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Road trip Italy- Switzerland -France with toddler

Road trip Italy- Switzerland -France with toddler

Old Jan 6th, 2023, 10:31 PM
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Road trip Italy- Switzerland -France with toddler

I am planning to travel to Europe from Sep 5 to Sep23. My flight is with Air Portugal to Milan and will have stopover at Lisbon for 6 days
This is my itinerary : Sep 5 to Sep 17 ( Milan and road trip in Italy/Swiss/France ) , Sep 17 to Sep 23 ( 6 days road trip in Portugal )

My question is mainly on the road trip start/end at Milan . I was thinking about 2 routes :

Milan/Como/Turin/Nice/cinque terre/Tuscany/Parma/Milan

Which route do you think is more scenery and better to drive with 2.5 years old baby? I will most probably stay at each city for 2 days.
Also how is the weather in Swiss in September ? is it enough warm ?
I would greatly appreciate any suggestion
ethen99 is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2023, 11:18 PM
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The choice of the two route the first one would be more scenic. However it is a long route especially with a young child. The math: Sep 5 to Sep 17 is 12 days. Route one is 8 locations. Which means 1.5 days in in each location. All the changes of hotels will take time, more so with your child is way to much.
The child will need a special child seat too. There are slight variations on the regulations for each country. https://www.fundacionmapfre.org/en/b...ems-in-europe/ Seats have to be made to EU requirements.
The above link does not include Switzerland https://www.angloinfo.com/how-to/swi...ng/child-seats
Weather can not be predicted. You can look up weather history sites but that is statistics of what has occurred.

we cannot give definite answers to questions like what is best or what is warm enough as we will all have difference of opinions on what is what..
VANAARLE is offline  
Old Jan 7th, 2023, 02:11 AM
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climate change makes weather predictions almost impossible

since you are mainly going city to city and Italy has a dense and cheap train system why not use the train? First class is very nice and you will save money, reduce stress etc,

seat61.com explains the basics
trenitalia is the core web site and can operate in English
bilboburgler is online now  
Old Jan 7th, 2023, 03:01 AM
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Busy 2&1/2 year old will be miserable and numb, latched into a car seat so many days! Be sure to plan every single day for a few hours time for child to run around, play in a playground, etc.

Some are fine, but some children that age find it really difficult to change beds frequently, sleep poorly and are up wanting extra food or extra holding during the night.

I am not familiar with the first route, I would definitely not do Cinque Terre with a toddler if you plan on hiking.

BTW, you say two days in each city. To get two whole days means three nights, but it does not look as if your plan actually accommodates that.
Sassafrass is online now  
Old Jan 7th, 2023, 04:58 AM
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As Van Aarle points out you have 12 days, but one is taken up with getting to Milan, and one with returning to Portugal, assuming the flight arrives on the 5th, not the 6th. You will have a tired, jetlagged toddler, and you will also be jetlagged. Do not attempt to drive immediately on arrival. Spend a couple of days in Milan to adjust times and then rent a car and car seat or better yet use trains, which will allow you child some freedom rather than being strapped in a car seat for long periods, and allow you to enjoy the scenery rather than concentrating in the road.
You need to slow down, decide on what you really want to see - cities? which ones? countryside? where? You need to plan down time for your child and playtime for them too. You cannot expect a child of that age to trail around for hours, nor to sit still in a car for hours. Certainly not if you want them to also sleep all night.
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Old Jan 7th, 2023, 07:21 AM
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Milan Malpensa airport, Locarno, Lugano, Como and Milan city are all close together. Weather and temperatures will the same. Turin is farther away, but in the same climate zone.
In automn, there may sometimes be some morning fog at all these places, except Locarno and Lugano. Verbier is in the mountains, that means warm days (if the sun shines) but cold nights.
After a overnight flight, I would first go by train from MXP to Lugano (trains every hr), relax there, then rent a car at Como (some 20 miles from Lugano, tons of commuter trains) once you are really relaxed.
Skip Annecy and go directly from Verbier to Aosta (very interesting city in the middle of the Alps) - Turin.

Itinerary 2: skip Nice. There is more than enoug to do in Turin, Liguria, Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna.
neckervd is offline  
Old Jan 7th, 2023, 08:40 AM
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Hetismij2 makes a very good point. If a child sleeps in the car, they will be up and awake later, when you might want to rest. Most are fine, but a few children, as they get older, get car sick with headaches and/or nausea. Just a heads up if your child gets really fussy, that they may be affected by motion sickness. Our GD’s legs went to sleep when she was a toddler in a car seat. Kicking her legs and feet was normal, not bad. If your child starts doing that, consider why. It may be their way of relieving numbness. Traveling by car was really tough for our GD for a couple of years. She was OK in planes and on trains.
Since it is really a family trip, re-think this trip.
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Old Jan 7th, 2023, 09:20 AM
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Welcome to Fodors. I am sorry, but a road trip like this IMO/IME with a toddler could be a very bad idea. For all the reasons mentioned in some of the earlier responses. A road trip can be great for a solo or couple. But with a toddler there are just too many variables/pitfalls.

I'd think using trains (as long as you don't take steamer trunks worth of luggage) would be more comfortable for both the adults and toddler. Plus on a train you can get up and walk around if the baby gets too fussy just sitting there.
janisj is online now  
Old Jan 7th, 2023, 02:10 PM
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Hi, I have experience of travelling with a toddler through Germany (several trips, I have professional connections there). We did bases and did shorter trips out from those bases. It suited us because my daughter would not do anything more than about 2 hrs in the car and she started to scream (which we knew from home). Things that can help: an adult to sit next to the toddler, a favourite CD to sing to, audio books. Toys are not great in the car because if kids look down they can get carsick. Other trips we also caught trains, and these are much easier on everyone, because the toddler is not strapped into a jail seat (haha), and can have full attention from adults, as well as playing with toys, going to the toilet, eating, looking out the window and yes, walking up and down with an adult. The only thing is that you have to be disciplined about your luggage, but most accommodation can provide the essentials (highchair, bed, some also do potty). If it's just you by yourself, definitely do trains and not a car. For instance, if your kid drops a water bottle near to the beginning of the trip and there isn't another adult and you can't stop on the road to pick it up for them, it could be a problem.

Bases were also good because we had a stable place for our daughter to rest and play; some days you might just spend exploring your base and not travelling far at all. Travelling with a toddler is just slower, you have to take that on board.

lavandula is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2023, 08:41 PM
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Thank you everyone for your warm welcome and great info
Actually when I was writing that post , I was about to delete it and cancel the whole trip to Europe because I am sure for our son , nowhere is probably better than home and he would not even remember this trip
But , we were frequent travelers before him and we would like to keep that lifestyle so when he was 6 month we visited England and when he was 9 month we visited Egypt and Turkey and we stayed there for almost 3 weeks . It was a wonderful trip for us and I think he enjoyed it as well ( at least we have lots of beautiful photos from him ) , trip to Cancun , plus lots of road trips from San Francisco to LA and even 7 hours drive from SF to Las Vegas couple of month ago
He is generally okay with driving and so far we didn't have any specific issue , plus for long road trips I usually drive at night when he is sleep. He is a very good sleeper although everything might change in the next 9 month

So I completely agree with all the posts that both routes are very long and I am looking for a relaxed vacation . We have been to Milan, Florence , Interlaken , Lugano and I drove many of the high passes in Switzerland so we can cut Switzerland completely this time from this trip

We have a change in Lisbon on 6th , we will sleep one night there and then the flight to Milan is early on 7th . The flight from Milan back to Lisbon is on 17th and back to SFO on 22nd.

I was thinking to rent a car at Milan airport and go directly to lake Como on 7th and stay there for at least 3 to 4 days
Beside Como and lake districts , I really would like to see Italian Rivera including Cinque Terre and Tuscany . Can I squeeze in in a road trip between Como , Italian Rivera area and Tuscany from Sep 7 to Sep 17 ( Milan as base ) ?
After Como I can even come back to Milan and take a train from Milan to Genoa and rent car again over there.

For the Portugal part I am just looking for relaxing at Algarve for 4 nights
ethen99 is offline  
Old Jan 10th, 2023, 01:20 AM
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I don't understand why you want to do the detour via Lake Como.
Lake Maggiore is only a few miles from MXP airport, as beautiful as Lake Como and directly linked with Genoa/Riviera by direct motorway (no need to drive through the Milan area).
neckervd is offline  

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