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Teens first trip to Europe next summer - we only have 2 weeks and prefer to stay in one country. Which one should it be?

Teens first trip to Europe next summer - we only have 2 weeks and prefer to stay in one country. Which one should it be?

Old Aug 17th, 2001, 08:28 AM
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Teens first trip to Europe next summer - we only have 2 weeks and prefer to stay in one country. Which one should it be?

My husband and I have been to Europe before, but it will be our kids' (15 and 13) first time. We prefer a relatively relaxed travel pace, and since we only have 2 weeks or so, we are thinking of concentrating on one country rather than doing the whirlwind, smorgasboard kind of trip. I'm afraid our interests are just sort of the general ones - a little history, a little "culture", some nature ... The kids have seen a large part of the U.S. (we did one of those 1950's style drive-around-the-country trips for six weeks last summer - SF, LA, Tucson, New Orleans, Florida, DC, NYC, etc.) But they haven't done any significant foreign travel.

My goal for this trip is just to help them realize there is a big world out there...my problem is I have totally enjoyed all the countries I've been to and so I'm having trouble picking which one should be the first for the kids, although we're leaning towards England, France or Italy...

Any thoughts on the pros and cons of various European countries for teenagers traveling with their parents? Any of you been in similar circumstances? What did your teens like in Europe? What do you think they should see first?
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 08:31 AM
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France or Italy. Great cities, great countryside, great food. Rome and/or Venice then up to Tuscany would be my
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 08:36 AM
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If the kids are studying a language in school, go to that country. If not, have the kids study possible desitnations and ask where they want to go.
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 08:38 AM
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Just a thought (from a former French teacher!) Are either or both of your children taking a foreign language in school? If so, I think it would be great to take them to a country where they could use what they have learned (however rudimentary it may be). I would think they would get a big kick out of that and, who knows, it might even improve their grades.
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 08:38 AM
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ditto. Italy is beautiful, food is great, people are terrific. I'd suggest a week someplace in Tuscany between Florence and Siena with a pool so the kids don't frazzle and you can day trip, then a week in Rome -- there is SO MUCH to see and you can break it up with daytrips to Pompeii and maybe Villa d'Este and Hadrian's Villa near Tivoli.
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 06:02 PM
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Italy would get my vote for teens because it connects with so much of their learning, it's got a more "foreign" feel than England, and the food is familiar enough to most teens that they won't need to look for McDonalds.
Have you thought of going the apartment route? Untours is great, cheap, and geared toward families.
Of course, Iceland is a great family choice, too, especially if your family is into nature/hiking/horses etc.--and it's not mobbed during the summer, unlike Italy!
Old Aug 18th, 2001, 03:43 AM
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ITALY!!!!! Italy has it all for your teens. History, good food, fashion, the motorcycles and vespas!. You could bas in a resorty area for part of the time to give the teens some "vacation"--ie swimming, boating, sports, etc. The Riviera area or Lake Garda perhaps. Both have lots of things that teens would like. Lake Garda has lots of outdoorsy sports if your teens are into that. With two weeks you could have a wonderful time in Italy, see so much and do a lot.
Old Aug 18th, 2001, 11:50 AM
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To avoid the whirlwind and still provide a little variety, it might be good to spend one week in one region in one country, then do the same in another. The Rhine/Mosel River region of Germany would provide lots of natural beauty, history (Roman history in Trier, castles from Medieval times, a bit of WWII stuff) and culture (Cologne? Trier?) You'll find lots of nice bike paths along the rivers there for a little recreation in between sights. You could then head off into France and spend a week in, say, Reims, a short drive from the Mosel (magnificent cathedral is just one of three UNESCO World Heritage sights there) and do daytrips to Verdun (WW I battlefields,) Paris, or other spots. Or maybe a week in Paris is the thing for you, which wouldn't require much more travel.

In Germany, you'll find your English will get you a bit further than in France or Italy, as nearly everyone under 50 or so has had at least a few years of it in school.

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