Time to sit back and unwind
I wrote so so much about rearranging rooms aka Boringest Post Ever

Places I Want To Go

Discussion has begun re: Cheung Family Invades Europe Spring/Summer 2015. Well, we've been TALKING about it for a long time, but now our talking includes things like, "So, are we really doing this?" and "Huh, how are we going to pay for it?!" 

The most that's been decided is the fact that Phillip and I BOTH want to go. I've always wanted to go (OBVS), but I was a teeny tiny bit surprised that Phillip didn't even hesitate when I asked him the other week. Yes! We are in. It's just that sticky financial piece... also the time off piece...

My parents are planning to rent a house nearish their old north Italy digs. This would be about an hour away from Venice. And they are planning to be there from mid May to mid June, or thereabouts. Those are my only parameters so far. The only thing on the itinerary is: Take Advantage Of Parents' Rented House, Also Child Wrangling. 

But everything else?! 

So okay, knowing me, I would like to do everything. Yes. I would ESPECIALLY like to see all things I haven't seen, namely most of Eastern Europe, ie: everything I've been reading about for the last two years. But can you imagine? I mean, besides the fact that WE CAN'T DO EVERYTHING, dragging three kids through museum after monument after historical site after famous square... Phillip would kill me first. 

But now I'm like... DIRECTIONLESS. We could do anything we wanted. Except not, because of the not independently wealthy thing. But say we're starting in Venice. Venice is for sure. I would go to Venice every single time I go to Europe, several times, for all time. And this is good, because Italy is the country that doesn't send me into spirals of omgIdon'tknowhowtodoanything. But from THERRRRRE...

I was thinking Sicily! Sicily was the first place my family lived when we moved overseas and I have put the food and beaches and weather on a pedestal in my memories. I could definitely see us having a Beach Vacation. And if I started to feel like I needed to go somewhere new I could insist on SARDINIA! Haven't been there! I hear the beaches are FANtastic. 

But Phillip, because he is a giant pain, would probably prefer to go NORTH. He likes order. Also giant hunks of meat, both things easily found in Germany. He loved Germany! I like... Bavaria. I would be very into visiting Munich. My dad has drawn me a little map of a circular driving itinerary - Venice to Milan to Innsbruck to Munich with lots of stops in between. That is a big possibility.

ORRR we could get one of those cheap intra-Europe flights (I just made up that term) and go to... PARIS. or LONDON. or BERLIN. or PRAGUE. or somewhere big and city and famous and fabulous... and I think that might be terrible. Also expensive. But happy for ME, the person who wants to go everywhere and see everything. Unhappy for everyone else.

The kids, I think, want to see some of the things they see on Rick Steves' TV shows and eat gelato. And stay long enough to get un-jet lagged. My parents want to take the kids on a bunch of outings they used to do with their elementary school classes. I want to ________. Phillip wants to _________. I suppose we should figure out how to finish those sentences.

ANY IDEAS, FOLKS? Or anyone who's traveled with kids to Europe? Or, best of all, anyone with any fancy secret tips for how to fly us all there without totally draining the savings account?  

Comments

Erica

We travel with kids a lot. We took Anna to Europe twice. Of the two trips, the first we did more hopping around by plane and it was a log more stressful. If you could try and keep it simple, go deep in fewer places instead of grazing more places, I think it would be good. International travel with kids, to me, needs to be slower paced than what you'd do without kids. Just my ass-vice so take it for what it's worth. Definitely go though. Europe is an expensive trip but a great one. It's worth it.

Erica

Also train was so much easier with a kid than plane.

Erin

I don't have any advice but maaaaaan I would love to tour Europe. My parents did a Rhine River cruise (starting in Amsterdam) a few years ago and I was so jealous I could barely stand it.

Kathryn

I'm looking at doing a very similar thing - my daughter will be working in Poland Feb-July/15, so I would like to go over and visit her around the end of her term, with her then-8 year old brother. Other than "see Europe" we have no plans. I love the idea of renting a house somewhere as a base, but I also don't know how to restrict what I want to see with what the 8 year old will allow us to do!

Cheryl

I think if you have some flexibility with dates you can sometimes get deals on Icelandair out of Seattle for flights to various European cities connecting in Reykjvik.

Meghan Wood

I have very fond memories of Kaposvar Hungary. Cause that's where we took out four day pass when I was deployed to Bosnia. It was perfect.

katie

Sage advice from a friend who is living in Germany with her two young children:
The good thing with public transportation - children generally are free. With that said, we still do car trips because it's easier for us, especially when booking a train cabin (it can get super expensive)... rental cars are reasonably prices, it's the gas that's expensive. Also, if she's looking to stay in other places - Family Hotels or Kinder Hotels are where's it's at - they offer super fun kid friendly experiences (kinder disco!). Skip Munich (it's seriously huge and not all it's cracked up to be - totally my opinion). Go to Prague, it's amazing and pretty doable with kids - not too many museums, most of the sites are outside.Hallstatt Austria - for sure, I haven't been but everyone who goes there, loves it. There are other better Bavarian Cities to check out - Bamberg, the whole city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Jen (SaitoAbroad)

Agree with almost everything Katie just wrote. We lived in Germany for two years and my fondest memories are of exploring the mountains of Bavaria during the summer. We did everything by car - so much more flexibility - time, packing, schedule etc...

Much prefer the mountain villages to the big cities like Munich. Very "eh" about Munich.

While in Germany my daughter was under 1 so it was really easy to do what *we* wanted with no one to complain. But we recently lived in Japan with a 5yo and 3yo and they had opinions. Getting them to happily walk from temple to temple and/or museums was mentally exhausting. Much bribing involved.

Maybe you and Philip could take a weekend and do stuff while the grandparents watch the kids!?!? That would be awesome!

Jesabes

Maggie! We're going to Bavaria next summer! My brother-in-law and sister-in-law will be stationed in Ansbach and we're planning to visit. We'll probably also go down to Barcelona, since my sister is living there. We're hoping the fact we won't need hotels will help just a little with the cost of taking a family of five to Europe.

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