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Trip ideas for me and my teen son in August?

Trip ideas for me and my teen son in August?

Old Nov 13th, 2014, 07:51 PM
  #1  
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Trip ideas for me and my teen son in August?

My son and I have 12 days to explore somewhere this August. I'm looking for something that is cultural, but also beautiful. Safe and easy to get around. Any ideas?
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Old Nov 13th, 2014, 07:57 PM
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We were thinking about Iceland? Other thoughts?
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Old Nov 13th, 2014, 11:00 PM
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I took my 15 year old son to Europe for a holiday for 5 weeks. As he likes to keep active, the bits that I would recommend the most would be cycling around Bodensee (we stayed in Meersburg but you can move from town to town) and hiking in the Bernese Oberland. He also enjoyed Heidelberg which was our first stop (not least because he loved the pastries every morning).

I also took my daughter on a similar trip when she was 14 and can tell you that I was very glad to have done so. Now neither of them want to go away with me so you've got to do these things when the opportunity is presented. Have a wonderful trip!
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Old Nov 13th, 2014, 11:16 PM
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Our then-12 year old daughter and I spent 12 days in June 2013 on a loop from Vienna-Zagreb-Sarajevo-Belgrade-Istanbul and back to Vienna, relying on planes, trains, and buses to get between destinations. Culture, history, food, and, memories--the trip had it all.
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Old Nov 14th, 2014, 02:25 AM
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I would suggest one of the following:

The Salzkammergut in Austria, combined with Salzburg. The Salzburg Festival will be on, if you are music lovers.

Switzerland (one of the more expensive destinations, but we managed to visit on a reasonable budget).

Scotland - the Edinburgh Festival will be on most of the month. For scenery, head north (preferably by car).

The Netherlands, and not just Amsterdam. Great biking possibilities, big sky country.
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Old Nov 14th, 2014, 02:39 AM
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Cultural.. well Iceland is interesting and beautiful, but wasn't aware it was filled with cultural sites..

I have taken both my 13 yr old son and my 11 yr old daughter to Europe.. two separate one on one trips. We visited London, Paris , Rome, Venice , Switzerland and Florence, each child had a different itinerary.. son got 17 days.. daughter got 24,, simply worked out in her favor..

I think Paris and London are great starters.. both very safe, tons to see and do.. and easy to travel between( since you have a short visit don't waste a ton of time transiting.. you do not want a tour of airports and trainstations right?)

I have been to Italy three times in the summer.. ITS TOO BLOODY hot.. but it was the only time I could do those places at the time. I am really looking forward to revisiting Italy next time in April or May. The heat makes it truly more of a death march some days.. so much as I loved Italy.. I won't recommend for august.

South of France maybe.. but keep in mind August is Frances most popular vacation month.. places book up fast and its crowded almost everywhere. Brittany coast.. maybe Normandy instead, busy and crowded but not so hot.. ( still nice) see the D Day beaches.. Mont St Michel.. rent a car and visit some seaside towns,, I loved St Malo and Honfleur when I was a kid..
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Old Nov 14th, 2014, 03:32 AM
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I tçool my teen age son to Bavaria. He loved the Deutsches Museum in Munich, he would have spent days there. Another highlight of the trip, apart from Ludwig's castles, was taking the cable car to the Zugspitze and the cog-wheel train to get back.
Another year we went to the Azores and he enjoyed the volcanoes and whale-watching.
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Old Nov 14th, 2014, 04:49 AM
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Italy isn't too hot in the summer everywhere, nor in every year. Where we live, in Le Marche, in many summers (like the one just past) we never even turn on our air conditioning. This past summer, we turned on a fan exactly twice.

We have a summer home in southern Le Marche, and there we slept under wool blankets for two weeks this past August. This was a cool summer, but it's not that unusual to have cool summers here, especially on the Adriatic coast.

The heat depends on the altitude and on the distance from the sea. This is a mountainous country, and many parts of it are very near the sea.

The problem arises when you plan an August trip that includes cities known to be hotter than most. In this cateogry, I'd place Milan, Bologna, and Florence, as well as Rome and Napoli, but to a lesser extent in the case of the two latter cities, because they do get sea breezes. The other three cities are far from the sea and at low altitudes. Florence is also in a natural bowl and gets almost no breezes from anywhere.

This past summer was chilly most of the time even in Rome, and it's not the only summer it's been so. I was in Rome this past July, and took my daughter and granddaughter to dinner at a rooftop restaurant. We had to leave before dessert, because we were all literally trembling with cold. Once my daughter spent a summer month at a symposium in Rome; she was so cold she had to borrow some slacks and sweaters from me.

I've also been in Rome when the temperature was over 40 degrees; I once bought some cheap t-shirts just to have more changes of tops, because I was wearing two or three a day. It's not very predictable, and for this reason I don't advise planning trips to Rome or Florence in the hottest months. For one thing, when you're visiting these cities, you're outside most of the day, whereas at home, you'd probably spend much more time indoors, perhaps with air conditioning.
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Old Nov 14th, 2014, 04:57 AM
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Bodensee is great idea as is cycling down a eurooean river. North nicer than south in this period. Some more ideas at mybikeguide.co.uk
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Old Nov 14th, 2014, 11:29 PM
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Thanks so far for your input! Did you arrange these trips on your own or through a tour?
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Old Nov 14th, 2014, 11:57 PM
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Both on my own. We drove to Germany (we live in Europe) and based ourselves in a farm near Füssen (he loved visiting the cows!)
Azores: I booked the first nights in Sao Miguel + 2 nights in Pico in a very special B and B that I didn't want to miss, then we hopped from island to island : flew to Terceira and Sao Jorge, ferry to Pico and Faial. Even though it was in summer, we had no problem findig hotels, but then it was several years ago. We rented a taxi for the day to drive us around the islands.
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Old Nov 15th, 2014, 12:09 AM
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Been arranging all my trips on my own for last twenty years, but did include a tour for 12 days of the 24 days I took my dad, mostly as it was a novelty tour, it was designed for children, of the 26 people on that tour, 14 were between 8-17!!yrs old) .
My son could not have handled a tour( he has some issues) so he didn't get a tour component!

I simply think its safest to do your own arranging, but of course that only works for those who have the time and interest in doing the research. Personally trip planning is half the fun for me! I do not think there is only one way to skin a cat, so do whatever makes you most comfortable. I personally elected not to drive when alone with a child, I need another adult to help me navigate and share driving, but many people would consider that silly, regardless the train system so so easy and cheap driving is not always the best option anyways.
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Old Nov 15th, 2014, 02:21 AM
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We also arranged our own plans. We mostly stayed in each place at least 4 nights and often arranged apartment style accommodation. Many European towns have their own website with accommodation listings. We used trains and buses everywhere. It requires a bit of research but I enjoy that. Plus once you've selected your destination there are lots of helpful people on forums like this.

If you are interested in Bodensee, check http://www.bodensee-radweg.com/en I found it informative, even thought I ended up not using their services. I chose it because it gave us something active to do and is pretty flat (he's fit, I'm not!).

If I were doing a tour (not awfully likely), I'd do one focussed on family holidays, with a small group (e.g. <12) like Intrepid, Gecko, G Adventures or similar. A tour might give you company but is unlikely to go exactly where you want to go and will probably cost more. Sometimes they can offer experiences which you might not try on your own.
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Old Nov 15th, 2014, 02:24 AM
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Another possibility.... As part of my trip with my daughter, we spent 10 days on Corsica, travelling by train, and loved it. Train and bus services are limited but are fine as long as you're not rushing around.
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