you don't really need a lot of time for Venice unless you plan to visit the old Jewish quarter as well as the art related museums and sites.
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Old May 16th, 2024, 09:33 AM
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We're only trying to help. We can only respond based upon the information you have provided. We latched on the Jack the Ripper tour because it was one of the few initial things you mentioned. I have been to all of the places you have mentioned, as has many other people responding to you. We understand the logistics snd nuances and are trying to help.

Have a good trip.
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Old May 16th, 2024, 09:45 AM
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Lots if good suggestions already.
Don’t panic. Whatever you get to do will be wonderful! Your kids are young. They can return to Europe on their own in just a few years. I get you will go back too some day.

Your international flights are set. Since you are landing in London, I do not think you should skip it. Weather should be nice and there are a ton of fun things for families to do in London. Forget Jack the Ripper tour. IMHO, there are just so many other wonderful things. The Tower of London is a must, IMHO, and your family would probably enjoy Hampton Court Palace. I would also pick at least one museum and see Westminster. You could do a canal boat ride and eat in one of the church crypts. You could also take in a play. Might be fun to see something at the Globe.

Amsterdam and the Netherlands is lovely, and would be easier with probably nicer weather than Venice, which will be hot and very, very crowded, but if Venice is a must, then go for it. Fly there from London. You may find it very difficult to find lodging at this late date and it will likely be expensive or not that great, so a flight there and finding lodging in Venice should be your number one priority.

I am not sure what is best for getting to Munich, plane or train or how best to arrange your time In Germany.

Possible plan:
June 1, arrive London, 4 nights. (One jet lagged day, 3 full days for sight seeing)
June 5, Fly to Venice, 3 nights (1/2 day after travel, 2 full days of sight seeing) (lots of options for day trips, so could stay longer)
June 8, fly to Munich, rest of time in Germany, 6 nights. (3/4 day of travel, 5 full days for sightseeing, (could shorten and add time to Venice)

I love Venice, so would spend more time there. London has so much, I would not cut from there. I would probably not stay in Munich, because I like the lakes and smaller towns more. All the castles and towns in Bavaria are fun and charming and the landscape is beautiful with lovely lakes for swimming or boating or hiking. That is all personal though. You will want to see what works best for you logistically. You might want to rent a car in Germany.

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Old May 16th, 2024, 10:29 AM
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I have been on the Jack the Ripper tour. While I thought it was going to be fascinating, it was actually not that interesting and we didn't walk through the charming parts of London. The kids (young teens) were really bored. Of course, this may still be a top priority but I wanted to let you know our family's reaction. We found the Tower of London much more interesting.

If Paris is still on your list, going up the Eiffel Tower is fun at night because every hour on the hour the lights twinkle for about 5 minutes. It is typically less crowded in the evening, as well. Berthillon ice cream on the Ile. St. Louis is always a hit.

Have a good trip!



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Old May 16th, 2024, 10:39 AM
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How about a few days in London (skip the Changing of the Guard and Jack the Ripper, but do visit the Tower.). Then fly to Venice. Leave Venice by bus to Munich. I have not done this but it appears possible on "Rome2Rio". The route as sketched there will take you through the Dolomites and Into Austria, passing through Innsbruck. Perhaps you could break the seven plus hour bus ride to better enjoy the mountain scenery. Then, do your thing in Munich and away.
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Old May 16th, 2024, 10:49 AM
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" . . . mentioned we plan to see a few things in London just don’t plan to do some of the things further out (Stonehenge, Bath, etc.)"

Stonehenge and Bath are hours away from London -- you'd have no time to visit them in any case . . .

Trust us - the Jack the Ripper tour is not 'fun'. It is walking through a part of London where essentially not a single building from the time of the murders still exists. The area was flattened during WWII so what do you expect to see? Plus is a lecture about disemboweling prostitutes is how you want to spend an evening in London?
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Old May 16th, 2024, 10:58 AM
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I love Venice, but I would probably skip it for this trip. It's out of the way and you have to fly to get there, train rides are part of the European experience. I recommend you keep it simple: 4-5 days each in London, Paris, and Munich. Paris has a nonstop high-speed train to Munich which will be more scenic and more enjoyable than flying. If you want to go around Bavaria with towns, castles, etc., you could base yourself in Munich and give an extra day there for day trips - you could consider 3-4-6 or 4-3-6 (even though I prefer Paris over London the latter is probably better for working off jet lag).

Whatever you decide (Venice isn't impossible to fit in as others have said), stick with three destinations.

Last edited by jwj442; May 16th, 2024 at 11:13 AM.
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