A Family Trip to Europe

En Español

My husband and I love to travel. When we were just us two, we had the opportunity to go to Southern Spain, Venice, and Chile. Here in the States we have gone to San Francisco, San Diego, and various beaches in California. Those of you who have kids would understand how difficult it is to go anywhere with little ones. Now that our girls are a bigger, we are planning on a Euro trip.

London Travel Guide
London
The Grand Palais as seen from the Alexandre III Bridge. Image by Eric Pouhier/Wikimedia.
Paris

We would like to go to London, Paris, and then to Italy (Cinque Terre, Rome and Florence) in the year 2014. Yes, it will take us that long to save for a trip for our family. There are a few things that we have discussed in order to have a smoother trip. For example, we have discussed the idea of only taking a one week worth of clothes per person. (We are planning on a 3 weeks vacation.) The idea with the one week is because, well,  most places that you stay at has a washing machine near by. With a one week luggage, we have lighter bags and more space for souvenirs. We also figure that we wouldn’t need to bring shampoo and such with us. We can always get them at our destinations.

We would also like to experience each place we go to as locals and as tourists. Back in October, I discovered a fabulous website called airbnb.com, here and here. This website talks about different places you can stay, around the world, which are rented by locals. They are usually houses, or rooms or apartments, that charge very little in comparison to hotels, and are located near areas of interest. You would also be close to the local’s everyday living with their mannerisms and stores near by. this sounds very appealing to us.

My check list of what to take care of so far:

Passports for everyone
A copy of the kids’ birth certificate
Firm umbrella strollers
Distinguishable luggage
Tourist books
Appropriate clothes
Etc…

There is a website called Travel with Kids, which has taught me a great deal of things about traveling with kids. Here is some of what they say about packing for kids:

“Packing can be a challenge with kids, especially with today’s baggage restrictions. But not to worry, over the years we have compiled a list of packing tips to help you along the way…

Check temperatures before you go. Weather.com’s 10-day forecast allows plenty of time to pack.

Don’t stress: Forgot something? Buy it when you get there. Remember every country has babies and kids, which means every country has supplies for babies and kids. It may not be your exact brand, but sometimes you will discover something even better!

Involve your kids in packing their bags: They feel the anticipation for the trip. They take responsibility: You are not blamed for what’s brought along (and what’s left behind!).

Roll clothes: To save room, prevent wrinkles and keep us organized without having to think about it on the road, we roll each outfit together and wrap it with a piece of masking tape. We even put the date on it (but we’re filming so we have to be super organized). That way we can just hand the day’s bundle to each kid and be done!

Carry-On: A two day supply of necessities in case of delayed luggage including swimsuits if you are going somewhere tropical. You don’t want to miss a whole day of vacation waiting for your luggage, or have to purchase expensive clothes at the resort. It’s a good idea to buy travel insurance in case luggage does get lost or delayed, then the insurance company foots the bill for replacing the clothes, etc.

Contacts: List of email addresses (and physical addresses if you want to send postcards) so the kids can keep in touch with friends back home. Ask your child’s teacher about getting credit for sending the class pictures and travel journals from the road. It will lighten their make-up work and helps the class learn about a neat destination along with your child!”

After this, they give a list of what to take in the luggage.

if you have any ideas on “where to go” in the places we want to visit, please let me know. It would be wonderful to get a personal perspective on things.

Belle

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