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Teen Planning Family Trip: Help me decide where to go next!

Teen Planning Family Trip: Help me decide where to go next!

Old Oct 28th, 2007, 07:46 PM
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Teen Planning Family Trip: Help me decide where to go next!

Hi! I am a teenage girl who is the daughter of a poster on this board. Over the past three years my family and I have begun to travel extensively. Our first trip was to Italy, where we did the "Big Three" (Rome, Venice, & Florence). The next year we went to London and Paris, bringing along my grandma and grandpa. That summer we once again traveled to Italy, but this time exploring Northern Italy, the Italian Riviera, Tuscany and another stop through Rome. This last spring break we headed to Spain where we went to Barcelona and then to Morocco. This spring we are headed to Thailand & Cambodia.

I have started to become heavily involved with the planning of our trips, reading the boards everyday and helping my parents decide where we should stay and what we should do. For our next big trip, my mom has given me the opportunity to do all the planning. This trip would be for Summer 2008, preferably starting in the middle of June before the large crowds invade. At the moment I am trying to narrow down where we should head to. Some ideas include Greece (I have studied Ancient Greece and would like to see the historical sites), Germany (I am in my 3rd year of German), Prague (Mom is dying to go), the Lakes, and Sicily (anywhere in Italy is always a favorite).

Here are some things to better help you understand how we travel as a family:

• We really enjoy discovering a place, including its culture and being able to navigate our way around the city.
• We are not fast-paced and do not like feeling rushed.
• We like to experience the city as it should be experienced.
• We love good food and over the years we have realized that a bad meal can ruin our whole day!
• We like to go to museums, but we do not like lingering and looking at everything (especially my brother and I).
• I, especially, am interested in fashion and my mom and I always make time for lots of shopping on all of our trips.
• We don’t have to stay in five star accommodations. In Europe we like to stay in nice, small hotels or B&Bs such as Locanda Orseolo in Venice.

Hopefully this information can help you understand how we like to travel, as I really need help in narrowing down where we should go on this trip! We will have about 14-17 days (including travel days). Thanks for all your help!
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Old Oct 28th, 2007, 09:51 PM
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As a brief starter for you, I will just suggest a limit, choices and a possible sequence.

LIMIT -- with just 14 days (1 1/2 days going, 1 fullday returning must be subtracted from the 17-day max) I would say, at most have one country and a stop in a city of another... since you say that you do not like to rush.

CHOICE -- you do not say that anybody else wants Germany, and you mention that your Mom is dying to see Prague. Thus I suggest Greece & Prague.

SEQUENCE -- I suggest you go to GReece FIRST, then go North. The month of June in my opinion is THE ideal time to visit my wonderful Greece-- everything is open, but nothing is too crowded. (The mobs from Europe descend on Greece in mid- July thru August). In June it's 100% sunshine and warm enough to swim, yet still green from winter rains.

Greece CHOICES -- Most first-timers to Greece Want to see Santorini. t. For lovers of Ancient history, I also suggest Naxos, the Nafplio (Argolid) area of the Peloponnese and finally Athens, at the end of your Greek stay. I find that Athens means more after you have been immersed in the land, its culture and history for a few days.

Fly into Athens airport -- don't go into the city first,immediately take a domestic flight to Santorini (2 days) You can ferry to Naxos (3 days) and if you wish u can fly back to Athens airport. In that case, it's easy to rent a car and take a highway around athens to Nafplio & do the ruins around there (2 days). Then Athens (2 days). On to Prague!

Or, you can save PRague for a later Trip to combine with Germany, and add a couple days to each stop above -- it will be far more enjoyable... and will give you beach time!
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Old Oct 28th, 2007, 10:34 PM
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I don't have any advice for you. But I just had to respond to say how impressed I am with your post. Wow! It's so eloquent and organized.

Good luck with your planning! Judging by this post, I have a feeling you're going to wind up with a wonderful trip!
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Old Oct 28th, 2007, 11:22 PM
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Why not establish some travel goals. You will have 40 years to travel! Maybe more.
1. Visit all the continents.
2. Visit all the EU countries.
I met an American in England. His program was to visit all of the UK over five or six years. He and his wife take the train from London to an area, then rent a car to explore it. Another time I met an Australian who comes to the UK every year and takes a canal boat tour.
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Old Oct 29th, 2007, 01:00 AM
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Great post! Glad to see your enthusiasm for travel and the joy of planning.

I would suggest Turkey which is fabulous and also cheap with the dollar so low. I would not miss the Turquoise coast, Cappadocia, Ephesus, Pammukale and Aphrodisias.

There are more ruins ( fabulous ones!) in Turkey that there are in Greece or Italy and you will not find better hospitality anywhere.

Rhodes is one of the great Greek islands that you could combine with this trip as it is just an hour away from Turkey.

The second place I would look into is Croatia which is also fabulous.

You can look at the archives on our website for pics and more info about these locations ( and others including Italy where we are now and Prague etc).

http://www.soultravelers3.com/

Prague is wonderful, but I think probably too crowded at that time of year.

I would just do one country with the time you have.

The thought of Turkey ( and Morocco) scares people, but they are both great destinations. Turkey is very different from Morocco and is very much like Europe. It is a favorite spot for many Europeans.

Istanbul is a great city, but I think the locations outside cities are more wonderful and exciting for families. You will love it!

Have fun deciding and planning!!

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Old Oct 29th, 2007, 01:23 AM
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One great option for a trip like you suggest is Untours: www.untours.com You get an apartment/home for two weeks (with split week options in some areas) transportation, and the services of an onsite staff person for orientation, yet you're on your own and definitely on your own pace.

Best of all, the company's profits go toward developing small businesses in developing countries: a "hand up", not a handout.
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Old Oct 29th, 2007, 02:52 AM
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Hi T,

Welcome to the group. It's nice to find a person your age who can communicate.

A. >starting in the middle of June before the large crowds invade.<

You might want to start at the beginning of June.

B. If Prague is a must, I suggest combining it with Vienna and Salzburg - 4 nights P, 4 nights V and 5 nights in S and the Salzkammergut region.

C. Otherwise, Salzburg and Bavaria, if you will have a car.

C1. Alsace and Burgundy would also be interesting.

C2. So would Provence and the Dordogne regions of France.

Enjoy your planning.
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Old Oct 29th, 2007, 03:59 AM
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Its not THAT long ago I was a teenager, so I might have a few tips on travelling (with ones family).

Crete and Dubrovnic. Superb destinations for your "laidback" part of the vacation. History, sun, beaches, restaurants, and diversity so your everybody in your family can have a good time. Both are VERY safe, so you can travel on your own. (Its nice to have some privat time as well.)

Then for a city experience: Prague. It is just WONDERFUL. And your dollars will last longer.



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Old Oct 29th, 2007, 06:17 PM
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Thank you everyone for all your great ideas! I think right now I am leaning towards Greece.

I have been reading a lot about it so for those that have been....for first timers do you suggest Athens and mainland Greece or Athens and some of the islands like Santorini or Mykonos? I am interested in mainland Greece as I would really like to see certain places like Delphi and Mycenae but would we be missing out on the relaxation of the islands?
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Old Oct 29th, 2007, 06:32 PM
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After reading your great post I can't help but suggest Sicily. Some of the best Greek ruins are in Sicily. There is something for everyone. History, museums, ghost towns, shopping, beaches and my favorite - volcanoes. The Aeolian Island are gorgeous.
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Old Oct 30th, 2007, 04:55 PM
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To Teen Graecophile:

In your most recent post, you asked advice on whether to do mainland or islands. I believe in my original post I suggested an itinerary that would allow a taste of island fun while ALSO allowing you your full quota of Mainland historical ruins.

To quote myself:
"Fly into Athens airport -- don't go into the city first,immediately take a domestic flight to Santorini (2 days) You can ferry to Naxos (3 days) and if you wish u can fly back to Athens airport. In that case, it's easy to rent a car and take a highway around athens to Nafplio & do the ruins around there (2 days). Then Athens (2 days)....(if) You can save PRague for a later Trip to combine with Germany --- (you can add a couple days to each stop above -- it will be far more enjoyable... and will give you beach time!"

Add a day to Nafplio, and between Napf. & Athens, and you can see all the key ancient history Must-Sees without rushing too much. Here are some of those highlights:

SANTORINI (Day 1 & 2) --the ancient history site (Akrotiri) not available, but u can see the main highlight (caldera) in 2 days, relax, then enjoy 2 1/2 hr ferry ride to...

NAXOS--(DAY 3-4-5) A tiny fab museum of Minoan "idol" statuettes, PLUS giant statues lying in Orchards, minoan digs all over--PLUS lying on gorgeous Beaches!.A slide-show link:
http://travel.webshots.com/slideshow/552001505EYxVYT

...just to show you Naxos is far more beautiful than Mykonos (& the latter has no historic sites to speak of)

On Day 6, fly back to Athens airport, rent car,zip AROUND athens to reach

NAFPLIO (day 7-8-9)-- this gorgeous town chock full of ancient, medieval, & patriotic history is a perfect base for Ancient sites. In one day u can drive to Mycenae & Epidaurus...if you go to Asine, you get a great beach for a swim AND an ancient fort too!!!
Here's a slide show of Nafplio, Myc. and Epi + some other irrelevant pix.
http://travel.webshots.com/slideshow/551991579dJbWvh

Day 10--From Nafplio drive back to Ancient Corinth by the canal) then on to DELPHI by late in day, spend nite.

Day 12--Go to Delphi 8 am, before the big tours, leave by 1, drive back to Athens Airport, take Metro to Central Athens to a convenient Plaka Hotel & enjoy a lovely dinner in Plaka.

Day 13--Rise early, to Acropolis, then to the other ancient sites -- Agora, Roman Agora, Temple of Zeus. 1 ticket admits to all and is good for 3 days. ALSO-- see the brand-new Acropolis Museum-- getting world acclaim!!. (then take a NAP).

DAY 14-- On final day, see the world famous Archeological Museum; after 2 weeks in Greece it will mean much more than if u see it on first day. Then buy souvenirs in Plaka, pack bags & have a great last meal!

PS: if u want to fool your parents, e-mail me & I'll give u all kinds of tips you can say you discovered all by yourself on the internet.

travelerjan
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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 12:36 AM
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Hi teenstravelinfam: You posted a great question. I'm excited for you, that you have gotten involved in planning trips around the world while you are young. Wishing you many life-long adventures.

Have you considered the Republic of Ireland? I'd suggest Dublin or Galway, Dingle and the Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, County Clare, the town of Westport in County Mayo... the Cliffs of Moher (I couldn't pry my daughters off the cliffs of Moher. They were day-dreaming in the grass, gazing down into the sea far below...they were mesmerized...) That's the Republic of Ireland. Up in Northern Ireland, there is the Giant's Causeway...

I'd also suggest Costa Rica, although I'm not sure if that would provide much shopping. It is more of an adventure and nature exploration...

Wherever you go, have a wonderful time!

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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 03:21 AM
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I had the same reaction as TravMimi when I read your list of possible destinations: Sicily is a great location for someone interested in ancient Greece who also loves Italy. The Greek ruins there are spectacular.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 04:57 AM
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To throw another destination in the mix, Turkey. Great Greek, Roman and early Christian sites. (Istanbul was where the first Roman emperor converted to Christianity.) And Muslim sites that are easily accessible. We did two weeks, one week on a sailboat on the coast exploring ruins and local villages each day (see www.seascape-sail.com) and then a week split among Bodrum, Sirince and Istanbul. We did not do interior Turkey but I wish we did. It was all so interesting, the people great and the food great, easy air and road travel, I think it would make a superb family destination. Not that you should take a tour, but look at tour companies such as www.imaginative-traveller.com and www.ricksteves.com for ideas of Turkey itineraries that you could do yourselves.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 08:20 AM
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A few thoughts

Ancient Greece stretched a long way from Sicily to the LEbanon and up into the black sea so you can cover a lot of ground.

Greece gets very hot July August, in the cities is very polluted and in the islands can even run out of water so June is a good time to go.

Germany is ok in June but better in July and in August fantastic (the Germans leave

Prague is a good visit from Eastern SOuth Germany and could link in. Germany has some interesting historical monuments so the Roman Empire capital was Trier for a time
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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 02:47 PM
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I vote for Greece with its spectacular antiquities and wonderful scenery and food. Traveler Jan has given you wonderful advice.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 03:27 PM
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Greece is nice. So is Prague. But I wouldn't combine them in the same trip; I usually like to stick to one culture at a time and it's easier to learn one language at a time too.

As for Greece, I liked the islands more than Athens. Understanding the ferry routes is the key to determining which islands you can combine on your trip. I still regret not getting to Sifnos.

Prague could be combined with Vienna and Budapest, all are accessible by train. Also were under the control of the Habsburg empire, and lots of cultural interest. Don't forget the seccession architecture, Mucha and Klimt, etc.

Do one or the other. Besides, gotta save something for 2009!
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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 03:39 PM
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Since you are leaning toward Greece, I think you could see a lot on the mainland and still have time to spend on one or more islands in the time you have allotted. I have not been to the islands other than a day trip from Athens to Aegina, but I did spend eight days on the mainland with my daughter who was a college student. Our interests in seeing the ancient sites were enhanced by our studies of mythology and philosophy. You might be interested in my trip report:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34589254

Photos:

http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=...&x=0&y=-b9k6sz
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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 07:38 PM
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I visited Greece for the first time in August of 2007. I recommend it highly. You can see sights in Greece, then cruise or take ferry to Mykonos and Santorini, you'll love it!!
Have fun!
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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 07:58 PM
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Santorini is beautiful. We enjoyed Athens more than we expected. Next time, I'd like to see some other islands.

I was also very impressed with your post and am wondering who your parent/poster is...
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