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Family Travel Itinerary Advice: Austria, Croatia, Paris

Hello fellow travelers,

My family and I are planning a trip to Europe from May 1st to May 18th, and we could use some advice on our itinerary. We are two adults and have a 4-year-old daughter who we want to ensure enjoys the vacation as much as we do.

Our main destinations are Austria, Croatia and Paris. However, we must be in Austria from May 7th to May 11th, so we need to plan around that.

We are passionate about experiencing local culture, immersing ourselves in local life, and exploring nature. Historical places fascinate us, but we prefer skipping galleries. We're food lovers who adore exploring new restaurants, cute coffee shops , along with enjoying sightseeing and short nature trails.

Could you kindly suggest the order in which we should visit these countries and how long we should stay in each? We want to make the most of our time and ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience for all of us as this is our first Europe experience.

Thank you in advance for your suggestions and tips!

Posted by
5147 posts

First, you have way too many destinations. You need to plan at least three nights ( two full days) at each of your designated locations, if not three. Moving around and packing up with a child is extra time- consuming.
So do some research, read the Trip Reports here, join the related Face Book groups, review the posts here under each location you're considering. Then prioritize and get back to us. We don't know what "fun" is for you, it's different for everyone.
You are late to be securing lodging for May, so availability may influence your itinerary.
Have you been to Europe before?
Good luck!

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you for your input. This marks our inaugural journey to Europe, and as I delve into my research, I'm eager to gather suggestions from fellow travelers. Thank you

Posted by
4341 posts

You are not exactly making it simple with your choices of destination. However a first start is to figure out airfare either into Vienna and out of Paris or the opposite (called multi-city). Balance that with airfare to/from wherever in Croatia you need to be.

Since your required days in Croatia sit in the middle of your allotted time, that determines how long in each of the other two you have.

If airefare works out, I would choose to go to Paris first, then Croatia, then Austria. You could split Austria time into Vienna and Salzburg.

Edit: I misread and thought Croatia was in the middle. Sorry! Ignore what I said, except for the multi-city airfare (into your first spot and home from your last stop). I would also still put Paris first 1-6, then Austria for your commitments, and lastly Croatia 12-18.

Posted by
902 posts

Yikes. While it will be a challenge to be "immersive" with just a couple full days in each location, I would suggest the following.

Fly in to Split.
Fly Split to Vienna
Fly Vienna to Paris
Paris to home.

I would evenly divide the dates and compensate for the day flying in to Split and day flying out of Paris.

Posted by
902 posts

Last thing: Decide quickly and start booking hotels NOW. You may have difficulty at this late date finding what you want versus what is available.

Posted by
356 posts

Paris and Vienna both would be great for young kids with lots of parks, palaces, including an awesome amusement park in Vienna, and museums. But big cites can also be too much.

Although maybe not as convenient, for kids, top of the list, I highly recommend Hellbrun Palace in Salzburg for the water works! Trick fountains and everything! Great park and nearby horse riding there too.

Also, in Salzburg my kids adored the marionette theater. Even though it was opera, and in german, at night (after a long day), they LOVED it.

Overall I think they liked Salzburg over Vienna.