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2 Week Road Trip from Prague into Germany

Hello, (Long Post Alert!)
I will be a new mom in about a month, and I'm already dreaming about a European vacation with my husband and 5 month old child. I want to take this vacation before I introduce solids to my baby (before he/ she turns 6 months old) so that it's much easier to travel. I will be flying from Mumbai, India and wish not to spend more than 9-10 hours on a flight with the infant. My husband and I are huge fans of the countryside and want to do a quintessential European road trip. We have already been to UK (England + Scotland), Bavaria (Munich/ Garmisch P/ Mittenwald), Austria, Rep of Ireland and Italy (Tuscany).

Below is the tentative plan I've made:

28, 29, 30 July- Stay in Cesky Krumlov
31 July, 1 Aug, 2 Aug- Stay in Regensburg, with day trips to Rothenburg ob der Tauber/ Dinkelsbühl.
3 Aug, 4 Aug, 5 Aug- Stay in Freiburg, with day trips to Black Forest and other towns like Gengenbach etc
6 Aug, 7 Aug, 8 Aug- Stay in Bacharach, with day trips to Eltz Castle/ Koblenz/ Cochem/ Beilstein etc (can choose any 2-3).
9 Aug, 10 Aug- Stay in Bamberg
11 Aug, 12 Aug, 13 Aug- Stay in Prague
14 Aug- Flight from Prague to Mumbai

Please pour in your feedback/ suggestions for alternate road trip ideas. Thanks in advance!

Posted by
1476 posts

31 July- See Nuremberg, Stay Overnight at Regensburg
1 Aug (also my B'day!!)- Leave for Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Overnight stay.

Regensburg - Nürnberg - Regensburg - Rothenburg is time consuming backtracking. I'd rather do a stop of several hours in Nürnberg on my way to Rothenburg. And you might consider staying in Dinkelsbühl rather than in Rothenburg and to do Rothenburg as a day trip. D. is much less crowded and it's cheaper.

Posted by
2453 posts

I have no experience with rental cars, but I understand it is not always allowed to bring them over the border.
Are you sure you want to get on the road in an foreign country with unfamiliar traffic and strange signage straight after a long flight?
Close to Bamberg you've got the wonderful pilgrimage church of Vierzehnheiligen. You can combine it with Coburg.
Between Bamberg and Prague you can have an overnight stay in one of those famous Bohemia spa towns. You have the choice between quiet Frantiskovy Lazne, luxurious Karlovy Vary and middle-of-the-road Marianske Lazne.

Posted by
53 posts

I will be visiting Nuremberg just as a day trip, while staying overnight at Regensburg. I'm using Regensburg to break my journey from Prague to Rothenburg. Will check out the staying options in Dinkelsbühl vs Rothenburg. Thanks for your suggestion!

Posted by
53 posts

Hi tonfromleiden, Thanks so much for the Bohemian town suggestions! Will surely check out. We have earlier driven on Autobahns and had a wonderful experience. Three years ago we rented a car in Munich and did a trip across Austria and Bavaria with a EUR 10 vignette sticker. No one had stopped us while crossing borders, so I guess that should be all right. Prague apparently had good rates for car rental in July'18 and also cheaper flights to fly into, as compared to other European countries...hence the choice.

Posted by
15212 posts

Usually the issue is renting the car in Germany and taking it to Czech Republic, not the other way around. But I think those days are about over. Still, might be good to confirm with the rental agency.

Posted by
104 posts

I don't want to throw cold water on your plans, but I think you might want to slow down and reconsider some or all of this.

You say you're going to be a new mom in about a month - CONGRATS!!! Your life is going to change so much in so many wonderful ways. I know some will say part of that change means no more traveling. I don't necessarily agree with that, but I do think having a baby changes how you travel, and that's what I want to address here.

In a lot of ways you're right that an infant is really easy to travel with in some respects, because they still sleep a lot, don't care where you go and if they are hungry or fussy you just stick them on the boob/bottle. BUT - a lot of five month olds are not yet sleeping through the night. Both my kids were still waking up at least once, if not twice, a night at that age. You have a lot of car driving in your itinerary. I was lucky in that my kids both easily fell asleep in the car. My sister's son, however, screamed bloody murder even on trips to the grocery store. I can't tell you how many times I pulled over into a parking lot to nurse in the car. Where will baby sleep? Are you bringing a pack-n-play? Most your trip has you moving after two nights in a place. That means every third day you are packing up everything, moving, and unpacking. That's a lot for you, your husband and your baby to do, especially if you didn't get a great night of sleep.

Again, I don't want to discourage you. I just think maybe some of this should be reconsidered. What if you found an apartment to rent in a small town near most of the places you want to visit? You could settle in and relax. Take day trips on some days. On those days when baby was up three times or decided to have projectile vomit (like my son did the first time we went away for a wedding right at about the age your child will be), you can take a day to relax and not do anything besides go for a walk in the park.

I think it's great that you want to travel with your child. I just think that you will all have a more enjoyable time if you slow down.

Posted by
53 posts

Hi Allison,
Many Thanks for sharing your experience. I am anticipating sleepless nights and restless days hence have worked around my itinerary a bit as below. I'm mostly now staying 3 nights in a town and have booked all apartments for more space. Some apartments do have an option of requesting a cot/ crib but I'm planning to take Graco Pack-n-Play with me (not sure how much space it'll need in my bag though). Pls see if below makes sense-
28, 29, 30 July- Stay in Cesky Krumlov
31 July, 1 Aug, 2 Aug- Stay in Regensburg, with day trips to Rothenburg ob der Tauber/ Dinkelsbühl.
3 Aug, 4 Aug, 5 Aug- Stay in Freiburg, with day trips to Black Forest and other towns like Gengenbach etc
6 Aug, 7 Aug, 8 Aug- Stay in Bacharach, with day trips to Eltz Castle/ Koblenz/ Cochem/ Beilstein etc (can choose any 2-3).
9 Aug, 10 Aug- Stay in Bamberg
11 Aug, 12 Aug, 13 Aug- Stay in Prague
14 Aug- Flight from Prague to Mumbai

Posted by
104 posts

I can only speak from my own experience (trying to give advice without coming across as a know-it-all or starting a Mommy War - it's a tough needle to thread!), but yes, I think the newest itinerary will give you all a chance to relax a bit more. The best advice I can give is make a plan, but be prepared to change that plan. Five months is when it starts to get really good, though, as their little personalities start to shine through and they can start giving back some of the love you've been pouring into them (the first six weeks, you're in the trenches and baby is, as my father-in-law lovingly termed it, a "meat sack." But then you get your first smile and all it right in the world). As far as the Graco Pack-n-Play, I've never had to travel by plane with one, but I think I've seen them checked through. Just keep it in the bag/sack it came with. If you have the one we have (which is the standard pack, no extra bassinet) it's likely too large to bring as a carry-on. However, it's worth asking if they'll let you gate check it along with the stroller and carseat. You'll carry all those through security, get them tagged at the gate and drop them off right before you get on the plane. They'll be waiting for you right as you exit the plane. These are the last items on/first items off and, while I have no proof of this, my sense is they are handled with a bit more care than the rest of the checked luggage.

Wishing you a safe delivery and a happy, healthy baby!

Posted by
1476 posts

31 July, 1 Aug, 2 Aug- Stay in Regensburg, with day trips to Rothenburg ob der Tauber/ Dinkelsbühl. 3 Aug, 4 Aug, 5 Aug- Stay in Freiburg,

Please take a map to verify your route. Regensburg to Rothenburg is 2 - 2:30 hours one way, Regensburg to Freiburg is 5 hours, and you will, at least along the fastest route, almost bypass Rothenburg again. You can save half a day of driving by staying in Rothenburg or Dinkelsbühl instead of backtracking to Regensburg.

Posted by
3278 posts

Just to correct a post above...you will have no issues taking a rental car from the Czech Republic into Germany.

Posted by
15431 posts

Anita, I think the issue comes along when you want to drop the car off in the second country. From reports here, that usually means an extremely high surcharge.

Posted by
53 posts

Hi Allison, I'm so grateful to you for passing on this information and make me wiser!! It always helps to interact with moms who've gone through similar experiences. I've created my itinerary (in each city) in general very relaxed and not too packed since we're getting prepared for the worst :(
I'm yet to buy the pack-n-play...will figure that piece closer to my travel time since I also want to ensure that my baby fits comfortably in the same :)
Thanks again for your response and wishes!!

Posted by
53 posts

Hi sla019, your advice makes sense...I've searched for good apartments in Rothenburg and booked one..it's better to drive at a stretch till Rothenburg and then take it easy till Freiburg.
Thanks for your response!

Posted by
53 posts

Hi acraven & Anita,
My plan is to pick up the car from Prague and drop off at Prague since I'm flying back from there, so the surcharge is avoided. The only thing might be the requirement of a vignette sticker if I wanna drive a Czech car into Germany, which I'll check with Eurpocar before renting the car.

Posted by
1476 posts

The only thing might be the requirement of a vignette sticker if I wanna drive a Czech car into Germany

Hmmm ... it's the other way round. ;) But don't worry - if you rent in Czechia your car will have a sticker for Czech motorways. You don't need one in Germany.