Need Itinerary help

Hi there, Am hoping to take my 14 year old daughter to Europe this summer (June) - I can't believe I have left things so late . . . I want to go to London for 5 or 6 days. We have 14-16 days altogether. I can't decide what other country/destination would be interesting for a 14 year old. I know that she can only take so much of looking at art for example. Any ideas of a good itinerary. I was thinking London-Rome-Venice-Florence, but then thought maybe Ireland or Amsterdam would be better. I'm a pretty seasoned traveler and have never been so indecisive! Any recommendations/thoughts would be appreciated!

Posted by Sylvia
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
331 posts

The best suggestion I can give you is to plan the trip With your daughter. We took our then 13+14 year old daughters with us and we planned the trip together. Because they got to do many of the things they wanted, we were able to go to museums, art galleries etc without the usual teen rolling of the eyes. It take lots of pressure off of you and is alot of fun doing the research together.

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1358 posts

hi, i agree with sylvia instead of asking us what to do, ask the one you will be joined at the hip with for 2+ weeks. once you get a consensus one what to do/see, then come back. happy trails.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1972 posts

Let your 14 year old figure out where she'd like to go. Any of the great cities of Europe would be good. Try to limit your stops to one place every 5 days, including a travel day. London/Paris is great and there's enough to do for 2 weeks. We visited London last year, and flew EasyJet from Gatwick to Pisa. We visited Florence, Chianti agriturismo, day trip to Venice and 4 nights in Rome. Or, London/Florence/Rome is a good trip. I've visited Amsterdam, Munich, Salzburg and Vienna a couple of times, and it was very enjoyable for a 2 week trip. Prague/Vienna/Budapest is another great itinerary.
If you can leave the last few days of May, it may save you money. After that, prices spike.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2852 posts

Just to pile on to the other replies. All of your ideas are good, so let your daughter be the "tiebreaker." She can look at guidebooks, but will probably want to start with videos. Rick's travel videos are available on Hulu and YouTube. Do play around with your departure dates if possible, to see if the airfares are lower if you leave a bit earlier. And, what a great gift for your daughter! I sure wish my parents had been able to take me to Europe at that age.

Posted by Ruth
Livermore, CA, United States
3 posts

Thanks for the replies - unfortunately our departure date has to be around June 10 b/c of her school - I normally don't mind her missing school but it's 8th grade promotion. I think she has suggested Dublin/London/somewhere in Belgium, and Amsterdam. She wants to do Italy as it's own trip. Of course, she thought "why not go on a safari to Africa" and now we are contemplating that! She has been to France on a school trip already and I'm probably the only person on earth who will say that France is not my favorite, so we'll give that a miss! I wish I had done this about 4 months ago - procrastination bad! Has anyone been to Dublin? If so - how many days to see highlights?

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2852 posts

"Dublin/London/somewhere in Belgium, and Amsterdam" Sounds good. An open jaw flight from SFO to Dublin and back from Amsterdam to SFO should work well. Don't worry about not liking France. I'm very fond of the saying, "If we all liked the same places, they'd get very crowded." And it's your trip, not someone else's, so go where you want, not where someone says you "should" or "must" go. From Dublin to London, you'll want to book flights ASAP to get good fares. Similarly, for the Eurostar from London to Belgium and the Thalys from Belgium to Amsterdam, you'll need to book advance non-refundable tickets, or it will cost a LOT more. You may be too late for the cheapest fares, so look now to see what it's going to cost. If it's too expensive, you may have to cut a destination and make more daytrips instead, which will be cheaper.

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1358 posts

@ Ruth, OK, we have been hammering this out all night. Does this sound doable: San Fran to Amsterdam (6 days - but would take train to Brussels for 3 of those days) unfortunately having to go back to Amsterdam for flight to Prague (3 days) then London for 6 days. Does the amount of time in each sound reasonable? I tried to figure out taking train instead of flying, but it actually seemed long and expensive. SFO-Amsterdam-Prague-London-SFO. Thoughts?! you mention Brussels, but i dont see it on your last part ....SFO>AMS>...ect. do you mean? 3 days - amsterdam 3 days - Brussels 3 days - Prague 6 days - London in my opinion (imo) trains are good for close in travel most of the time. Youre not doing close in travel, you are traveling THROUGH a country and its not a small one at that. So to save some time, you will need to fly. you could probably cut london down to 4 or 5 but that will depend on what you 2 want to do/see. If you look at flying out of Amsterdam to Prague, there are inexpensive flights, depending on when you want to go. do some more homework for this in order: 3 days - amsterdam fly from AMS to Prague 3 days - Prague Fly from Prague to Brussels 3 days - Brussels
Fly from Brussels to London you are going to spend time FLYING everywhere. but thats up to you. THINK TRAVELING IN A PATH! by the way (btw) depending WHEN you will be flying, the flights i found were < 100 USD and were non stop. i left making it home for you since you already had it planned. Happy trails.

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1358 posts

hi, with respect to Dublin and the sights I wanted to see, i was able to do it in an easy 3 days. That included going to the Irish National Stud for a whole morning. It wasnt rushed either and it was my first city on a 28 day vaction. im sure if you want to run around, you can do it in less time, but it will depend on what you want to see. if i remember correctly my Dublin Itinary was,but not in order: > Kilmainham Goal > INS > Dublin Castle > National Gallery of Dublin > Trinity College/BOok of Kells/Trininty Library > St stephens Green > Christ Chruch Cathredal
> Grafton Street > Temple Bar im sure theres more but i dont have my list with me now. happy trails.

Posted by Ruth
Livermore, CA, United States
3 posts

OK, we have been hammering this out all night. Does this sound doable:
San Fran to Amsterdam (6 days - but would take train to Brussels for 3 of those days) unfortunately having to go back to Amsterdam for flight to Prague (3 days) then London for 6 days. Does the amount of time in each sound reasonable? I tried to figure out taking train instead of flying, but it actually seemed long and expensive. SFO-Amsterdam-Prague-London-SFO. Thoughts?!