Planning a Family Euro Trip
From elegant castles to quirky museums, your first family vacation to Europe has a lot of fun-filled surprises in store. Traveling internationally with the kids does require some extra planning in order for things to go off without a hitch, especially if you’re planning to hit several destinations on your vacation. Here are a few things to keep in mind when organizing your first European adventure with the kids.
Planning a Euro trip for the kids requires a different kind of mindset than traditional trip planning. Your kids might be easily bored by the conventional sightseeing, which usually includes visits to historical monuments, buildings, and museums. Buy guidebooks with lots of pictures and allow kids to bookmark the attractions that look interesting to help you in your planning. Plan to visit Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station or take Harry Potter lovers on a Muggle Tour through London, or spend a day at the Comic Strip Museum in Brussels to let your cartoon lovers get up close with Tin Tin, Batman, and the Smurfs. Your little princesses will love a chance to visit Rosenborg Castle and the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen. Kids always love to get up-close with wildlife, and Europe boasts some wonderful zoos that allow them to do just that: the new Animal Adventure at the London Zoo allows kids to explore the animal kingdom from treetops, root zones, splash zones, and touch zones, while the Barcelona Zoo’s dolphin shows and the Schonbrunner Zoo’s Artic Polarium are always a big hit with the kids.
Make travel fun by exploring alternative modes of transport on your Euro adventure. Take your kids on the London Eye or the new Emirates Air Line in London to add an element of adventure and give them some great views of the city, then take the exciting high speed train to travel from London to Paris. The trip by train will also save you the stress of long airport security lines and luggage restrictions. If your kids are old enough, consider a horseback ride through the French countryside or biking through Amsterdam or Copenhagen. For longer journeys, make sure you pack some toys, games, and snacks to help keep younger children entertained.
When it comes to kids, sometimes where you stay is just as important as what you see. Make travel fun by planning a castle stay in the UK or a windmill or watermill stay in France. If you want to be more practical about your accommodations (and save some money in the process), consider renting a house or condominium out for the week: you’ll have plenty of space for the kids to run around, and you’ll be able to cook your own meals. Homelidays, Interhome, and Holiday-Rentals are some great resources for finding a European vacation rentals. If you’re planning a multi-city itinerary, consider booking a family room at a hostel to save money on your big European adventure.