Preparing for our European Family Trip

Jul 21st, 2014, 12:54 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2014
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Preparing for our European Family Trip

In a couple of days we will be off to London and Italy. Traveling with my husband (DH) and 2 children (10 & 13) DD and DS. We are off on an adventure of 18 days with many places to see. For the kids it is their first time away from the US. Both of the adults have been there before.
It was a bit stressful the start as DD had a diagnose of Lyme disease 3 weeks ago, but luckily we got her on meds and we got a clear to fly and be ok (cross fingers).
We will depart on the 23rd on the red eye to London our first stop.
I cannot wait.
We have decided to pack 4 21" carry-ons and we are all taking an additional back pack for our purchases. This will make traveling thru the airports and trains easier and faster and DH will appreciate not having to lift heavy luggages.
Packing: we are all taking 3 pairs of shorts, 8 shirts (tshirts), 1 pair of dressier pants with 3 dressier shirts, 2 pairs of shoes and flip flops, 1 bathing suit, pjs and undies for 10 days, to minimize laundry. Packing all toiletries mini since they will not allow the big ones and trying not to forget the essentials.
Off we go! I will try to post every day as we enter in this awesome adventure.

123pickupngo is offline  
Jul 21st, 2014, 01:51 PM
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Best of luck, sounds like you're well prepared. Traveling carry-on has its advantages. My family (4 kids 12 to 19) are leaving a week later (Edinburgh, London, Munich). similar approach to packing. We're going pretty light on the toiletries, though, and will fill any gaps by purchasing locally. Enjoy!
griz_fan is offline  
Jul 21st, 2014, 04:10 PM
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so true you can always get them there. Good luck. Do you know if I can update this report from my iphone, i wasn't able to get to this post.
123pickupngo is offline  
Jul 21st, 2014, 04:50 PM
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That's a lot of shorts if you get cool/rainy weather in the UK.
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 21st, 2014, 05:19 PM
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My thought too. Depends on where you'll be spending your time. Might work for London as I think the forecast is warm but not knowing exactly when/ where you'll be, I think I'd take one more pair of slacks/capris and leave third pair of shorts at home. No rain gear? Not even a poncho? Bathing suit? Guess you'll be on ocean. I agree with idea of minimum toiletries. Most hotels/B&Bs offer enough and certainly what they don't have and you need is readily available.

I've been using accuweather for weather forecasts. They're about as accurate as forecasts get albeit hardly ever spot on.
historytraveler is online now  
Jul 21st, 2014, 05:26 PM
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Meant to say, substitute a pair of slacks for pair of shorts.
historytraveler is online now  
Jul 21st, 2014, 05:34 PM
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The last time we went to the UK in summer of 2012, it was during the deluge--rain almost every day and a lot of it. Definitely pack rain gear and leave most of the shorts at home. Where else are you going beside the UK?
europeannovice is offline  
Jul 21st, 2014, 05:35 PM
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Oh I see you are heading to Italy too--maybe the shorts would work better there.
europeannovice is offline  
Jul 21st, 2014, 09:49 PM
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FWIW we have been having some very muggy and humid days as well as some (for us) powerful sunshine, likely to last most of this week, at least, with the possibility of temperatures approaching the high 80sF.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Jul 21st, 2014, 11:12 PM
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If you are going into any churches, you may want to bring another pair of long pants (or long skirts) rather than shorts.
KTtravel is offline  
Jul 21st, 2014, 11:26 PM
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"If you are going into any churches, you may want to bring another pair of long pants (or long skirts) rather than shorts"

Totally unnecessary in Britain. Sadly required (by ecclesiastical authorities, not the God they claim to represent) in most of urban Italy.
flanneruk is offline  
Jul 21st, 2014, 11:55 PM
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Ah, but in the UK the shorts might trigger a raised eyebrow while in Italy the megaphone will be brought out and the silence of the church ruined.

London operates as a massive urban heat zone so is nearly always 2 to 3 C above the rest of the country, it is also far drier than the rest of the country (for similar reasons) however that does not stop it chucking it down. The provides good weather reporting, you can set it geographically so you can get local forecasts as you move around.
bilboburgler is online now  
Jul 22nd, 2014, 03:40 AM
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Correct on the shorts in Italy. Bought our son a pair of paper pants to go in the Vatican. Take another pair of pantsin any case, and one less shorts.
Gretchen is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2014, 04:18 AM
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Totally agree on the shorts. We were in London/Paris with GD (age 13) a few weeks ago.
Since she usually wears the very popular really short-shorts we had told her NO SHORTS.

Packing a small carry-on she brought 5 casual skirts and 5 dresses, 1 pr. jeans, lots of tee's.
At the end of the trip I asked her---"Did you see anyone, young or old, in short shorts?"
Answer---"No, maybe a few guys in long cargo shorts, but no girls in shorts."

The weather was very warm and sunny, unusual for London, and her cute skirts & tee's were perfect. She wore jeans 1 day.

Yes, we were in big cities and if you are in the countryside and small towns shorts might be appropriate but for girls, I'd leave the "booty shorts" at home.
TPAYT is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2014, 07:33 AM
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Enjoy! Our first European adventure was when our girls were around those ages - our youngest had been ill with mono (she was cleared to go) and we did need to go to the Dr. in Florence - which was an adventure.

Momddtravel2 is offline  
Sep 24th, 2014, 11:13 AM
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So I never figure it out how to post when we were away but I must say being technology free for 2 weeks was awesome.
We landed in London on July 24 sunny day, I think London likes me because it has never been a cold or complete rainout day on the 4 times I been there. We took the Paddington Express and then a cab to the Hilton Metropole Hotel. Was not impressed with the location of the Hotel, but it is all about taste not a bad place but doesn't represent London as a city.
To be able to handle the jet lag, decided to change into shorts (yes shorts it was hot) and go to Hyde park for a walk with the family. As we excited the hotel a nice dove decided to plant one on my DH, too funny, had to go back to the hotel and shower and change.
Off we went to Hyde park where we found bike rentals and took a wonderful 1.5 hour ride around the park stopping, taking pictures and enjoying the views. The kids loved it.
After we walk around some stores and decided to head back to the hotel pool.
That night we ate in the hotel and got to bed on the earlier side to be rested for touring London the next day.
123pickupngo is offline  
Sep 24th, 2014, 12:38 PM
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looking forward to following your adventures - I love reading about people's holiday experiences here in the UK.
annhig is offline  
Sep 26th, 2014, 04:27 AM
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Second day - Boarded the Big Bus Tour (hop on hop off bus) Blue line at Hyde Park, then off we went to see the major streets and sights of London, it was a beautiful day, although they did say it will have some rain on and off (I guess I cannot be that lucky). We stopped at the London Eye. We had purchased tickets for that morning. That was an incredible experience, wonderful sights even with some rain (it started just when we got in). The views of the city were incredible. After our time up in the Eye, we decided to do the River cruise on the Thames to the Tower of London, all included with your ticket for the BB Tours. Now it was pouring, the boat has an indoor section so we were ok.
At the Tower of London, we waited a bit for the rain to pass and off we went to tour the area.
Afterwards we boarded the bus tour again and off to Buckingham Palace. The kids were in shock when they saw the size of the palace, they had only seen it on TV. They were so cute. Unfortunately we missed the palace tour by one day, the Queen was leaving that day and tours were opening the same day we were departing. Bummer!
We went for dinner at Bag O' Nails just a few blocks away, great pub and awesome burgers and fish n chips. We caught the bus towards Harrods, another winner for the kids, they loved seeing everything in the store and checkin the prices of all crazy priced things. Got the last DD tour bus to the hotel. We had some dessert at Patisserie Valerie best little shop just across from our Hotel.
End of day, very tired. London we will miss you, until next time, off to Venice tomorrow.
123pickupngo is offline  
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