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Single parent with 12 year old looking for 8 days Europe trip ideas

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Jul 7th, 2012, 02:06 PM
  #1
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Single parent with 12 year old looking for 8 days Europe trip ideas

At the end of August I'll be traveling with my 12 year old son. We only have 8 nights there. I'd really like to visit 2 cities if possible. One option is to visit a friend in Barcelona for part of it (free accommodations are always good). Perhaps flying into Madrid, then Grenada, Sevilla and flying out of Barcelona. Any other suggestions would be really appreciated. Barcelona is not a must for this trip if you have better ideas.
I want to keep this trip as economical as possible. Thanks so much.
Danoire is offline  
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Jul 7th, 2012, 06:50 PM
  #2
 
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With 8 days you should either stay in one place (city - not country) or visit two at most. Doing more than that will guarantee that you spend most of your time either in transit or finding and checking in and out of your various hotels. this is definitely one time when less is more.

Also, do not that while Barcelona is hot in summer the south of Spain is absolutely hellish - with temps often more than 100 for many days at a time. It;s not something I would even consider.

You might do 3 days in Madrid (which also will be very hot - but not SO bad as the south) then hop a train to Barcelona - where you can see the city and spend a couple of days at the nearby beach.
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Jul 7th, 2012, 06:59 PM
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Fly into Madrid, walk around a bit the day you arrive, stay the night, tour the next day and then take the AVE to Seville. Stay in Seville for 3 days; take a flight to Barcelona and spent 3 days there. This means doing an open jaw ticket with arrival and departure cities being different but I think you'll be find.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 12:50 AM
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"I want to keep this trip as economical as possible."
In that case, abandon the idea of visiting cities at the opposite ends of what is a large country in European terms.

You have just 8 nights and you can easily spend that time in just two cities without getting bored.

If it is of any help to you, recently I spent 6 nights in Madrid with friends. We had intended to make a couple of day trips to nearby places like Toledo, Aranjuez, and so on. However, we were enjoying Madrid so much that we never left the city.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 01:08 AM
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I like the do Madrid and then, hop the train to Barcelona. Barcelona is a wonderful city to explore with a 12 year old, and when you tire of the city action, you can hit the beaches. As far as heat goes, yeah, it is hot, but it is not unbearable. Do as the Spaniards do and relax in the hottest part of the day. I would recommend a hotel with a pool in Madrid.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 01:16 AM
  #6
 
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You'll be spending about 2 of your 8 days traveling from place to place if you go to 4 Spanish cities. You'll have very little time to see anything and every train trip will add to your cost.

Choose 1 major city. If you go to Barcelona then you can take a day trip to Monserrat and a day at a beach for a diversion from the city.
adrienne is offline  
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Jul 8th, 2012, 01:17 AM
  #7
 
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"A hotel with a pool in Madrid" might be a bit tricky for someone who wants "to keep this trip as economical as possible".

It may be possible if there are hotels with vacancies that the rest of the year tend to cater for business travellers on generous expense accounts.

My advice is to see what is available on www.booking.com.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 04:13 AM
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Nerja could be an economical and great option at the Med. Stay at seafront and traditional Mena. A double with en suite bathroom, air conditioning or fan and satellite television would be 40€ in the high season summer months. 5€ extra for terrace with sea-view. Have stayed here several times, fabulous value. http://www.hostalmena.es/hostal/eng/index.html

Do as the locals and have your main meal at lunch-time. Most restaurants would then offer a three course Menu del dia (today's menu) with drinks included for some 7-9€. La Marina is one of my favourites, as good as you get a seafood freiduria in all of Andalucía, 200 meters from Mena:
http://www.guideofnerja.com/pages/gu.../marina_en.htm
http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaur...Andalucia.html

Or eat as much of Ayo's famous paella down at the Burriana beach for 6€. Ayo imself have made the paella for some 40 years: http://www.ayonerja.com/ayo.en.htm

In almost all tapas bars and restaurant in Nerja you'll get delicious free tapas to choose with every drink of whatever in the bar area (1.50-2€). El Pulguilla is a favourite, here they grill all kind of meat skewers, burgers, sausages, fish, seafood etc. right in front of you. Very hectic, very Spanish, excellent food: http://www.nerjatoday.com/barsandres.../el-pulguilla/
http://mynerja.com/view/bars/cerveceria-el-pulguilla/
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...Andalucia.html

The avocado and tomato salad in La Taberna across the street is also to die for. http://www.nerjatoday.com/barsandres...ts/la-taberna/

The "free tapas-thing" means that you can have a four course meal with wine/beer/mineral water for some 7€. The normal thing would be to have a glass or two and a tapa or two at one place before moving on to the next. You'll have at least some 50 high quality tapas bars/restaurants to choose among.

If you have a typical breakfast for some 3-4€ (sandwich/bread-roll, fresh orange juice and coffee/tea), your daily meal budget would be less than 40€ for the two of you pr. day with all meals at restaurants. You could of course spend a lot less if you for example make a picnic at one of the nine beaches in town. Fabulous produce in the supermarkets and small grosery stores. Freshly baked bread, all kinds of delicious hams and cheeses, and a great variety of fruit and vegetables, who could ask for more?

In other words, no problem to live as a king in Nerja for less than 100€ pr day for the two of you with accomodation and all meals in restaurants included. And no problem to do it considerably cheaper. Plenty of places who serve decent pizzas for example for some 5€, and you would also pay about the same for an entire juicy grilled chicken with mixed salad for take-away.

Nerja would be ideal for a twelve year old too, plenty of things to do. http://www.nerjatoday.com/thingstodo/

The spectacular caves just outside town is a must. Lived people here 25 000 years ago: http://www.cuevadenerja.es/index.php?lenguaje=en

You are also just a short and affordable bus ride away from fabulous big cities such as Málaga (4€) and Granada (9€) with the world famous Alhambra. http://www.andalucia.com/cities/gran...hamhistory.htm

About Nerja: http://www.nerjatoday.com/
Photo of Nerja: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2622/...de6a8146_o.jpg
Old town street: http://www.minube.com/fotos/rincon/131879/629455

Go to Málaga (either directly to the big international airport or via Madrid with the high speed AVE train), and then bus 1h. 30 mins to Nerja (4€).
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Jul 8th, 2012, 05:06 AM
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And Nerja is normally not extremely hot. Past 16 years statistics for the second half of August says daily highs between 84 and 91F. http://www.wetteronline.de/cgi-bin/r...Spanien/Malaga
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Jul 8th, 2012, 11:14 AM
  #10
 
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Last summer i flew to Paris with my son (East mids with bmi baby I think) and stayed in Bussy St Georges, visited Disneyland for one day and saw all the sights, then got direct flight (think it was easyjet or bmi) to Dubrovnik. Very family friendly-hire an apartment in Lapad and there are day coach trips to Bosnia (Mostar) and Montenegro
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Jul 8th, 2012, 01:29 PM
  #11
 
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TonyBishop, not really. There are a ton of hotels in Madrid with pool priced under EUR100. And a happy child is priceless!

I agree on the rec of booking.com. I have used them many times in the past, but I do suggest double checking the reviews on trip advisor.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 01:50 PM
  #12
 
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Please contact me at my email: [email protected] for details of my trips to Europe with my grandkids who were 13 at trip time. Took each one separately in 2001, 2003, and 2008.

Judy
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