Family Travel Question:
Q | Where should I vacation in Europe for 2 weeks with kids ages 4 & 9?
Hi! Can you please advise where to vacation in Europe for 2 weeks with kids ages 4 & 9? We are already scheduled to be in Paris for two days. -Anne Le, NC
A | Many ways to see Europe
Fantastic! I am currently sitting in a campground in Sweden as I write this during our four months of travel throughout the UK and Europe. There are many ways to see Europe and many places to go. As we have the luxury of four months travel we have rented a car and are touring around, staying in campgrounds with our tent in fair weather, cabins when the weather is too wet, and hostels in larger centres that have car parking. Our plan is evolving as we travel. Take a peek at our blog to see how we are traveling … www.fourdotsonthemap.com
For two weeks, my best advice is not to squeeze in too many places. I don’t think you can go wrong with anywhere you travel in Europe but keep in mind that whilst Europe might seem small, it really isn’t and traveling with children slows your pace dramatically! You will find your two days in Paris will be quite busy if you want to see the major sights. I urge you to really think about what country or countries or area you want to see in the other ten days. Are there some places that you had your heart set on because of a food, a museum, family connection or friends? How much time do you want to spend sitting in a car or train or in airports? Slow travel can have greater benefits than trying to see 10 countries or cities in 10 days. It is really nice to see a few places and get a real feel for them, finding your favorite coffee shop and going there every day or having the time to master the public transport system in a city.
Do you want to save time and fly between cities or maybe pick one country, hire a car and get out into the countryside as well? Accommodation can easily be booked in advance to take the stress out of arriving in a new city. So far my travels in Europe have shown me that there are many ‘hidden gems’ of places to go as well as the big name places we have all seen in photos and heard about. Right now we are loving Sweden and have found it very easy to drive around; easy to find accommodation and food; accessible internet; and lots of cool little towns along our drives to break up the journey.
When traveling, don’t forget to accept offers to meet someone’s great auntie or favorite old school friend who lives in the area you are planning to travel to. Some of our favorite experiences have been meeting up with old friends and new friends we have met during our travels. It is so much nicer getting to know real people rather than just rubbing shoulders with other tourists every day. Good luck and I look forward to hearing what you decide. Consider reading the book ‘Take your Kids to Europe, 8th: How to Travel Safely (and Sanely) in Europe with Your Children’ by Cynthia Harriman or ‘Europe with Kids: Full-color lifestyle guide to traveling in Europe with children’ by William Gray. These are fantastic books and might help you narrow down all the amazing possibilities that come with traveling to Europe.